| 06/06/2023 | Updated | Planning, Sightsee, Tours |   

Go Whale Watching in Bellingham with San Juan Cruises

One of the best ways to soak up Whatcom County is by taking a whale watching cruise with San Juan Cruises!

Spend the day exploring Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands on one of their whale watching cruises. 

They also offer wine, beer, and crab dinner cruises!

Book Your Tour

Whale watching cruises depart from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in the late morning and typically arrive back around 4-5pm, putting you in Historic Fairhaven Village just in time for dinner and/or drinks. 

These exciting cruises offer lots of wildlife sightings, fascinating information about the islands’ history and geology, and a delicious lasagna lunch. 

“We see orcas 97% of the time,” said Drew Schmidt, a captain with San Juan Cruises. “It’s pretty rare when we don’t see whales.”

If your whale watching trip is a bust, passengers will receive a “bummer card.” This card has no expiration date and is good for 50% off your next whale watching adventure.

In his 12 years with the company, Captain Jeff Drovdahl has been witness to some extraordinary orca sightings. 

Even with regulations preventing boats from being within 200 yards to an orca whale, guests can still have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  “One time we had whales breach next to the boat and our guests were showered in whale snot,” said Drovdahl.

If you have a trip planned to Bellingham or Whatcom County soon, make sure you book a day with San Juan Cruises!

There's plenty to see when you're on a whale watching cruise. Here are a few common sightings!

  • Whale pods - your captain will be on the lookout for orca whales, humpback whales, and minke whales 
  • Seals
  • Sea lions
  • Porpoises
  • Sea otters
  • Lots of birds, including bald eagles 

Your whale watching trip with San Juan Cruises includes a complementary lasagna and salad lunch buffet, so you don't need to worry about packing food! The boat also has a bar where you can purchase drinks, snacks, and alcoholic beverages. 

Though the boat has both indoor and outdoor seating, make sure to bring layers, as the weather can be unpredictable! 

Here are a few other items to bring: 

  • Sunglasses 
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Binoculars 
  • Water bottle
  • Rain jacket 
        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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