See up to 5 Types of Whales from 3 Departure Locations!
The one stop shop for all the details you'll need for your tour.
We want you to be as prepared as possible for your upcoming tour with us. Below, find information about our onboard menus, photo sales, whale watching etiquette and much, much more. We look forward to seeing you on the water!
Prepare for Your Tour
All guests must be checked-in and ready to board the vessel 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. Everett and Port Angeles tours check-in directly at the dock. In Anacortes, we ask that you check in to our main office to pick up a complimentary parking pass for the marina lot. 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!
A trip with Island Adventures includes so much more than just a whale watching tour. Onboard, you'll learn about wildlife from a professional marine naturalist, enjoy free binocular use, earn a punch on our Frequent Floater card, and be able to pick up a 64-page color wildlife viewing guide for just a $1 donation that helps local whale-friendly charities!
After each tour, you'll have the opportunity to take home a one of a kind souvenir. Your tour's photos will be available for purchase on a USB thumb drive before you disembark. Forgot to grab one? Simply call or email our office. We maintain a library of photos from every tour since 2017 so you can purchase afterward if you change your mind.
Feel free to bring your own camera to capture some amazing shots as well!
The Island Explorer vessels boast the best food and beverage in the San Juan Islands. Aboard the newest Island Adventures vessel – Island Explorer 5 – you'll find the South of the Border Cafe, serving up hefty burritos, tasty wraps, and a variety of other local offerings. Our other vessel –– Island Explorer 4 –– delivers a simple but delicious menu featuring favorites like Ivar's clam chowder and Nathan's all-beef franks. Feel free to leave the picnic basket at home!
Whale Watching Etiquette
Island Adventures recognizes all state and federal laws when observing wildlife. Our guidelines include operating at safe, slow speeds around whales and viewing from respectful distances. At times a curious whale may approach our vessel, but close encounters like these are rare and always occur on the whale's terms.
Recent Whale Sightings from the Island Explorer Vessels
See whales from space with our sophisticated whale spotting interface. We utilize a spot transmitting network to mark each and every whale sighting. This gives us accurate information on whale movement and patterns throughout the season. Other organizations such as Cascadia Research and Orca Behavior Institute also use this information in whale sighting data. Check out where we've been on our recent tours and where we've seen whales!
Truth in Aerial Whale Spotting
The truth about aerial whale spotting is that it just doesn’t work in most conditions. 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. So how do we find whales? Let's take the mystery out of our whale spotting system.
Where Are We Located?
Island Adventures has the tour for you, regardless of where you are in Washington state. Our three departure locations – Anacortes, Everett, and Port Angeles – are strategically set up to offer the best whale viewing opportunity. Every tour has the opportunity to see up to five types of whales (resident orca, transient killer whale, minke, humpback, and grey). Check out the links below to see which departure location is closest to you!
At Island Adventures, we pride ourselves on offering the best service in the industry. We understand (and share) the passion to see whales in the wild, and we want to make sure you have the best trip possible. No two tours are the same, which makes every trip truly special!
Check out the letters that passengers have send in, or check us out on trip advisor.com to see our latest reviews!
Amazing images are captured aboard Island Adventures tours daily. Aboard each trip, we have the opportunity to see resident orca, transient killer whales, minke, humpback, and/or gray whales. In addition to the 5 different types of whales, we see a wide variety of wildlife and world-class scenery. On our gallery, we highlight the past seasons, building of the brand new (state-of-the-art) Island Explorer 5, and showcase each whale species.
Check out the photo gallery to experience a tour!
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you're interested in booking a whale watching tour or already have a reservation, take a moment to review some of our guests' most frequently asked questions to help prepare for your upcoming adventure!