Monterey Bay Whale Watch, Monterey

4.6
#3 of 32 in Tours in Monterey
Dolphin / Whale Watching · Wildlife Area
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The deep water canyon that defines the underwater topography of the Monterey Bay creates ideal conditions for a wide variety of pelagic as well as nearshore species and offers incredible wildlife viewing opportunities year round.

Come join us for an unforgettable experience as we sail in search of the many species that make the waters of Monterey Bay their home or pass through in migration. In season we regularly see Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Gray Whales, Killer Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Northern Right Whale Dolphins, Risso's Dolphins, Long-beaked Common Dolphins and Dall's Porpoises. With a little luck we also find Fin Whales, Minke Whales, Harbor Porpoises, Bottlenose Dolphins, Baird's Beaked Whales and Cuvier's Beaked Whales. Sea Otters, California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals are also regularly seen and Northern Elephant Seals, Northern Fur Seals and Steller Sea Lions sometimes put in an appearance. We also see fishes like Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola) and Blue Sharks, Leatherback Turtles and we encounter a variety of seabirds on our trips, including the majestic Black-footed Albatross.

Our two vessels, the Sea Wolf II and the Point Sur Clipper are piloted by the most experienced captains on the Bay who are also marine biologists. All trips are narrated by skilled naturalists. There is a fully stocked snack bar aboard the boats. You can round out your trip with a visit to our eclectic souvenir shop on the wharf.

In addition to sharing these amazing encounters with our passengers, we collect valuable scientific data on abundance, distribution and behaviors of the many species we encounter. We publish some of the data ourselves in scientific journals and share it with other researchers.

From April through mid-December we offer two daily trips in search of Blue Whales, Humpback Whales and other marine creatures. The morning trip departs at 9 a.m. and returns between 1 and 2 p.m., cost is $49 for adults and $39 for children 12 and under. The afternoon trip departs at 2 p.m. and returns between 5 and 6 p.m.; cost is $41 for adults and $29 for children 12 and under. Children 3 and under are free.

From mid-December through March we run two three-hour trips a day in search of Gray Whales and other marine creatures, departing at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Cost is $40 for adults, $29 for children 12 and under. Children under 3 are free.

People are always asking how to dress:

FOOTWEAR: Sensible footwear, waterproof if possible. No, spike-heels are not recommended.

HATS: Almost required, the sun (even on a foggy day) can be damaging.

PANTS: Something water resistant,proof. No, skirts are not recommended.

JACKET: Again, something water resistant. The temperature on the ocean is 10-15 degrees lower than at the pier. That combined with wind chill can result in "it feels like" 40's. Remember to dress in layers. You can always take a layer off if you are too warm, but if you don't have an extra layer to put on you may get cold.

Getting cold and seasickness lead our complaint department. We recommend that IF YOU EVEN THINK you might become ill, take something ahead of time. Sea sick medication is not a cure, it is a preventative.

CAMERAS: Dress as you would. There are limited outlets to charge batteries located on the lower deck, but they should be charged ahead of time.

AND REMEMBER: Every trip is it's own treasure, THIS IS NOT SEAWORLD, the animals provide the entertainment on their own timetable. The show begins when they want, ends when they want. We cannot predict what trip is going to be "the one". One thing I can predict is that if you don't go you will not see anything.

Visit our web site or call us for more information.
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Monterey Bay Whale Watch reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,515 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • An absolutely spectacular wildlife experience! On our tour we saw mother whales with her calves and several large pods of humpback whales. At least nine in their natural habitat. Seals, birds and... 
    An absolutely spectacular wildlife experience! On our tour we saw mother whales with her calves and several large pods of humpback whales. At least nine in their natural habitat. Seals, birds and...  more »
  • Great experience. They say 99% chance of success seeing whales and I believe them because they were everywhere. The staff was really knowledgeable and helpful. We will be back! 
    Great experience. They say 99% chance of success seeing whales and I believe them because they were everywhere. The staff was really knowledgeable and helpful. We will be back!  more »
Google
  • What an amazing and fun experience! Definitely a must-do while in Monterey. My sister and I took a morning tour this past Monday and it was phenomenal. We saw at least 20 whales pretty close up, and other wildlife too. The views were beautiful. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and the other staff was all very helpful and welcoming and friendly. We loved how long the tour was (about 3.5 hours) because it gives you enough time to really soak it all in and enjoy it. I definitely suggest following their recommendation to take motion sickness medication about 30 minutes prior to getting on the boat. We didn't get sick because we took the meds, but we saw at least 4-5 people who were visibly sick to their stomachs. I also suggest wearing warm clothes because it gets pretty chilly and windy out there. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone! We loved it!
  • An absolutely spectacular wildlife experience! On our tour we saw mother whales with her calves and several large pods of humpback whales. At least nine in their natural habitat. Seals, birds and other marine life abound. Indeed - the show of a lifetime! A few recommendations for sightseers in order to have a great time on the boat. Take anti-nausea medication at least a half hour prior to boarding (if you go with Dramamine on the boat it’s already too late). Eat light or very little prior to boarding. (Trust me on this!) Be prepared for the cold, getting wet and possible sea sickness. The waters get choppy and it is a long ride to get to where the wildlife swim. Take blankets, rain ponchos, & ginger candies for your stomach, to be safe. We took these precautions and seemed to be the only family unaffected by the waves. Lastly, bring the best camera you own with you for pictures. I was impressed by the picture opportunities on the tour. If you’re on the fence to book - don’t second-guess. Just go!!!

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