Pacific Northwest Whale Watching
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Whale & Wildlife Tours
Whale watching is popular April through September and usually focuses on the area around the San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands. A number of charter boat companies run whale watching cruises and you can find such charters at various ports around Puget Sound and the coastal waters of British Columbia. In most cases 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.
Companies running whale watching cruises are listed by state and province:
Puget Sound Express. 227 Jackson Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Phone: 360-385-5288.
We provide half-day and all-day whale watching and wildlife tours and daily passenger ferry service from Port Townsend to Friday Harbor April through October. Since 1985 Puget Sound Express, or P.S. Express, has provided thousands of travelers with fun-packed, fascinating whale watching boat tours around the Olympic Peninsula and the San Juan Islands. With twenty-four years and three generations of family experience, it's a sure bet your whale watch trip will be a lasting memory. Our daily passenger only ferry service between Port Townsend and Friday Harbor is a great way to connect the Olympic Peninsula and San Juan Islands.
Our Guarantee: We see orca whales on over 90% of our tours. If you do not see orca whales on your tour, then your next tour is free of charge. Cruise in comfort aboard the classic motor yacht "Odyssey" with certified Naturalist guides. Enjoy heated lounge style cabins and outside viewing decks with padded seating while viewing orca whales, sea lions, seals, porpoise, bald eagles and a variety of sea birds in their natural habitat. Two amazing certified Naturists will be on board to share information about the flora, fauna and Salish Sea region. Carbon neutral business and locally owned operated by second generation islanders. Established 1994.
Kayak the beautiful west-side of San Juan Island with our naturalist guides. Crystal Seas offers 3 hour, day (6 hour) and multi-day tours and provides free transportation from Friday Harbor to our kayak docks on Mitchell Bay. While kayaking be on the lookout for orca whales, harbor seals, sea lions, porpoise, bald eagles and a variety of sea birds. We specialize in small groups but can take large private groups as well. Book both your kayaking and a whale watching cruise though us and receive 10% off. Owner operated since 1994 by second generation islanders.
Related Web Sites
CERF is a Canadian non-profit organization that funds research on whales, dolphins, and their environment through an eco-tourism program. Here you will find information on the whale research trips we offer, as well as on our research programs. You will also find some general whale & dolphin information.
Covers 3,310-square miles of marine waters off the Olympic Peninsula coastline and provides habitat for one of the most diverse marine mammal faunas in North America and a critical link in the Pacific flyway. The sanctuary boasts a rich mix of cultures, preserved in contemporary lives of members of Quinault, Hoh, Quileute, and Makah tribes.
The Virtual Whale Project
3D Animation and sound environment for the visualization of the feeding behaviors of Pacific Humpback Whales.
The Whale Museum. 62 First Street North, PO Box 945, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250. Phone: 360-378-4710.
An interactive educational project sponsored (whale, seal, dolphin, porpoise and turtle data) by Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts with support from the National Science Foundation.
Join us on a wonderful journey into the world of Cetaceans, those mysterious animals that spend their entire lives in water. Dive down to the greatest depths and discover the Blue whale, the Right whale, Sperm, Humpback, Sei, Gray, Bowhead, Fin, Minke, Orca, Dolphins and more. Pick your favorite whale or dolphin and find out what it is doing, what it looks like and where it lives.
Whalesong - An odyssey of sight, sound, and science by Ken McCann
"Whale Watching Spoken Here"®
A volunteer whale watching program during peak gray whale migration times coinciding with winter and spring breaks. Trained volunteers stationed at twenty-nine locations on or near the Oregon Coast provide information and assist spotting whales.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
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. 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...
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...
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...
Hidden Pacific Northwest: Including Oregon, Washington, Vancouver, Victoria, and Coastal British Columbia by Eric Lucas. The ultimate guide with information on over 300 hiking trails, 700 campgrounds, and 200 beaches, parks, and wilderness areas. The book reviews a wide range of unique accommodations, including boutique hotels in Seattle, stone-and-wood lodges in the Cascades, and seaside B&Bs. Order now...
Fodor's Pacific Northwest, 19th Edition: with Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver. This guide has the latest information expanding the coverage, illustrations, recommendations, advice and trip planning tools such as easy to read maps for your next adventure in the Pacific Northwest. Order now...
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