Whale watching from Washington has never been better!
Since our very first tour in 1996, Island Adventures has had some truly spectacular encounters on the water. We can easily say, without hesitation, that whale watching in Washington has never been more exciting. With orcas, humpbacks, minkes, and gray whales being seen in record numbers, there's never been a better time to plan your "Island Adventure"!
Why choose Island Adventures?
At Island Adventures, we pride ourselves on being the most experienced and dedicated whale watching company in Washington. It's not a fluke that our tour has been voted the best in the Northwest for years. Island Adventures holds the industry's highest orca sighting success rate and was one of the first and only companies to guarantee whale sightings on every tour. Our team of highly qualified crew will make your trip unforgettable! We boast more than 100 years of combined experience and have led thousands excursions for hundreds of thousands of satisfied guests over the last 27 years. Experience counts!
- No Ferry Hassles!
- Locally Owned and Operated
- #1 Whale Sighting Success Rate
- Best Value in the Industry
- Professional Marine Naturalists
- Convenient Schedule and Locations
- 5 Star TripAdvisor Rating
- Onboard Hydrophones
- Online Daily Whale Reports
- State-of-the-Art Vessels
- Onboard AED’s
Whale and Wildlife Tour Location
Deciding where to watch whales in Washington can be difficult. Anacortes is strategically placed to offer the best whale viewing opportunities. There's no company that sees more whales than Island Adventures. As members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, we have access to the best whale-sightings network in the world. If whales in the area, we know it. High-speed, low profile vessels often travel past whales without seeing them. Our elevated wheelhouses and upper decks allow us to find more whales, spot them sooner, and view them better than smaller boats.
4-5 Hour Tours
February 18 - October, 2023
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.
From private charters to our extended-range cruise, Island Adventures offers more than just guaranteed whale watching tours. Check below to see what's available!
Extended Range Tour
Experience a full day at sea on our 10-12 hour extended-range tour! This tour's duration enables us to travel deep into the western Strait of Juan de Fuca in search of massive groups of humpback whales. With the additional time on the water, we’ll have the opportunity to venture further than any of our other tours. If you’re used to watching whales in the San Juan Islands, this tour will leave you speechless!
We'll craft a custom adventure for your next family, company, or crew outing.
Island Adventures is known as the area's premier whale watching company, but we also offer private charters throughout the year. The Island Explorer 5 features a full walk around lower deck, two upper viewing decks, great sound systems, heated cabins, galley service, two restrooms, and the best crew in the area. Whether it is a whale watching tour, wedding, corporate team building event, or a family reunion, give us a call and we will help you set up an event your guests will never forget.
Online Tour Calendar
See when we're running tours and how many spaces are left!
Our state-of-the-art online booking system makes it easy to make reservations anywhere, at any time. You'll receive an immediate email confirmation with a receipt, driving directions, and a satellite image of your departure location. Reservations are highly recommended, but we'll gladly take walk-ups if space is available.
Tour Calendar Features
- Up-to-the-minute records of tour availability
- Immediate email confirmations
- Automatically applies the best discount possible
- Reservation system never sleeps – book a tour anytime from anywhere!
Meet the Most Comfortable Boat in the Area
Island Explorer 5 was built specifically built for whale watching.
Our goal is to show you as many whales as possible, and with the Island Explorer 5, we do that better than any other company. To ensure comfort and quality, we don't book our vessels to full capacity. Every passenger has unobstructed front-row viewing. You won't be stuck inside looking through glass or forced to stand behind other guests.
Due to the design and stability of our vessel, we don’t force you to to sit down while we’re underway. Grab a hot cup of chili or a cold local brew while moving freely around our fully walk-around viewing decks. When you’d like to sit, however, we have plenty of options for everyone. The Island Explorer 5 has comfortable indoor heated cabins and outdoor, wind-protected areas with padded seating. No other vessel comes close to the comfort of the Island Explorer 5.
Some of the features that set us apart from the pack are things you’ll never see. Our vessel is equipped with large, low-noise propellers and above-water exhaust to create a quieter experience for the whales. While watching whales, our vessel make less noise than the ambient sound of rain hitting the surface. We’ve modernized our boat by investing in equipment that not only meets but exceeds current emissions standards.
We guarantee whales on every whale watching tour.
If you do not see a whale (orca, minke, gray, or humpback) with us, you can come again for 50% off your next tour. It’s that simple.
- Species Covered: Bigg's killer whales, Southern Resident killer whales, humpback, minke, and/or gray whales
- Date Range: Year-Round
- Sighting Success Rate: Over 97% since 1996. Our Whale Report shows a detailed account of every tour. We rarely miss!
Where do we see whales?
We've integrated SPOT satellite technology to upload the precise GPS coordinates of the day's sightings to an interactive map on our website. As you'll see from the map, whales don't live in one spot. In fact, whales travel more than 100 miles in a 24 hour period! The Island Explorer 5 has the largest range in the area with the highest whale sighting success rate. It's a common misconception that small boats get closer to whales. Each vessel – regardless of size – is required to adhere to state and federal whale viewing laws. Large boats offer more stability, comfort, and added amenities (real bathrooms, onboard cafés, and much more). Our spacious vessel with multiple viewing decks offer an unparalleled photography platform that small boats simply cannot offer.
Our daily Whale Report is the most comprehensive record of whale sightings by a whale watch company in the industry. Every day, our professional naturalists record an account of the day and upload images. Check it out –– the Whale Report dates back to 2003!
Make a reservation online with our secure system and receive an immediate email confirmation.
See what we've seen on the water. There's a detailed account from every tour since 2003!
Prepare for your tour
It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. See our tips, suggestions, and frequently asked questions.
Whales and Wildlife
Our goal is to share as much local wildlife, scenery, and history as possible on each and every tour.