Water activity

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Activity provider: Discovery Whale Watch
Water activity

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Activity provider: Discovery Whale Watch
Likely to sell out

From US$ 70 per person

Likely to sell out

Monterey Bay is the premier destination for whale watching all year! There are whales seen every day here in Monterey. Trips are narrated by a marine biologist or naturalist who provides educational and interesting information about the wildlife.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible — book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 3 - 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • See whales in their natural habitat
  • Explore Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
  • Admire some of the most incredible animals on earth
Full description

Discover a variety of whale species in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on this cruise from Monterey. Uncover one of the world’s best locations for whale watching due to its deep submarine canyon close to shore. With whales spotted almost every day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Set sail from the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Catch a glimpse of the hundreds of Californian Sea Lions inside the harbor as the boat leaves the dock. Take advantage of the view and snap a photo to capture the memory.

Pass the historic Cannery Row as you leave the harbor and enter the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Search for feeding humpback whales, a variety of dolphin species, porpoises, blue whales, and fin whales.

Listen as the onboard biologist provides fascinating insights into the creatures of the bay and what is being done to protect them. During the summer/ fall season, the tour will focus on feeding whales that come to the bay to feast on small fish and krill.

Spot humpback whales daily but keep an eye out for blue whales, fin whales, gray whales (finishing migration), orcas and a variety of other dolphin species. During the winter season, the tour will focus on migrating whales at the south end of Monterey Bay where gray whales pass by.

Return to your starting point at the end of your tour.

  • 3 or 4-hour whale-watching cruise (depending on the option booked)
  • Biologist guide
  • Hot beverages
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food
  • Tips
Not suitable for
  • Pregnant women
  • People with mobility impairments

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet your guide at the Fishermans Wharf to begin your tour. If you are driving you can park by the main waterfront parking lot at 245 Washington Street, Monterey CA 93940. This is a gated parking lot, to enter you must take the ticket at the gate and drive-in. Once you are parked, walk down the tourist wharf past all the shops and restaurants. When you reach the Crab House Restaurant and Glass Bottom Boat ticket booth you will turn right on the extended pier. The activity provider's office is on the right-hand side of the extension. The building is light blue in color and has a sign on the roof that reads Discovery Whale Watch.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen

Not allowed

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and drugs

Know before you go

  • Due to the short distance from the “gray whale super highway,” the trips can be shorter in duration for the winter time
  • Summer and fall morning tours last 3.5-4 hours, while the winter morning tours and the afternoon tours year-round last 2.5-3 hours
  • Please bring your confirmation and ID card with you
  • Motion sickness remedies are available for purchase at the office before the tour, but you are welcome to bring your own
  • Bringing a small packed lunch and non-alcoholic beverages is allowed
  • There are restroom facilities on the vessel
  • Friendly dogs are permitted on board
  • Due to the unforeseen rise in fuel costs, we have had to add a $5/person fuel surcharge to all trips. We thank you for your understanding and value your continued support as we navigate through these difficult times
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 740 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Service
  • Organization

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Star rating:

Had an amazing day out on the Boats. Departure point easy to find, guide Isiah was super knowledgeable and made the trip really fun. The guides really know what they’re doing when looking for whales and you are almost always guaranteed to see something. Also added bonus was the sea otters!

March 25, 2023

We chose wisely! There were a few tours we could have chosen, and this has to be the best one! The briefing in the beginning was point on, informative, and helpful. Choppy waters sometimes- don’t forget to take your sea sickness meds at least an hour before arrival. :) The guides were so knowledgable, friendly and eager to answer questions. Very engaging. Felt like you were hanging out with friends.

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February 7, 2023

The day exceeded all our expectations. We saw hundreds of dolphins, Orcas, and whales. Our guide seemed exceptionally professional, knowledgeable, outgoing and friendly. The actual whales were spotted about a half hour before we were due to return and in order to get the actual sightings in it was necessary to extend our trip. The fuel and time cost the company money but the crew seemed more than happy to incur the extra expense in order to ensure a successful voyage. Impressive!

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December 7, 2022

Product ID: 246507