At Island Adventures we are serious about finding whales. This is a challenge every day because the whales never stop moving! The orcas can cover over 100 miles in a 24 hour period so we use many different resources (cooperatively working together) to help in the search every morning. Our spotting network is made up of strategically placed land-based spotters using telescopes, many other whale watch vessels, researchers, dive boats, early morning fishermen, water taxis, tug boats, and ferry boats.
We are so confident in our ability to find whales that we GUARANTEE IT!
If you do not see a whale (orca, minke, gray, or humpback) with us you will come again for FREE, for life, until you do. This is not a gimmick — it is a passion to show our guests whales and to provide the opportunity for an experience of a lifetime. Island Adventures is one of the few companies to even offer a guarantee. Our high success rate is due to our location, vessel speed, and local experience (over 19 yrs!)
Our crew and staff has over 100 years of combined experience in the San Juans and has been showing people the whales for over 19 years. We have also been collecting movement data on the travel patterns of the southern resident community for the past 13 years. Having this extensive knowledge of travel routes and patterns gives us an edge on locating the animals on a daily basis. Orca whales are seen on most of our tours, though we could also see Gray whales in the spring, Minke whales in the summer, and Humpback whales in the fall. Occasionally we see all four species on one tour. We call this a GRAND SLAM! To see our sightings record for yourself, be sure to check out our Whale Report!
Since 2002, Island Adventures’ sighting success rate has been over 96%. Notice that this number is not 100%. The only company with a higher sighting success rate would be SeaWorld (they have them penned up); we’re happy being number 2! There are days when whales are not sighted. We won’t compromise safety or quality of trip in order to satisfy our guarantee. Even though whales may not be seen on 3½% of the days, these trips are still some of the best trips of the year with extensive wildlife sightings, great island scenery, and a free trip in the future!
We saw whales on:
Our route each day is determined by the morning’s whale information from our sighting network, other wildlife in the area, and the weather. It’s not determined by a ferry schedule or pre-determined route. Our goal is to show our guests as much wildlife as possible every day. See our vessel range where we’ve spotted whales.