Guaranteed Whale Watching Tours from Anacortes
The world's best opportunity to see wild orcas is right here in the San Juan Islands, March through October.
Anacortes is our flagship location where Island Adventures first began back in 1996. Just a 90-mile drive from downtown Seattle, Anacortes is a convenient starting point for your wildlife adventure - no ferry required! The calm waters near the San Juan Islands are one of the best places in the world to view wild orcas. Humpback whales, minke whales, and, gray whales also call the region home. Soak in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest aboard the finest whale watching vessel on the entire west coast, the Island Explorer 5.
The Salish Sea is home to one of the richest varieties of marine life on the planet. There's no better place to view the booming population of Bigg's, or mammal-eating killer whales or the salmon-eating killer whales of J, K, and L Pods. In addition to orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, and gray whales are also frequently seen throughout the year. Our experienced naturalist guides will also highlight harbor seals, sea lions, Dall’s and harbor porpoise, bald eagles and many types of sea birds. The average tour covers 60 miles through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Our skilled captains and crew have built a rapport with local researchers, sharing information to aid in studying and protecting all whales in the area. Over the years, we've come to recognize each whale's unique markings and understand their individual personalities. If the conditions are just right, we can even listen to their conversations by using underwater microphones (hydrophones).
Anacortes Tour Times and Pricing
One of the best opportunities to see wild orcas in the world is right here in the Salish Sea. The booming population of mammal-eating Bigg's killer whales and the fish-eating Southern Resident killer whales of J, K, and L pods both feed throughout the region year-round. In addition to killer whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and gray whales are also frequently seen throughout the year along with a variety of other marine wildlife.
2020 Anacortes Rates and Dates
March 7th - May 28th: 11:00 AM
May 29th - September 6th: 10 AM and 3:30 PM
September 7th - October: 11:00 AM
Adults: $109 | Discounted Adults: $99
Children (ages 3-17): $69 | Children under three: $1
As low as $89/Adults and $39/Children with 30+ day advance booking!
Spring and Fall Guaranteed Whale Watching Tours
11:00 AM Departure
February 15th - May 22nd and September 8th - October 31st, 2020
Our 11:00 AM departure allows us to maximize our encounters with whales and still return to the dock with plenty of time to enjoy some shopping and a late lunch or early dinner in the charming town of Anacortes before heading on to your next adventure. Don't miss out on the #1 whale watching tour in the Pacific Northwest!
$20 for 30
Big savings for booking in advance!
Adults save $10 when you book 30+ days in advance and an additional $10 with military ID, AAA, AARP, seniors 65+, or college student ID. This deal cannot be combined with promotion codes or other discounts and is valid on whale watching tours only.
Save $10 for booking 30+ days in advance + Save $10 with adult discount = $20 Savings
What Vessel Will I Be On?
Island Explorer 5
The Island Explorer 5 is simply the best whale watching vessel anywhere.
She is 98' long, 30' wide with a cruise speed of over 25 knots. She is also incredibly quiet which will enhance your whale watching experience. 20+ years of whale watching experience has gone into the design of the Island Explorer 5. She has three full walk-around outside viewing decks with cathedral bow seating that provides more outside viewing area than any tour boat in the region. There are also two large heated cabins with seating for all guests, state of the art A/V system, and large comfortable bathrooms. Onboard guests will enjoy our South of the Border Cafe with hot food, fresh products, beer and wine for sale.
- Outside rail viewing space on one side of the boat for all guests
- Indoor heated seating for all passengers
- Three viewing decks for the best possible vantage point over the water
- Best galley menu of any tour vessel in the area – fresh and changing with the seasons
- High-speed catamaran with speeds capable of 25+ knots, giving us one of the largest ranges in the industry
- AED defibrillator onboard with highly trained/qualified staff and crew
Anacortes Check In Procedures
Check In: Cap Sante Marina - A Dock - Near 715 Seafarer's Way, Anacortes, WA 98221
Please park in the gravel parking lot on your right. Please do not park in any spaces marked "Reserved" or "2-Hour Parking". Once you park, please proceed across the street and down the ramp to A Dock where you'll check-in at the vessel. It is essential for trip quality to depart on time, so please follow the instructions on your confirmation email.
Local recommendations (food, areas of interest, etc.) are available from our friendly office staff. We encourage you to browse in our nearby gift shop before or after your tour at 1801 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221.
Check In Tips
- Arrive early
- No need for paperwork
- Bring layers and sunscreen
- Remember your debit or credit card
- Bring your camera
Anacortes is known to have some of the best weather in the San Juan Islands. In the summer months, the temperature averages between 60 and 80 degrees fahrenheit. Even though the weather can feel warm on land, we always recommend bringing layers – sweatshirts and jackets – as it feels 10-20 degrees cooler on the water. Rain doesn’t have a negative impact on our tours as our excursion vessels are set up to go out in the elements and have lots of indoor space and cover.