Frequently Asked Questions About Our Whale Watching Tours

Welcome to our FAQ page! Scroll down the page and find the most frequently asked question about the whales, our cruises, wildlife and the islands. We hope that you find this information useful. However, if your questions are not answered here feel free to call or e-mail us!

Do you guarantee whales?

Because whales are wildlife and are unpredictable we can't guarantee orca whales, gray whales or minke whales on every trip. What we can guarantee is that if you don't see a whale on your trip with us then we will let you go out again for free, for this reason if you are here for a few days plan your trip with us at the beginning of your vacation. View guest reviews relating to our whale guarantee here.

When is the whale watching season?

We run April through early October and we see whales throughout this season. We typically see members of our three resident orca whale pods (family groups of whales) the most in June, July, August and the first half of September and we typically see transient orca whales in April, May and the latter half of September and early October. In addition we often times see minke whales and occasionally humpback or gray whales.

How do you know where the whales are?

We are a member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and all members share whale locations with each other.

What is the best time of the day to see orca whales?

The orcas, like most wild animals, do not have set schedules. The orca whales usually follow the salmon, which is their main source of food. They also display social, mating and feeding behaviors at any time during the day.

Will I get seasick?

Friday Harbor is approximately 60 miles from the open ocean. Therefore, our waters are nice and calm during the summer months. Additionally the Odyssey is extremely stable and comfortable with wrap around decks for fresh air. That being said, if you are prone to motion sickness, it is not a bad idea to be prepared and take Bonine or Dramamine.

What else is there to see on the trip besides whales?

We frequently see harbor seals, bald eagles, Dall's porpoise & sea lions. There is also a wonderful variety of sea birds for our avid bird watchers.

How do I get to the San Juan Islands?

- Take I-5 North from Seattle/Everett or I-5 South from Bellingham or Vancouver, British Columbia.
- Take exit 230 (Anacortes).
- Go West on Highway 20 for 20 miles through Anacortes.
- Follow the signs to the San Juan Islands Ferry.
- Also check out our page dedicated to Getting to the San Juan Islands.

Can you drive from island to island?

No, there are no bridges but you can take your car on the ferry to the other islands. You can access San Juan, Lopez, Orcas and Shaw islands via the Washington State Ferry system.

What is your cancellation policy?

Being a small family operated business and frequent travelers, we understand plans can change. We try to be as flexible as possible... so, if changes need to be made; please just contact us as soon as you can. But here is our formal policy for daily whale watch tours and wildlife cruises:
- Reservations are strongly advised!
- VISA & MC accepted for confirmation of reservation.
- Cancellations for reservations of less than 15 people must be made at least 48 hours prior to the departure date for a full refund/no charge.
- Cancellations for reservations of 15 people or more must be made at least 1 week prior to the departure date for a full refund/no charge.

Reservations Line: 800-809-4253

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