See up to 5 Types of Whales from 4 Departure Locations!
Come for the whales, soak in the rest.
The Pacific Northwest is internationally recognized as one of the premiere whale watching destinations in the world. At Island Adventures, we provide our guests with the best year-round opportunity to see whales in the wild, but that’s just the beginning. Our goal is to share as much local wildlife, scenery, and history as possible on each and every tour.
The calm waters of the Pacific Northwest offer some of the best whale watching in the world.
Our tours explore some of the richest whale habitat on the planet. Orca, humpback, minke, and gray whale sightings are possible at any time of year. But at Island Adventures, we pride ourselves on offering more than just unforgettable whale sightings. Whether it’s finding a hidden eagle’s nest, quietly drifting past a harbor seal haul-out, or taking a detour to photograph a historic lighthouse, our experienced captains and crew will put you in prime position to enjoy all the region has to offer.
Learn more about the area's wildlife and scenery.
The waters surrounding our five departure locations offer some of the most diverse whale and wildlife viewing on the west coast. Onboard each of our tours, an experienced naturalist helps identify all of the whales, wildlife, and rich history that this area holds.
The Southern Resident Killer Whale population is comprised of three pods (J, K, and L) numbering around 80 whales. This population feeds on fish, especially Chinook salmon. These charismatic animals are among the most studied marine mammals in the world and have come to be known by name!
While transient orcas and resident orcas look the same, the similarities stop there! Transient offspring typically disperse from the natal group to form their own pod once mature or when females have their first calf. The biggest difference, however, is diet. Unlike the salmon-eating residents, transients prefer marine mammals!
Humpback whales have one of the longest migratory patterns of any whale, feeding in cooler waters and giving birth to their calves in warmer climates. While humpback sightings in the Strait of Juan de Fuca were once a rare event, the "Humpback Comeback" of the last decade has allowed for numerous sightings of humpback whales throughout much of the year.
Often when a bait ball forms, a minke whale isn’t too far away! Sometimes we see them lunge feed right through the middle, taking in all the bait fish and an occasional sea bird! Fun fact: minke whales are found in all oceans of the word, yet they’re one of the least studied whales in the world.
Gray whales currently hold the record for the longest migration of any mammal. They are commonly seen from March through May around the south end of Whidbey Island and the Saratoga Passage area, but can sometimes be spotted in the Salish Sea in the summer months. Puget Sound is one of the few places on earth where people can actually witness gray whales feeding.
Pacific Northwest Wildlife
The waters surrounding our four departure locations offer some of the most diverse whale and wildlife viewing on the west coast. Onboard each of our tours, an experienced naturalist helps identify all of the whales, wildlife, and rich history that this area holds.
Each day and every experience is completely unique and unpredictable! The beauty of these waters is that no two tours are the same, and we're seeing different wildlife each and every tour. Check out below to see the common types of wildlife that can be spotted on the tour, and be sure to see what we've seen on the water by checking out our whale report!