We’ve just returned from an outstanding 3-day birdwatching and wildlife cruise in the San Juan Islands. We spent the days cruising the beautiful San Juan Islands looking for orcas, sea birds, shore birds, sea lions, and much more. It was a great trip – spring is arriving in the San Juans.
We hope you enjoy these photos from that cruise (thank you to Peter Wiant for sharing these with us), and we want to remind you that seats are available for our May 7-9 cruise in the San Juans – don’t miss it!
We’ve been in the whale watching business for nearly three decades. During that time, we’ve used a variety of boats to take folks whale watching in the San Juan Islands. However, one of our favorites was a nifty boat called the RED HEAD.
After some time away from Port Townsend in Alaska, it is our great pleasure to welcome the RED HEAD back home to Puget Sound Express for the 2014 whale watching season. Seating 40 comfortably, this great boat will serve as the new primary vessel for our 4-Hour whale watching tours, which begin on May 1 – and we’re also using it for our Gray Whale tours through the end of April. It is just about as fast as the boat we have been using, the Olympus, but it is much roomier and rides much more smoothly on the water. We know you’ll love it – and it will make the already fun 4 hour trips even that much better.
Pete, Christopher, Trevor, and Ashley sailed the RED HEAD down from Alaska, and we’ve spent the springtime getting her ready for you. (That trip was an adventure – be sure to ask about it on your next cruise!)
As the weather begins to warm, one of the ocean’s most majestic creatures begins a long journey that happens to pass right by the Pacific Northwest!
Gray whales are 50-70ft long baleen whales that migrate between feeding and breeding grounds each year. In March and April they pass through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, providing an excellent opportunity for us land lubbers to visit with and learn about these whales.
As you might guess, gray whales are…dark slate-gray in color, and their skin is often marked by scars and discolored patches caused by parasites that have fallen off the whale or are still attached. They have two blowholes on top of their head, which can create a distinctive V-shaped blow.
We’ll be starting tours on March 15, 2014. If the weather looks rough, we’ll reschedule for a nicer tday. We leave Port Townsend at 10am and travel south to Everett, WA. The trip lasts about 4 to 5 hours and the waters that we travel in are protected and usually calm. This is a guaranteed tour, if you do not see gray whales on this tour we will issue a voucher good for another tour.
2013 was an amazing year in the waters off of the Olympic Peninsula and the San Juan Islands. Our Southern Resident pod of orcas traveled a bit more for food, which took them to some new locations. Additionally, we saw more transient orcas than we have for many years. If that wasn’t enough, humpbacks gray whales, and other large sea mammals were out in force. All in all, a terrific year of wildlife watching!
We’re excited to hit the water in 2014. We have some very exciting news to share in the coming days about a larger, comfier boat for our 4 Hour cruises (yay!). In addition, we’re expanding our 3 Day Wildlife Cruises in the San Juans, as well as our Puffin Cruises in July and August around Protection Island.
And the good news is, you can make your reservation right now for all of our tours! Follow any of the links below to instantly reserve your seat.
2014 will serve as the 29th year our family has operated whale and wildlife tours in the Pacific Northwest. We are honored that you choose to travel with us, and we hope you will have amazing experiences with us in the coming year!
2014 WHALE WATCHING CRUISES
- Gray Whale Tours (March 15 – April 30, 2014)
- 4 Hour (Morning Departure) Guaranteed Whale Watching Tour (May – October, 2014)
- 4 Hour (Afternoon Departure) Guaranteed Whale Watching Tour (June – August, 2014)
- Full Day, San Juan Islands/Friday Harbor Whale Watching Tour (May – September, 2014)
- One Way (PT to SJI) San Juan Islands/Friday Harbor Whale Watching Tour (May – September, 2014)
- One Way (SJI to PT) San Juan Islands/Friday Harbor Whale Watching Tour (May – September, 2014)
3-DAY SAN JUAN ISLAND WILDLIFE CRUISES
- May 7-9, 2014 Three-Day Wildlife Cruise in the San Juan Islands
- September 28-30, 2014 Three-Day Wildlife Cruise in the San Juan Islands
3-DAY AUDUBON SOCIETY SAN JUAN ISLAND BIRDWATCHING CRUISE
PORT TOWNSEND MARINE SCIENCE CENTER CRUISES