Guaranteed Whale Watch Tours from 5 Departure Locations
Reservations are highly recommended. We do accept walk-ups when space is available, but at times we do fill up days in advance and have to turn people away. The best way to ensure you have a spot on one of our tours is to book your tour online, or give us a call to reserve in advance.
All guests must be checked-in and ready to board the vessel 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. All locations (Anacortes, Everett, La Conner, Port Angeles, and Seattle) check-in directly at the dock. If you're taking a tour from Anacortes or Port Angeles, be sure to set aside time to check out the gift shop and ask for local recommendations!
Arriving early can set the right mood and tempo for your trip. It’s definitely not pleasant to be rushed down the boat and dealing with the stress of missing your tour. All guests must be checked-in and ready to board the vessel 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. All locations (Anacortes, Everett, La Conner, Port Angeles, and Seattle) check-in directly at the dock. If you're taking a tour from Anacortes or Port Angeles, be sure to set aside time to check out the gift shop and ask for local recommendations!
One of the biggest keys to the trip is layers. Be sure to bring layers with you for your tour, regardless of season. Temperatures can feel 10-20 degrees cooler on the water so it's recommended that everyone in the group bring both a sweatshirt and jacket. There's plenty of room on all of our vessels to bring an extra bag for layers. The Island Explorer vessels are set up to be the most comfortable vessels in the area with ample indoor seating, but the more time you spend outside the more fun you're going to have!
Food and Beverage
Come hungry and ready to kick back, relax, and let us take care of the rest! Our state-of-the art vessels offer hot food, snacks, beverages, and beer/wine for sale. You're more than welcome to bring any food item you'd like, but for convenience it's almost easier to buy food onboard. Sample menus for all vessels can be found here:
The Island Explorer vessels are the best photography platforms in the area. The upper viewing decks separate us from others, and give us an unparalleled vantage point over the water. We do not recommend bringing on a tripod – a monopod will perform much better. You are more than welcome to bring on anything from what's pictured on the left to an iPhone camera. We do have photos available for sale on most of our tours, but be sure to bring your own gear to try and capture a once-in-a-lifetime shot!
Binoculars are available to use onboard, free of charge. Simply ask your galley-deckhand once you board an Island Explorer vessel. If you have a favorite pair at home, you're more than welcome to bring your own. Binoculars are a great tool for finding whales and wildlife, but when it comes to sitting back and enjoying the show we recommend putting them down! In fact, the majority of the time you won't need to watch whales through binoculars because we parallel view at 200 yards for orcas, and 100 yards for all other whales.
Check In: 1726 W Marine View Drive, Everett, WA 98201
For our gray whale tours from Everett, boarding time is ½ hour prior to departure. The Island Explorer is docked directly in front of Anthony’s Homeport Restaurant at the Everett Marina at 18th Street and you’ll go straight to the boat for check-in. Get directions to our Everett Marina departure location.
Feel free to park anywhere other than the two-hour parking. We recommend parking in the 72 hour or Marina Tenant parking stalls.
Check In: 715 Seafarers Way, Anacortes, WA 98221
Please check-in at Cap Sante Marina at 715 Seafarers Way. Check-in at least ½ hour prior to departure is required or your seats may be given away to waiting passengers. It is essential for trip quality to depart on time. Get directions to Island Adventures in Anacortes.
Local recommendations (food, areas of interest, etc.) are available from out friendly office staff. We encourage you to browse in the gift shop before or after your tour.
Check In: 115 Railroad Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362
For our Whale Watch tours from Port Angeles, please check-in at the Landing Mall ramp ½ hour prior to departure. A crew member will come to the top of the ramp to check you in and guide you to the boat. It is imperative for you to be on time, the boat will leave the dock promptly at the scheduled departure time. Get directions to our Port Angeles departure location.
Parking can be found across the street at 150 E Front Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
Check In: 205 N 1st Street, La Conner, WA 98257
From La Conner, please check-in to the left of the La Conner Channel Lodge ½ hour prior to departure. A crew member will meet you at the top of the ramp and check you in to the manifest electronically. Please do not be late, as it's important to leave the dock promply at the departure time to ensure the best possible tour for our guests. Get directions to our La Conner departure location.
Paid parking is located at 203 2nd Street, La Conner, WA 98257.
Check In: 2201 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121
Please check-in to at the water fountain in front of the Bell Harbor Marina Offices ½ hour prior to departure. A crew member will meet you at the top of the ramp and check you in to the manifest electronically. Please do not be late, as it's important to leave the dock promply at the departure time to ensure the best possible tour for our guests. Get directions to our Seattle departure location.
Parking is ample, but the Bell Street Parking Garage is the most convenient and within walking distance.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are 3 things we cannot control: weather, whales, and our guests expectations. We hope with these few frequently asked questions we can help you to be prepared for your trip as best as possible!
Will I see whales?
We guarantee it or you’ll ride for free, for life, until you do!
Will I get cold?
We encourage dressing in layers. The air temperature is often 10-20 degrees cooler on the water. The Island Explorer has a large heated salon and wind-screened upper deck but the warmer you are, the more outside viewing you’ll be able to do.
Will I get seasick?
Very few people get seasick on our tours. Our vessels are very stable—large enough to push through occasional wind-chop easily. We do not see ocean type swells as we are 90 miles from the open ocean and the water is calm on the vast majority of days. If a person is very prone to motion sickness we suggest taking a non-drowsy Dramamine or Bonine the night before and the morning of the tour. You may also give us a call the day before to check on sea-state forecasts.
How do I get to you?
No matter where you will be traveling from on the day of your tour, the easiest way is to rent a car. There is a possibility you could take public transportation or a shuttle (like Bellair Airporter Shuttle), but this can be very time consuming, expensive, and will take a fair bit of planning on your part.
Why should I drive up from Seattle?
Simple. This is where the whales are. Island Adventures goal is to take our guests out and show them whales, therefore we put our boats in the best possible departure locations to reach that goal.
What if it rains?
Most days are great weather-wise as the islands are situated in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. We run our tours in almost all weather conditions, with the exception of a high-wind forecast. The whales definitely do not care if the weather isn’t perfect and their behaviors do not depend on the conditions. If we do encounter a rainy day, the Island Explorer has great coverage and protection from the weather!
Why should I choose Island Adventures?
We have over 20 years of experience, excellent wildlife viewing vessel, exceptional staff, convenient schedule, reasonable prices, and
Great Deals in 2016!
Adults save up to $30 off any tour by booking over 30 days in advance or by taking a Wednesday tour. There are discounts for AAA, AARP, seniors 65+, military, or students with an ID. Midweek deals can be found March-June and September-November. Click below for more information on how to save big in 2016!