Guaranteed Whale Watch Tours from 5 Departure Locations
Welcome to the Wild West of whale watching in Washington.
Port Angeles is strategically located on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula.
Some of the best whale watching in the Pacific Northwest is right out of Port Angeles harbor. In 2016, we even had some transient killer whales show up inside the harbor! While all trips aren’t that lucky, Port Angeles boasts an impressive sighting success rate – 100% in 2014, 96% in 2015, and over 98% in 2016. The addition of the bigger, faster Island Explorer 3 will bring the San Juan’s most comfortable vessel out west.
The great herd of North Pacific Humpbacks has been growing in numbers in recent years. As their numbers grow they are returning to the rich feeding areas of the Strait of Juan de Fuca creating the best cold water Humpback viewing in Washington State. They often reach over 50’ in length and weight over 30 tons. In other words…big guys! Their pectoral fins are as long as many recreational boats! These animals are by far the most charismatic of all the baleen whales.
There is also a chance to see all four types of whales on one tour (Orcas, Minkes, Humpbacks, and Grays)! The resident and /or transient Orcas are in the area on most days, Minke whales are still feeding on the banks in the strait, and even a few gray whales make their way back into the sound on their southerly migration to Baja. In Port Angeles, we’re seeing the huge Stellar sea lions, Elephant seals, harbor seals, Dall’s and harbor porpoises, and many types of seabirds — all make for great photo opportunities!
Island Explorer 3
The Island Explorer 3 is one of the most popular whale watching vessels on the west coast.
She is 101' long, 24' wide with three engines and two generators. She was recently re-powered which made her faster, quieter, and more fuel efficient. Island Explorer 3 has a huge upper viewing deck with a sun/rain cover, wind block doors, and outside heaters. She also has a full walk around lower deck with large bow pulpit. The inside heated salon has padded booth style seating and snack bar with beer and wine for purchase. Guests will enjoy our quality sound system with flat screen TV hooked to our navigation system to follow our route throughout the tour. We also have full sized his/her restrooms.
- Outside rail viewing space on one side of the boat for all guests
- Indoor heated seating with restaurant-style booths
- Two viewing decks for an incredible vantage point over the water
- Galley with local menu – quality food at a reasonable price and cashless for your convenience
- 101 foot monohull with speeds capable of 17+ knots, perfect for the Strait of Juan de Fuca
- AED defibrillator onboard with highly trained/qualified staff and crew
The Industry's Largest Range
Where will we go on the trip?
When whales are in the center of the map, most companies do see them – we just get more time. When the whales are up north or out west, the Island Explorer fleet are often the only American boats watching whales
Because of our vessel speed, size, and duration of our tour, we're able to guarantee whales. Often times, whales can move up to 100 miles in a 24 hour period. Every day is a new adventure, but rest assured that you're choosing the company with the highest whale sighting success rate in the area.
Whales have been spotted on 6431 of 6630 tours since 2002. No other company compares.
Continue Your Marine Education in Port Angeles
Port Angeles offers some of the Northwest's best wildlife, and there outlets to learn more about the area's diverse population. Swing by the Feiro Marine Life Center to learn about nearly everything living underwater, all collected within 20 miles of Port Angeles from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Pop into the NOAA Olympic Coast Discovery Center for information about where to experience shore-based wildlife viewing after your tour!
Feiro Marine Life Center
The Feiro Marine Life Center showcases sea stars, crabs, scallops, anemones, fish and a giant Pacific octopus, all collected within 20 miles of Port Angeles from the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Get a hands-on view at the microscope station and check out some of the area’s natural history through displays of whale bones and shells, sculptures and murals, and three touch tanks.
The Marine Life Center is a fun, safe and easy way for people of all ages and physical abilities to experience the marine waters of the North Olympic Peninsula.
NOAA Olympic Coast Discovery Center
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary has a total area of 3,188 square miles - it's kind of hard to miss. But your first stop should be The Olympic Coast Discovery Center, on the Port Angeles waterfront. It's a great place to begin your learning adventures on the Olympic Coast.
Find out what makes National Marine Sanctuaries so important in our efforts to protect the oceans, marine ecosystems and marine wildlife. And because each National Marine Sanctuary is a unique world of its own, you'll discover why the Olympic Coast is so important. You'll meet its marine mammals, seabirds and its habitats, including tidepools and deep sea canyons.
"Perfect Day"Purchased tickets online and was hoping for good wheater....We were not dissapointed, it was a sunny, but also a bit chilly day. Thanks to the website information we dressed as suggested, so no problem. The crew was very professional and after a few hours we were lucky to see several killer whale families. It was a fantastic day and something we will not soon forget.
Great Deals in 2017!
Adults save up to $30 off any tour by booking over 30 days in advance or by taking a Wednesday tour. There are discounts for AAA, AARP, seniors 65+, military, or students with an ID. Midweek deals can be found March-June and September-November. Click below for more information on how to save big in 2017!
Port Angeles sees considerably less rain than other areas in Western WA. 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.