San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Watching
Boat-Based Whale Watching Tours
Getting out on the water with a local whale watch tour operator will give you the best chance at seeing whales in their natural habitat. Although they can’t guarantee them—many boast a 90% viewing rate during the peak season of May through September—the captains are in constant communication with their spotting network in order to do their best at finding the whales and other spectacular wildlife in U.S and Canadian waters. Knowledgeable marine naturalists are also on board to inform and amuse you. San Juan Island tour operators depart from three locations—Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor and Snug Harbor—making it easy to step on board no matter where you are on the island.
Shore-Based Whale Watching
San Juan Island is home to Lime Kiln Point State Park (a.k.a. Whale Watch Park), one of the best places in the world for trying your luck at shore-based whale watching. The park faces the island’s west side waters where the whales spend time feeding and socializing during summer. Picnic tables and plenty of shady nooks mean you can spend a few happy hours on the lookout and enjoying the view—or explore the rocky shore and tide pools. Visit the interpretive center, or take a tour of the lighthouse, intertidal areas or the whole park, provided by the Friends of the Lime Kiln Society (FOLKS).
The Whale Museum
For a preview of your whale-sighting experience, you might visit The Whale Museum in downtown Friday Harbor, where you can view whale skeletons and recent nearby sightings, listen to the songs of various species in the Whale Phone Booth, watch a free 30-minute looped video on Pacific Northwest orca whales, and stock up on whale-related gifts.
Adventure awaits you! Join Western Prince Whale Watching on an intimate sized tour (limited to 32 passengers on the Western Prince II and 15 passengers on the Western Explorer) as we explore protected waters and discover the islands' abundant wildlife and spectacular beauty. [more...]
Join owner Captain Hobbes aboard "Natsilane" for an intimate whale & wildlife tour of a lifetime. Limited to only 6 passengers, come discover the unique ecosystems of the Salish Sea in a comfortable and stable boat with a heated cabin, indoor & outdoor seating, and a restroom. Tours depart one or two times daily depending on the season. [more...]
Whale sightings on over 90% of our tours! See orca whales in the wild. Sit comfortably on a 45 foot- long whale watch boat with a walk-around deck, inside cabin and bathroom.
Other whales around San Juan Island are Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. We also can see Dalls Porpoise and Harbor Porpoise. Whale Watching tours also see Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals and many exceptional sea birds.
San Juan Outfitters also offers private whale watch tours, private boat charters and water taxi service to the many San Juan Islands and Canada [more...]
Experience the islands with a cruise on the “Bee”! A proper little yacht, the Bee is a Grand Banks 32 and is one of the most comfortable boats in the harbor. A sunny flying bridge or a heated cabin offer all weather comfort as we see wildlife in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Captain Greg’s stories of the colorful history of soldiers, smugglers, and the wildlife in this corner of the world will keep you entertained and informed. Try a sunset cruise or our “Round the Rock” day trip that circles the island with a lunch stop at Roche Harbor. [more...]
Located steps from the Friday Harbor ferry terminal, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours has an excellent reputation for respectful wildlife viewing. On the water since 1995, this company is known for providing high-quality, small-group size whale watching & wildlife tours. [more...]
We offer unique whale watching and wildlife tours with no more than six passengers on board. Small group size, your expert captain, and informed biologist/naturalist, assure the most authentic and personalized experience available. Our 30' vessels offer comfort, plenty of elbow room and unobstructed viewing from the front bow, back deck and cabin.
We have professional grade hydro-phones and binoculars on board, so you can listen to whales as well as see them. Tours depart from Snug Harbor Resort - the closest marina to where we most often see whales!
Why Choose Captain Carli's Whale Watching Tours? Captain Carli has lived on San Juan Island for over 30 years and first started driving whale watching boats professionally in 1995. Small boats are personal and offer direct access to Captain Carli, (have a question…just ask him). Walk off the Washington State ferry in Friday Harbor and two minutes later you are on-board "Soulmate,” Captain Carli"s boat. He belongs to an orca whale spotting network located on Vancouver Island. If the whales are in the area he will know about them. [more...]
Experience premiere whale watching with San Juan Excursions aboard the 65-foot, twin-engine, classic motor yacht "Odyssey". The largest whale watching boat in the islands, the "Odyssey" offers guests excellent, comfortable indoor and outdoor viewing with heated cabins, lounge-style seating, a snack bar, two restrooms, padded outdoor seating, and wrap around decks. We see orca whales on a high percentage of our tours and if you do not see an orca, then you are welcome to come out another day -- free of charge. [more...]