Top 10 Whale Watching Trips

whalet watching tripsWhale watching trips should be at the top of the list of things every traveler should see within a lifetime. Encountering these massive mammals in their natural environment is an experience that is difficult to put into words. Discover the top ten options across the globe, and then book your vacation rental when you're ready.

1. Hawaii

If you want to go exotic, whale watching trips to Hawaii are a popular option. From December through May Humpback whales migrate in Hawaii, making this the most popular time of year for tours. These animals can weigh up to 45 tons and seeing them breach the water will be sure to leave you breathless.

2. Alaska

A trip to Alaska will be full of exciting opportunities to encounter rare wildlife. A whale watching trip is sure to be a highlight, especially during the months of March through May when the gray whales are migrating. If you travel to Alaska during the summer season, expect to see different species including orcas, belugas and humpbacks.

3. Maine

Some travelers wouldn’t think of Maine as being a great place for a whale watching trip, but the waters off the coast are a rich feeding ground for a variety of whales during the warm summer months. Many cruise companies depart from Bar Harbor and you will see humpback, fin whales and minke whales during a tour in Maine.

4. Cape Cod

Frequent travelers to Cape Cod wouldn’t think a vacation to this area would be complete without a whale watching trip. Coinciding with the major tourist season of May through October, whale watching tours here bring visitors to popular feeding grounds, almost guaranteeing sightings. In some instances, travelers have reported whales coming right up to the boat for a playful interaction.

5. Seattle

If you have dreamed of whale watching trips ever since seeing your first orca at Sea World, then head to Seattle for tours that specialize in this species. From April through September, pods of 20 – 40 orcas travel in Puget Sound and around San Juan Island. Sign up for a tour to prepare to be blown away by the sheer number of orcas.

6. Canada

British Columbia is another great spot for a whale watching trip. Gray whales are common from March through October and Orcas are frequent visitors during the summer months. Join a tour and learn details about these fascinating creatures from knowledgeable tour guides.

7. California

The long coastline of California provides many opportunities for a whale watching trip. Tours in California are known to be particularly rewarding for visitors. This coast is a breeding ground for young whales and the curious humpback whale is known for interacting with boats for hours at a time. Starting points include the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey Bay and areas in Orange Country, south of Los Angeles.

whale watching trip

8. Boston

It is possible to combine whale watching trips with a city break when you plan a vacation to Boston. A feeding ground in the summer for whales, the Massachusetts Bay is a great starting point for a whale watching tour. You might get lucky and see the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, of which there are only 350 left in the world.

9. Mexico

Travelers don’t come to Mexico just for the margaritas and sunshine – they also come for whale watching trips. See grey whales, humpbacks and blue whales during their migration along the Pacific coast.

10. New Zealand

Complete your vacation to stunning New Zealand with a whale watching trip. From sperm whales to humpbacks to orcas, you will encounter a wide variety of species during a whale watching tour. All year long off the southern coast of New Zealand there are whale watching opportunities.