Few experiences in the world can measure up to the magic that is felt when seeing whales in the wild. These massive creatures calming swimming beneath the surface, playing in the waves, and breaching in front of your boat will leave you and your travel companions with memories to last a lifetime. Seeing these creatures in the wild is an experience that cannot be matched by any zoo or aquarium enclosure. Imagine watching your child's face light up with joy as a Humpback whale swims beside your boat, or the feeling you'll have seeing dolphins play in the waves around you while you're on a jet ski. It's something that you'll carry with you for the rest of your life, and it can be the highlight of a trip abroad or a weekend in your hometown.
GetMyBoat has over 300 whale watching experiences available worldwide. Looking to book a whale watching tour? Here are some of our top tips and things to consider to plan the perfect day.
Guide to your first whale watching experience
Whale watching is a wonderful activity to plan whether you’re traveling alone, with a partner, with kids, or a big group. It’s a great half or full-day excursion, where not only you get to see these incredible animals in their natural habitat, but you also get to enjoy time spent on a boat. When researching which whale-watching experiences you’d like to enjoy, consider the extra amenities that are offered onboard such as a stop for a snorkel, meals and drinks, or the time of the day like a sunset cruise or early in the morning.
What you wear and bring will depend on where you're whale watching. It's also a good idea to do some research on the types of whales you can expect to see on your tour - it varies greatly around the world and depending on the season.
What to Bring Whale Watching
- Binoculars - makes it easier to spot whales in the distance or on the horizon
- Camera - you'll want to capture images of these unforgettable moments
- Seasickness tablets if you get nauseous on boats
- Sunscreen - even on a cloudy day, the water reflects UV rays and you can burn
- Sunglasses - you'll want to see whales in the water, not be blinded by the light
- Swimsuit - provided you're on a tour that has a swim stop!
Whale Watching around the World
There are hundreds of destinations around the world that are great for whale watching. If you’ve been dying to see whales in the wild, search what’s available in the next place you’re traveling to, or consider taking a trip specifically to see whales on a tour.
The Best Whale Watching Tours in California
California is a wonderful destination to see a variety of whales year-round as well as during migration seasons when thousands of whales in massive pods make their way from Alaska to Mexico. On a whale-watching tour in California, you can see all types of whales like grey whales, blue, humpbacks and more. The best time to see whales migrating depends on each species, so if you have a favorite type of whale, you’ll need to research when you’ll have the best chance of seeing them on a boat tour.
Go whale-watching in San Diego for a unique experience if you find yourself visiting this wonderful southern Californian city. If you’re in LA and want to step right outside the city for a whale-watching experience, visit Long Beach or Dana Point to see Pacific Gray Whales, Fin Whales, and more.
Top Whale Watching Tours in Iceland
Iceland's tourism and whale watching has exploded in popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. This gorgeous island country has a rugged coastline and resident whale species that are playing in the waves year-round. Iceland is the best destination in Europe for whale-watching - in the summer months, you have so much daylight and time to see them, and in the winter you may get lucky enough to see whales under the green glow of the northern lights. Catch a glimpse of Minke Whales swimming around your boat, Humpbacks breaching the waves, or Orcas cruising in their pods. Some of the top locations in Iceland to go whale watching include the capital Reykjavik, and in the northern towns of Husavik, and Akureyri.
Unforgettable Whale Watching in South Africa
South Africa is a fantastic destination for whale watching. From kayaking off the coast of Cape Town amongst pods of dolphins to seeing the southern right whale, orcas, and lots of other species. It’s a wildlife lovers paradise, so if you’re looking for a unique experience in South Africa, book a whale watching tour by boat. No other method gets you as up-close and personal, especially with the beloved Southern Right whales that are hard to find in other destinations around the world. Some hot spots in South Africa for whale watching and wildlife tours include Cape Town, Mossel Bay, and Durban.
Whale Watching in Hawaii
Heading to Hawaii for a family vacation? Make sure you take some time to get out on a boat and see some whales! Hawaii is most notably home to pods of Humpback Whales, and you can see them on boat tours from various destinations within Hawaii like Maui, Kauai, and Honolulu. Hawaiians pride themselves on sustainability and eco-friendly living, and seeing whales in their natural habitats is the perfect way to experience Hawaii. Book a whale watching tour in Hawaii with a boat captain or tour operator committed to providing safe and conscious tours.
The Best Whale Watching in Canada
Canada is an incredible place to see whales in the wild, with tours available from British Columbia on the west coast all the way to Nova Scotia on the east. If you love orcas, you’re in luck, as the west coast of Canada is home to the largest populations of these creatures. Get yourself to Vancouver to experience a whale-watching tour, or explore Newfoundland and Labrador for a chance to see the most variety of whales, including belugas, minkes, pilots, humpbacks, sperm whales and more.
How to book a whale-watching experience with GetMyBoat
When searching for the perfect whale-watching experience, whether on your travels or in your hometown, GetMyBoat is here to help. On our website or mobile app, you can filter in every destination by experience, so simply select the “Tours, Lessons, and Diving” option to see if whale and dolphin watching experiences are available in your selected location. If you find the perfect trip, send an inquiry to the captain with your preferred date and time and any other important details. They will get back to you with an offer that you can confirm with payment. Then, it’s time to get out on the water!
Have you been on a GetMyBoat whale watching tour? Tell us about your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org