KOMO News Profiles PSE’s Responsible Whale Watching

Denise Whittaker of KOMO TV in Seattle recently joined us on the Chilkat Express for our Seattle Whale Watching tour, departing out of Edmonds. Her report focused on “the rules of the road” that every boat operator needs to know when visiting orcas. Since these amazing creatures are an endangered species, private boats and whale watch operators are required to maintain a safe distance from orcas¬†whenever possible.

As a proud member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, Puget Sound Express takes care to give the orcas as much space as possible, while also providing an outstanding viewing experience for travelers. In Denise’s report,¬†you can see a bit of the Chilkat, and hear Captain Pete talk about how we find orcas.

Puget Sound Express on CBC’s “The National” Broadcast

We were honored recently to host journalists Chris Brown & Chris Corday from the Canadian Broadcasting Company on the Chilkat, our Seattle Whale Watching tour that departs from Edmonds.

The duo were reporting a story about our the recent “baby boom” of orcas in the waters of the Salish Sea.¬†They produced an excellent video and story¬†that we have embedded here.¬†Good background on our region’s orca population.

Epic Weather – Epic Whale Watching


2015 is a year to remember. Once-in-a-generation weather. All resident orca pods present and accounted for. And we’re in the midst of an incredible baby boom – with 4 orca calves joining the endangered¬†J ¬†& L Southern Resident Pods so far this year.

This may be the best year to go whale watching in recent memory!

We have our own new baby ourselves – the Chilkat Express – the fastest, greenest whale watching boat in the Pacific Northwest. That’s right – the Seattle metro area now has its¬†first-ever half-day whale watch option.¬†See orcas, humpback whales and all the majestic wildlife of the Pacific Northwest with our new tour out of Edmonds, just a few minutes north of Seattle. Seattle Whale Watching has never been easier!

Between our Port Townsend and Edmonds runs, we have 5 different GUARANTEED whale watching tours you can choose from every day:


Orca Photos by Janine Harles

baby orcas photo by janine harles

We have been incredibly fortunate to have Edmonds photographer Janine Harles join us for a few of our Seattle/Edmonds whale watching tours. She has captured some truly stunning images, including of the new J-Pod baby orcas that we are seeing this year in the Salish Sea. She has been kind enough to share many of these on the Puget Sound Express Facebook page Рso please take some time to browse over there.

Thanks to Janine Рand to the orcas, who are out in force this year. Combined with epic weather, 2015 is turning out to be epic for whale watching . Remember, we offer 3 daily San Juan Island whale watching cruises in the summer: 4 Hour Whale Watching Tours out of Port Townsend, Full Day Whale Watching Tours from Port Townsend (that include a 2 hour stopover in Friday Harbor), and our half-day Seattle Whale Watching Tour that departs from Edmonds. ALL are guaranteed to see whales.


Hop on a Key City Cruise July 9

Join Puget Sound Express, Port Ludlow Resort, and Key City Public Theater for a waterfront cruise and one of the greatest theatre comedies of all time!

Charles Ludlam‚Äôs satirical masterpiece, The Mystery of Irma Vep¬†tells the story of leading Egyptologist Lord Edgar and his new wife, Lady Enid, both of whom must contend with the tragic and haunting figure of Irma Vep, Lord Edgar‚Äôs late first wife. But this is not the only thing amiss at the gothic mansion of Mandacrest Estate. Jane, the acerbic maid, remains devoted to the memory of her former mistress, and the groundskeeper, Nicodemus has secrets of his own. Throw in some werewolves, vampires, mummies, and all things that go bump in the night ‚ÄĒ played by two actors in some 35 quick changes and you‚Äôve got one hysterical farce!!! This show will keep you in stitches right up to the final twist!


See Whales With PSE – Help the Center for Whale Research


Puget Sound Express is proud to support the work of the Center for Whale Research, located in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. The Center for Whale Research is dedicated to the study and conservation of the Southern Resident Killer Whale (Orca) population in the Pacific Northwest.

Led by biologist Ken Balcomb, the Center for Whale Research (CWR) has conducted an annual photo-identification study of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population that frequents the inland waters of Washington State and lower British Columbia. A nearly four decade effort, these studies have provided unprecedented baseline information on population dynamics and demography, social structure, and individual life histories.

CWR’s work is critical to ensure the survival of the Southern Resident population.¬†When the Southern Residents were listed as endangered in Canada in 2001 and in the United States in 2005, recovery plans were drafted to address the issues currently affecting their survival. These recovery plans listed four main threats to the survival of this species:

  1. Reduced quantity and quality of prey (Chinook/King/Spring salmon)
  2. High environmental levels of persistent biochemicals, such as PCB’s and flame retardants, that have known harmful effects on marine mammals (eg. immune system repression and reproductive system dysfunction)
  3. Sound and disturbance from vessel traffic and shipping
  4. Potential oil spills

When you go whale watching with Puget Sound Express, you can help support CWR’s work. At checkout,¬†simply select the “Support Orca Research” option, and we’ll send $2 for every order to the Center for Whale Research.

PSE Lunchs Provided by The Courtyard Cafe


On our four hour cruises, we offer a range of scrumptious, homemade lunches from our friends at the Courtyard Cafe in Port Townsend. Will and Heidi are two of the nicest folks you’ll ever hope to meet, and their¬†love of food makes¬†their breakfasts and lunches a¬†PSE crew favorite!

As a family business ourselves, we like partnering with the Coutyard, because they are a family business as well –¬†literally – watch out for their 7 & 8 year old watching from the stairs or their¬†14 year old bussing tables on the weekend! Their motto is “Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends” We love it.

p.s. you can pick your lunches as you go through the check out process online. Turkey, Ham, Veggie – even PB&J for the kids!

Whale Watching in HD

Now that Puget Sound Express¬†has expanded to three boats, offering whale watching in Port Townsend AND Seattle/Edmonds – we decided it was high time to get some new video footage out into the world!¬†Enjoy…