San Juan Islands
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Washington State Ferry Service
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Whale & Wildlife Tours
If you want to go whale watching among the San Juan Islands as a day trip from elsewhere in the Puget Sound region, look for an operator departing from the city or town you will be visiting. Those ports are listed alphabetically below. On the other hand, if you are staying overnight on one of the Islands, you may want to use a local charter or outfitter. Also, some operators have departures from both the islands and the mainland.
In addition to whale watching opportunities, each of these ports offer a variety of accommodations from bed and breakfast lodging to hotels and motels should you wish to make an overnight trip and enjoy your whale watching outing at a more leisurely pace. To learn more about each port, just click on the city name.
For more on whales and whale watching, see our related links page.
Remember, whale watching is a popular activity and it is a good idea to call ahead and make reservations in advance of the date you might want to join a whale watching cruise.
Island Adventures welcomes you to an outstanding whale watching experience! Anacortes is the ideal departure point as there is no need to hassle with the ferry! On our 5-6 hour GUARANTEED whale watching tours you have to opportunity to see a variety of wildlife. You can expect many including a full time naturalist on every trip, free binocular use, a 64 page wildlife viewing guide, on board food service, two spacious bathrooms, full walk around viewing decks, and a large indoor heated cabin. This tour was voted the #1 whale watching tour in western Washington three years in a row!
Mystic Sea Charters. Homeport, Anacortes, WA. Ticket Booth and boarding at Cap Sante Marina, Dock A, Anacortes, WA. Mail: 105 N. First Street, PO Box 1443, La Conner, WA 98257. Toll-Free: 1-800-308-9387. E-mail
San Juan Island Shuttle Express. 355 Harris Avenue, #105, Bellingham, WA, 98225. Phone: 360-671-1137.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Operation Orca: Springer, Luna and the Struggle to Save West Coast Killer Whales by Daniel Francis and Gill Hewlett. Through the amazing story of these two "orphan" whales, Operation Orca tells the larger story of orcas in the Pacific Northwest, the people who have studied them and the transformation of the whale's image from killer to icon. Order now...
Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast: Baja, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia (California Natural History Guides) by Sarah G. Allen, Joe Mortenson, and Sophie Webb. This field guide describes the whales, dolphins, seals and otters from Mexico to British Columbia including Washington. Featuring many color illustrations, photographs, drawings, and maps. Order now...
The Complete Whale-Watching Handbook: A Guide to Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises of the World by Ben Wilson and Angus Wilson. This book covers the biology of each creature listed and has a species guide. Sections explain the study of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, examine the impact of whale-watching and offer practical advice on how to view, photograph and enjoy these creatures in the wild. Order now...
The Grandest of Lives: Eye to Eye with Whales by Douglas H. Chadwick. Wildlife biologist Douglas H. Chadwick takes readers inside the world of modern-day scientific whale observation, from gathering data to weathering storms to spirited scientific debate. Detailed portraits of the humpback, northern bottlenose, blue whale, minke whale, and orca representing a cross-section of the forms and behaviors of cetaceans worldwide. Order now...
Whales: Touching the Mystery by Doug Thompson. This book describes the hidden lives of whales, their migrations, and the modern threats they face. He also chronicles the efforts of human champions who are working to end whale hunting and promote whale watching. This appealing package includes photos and maps as well as a first-rate companion DVD. Order now...
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