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Monterey Bay Whale Watch
Late Spring, Summer and Fall Trips


Humpback Whales, Blue Whales, and Dolphins - April through December

Humpback Whales and Blue Whales migrate to central California waters each year to feed during summer and fall. Monterey Bay is a prime feeding location for these whales. The whales often concentrate in a variety of locations within the Bay depending on movements and abundance of the their primary prey -- anchovies and krill.

humpback and boat, photo by Nancy Black
Humpback whale diving next to boat

Killer Whales, Minke Whales, and Fin Whales are occasionally sighted during this season as well. Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Risso's Dolphins, Northern Right Whale Dolphins, and Common Dolphins occur in Monterey Bay year round. These dolphins are frequently sighted in groups ranging from 100 to over 2,000 animals. Bottlenose dolphins, Dall's Porpoise, and Harbor Porpoise are also present year round. Sea Otters, California Sea Lions, and Harbor Seals are seen on all trips, and Northern Fur Seals and Elephant Seals are often seen.

Monterey Bay is the best place in the United States to observe a variety of marine mammals and seabirds. Whales often shift feeding locations throughout the season and our 3-hour and 4-hour trips allow ample time to locate and observe them. On average, 3-7 species of whales/dolphins are sighted per trip.

Our trips are led by marine biologists who fully narrate and answer questions on trips.


Humpback Whales, Blue Whales, Dolphins, Killer Whales

The only trip on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23, 2023) is at 9 a.m. and there are no trips on Christmas day (December 25).


Morning trips:

  • 3.5 to 4-hour morning trips every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Departing at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. most days. Check schedule for. every day in July and August.
  • Premium seats on the upper deck (limited to 35 passengers) are available on 9 a.m. trips.
  • Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris Specialty trips are offered on selected dates.
  • See chart below for trip prices.


Afternoon trips:

  • 3-hour afternoon trips every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Departing at 2:30 p.m. every day through Labor Day (Sept. 7) and at 1:30 p.m. on weekends in June and every day in July and August.
  • Additional sunset trips on some Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and holidays. Departure time depends on time of sunset.
  • Premium seats on the upper deck (limited to 35 passengers) are available on 2:30 p.m. trips.
  • See chart below for trip prices.


All-day (8-hour) Whale Watch trips:


Full-day (12-hour) Whale Watch trips:

  • Scheduled on selected days during the summer/fall season.
  • Departing at 7:30 a.m. and returning in the evening.
  • Children under age 12 not allowed.
  • See Full-day Whale Watch for details and dates.
  • See chart below for trip prices.


Prices of Late Spring/Summer/Fall Trips -
Note that a 6% Booking Processing fee is added to all purchases.

        Adults    Children    Children
       4 to 12   3 & under
3.5 to 4 hour trips:      
  9 & 10 a.m. $78 $67 $20
  10 a.m. Premium (upper deck) $92 $81 $20
3.5 to 4 hour Cheeseman Specialty trips:  
  10 a.m. $88 $69 n/a
3 to 3.5 hour trips:      
  1:30 & 2:30 p.m. $72 $61 $20
  2:30 p.m. Premium (upper deck) $86 $74 $20
  Sunset trips $72 $61 $20
All-day (8-hour) trips: $160 n/a n/a
Killer Whale Season (April & May - 8-hour) trips: $160 n/a n/a
Full-day (12-hour) trips: $199 n/a n/a



See schedule for dates of trips.


For best viewing conditions we recommend the 3.5 to 4-hour morning trip or the 8-hour or 12-hour trips, but we also offer the shorter afternoon and evening trips. Afternoons can be windier than mornings, so chances of cancellation of a trip due to weather are greater in the afternoon.

From late November through mid-December we cannot guarantee that we will see whales, although it is possible to see Humpback, Blue and Gray Whales. That time is near the end of the summer/fall season (when Humpback and Blue Whales are frequently seen) and before the arrival of the migrating Gray Whales. There are good chances to see a variety of dolphins, porpoise, and possibly Killer Whales.

Reservations are required. Reservations can be made using our online reservation form or by calling (831) 375-4658 with a credit card number.

Go to Whale Watch Trip Information Page for further details (trip preparation, directions, etc.). See schedule for dates and availability information.

Gift Certificates are available for these trips.

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Monterey Bay Whale Watch logo (2K)
Monterey Bay Whale Watch, LLC
84 Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone 831-375-4658  
Copyright © 1997-2024 Monterey Bay Whale Watch, LLC. All rights reserved.
Photo by Nancy Black.

Last updated January 20, 2024