Anacortes Guaranteed Whale Watch Tour in Anacortes, WA

1801 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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Lacey, Washington
"Totally Awesome"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 30, 2020 NEW
These whale watching tours are definitely a cut above others in the area. The boat is comfortable with viewing from the first deck and viewing from plush comfortable seats on the second deck. The crew are well-informed about the habits of whales and their presence in the Salish Sea. They are also helpful and very personable. There is a bar and gift shop. We saw a variety of sea life including several sea lions chilling on buoys and the fabulous scenery of Washington state. Best of all, we spent the majority of our time watching the J2 Pod orcas while being briefed on their migratory habits, reproduction, feeding habits, and current scientific studies relative to them.
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Lynden, WA, United States
"A superb adventure"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 21, 2020
What a thrill to be on the open ocean on the hottest day of the year, 8-16-2020. Boat was half full due to the Covid-19 pandemic allowing us to have plenty of elbow room. The crew was fantastic beyond belief, making it all the more pleasant. Thank you to Captain Scott, naturalistic Tyson, Amy and Casey in the galley! We took the 10 AM trip, passed under the Deception Pass bridge, saw a distant Grey whale and found a pod of Killer whales. Plus eagles on the ocean floor bed where it was low tide, blue herons, commorants, and other sea birds. We had a brief and unnecessary encounter with another passenger which the crew handled with finesse. Obviously the crew are highly well trained with great skill levels. Although am slightly disappointed that we didn't see any larger whales like I did with family four years ago, I would love to make another trip again soon!!! We did watch the Killer whales frolic and pass under the bow our boat doing belly rolls! That was more than entertaining, it just incredibly thrilling! Returning under the Deception Pass bridge a second time was pure joy! Saw a lone California seal resting on a buoy which made us laugh as the heavy guy caused the buoy to tilt over to one side. All in all an exceptional and sweet day! Hope to return in the near future!
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Fonda W
Twentynine Palms, California
"Highly Recommend Island Adventures!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 26, 2020
This was a once in a lifetime tour for us and we were so thankful we chose Island Adventures! During this time of COVID-19 they made us feel very safe. The audio system worked great and we could hear everyone clearly, even with masks on. The boat was sparkling clean. We appreciated having a concession stand available to get lunch (we did the 10 AM tour). They also offer photos of the wildlife we see for a very reasonable price so that we didn't have to worry about taking pictures. We saw Minke, Humpback and Orca Whales. They suggest taking layers of warm clothes if you want to stay outside (and we did this) but they also have plenty of space to get inside out of the wind. Very nice people who care about the wildlife!
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John A
"Your best chance of seeing whales in the area!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 20, 2019
We have been whale watching all around the world, mostly on small rib type craft. So it was a pleasant surprise for us to join such a professional and well organised excursion. In fact everyone involved was really knowledgeable and helpful, you should talk to the team in the shop. The vessel itself is purpose built with three viewing decks and even has a research office for the marine biologist, in our case Sam, to research and identify the recorded animals. The skipper Scot, and the rest of the wonderful crew, are able to locate and take you to the best locations. You will see wildlife! We traveled up to Canadian waters and we spent some time observing a hunting group of Orca, which was another item ticked off our bucket-list, complete with plenty of fascinating information provided by the knowledgeable Sam. Our thanks to the team, we can only give you our full and honest, recommendations.
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Beverly S
"Family visit"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 16, 2019
Took ferry to Friday Harbor. Enjoyed water trip plus lots to see and do in town . Shopping was great fun restaurants .
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Anacortes Guaranteed Whale Watch Tour is located at 1801 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.