Daily Whale Watching:
Monterey Bay is the premier destination for whale watching all year! We see whales every day here in Monterey. Our daily whale watch trips are narrated by a marine biologist or naturalist who provides educational and interesting information about whales, dolphins, and a wide variety of marine wildlife. In addition to teaching you about the wildlife, our marine biologists and naturalists will provide information about the natural history of the local area and talk about conservation. While out on the ocean, our marine biologists and naturalists are also collecting sighting data for scientific research. We are highly invested in learning about our local wildlife and serving as a data collection resource for other scientists who study our local wildlife as well.
We travel to different locations within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to view whales and dolphins throughout the year. Our crew will show you how to spot whales and dolphins as well as give you advice on how to best capture photos and videos of the wildlife.
We regularly send out a professional photographer on our whale watch trips to capture those amazing moments with the wildlife. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about getting the perfect shot if they are on board.
We have two “seasons” for our trip offerings when you look at our calendar of availability. The summer/ fall season is from Mid-March through early December. The winter season is from December-mid March. The seasons mostly designate the duration and departure times of our trips. All of our trips are weather permitting.
Summer / Fall Season (Mid-March through early December)
During the summer/fall season we are focusing on feeding whales that come to the bay to feast on small fish and krill. We expect to see humpback whales daily but we can also view blue whales, fin whales, gray whales (finishing migration), killer whales and a variety of other dolphin species. The summer / fall season can be very windy in the afternoon! The wind pattern we get from spring to mid-summer is great for the ocean, but can make it difficult for a boat ride. Please consider this when you choosing between your options.
We offer a morning tour (recommended) at 9am which is 3.5-4 hours in duration. We also offer an afternoon tour at 1:30pm which is 2.5-3 hours in duration. Whale sightings are consistent all day, but the morning sea conditions are usually more favorable. We like to take extra time searching a variety of areas around Monterey Bay in the morning, while the seas are calmer so that we can make our best route plan for the afternoon when the seas can be more choppy.
Winter Season (December-Mid-March)
During the winter season we are focusing on migrating whales. The one of largest movement of mammals on earth happens just off the coast of Pacific Grove, CA – the south end of Monterey Bay. Gray whales pass by the coast, about a 30 min ride from Monterey Harbor. Due to the short distance from the “gray whale super highway” our trips can be shorter in duration for the winter time. We depart at 10am and 1:30pm daily during this time of year.
When sea conditions become too rough to be able to go out we try to offer an alternate tour for our guests. You may get a phone call with an offer for a nature tour if our schedule and sea conditions allow for it. This hour-long cruise is perfect for people interested in a scenic tour near Monterey Harbor. We will observe hundreds of California Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Southern Sea Otters and a variety of birds! We will also explore the vast kelp forest along the shoreline. The trips are narrated by one of our naturalists or marine biologists. We will teach you about the wildlife near shore in Monterey Bay, the natural history of the area, and answer any questions you have.
This is an excellent coastal tour for photographers with nice views of the Monterey Harbor, Fisherman’s Wharf and Historic Cannery Row. We will take a tour outside of the harbor and view the historic buildings of Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hopkins Marine Station.
This trip is great for families! The trip length is perfect for young children who may be riding on a boat for the first time. It is also an excellent “warm-up” trip to test your sea legs before coming on a longer whale watching trip here in Monterey Bay. As time goes on we may offer this regularly on our schedule.
Scattering a loved one’s ashes at sea is a beautiful way to say goodbye. We offer one hour charters along the Pacific Grove coast to scatter ashes at sea. We like to stop along the coast near Lover’s Point so that the location of the scattering can be easily viewed later for you and your friends and family. We can also travel to other nearby locations. If you are considering a specific location, please express that to our staff when making your reservation. You are welcome to bring flowers or other plant material to put in the water with the ashes, as part of your send off. We also encourage the use of biodegradable urns, which can be entirely placed in the water.
We are licensed by the State of California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau as a Cremated Remains Disposer to scatter ashes at sea.
You are also required to obtain a permit for the ashes before we can take you to have them scattered at sea. You can obtain this permit at the Monterey County Health Department located at 1270 Natividad Road, Salinas CA 93906, or you can request that the permit you receive with the ashes from the crematorium states “for scatter at sea off the coast of Monterey”. After the scattering is performed, we will provide you with a certificate for you with the GPS coordinates of the scattering location for your memories and for your records.
Vessel: Sur Randy or Pacifica 1-30 people
1 hour Lover’s Point: $500
2 hours Pt Pinos or Asilomar: $750.00
Vessel: Chubasco 1-50 people
1 hour Lover’s Point: $600
2 hours Pt Pinos or Asilomar: $850.00
Unattended Ash Scattering
$125 for one set of ashes *will be scattered at earliest vessel availability
Additional set of ashes: $75 per set
*Deposit due at time of reservation for weekday charter: $500.00
Looking for a special trip for your group? We offer private charters for scenic tours, whale watches and more! Come and join us for a private trip, a corporate event, a special occasion, family gathering. We are happy to accommodate a wide variety of requests. So please don’t hesitate to ask our staff about options for your trip.
Vessel: Sur Randy
3 hour trip 1-30 people: $1200.00
4 hour trip 1-30 people: $1400.00
*additional passengers up to 45 for Sur Randy: $40 per person
*includes a marine biologist or naturalist
3 hour trip 1-45 people: $1750.00
4 hour trip 1-45 people: $2160.00
*additional passengers up to 55: $40 per person
*includes a marine biologist naturalist
*Deposit due at time of reservation for weekday charter: $500.00
*Deposit due at time of reservation for weekend charter 50% of total balance