See up to 4 Types of Whales from 3 Departure Locations!

Whale watching from Washington has never been better!

Since our very first tour in 1996, Island Adventures has had some truly spectacular encounters on the water, but we can easily say, without hesitation, that whale watching has never been more exciting than it has been in the last few years!

An abundance of seals and sea lions has led to an orca baby boom, with nearly 90 calves born to the mammal-eating orca community since 2012! Humpback whales we first saw years ago as calves are now returning with babies of their own, and several new gray whales have joined the familiar “Sounders” at local feeding grounds. There’s never been more diversity in the Salish Sea and we are so thrilled to share these exciting trends with our guests in 2019!

Why choose Island Adventures?

At Island Adventures, we pride ourselves on being the most experienced and dedicated whale watching company in Washington. It's not a fluke that our tour has been voted the best in the Northwest for years. Island Adventures holds the industry's highest orca sighting success rate and was one of the first and only companies to guarantee whale sightings on every tour. Our team of highly qualified crew will make your trip unforgettable! We boast more than 100 years of combined experience and have led thousands excursions for hundreds of thousands of satisfied guests over the last 22 years. Experience counts!

  • No Ferry Hassles!
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • #1 Whale Sighting Success Rate
  • Best Value in the Industry
  • Professional Marine Naturalists
  • Convenient Schedule and Locations
  • Online Daily Whale Report
  • 5 Star TripAdvisor Rating
  • Free Binocular Use
  • Onboard Hydrophones
  • 10% Off in Our Gift Shops
  • State-of-the-Art Vessels
  • No Passports Required
  • Onboard AED’s

Guaranteed Whale Watch Tour Locations

No matter where you are in Washington, we have the tour for you. Our locations are strategically placed to offer the best whale viewing opportunities. There's no company that sees more whales than Island Adventures. As members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, we share a proprietary online sightings network and private encrypted fleet radio channel between other whale watch companies. If there are whales in the area, we know it. High-speed, low profile vessels often travel past whales without seeing them. Our elevated wheelhouses and upper decks allow us to find more whales, spot them sooner, and view them better than smaller boats.

Specialty Tours

From private charters to our annual Fourth of July Fireworks cruise, Island Adventures offers more than just guaranteed whale watching tours. Check below to see what's available!

Meet the Fleet

Our boats were specifically built for whale watching.

Our goal is to show you as many whales as possible, and with our fleet of specifically designed whale watch vessels, we do that better than any other company. To ensure comfort and quality, we don't book our vessels to full capacity. Every passenger has unobstructed front-row viewing. You won't be stuck inside looking through glass or forced to stand behind other guests.

Due to the design and stability of our vessels, we don’t force you to to sit down while we’re underway. Grab a hot Ivar’s clam chowder or a cold local brew while moving freely around our fully walk-around viewing decks. When you’d like to sit, however, we have plenty of options for everyone. All of our vessels have comfortable indoor heated cabins and outdoor, wind-protected areas with padded seating. No other vessel comes close to the comfort of the Island Explorer fleet.

Some of the features that set us apart from the pack are things you’ll never see. Our vessels are equipped with large, low-noise propellers and above-water exhaust to create a quiter experience for the whales. While watching whales, our vessels make less noise than the ambient sound of rain hitting the surface. We’ve modernized our vessels by investing in equipment that not only meets but exceeds current emissions standards.

Our Guarantee

We guarantee whales on every whale watching tour.

If you do not see a whale (orca, minke, gray, or humpback) with us, you can come again for FREE, for life, on any tour until you do. This is not a gimmick — it is a passion to show our guests whales. Notice there is no fine print and this is not a standby pass or a discounted ticket. Just give us a call, and your next tour is on us. It’s that simple.

  • Species Covered: Resident Orca, Bigg's Orca, Humpback, Minke, and/or Gray Whales
  • Date Range: Year-Round
  • Sighting Success Rate: Over 97% since 1996. Our Whale Report shows a detailed account from every tour. We rarely miss!

Where do we see whales?

We've integrated SPOT satellite technology to upload the precise GPS coordinates of the day's sightings to an interactive map on our website. As you'll see from the map, whales don't live in one spot. In fact, whales travel more than 100 miles in a 24 hour period! The Island Explorer fleet has the largest range in the area with the highest whale sighting success rate. It's a common misconception that small boats get closer to whales. Each vessel – regardless of size – is required to adhere to state and federal whale viewing laws. Large boats offer more stability, comfort, and added amenities (real bathrooms, onboard cafés, and much more). Our spacious vessels with multiple viewing decks offer an unparalleled photography platform that small boats simply cannot offer.

Our daily Whale Report is the most comprehensive record of whale sightings by a whale watch company in the industry. Every day, our professional naturalists record an account of the day and upload images. Check it out –– the Whale Report dates back to 2003!

Rosario Strait Webcam

Island Adventures’ webcam is overlooking south Rosario Strait, gazing west toward the San Juan Islands from Fidalgo Island (Anacortes). These waters, located 90 miles inland from the open Pacific Ocean, are considered to be one of the best whale viewing territories in the world.

See Larger View


Online Reservations

Make a reservation online with our secure system and receive an immediate email confirmation.

Online Reservations

Whale Report

See what we've seen on the water. There's a detailed account from every tour since 2003!

Whale Report

Our Guarantee

We guarantee whales on every tour March-October, and even offer two different orca guarantees.

Our Guarantee

Prepare for your tour

It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.  See our tips, suggestions, and frequently asked questions.

How to Prepare

Whales and Wildlife

Our goal is to share as much local wildlife, scenery, and history as possible on each and every tour.

Whales and Wildlife