Seattle/Edmonds Whale Watching Tours
March 3 – April 27, 2023
Spring Gray Whale Tours
April 28 – October 1, 2023
9:30am daily departure
June 10 – September 4, 2023
additional 2:30pm daily departure
October 2 – 29, 2023
11:30 daily departure
November 1 – December 31, 2023
11:30 departure Wed/Fri/Sat
11:30 departure daily 12/26-31 (closed 12/24-25)
Adult: $145 Child (2-10): $105 Infants: Free
The tour is 4-5 hours in length. Our vessels feature an inside heated cabin, TV monitors for naturalist presentations and map tracking the areas we travel through, 2 restrooms and a galley serving snacks, hot and cold beverages, along with our warm Blueberry Buckle.
Need Lunch? We offer boxed lunches on-board that include a sandwich, chips and a beverage. Due to our partnership with a local restaurant, lunches need to be pre-ordered by 3:00pm the day prior. Choices include Ham, Turkey or Caprese sandwiches.
Cruising at over 40mph, the Saratoga and the Swiftsure will take you throughout the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands to find whales. Our vessels are the fastest and most comfortable whale watching boats in the Northwest. Combine that with three generations of dedication and experience connecting Seattle visitors with the great outdoors. We guarantee you’ll see whales or your next trip is free!
We saw many whales and the boat and staff could not have been nicer. It was the perfect amount of time for an 11 and 14 year old on the half-day trip from Edmonds. The entire boat was very comfortable and clean. Very memorable and the favorite part of our Seattle family trip
This extraordinary half-day tour features spacious, comfortable indoor seating and large windows, restrooms, outside viewing decks, and a great galley/cafe — which of course also serves up our signature, freshly baked “blueberry buckle” on every trip. Outside, it’s a menagerie of whales, porpoises, dolphins, seals, sea lions, otters, shorebirds and many other species of marine life, something different every trip.
Whales We See
Bigg’s Orcas (aka Transients)
Bigg’s orcas are apex predators – mammal-eating orcas that feed on a variety of prey – from harbor seals to sea lions, and even dolphins and small whales. Bigg’s orcas generally travel in small groups, usually of two to six animals, and can range from Southern California up to the Arctic circle. These are the orcas that we see most often in the Salish Sea, and they often put on quite a show after they complete a successful hunting foray! Bigg’s orcas are named in honor of cetologist Michael Bigg.
The gray whale is a species of baleen whale, with a dark slate-gray color, and frequently covered by gray/white scars left by parasites which drop off in its cold feeding grounds. Grays have two blowholes on top of their head, which can create a distinctive heart-shaped blow at the surface. Adults range in length from 43–49 feet and weigh up to 40 tons. Each spring, gray whales migrate from the southern waters near Baja, north to Alaska. A small group of Grays nicknamed “Sounders” often turn east into Washington’s inland waters during the spring northern migration.
The humpback whale is a species of baleen whale, and has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. They are known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors. Adults range in length from 39–52 feet and weigh nearly 40 tons. Their diet consists mostly of krill and small fish. Until commercial whaling was banned in 1996, humpbacks were nearly hunted to extinction. They have rebounded, however, and we are thrilled to have them back in our neighborhood.
The elusive minke whale is among the smallest of the baleen whales. Previously known as a ‘piked whale’ or ‘lesser finback’, the minke has a dark gray back and white undersides. Their pectoral fins have a distinctive white patch or band. Minkes range in length from 23-33 feet and weigh up to 10 tons. Minke whales are widely distributed throughout the North Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They migrate seasonally from polar feeding grounds to equatorial waters, where they breed and calve. Minkes feed on small schooling fish, crustaceans, and plankton.
The Hanke Family
from our family to yours
Three generations of our family have helped visitors have life-changing experiences with some of the most majestic creatures on the planet. We’re blessed to live in what’s been called “the American Serengeti,” with some of the highest concentration of whales and dolphins and sea life anywhere in the world — including our totem species, the orca. Few people know these waters like we do. Our experience and dedication makes it possible for us to guarantee that you’ll see whales on your trip — or we’ll give you another trip absolutely free.
Whale-wise Whale Watching
Puget Sound Express is a proud member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA), dedicated to responsible, sustainable marine wildlife viewing and conservation in the Pacific Northwest. We’re also dedicated to reducing our footprint out there. The Saratoga and Swiftsure are sound-proofed, hydrofoil jet boats with no propellers, making them the quietest vessels in the whale watch fleet.
Learn about our practices and our conservation partners.
Things to Know
Where do Edmonds tours depart from?
459 Admiral Way, Edmonds, WA
We are located at the Port of Edmonds, across the street from Anthony’s Homeport Restaurant in parking lot 8 – look for “Whale Watching, Check In Here.”
Parking is available at the Port of Edmonds, however due to a strict 3 hour limit on all spaces within the port a parking permit is required. Permits are $15.00 and can be purchased when making your reservation or when you check-in. Purchased parking permits are handed to you at check-in to be placed in your vehicle window.
Check-in and boarding
Travelers are required to be checked-in no later than 30 minutes prior to sailing. Boarding closes 15 minutes before departure. If guests are not checked in by this time, tickets will be cancelled with no refund or ability to reschedule.
Puget Sound Express is not responsible for traffic, ferry disruptions, or bridge closures. Please ensure enough travel time to account for the unexpected.
Our cancellation policy is 48 hours prior to a tour’s departure time. A tour is confirmed when a confirmation email has been received OR payment has been processed. Prior to 48 hours from departure, any cancellation of a confirmed reservation is fully refundable, less a $10 processing fee. Inside of 48 hours to departure, reservations are non-refundable. This includes all tours booked online within 48 hours of departure.
Outside of 48 hours from the tour, rescheduling can be made at any time. Inside of 48 hours to the tour, rescheduling can be requested and at the discretion of the office and upcoming availability to approve. If approved a $10/person change fee is charged to the booking.
Get to Know Edmonds!
Art galleries, performance halls, an historic downtown with sandy beaches – Edmonds is a terrific play to stop, breathe, and linger! Learn more.
We Guarantee You’ll See Whales
The Salish Sea is home to an astonishing variety of whales, including orcas, humpbacks, gray whales, and minke whales. With thousands of departures over 37 years, our local knowledge is unmatched. As a result, our success rate is the best in the industry. If you don’t see whales on your whale watching tour, we will gladly give you a voucher for a cruise on a later date – no questions, no hassles. Guarantee is not valid for split trips, specific whale species, or cash back.
Don’t Forget Lunch!
When making your reservation, you’ll have the option to pre-order boxed lunches for your tour. These options include Ham, Turkey or Caprese sandwiches. They come with chips and a beverage. All lunch orders bust be placed prior to 3:00pm the day before the tour.
Are you traveling with an infant?
Children under the age of 2 can travel for free; however, if the boat is full that day, your child will be required to sit on your lap. You also have the option of purchasing a child’s rate ticket to ensure seating for your infant.
No problem – Dial up a taxi, Uber or Lyft to get dropped off right at our check-in kiosk.
The waterways we travel on are relatively calm, and our boats are quite stable and comfortable. However if you are prone to motion sickness we strongly recommend preparing for your trip with us. Over the counter remedies like Dramamine work best when used prior to departure. Learn more.