See up to 4 Types of Whales from 3 Departure Locations!
Respect for whales in their natural habitat.
Since 1996, our goal at Island Adventures has been to educate and inspire guests from all over the globe through responsible eco-tourism. We are proud to work closely with the scientific research community and law enforcement to develop responsible whale-watching guidelines and contribute to important research projects being conducted in our area. We act as stewards, helping to protect all the whales and other wildlife in our local waters for many generations to come.
How close do we get to the whales and wildlife from the Island Explorer vessels?
We recognize 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.
Common Misconception – Small Boats vs. Big Boats
Vessel strikes are virtually unheard of in our waters because local captains are diligent in their watch for all marine mammals while underway. We adhere to our guidelines (see PWWA below) and slowly approach any animal, never powering through. We err on the side of caution, giving much respect to these wild animals. All boats operate under the same guidelines, regardless of the size of vessel; smaller boats cannot approach any closer and vice versa.
Pacific Whale Watch Association
The Pacific Whale Watch Association is a group of both US and Canadian whale watching companies dedicated to research, education, and responsible wildlife viewing. Island Adventures has been instrumental in creating guidelines (best practices) for commercial operators, involved in their creation and evolution for the last 10 years. These guidelines are much more specific to our local wildlife than federal law is and they are being used as a model by other ecotourism groups around the world as well as local governmental agencies. To see our guidelines in detail please click on the link above. Our company founder, Shane Aggergaard, has held two V.P. terms and two terms as President of this international organization in which we have been members since 1996. You can be assured that when you choose Island Adventures, you’re riding with a company that cares about our wildlife.
Education and Giving Back
We do consider our vessel a floating classroom. Our naturalists and captains have a working knowledge of the San Juans, local natural history, and the most recent science regarding our whales. We also offer seminars and presentations for classrooms and private groups throughout the year. The more we know about our local ecosystem, the harder we’ll work to protect it. Island Adventures donates a portion of all ticket sales to nonprofit organizations that help to preserve our local ecosystem.