Guaranteed Whale Watch Tours from 5 Departure Locations
Nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
The truth about aerial whale spotting is that it just doesn’t work in most conditions. So how do we find whales? Let me take the mystery out of our whale spotting system.There are other companies who advertise they use spotting planes and imply they use them daily to find whales; this is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
No company in the area uses an airplane to spot whales – it's just too difficult.
All PWWA member companies are required to report all sightings to one source, which then immediately sends out group text messages and emails to all companies. There are no secrets. All whale sightings and information is shared amongst the commercial whale watching boats.
The companies that have the highest sighting success rate and can guarantee whales are the companies with the best range. Range is figured by vessel speed, length of the tour and location of the departure. This is why Island Adventures has been #1 for many years. The Island Explorer 3 saw whales on 262 out of 266 tours in 2011. No other company even compares. You’ll notice that other companies don’t post their specific success rate each day — online or anywhere else — like Island Adventures does.
Killer whales are very vocal creatures. There’s even a network of underwater microphones that you can listen to 24/7. Check out orcasound.net and listen for Killer Whales from anywhere in the world. (If you’d like a heads up when Orcas can be heard on these hydrophones, join Orca Network and friend them on Facebook)
Vessel Size Matters
The best days for our Captains are when we find the whales first — and this happens a lot! The pilot house on the Island Explorer 3 is over 25 feet off the water, and is a very stable platform while underway. With the help of a $1,000.00 set of binoculars, we can see whales from as far as six miles away!
Problems with Aerial Viewing
Planes are the fastest way to see the areas that haven’t been covered by boat, can’t be seen from land or are in an area with no hydrophones. One problem with spotting from a plane is that you must maintain a respectful height so that you don’t disturb wildlife from the air. This makes it difficult to see Killer Whales unless the water condition is perfect.
Another problem with spotting whales from the air is that sometimes whales stay under water for up to 5 minutes. In this time it’s easy for planes to fly right over and not see them. This hurts the overall search effort because the whales are now in an area that other searchers assume has already been covered.
Now that you know the truth about aerial whale spotting you may want to take a closer look at other claims being made by these companies. Ask direct questions and expect real answers. Remember you get what you pay for.
Feel free to call or email our office. I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have…just ask for Shane.
Great Deals in 2017!
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 2017!
Prepare for your tour
It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. See our tips, suggestions, and frequently asked questions.
"What an experience!"This tour was top notch from beginning to end. When checking in, the staff could not have been more friendly & knowledgeable. We saw all sorts of marine life including whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, etc. The boat was perfect with a nice little lunch counter with Ivar's Clam Chowder - YUM! The only thing I would suggest is they upgrade their speakers because it is hard to hear the announcer throughout the boat. Love the trip & would certainly recommend this company. By the way, they are rated as whale/animal/environment friendly on the government sites which is SO commendable!