Anacortes Guaranteed Whale Watch Tour in Anacortes, WA

Island Adventures1801 Commercial AveAnacortes, WA 98221
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Take a trip from Anacortes to the San Juan Islands to experience a whale watching tour unlike any other. On this guided tour of the Pacific Northwest, you’re guaranteed to see wild orcas. In addition, 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.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Anacortes Travel Experts
  • The San Juan Islands are one of the best places in the world to view wild orcas. Humpback whales, minke whales, and gray whales call this region home!
  • The tour lasts around 4-5 hours.
  • Great for all ages!


from Anacortes Guaranteed Whale Watch Tour
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.

Tripster Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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"An amazing experience "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 31, 2019 NEW
This was an all around amazing experience! We saw such a variety of wildlife; orcas, elephant seal, sea lions, fur seals, seabirds, etc. The boat is super clean and the captain and crew are professional with an awesome sense of humor. Even though it’s summer time we did get pretty cold out on the water, so bring enough warm clothes. It is a catamaran boat with seating inside and outside and is pretty steady for anyone worried about seasickness. There’s also a little cafe onboard with delicious food so you don’t need to worry about being hungry. I highly recommend this tour🐋🐋
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Joe P
"Excellent whale watching tour from Port Angeles"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 31, 2019 NEW
We liked the tour so much that we did it twice! My wife and I visited the Olympic Peninsula in July. We took the 9 am Sunday morning cruise. We saw several humpback whales in the Strait as well as bald eagles, harbor seals, sea lions, and several different kinds of sea birds around Race Rocks. Our return flight to Ohio was delayed by a day, so we decided to spend the "extra" vacation day the following Sunday watching whales again. The second trip was even better than the first. The weather was picture perfect and we saw multiple humpback whales (including two at the same time!), orcas in a bay off Vancouver Island, and a bald eagle. Off of Race Rocks, we saw a sea otter, mama and baby harbor seal, sea lions, and elephant seals. The captain and crew on both trips were very courteous and informative. It was clear from their actions that they do everything they can to minimize their impact on the whales while enabling their customers to see these amazing creatures. The on-board naturalist showed everyone how to identify individual whales from their tail fluke markings. The naturalist also took good quality photos of what we saw on each tour that you could buy if you didn't get good pictures of your own. The boat is large enough to minimize the motion from ocean swells and is well set up with ample room for all passengers to move around, a heated cabin area in case you get chilled, a galley with hot drinks and food (we elected to bring our own), and real bathrooms. I highly recommend this whale watching tour.
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Wenatchee, Washington
"Whale of a Good Time"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 30, 2019 NEW
Captain Scott took us to just the right spots and Sam was an amazing narrator for all we saw. She gave detailed and interesting descriptions to marine animal behavior as well as species background. Saw minke whales, harbor seals, Biggs orcas, puffin, dog fish, and a number of other birds. Food, beverage, photo package, and souvenir shop were excellent and reasonably priced! Highly recommend this tour.
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Louisville, Kentucky
"Fantastic whale watching experience"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 17, 2019
I took the 10 a.m. tour on a Tuesday in July. It was not full at all, and very pleasant. The guides and captain were pleasantly informative without being overly chatty, and it greatly enhanced the experience. We saw a group of whales having "lunch," very active and even caught one in a spy hop. It was a wonderful tour and I want to go back and do this with my whole family. Food on board is so much better than you'd expect. Get the burrito! Even in July, yes, you need a sweatshirt and jacket, as well as a hat and gloves. It gets COLD when they're moving along quickly; there is quite a bit of time when you're sitting still watching the whales, but the time when you're booking along to make it to a good spot is really cold. I highly recommend bringing binoculars.
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Magical Experience"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 11, 2019
To say that we enjoyed this trip would be an understatement. It was a cool drizzly day, but the boat was dry and comfy. The captain and crew were friendly and very knowledgeable. We were able to see a group of Minke whales on our way out, we stopped and watched them for about 30 minutes. We then continued on and spotted 2 pods of Orcas. One including a baby that was just born in May. We watched them for a while. When we tried to leave they can and found us swam right next to the boat, and then directly under our boat! It was so cool! Everyone was excited, even the crew. My oldest daughter asked many questions to Sam, the Naturalist on board, and she was happy to answer them all and engage with her. Tyler the captain seemed knowledgeable and capable. We know that you have no control over the environmental aspects, but you all sure provided us with an excellent day that will not be forgotten.
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Anacortes Guaranteed Whale Watch Tour is located at Island Adventures1801 Commercial AveAnacortes, WA 98221
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Frequently Asked Questions about Anacortes Guaranteed Whale Watch Tour

What are the tour times?
There are many tour times available, but it depends on the time of the year when the start time of the tour will be. During spring and fall months, the tour starts at 11:30 am and during summer months the tour has 10 am and 4 pm tour times.

What should I bring?
Bring layers, sunscreen, and your camera.

Where and when should I check-in?
Check-in is at 1801 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221. Please arrive at least 45 minutes prior to departure is required on your seats may be given away to waiting passengers.

What’s the weather like?
Anacortes is known to have some of the best weather in the San Juan Islands. In the summer months, the temperature averages 60-80 degrees. Make sure to bring layers since it can feel 10-20 degrees cooler on the water.

Is it appropriate for children?
It’s family friendly and all ages are welcome!

Is the tour wheelchair accessible?
We can accommodate almost any situation; however, we do have a few limitations. Now, we cannot accommodate electric wheelchairs, and depending on the vessel and boarding location, a few stairs may be required to board the vessel. Due to a few Coast Guard requirements, our vessels cannot be fully ADA-compliant. Please contact our office with specific questions.

Can I bring my camera?

How long is the tour?
The tour is 4-5 hours.

Can I bring my pet?
We love pets, but we can only welcome registered service animals on our tours.

Can I bring my own food?
Our vessels have great food and drink options available for purchase, but you are welcome to bring your own food and drink items as well.

Can I bring a stroller?
While you may bring a stroller, we ask that it be a small folding stroller that can be stowed easily. Is smoking allowed? Smoking of any kind, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted on any Island Adventures Vessel.