Effective May 1, 2013 Puget Sound Express is running 4 Hour Orca Watching Tours departing from Port Townsend.
This tour is the perfect trip for visitors and travelers with a busy schedule. Three generations of our family have helped visitors spend time with orca whales – that experience and dedication makes it possible for us to guarantee that you’ll see whales on this trip – or we’ll give you another trip absolutely free. Learn more about our unconditional guarantee.
Our cruise departs Port Townsend at 10am in the Olympus, our comfortable, high speed tour boat (which has inside seating and outside viewing areas, as well as a snack bar and restroom). We head out to the San Juan Islands – or wherever the whales are if they are in our range. We aim to return around 2pm, but depending on where the orcas are hanging out, we can run under or over that, ranging from 3.5 – 5.5 hours.
Just like in our full day tour, there is a trained marine naturalist guiding you through the many sites along the way, and if the whales are “singing,” you’ll be able to hear them with our hydrophone.
Join Puget Sound Express for two different 3 day cruises through the San Juan Islands in Washington State. Selected by National Geographic as one of the World’s Top 3 destinations, the waters around the San Juan Islands are home to an astonishing array of wildlife. We have a birdwatching departure in March, and a wildlife departure in April.
April 7-9, 2013
The Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society and Puget Sound Express invite you to take part in an amazing three-day birdwatching cruise in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, April 7-9, 2013.
Tour Naturalist Bob Boekelheide (formerly Director of the Dungeness River Audubon Center) will be pointing out all the birds for us. Proceeds from this trip help support the education programs of the Dungeness River Audubon Center.
May 8-10, 2013
Focusing on all of the amazing wildlife in the San Juan Islands, Join Puget Sound Express for an exciting 3 day cruise through the San Juans, looking for orcas (killer whales), minke whales, gray whales, stellar sea lions, porpoise, otters, and a dizzying array of seabirds.
According to University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass, the winter of 2012/2013 will go down in the history books as The Most Boring Winter in Seattle History. On the plus side, no big stormy events. On the other hand, nothing to terribly interesting going on. Which is why we are very excited to begin our 2013 Gray Whale Tours in March.
Each spring, grays migrate from the southern waters north to Alaska. On the way, they pass through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, providing an excellent opportunity for folks to visit and learn about these whales.
These tours run just about 4 to 5 hours, and the waters that we travel in are protected and usually calm. Since it’s spring in the Pacific Northwest, we recommend being ready for just about anything!
This is a guaranteed tour, meaning that if you do not see gray whales on your tour we will issue a voucher good for another tour.
In 2002, the body of a female killer whale was found stranded near Port Townsend on the North Olympic Peninsula. Just offshore, a healthy, young male hovered close by, refusing gentle attempts to guide him into safer deep water. Although the male orca was saved, it was soon learned that the female’s body carried one of the highest loads of toxic chemicals ever recorded in a marine mammal.
Our education partner, The Port Townsend Marine Science Center, mounted a community effort to study the orca. Local children who learned about her story gave her the name, “Hope.” The Orca Project was established to raise awareness of these remarkable animals, the threats they face, and things we can do to help them survive.
After years of work, PTMSC has opened an incredible new exhibit in the Natural History Building, Learning from Orcas—the Story of Hope. We strongly encourage you to visit.
The exhibit has activities for all ages. The skeleton of Hope was painstakingly cleaned, digitally scanned, and completely re-assembled – and now hangs in the Natural History Building at PTMSC. While working with scientists researching her death and preparing her skeleton for display, PTMSC learned many things about this whale and the community of orcas living along our coast.
Some of the fun things you can do at the exhibit include:
- Skeleton Articulation
Watch PTMSC staff and volunteers assembling Hope’s skeleton, step by exciting step.
- Orca Bone Atlas
Examine digital scans of every bone in Hope’s body, using the first ever online Orca Bone Atlas.
- Listen to Orcas
PTMSC and other OrcaSound hydrophone stations are recording orca sounds underwater. Listen in!
- Contaminants in Orcas
Learn about chemicals that today’s orcas exposed are exposed to – and where they are coming from.
Visit the Port Townsend Marine Science Center’s website for exhibit hours and more information. Guests on our tours in 2013 will receive a voucher for 50% off exhibit admission.