Whale & Wildlife Watching

Magical. Awe-inspiring. Stunning. Amazing. Unforgettable.

Count on your sighting of whales in the waters of the San Juan Islands to be the experience of a lifetime.

Most of the whales seen in the San Juan Islands are orcas—three pods, the “Southern Residents”—are typically in the area from mid-April to early October, but your best chance to see them is from late May through mid-October. One of the pods is often seen year round, as are transient orcas.  You have a great variety of whale watch boat tours to choose from.

On your whale watch tour, you may see not just orca whales, but different species as well: gray, minke, and humpback whales also visit these waters. Not to mention seals, porpoises, sea lions, otters, bald eagles, and numerous seabirds. And you’ll pick up a whole new whale-related vocabulary—spyhops, breaches, and single and double tail lobs. On some whale watch tours, you’ll hear via hydrophone the whales calling to one another. Most boats have an onboard naturalist to explain what you’re seeing.

Local whale watch operators adhere closely to state and federal guidelines developed to ensure the whales’ behavior and life cycles aren’t disturbed. Our “Southern Residents” are endangered and protected by state and federal law, and there is a strong local culture of respect for the whales. Boats must not approach closer than 200 yards—but that’s plenty close enough when you’re looking at a 30-foot mammal.

You can also visit Lime Kiln Point State Park (aka “Whale Watch Park”) on San Juan Island. The Friends of the Lime Kiln Society (FOLKS) offer many free services, including an informative interpretive center, lighthouse, intertidal and park-wide tours, and fun special events during the tourist season. Also find information along the Whale Trail at www.thewhaletrail.org.

Friday Harbor
Captain Carli's Whale Watching ToursSee all information about this member
Spring Street Landing
Friday Harbor
(360) 378-0302
Captain Carli's Whale Watching Tours - Orca Breaching

Captain Ken has observed whales and many other marine life from Alaska all the way down to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico and the Atlantic ocean. He has seen Humpback Whales “bubble net feeding” in Alaska and scratched the heads of curious Gray Whale calves in Mexico.  One of Ken’s greatest passions is to share his experience with others and now he is able to do just that by taking you out on our boat the ‘Spirit of Orca’ to meet the whales in their natural environment. [more...]

Friday Harbor
San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife ToursSee all information about this member
Spring Street Landing
Friday Harbor
San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours - New Spy Hop

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...]

Friday Harbor
Western Prince Whale Watching San Juan IslandSee all information about this member
1 Spring Street
Friday Harbor
(800) 757-6722
(360) 378-5315
San Juan Islands Whale Watching, Friday Harbor, Washington

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...]

Friday Harbor
San Juan Safaris Whale Watch & Wildlife ToursSee all information about this member
2 Spring Street Landing #6
Friday Harbor
(800) 450-6858
(360) 378-1323
San Juan Island Whale Watching - San Juan Safaris

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...]

Orcas Island
Lopez Island
Outer Island Expeditions Whale WatchingSee all information about this member
54 Hunt Rd.
(360) 376-3711
(360) 622-6562
Outer Island Expeditions - Whale Watching, San Juan Islands,

Outer Island Expeditions offers whale watching tours -- see whales or ride again free! -- from Orcas Island, Lopez Island, San Juan Island and the Bellingham area. Last year we saw orcas on over 95% of our summer tours, and whales on 97%. [more...]

San Juan Island
Friday Harbor Cruises Wildlife ToursSee all information about this member
1 Spring Street Landing
Friday Harbor
Friday Harbor Cruises - Seals on Rocks

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...]

San Juan Island
Maya's Legacy Whale WatchingSee all information about this member
1997 Mitchell Bay Rd.
San juan island
Whale Watching Boating San Juan Island

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! 



Friday Harbor
San Juan Excursions Whale Watching & Wildlife CruisesSee all information about this member
2 Spring St. Landing
Friday Harbor
(800) 809-4253
(360) 378-6636
San Juan Excursions, Orca, Wildlife Tour, San Juan Islands

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...]

Orcas Island
Orcas Island Eclipse ChartersSee all information about this member
Next to Orcas Ferry Dock
(800) 376-6566
(360) 376-6566
Boating Cruising Charters Whale Watching Orcas, San Juan Islands

Professional guided whale and wildlife tours.  Boat departs next to the Orcas Island ferry landing.  See abundant wildlife and 172+ islands.  56-foot Orcas Express offers heated cabin with seats and tables inside, and top and lower viewing decks.  Historic guided lighthouse tours, too.  Celebrating 25 years in the whale watching and wild life business! [more...]

Orcas Island
Deer Harbor ChartersSee all information about this member
5164 Deer Harbor Rd.
Deer Harbor
(800) 544-5758
(360) 376-5989
Whale Watching Boating Orcas Island Island

Enjoy an informative, narrated cruise through the San Juan Islands in search of orca whales and minke whales. The thrill of seeing one of these majestic creatures will be an unforgettable experience. Discover the other abundant marine life and wildlife that call these waters home. You'll pass by unspoiled, pristine islands and historic landmarks. Established in 1988. [more...]

San Juan Island
San Juan Outfitters Whale WatchingSee all information about this member
(866) 810-1483
(360) 378-1962
Breaching Orca Whales Off San Juan Island

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...]

Western Washington
Puget Sound Express Whale WatchingSee all information about this member
227 Jackson Street Point Hudson Marina
Port Townsend
Whale Watching Boating Western Washington San Juan Islands

For 27 years, Puget Sound Express has provided thousands of travelers with fun-packed and fascinating tours on the waters in the San Juan Islands and around the Victorian seaport of Port Townsend, Washington. Three generations of the Hanke family work to make your trip a lasting memory. We began wildlife tours long before there was a wildlife watching movement and with that experience comes knowledge that puts us on the right spot, at the right time, every time. [more...]

Western Washington
Victoria Clipper Whale WatchingSee all information about this member
2701 Alaskan Way, Pier 69
(800) 888-2535
(206) 448-5000
Transportation, scheduled ferry, passenger ferry

The Clipper Vacations whale watching tour includes round-trip transportation from Seattle to the San Juan Islands, a 2.5 hour Orca Whale Watching and Sealife Search with an onboard naturalist, a 2.5 hour stop in historic Friday Harbor, plus a souvenir guidebook to the San Juans for a fun and family-friendly educational day trip or overnight getaway.  Daily departures aboard the Victoria Clipper high-speed passenger vessel from downtown Seattle’s Pier 69 to Friday Harbor are mid May – September. [more...]

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