In the Monterey Bay, every season is whale watching season! There’s a 95% chance you’ll see a whale any month of the year. Humpback whales are generally seen feeding in the bay March-December and Gray whales are seen migrating through the bay December-Mid-May. Blue whale sightings vary each year but your best bet is July-August. Sightings of killer whales (orcas) and several different species of dolphins are possible year round.
Yes, we guarantee whale sightings! The chance of seeing a whale on a trip is 95%. Don’t see a whale? Come back for free until you do. Even if we see dolphins and no whales you still get a voucher to come back for free. And yes, we consider killer whales “whales” even if they are the largest of the dolphin species 😉
Most trips are 3 hours. Shorter and longer trips are added throughout the year depending on the recent proximity of whales to Moss Landing Harbor. See our calendar to view trip dates, times and durations.
Advance purchase is strongly recommended, and trips often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please buy your tickets well in advance. Tickets can be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
Yes! Whale watching is a great activity for families. We even have a “Kid’s Corner” on board with books and toys. For safety reasons however, children 3 years and under are not permitted. If you have concerns about bringing small children on the boat, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
High Spirits is Coast Guard certified to carry 49 passengers and 3 crew members. There is plenty of space indoors and out. An indoor cabin with large panoramic windows, a wide bow area outside in the front as well as a top “observation deck” with a 360 degree view (18yrs+ allowed on top deck for safety reasons).
Yes! In addition to our weekly whale watching tours, Blue Ocean Whale Watch allows you to customize your own trips any day of the week.
- School Trips
- Corporate Adventures
- Burials at Sea/Ash Scatterings
- Weddings, Parties, Special Events
- Photography Groups
We abide by all marine mammal protection laws and maintain a 100 yard distance from whales. Whales have their own rules, however, and often change course approach the boat as close as they want (sometimes touching the boat!). Dolphins often seek out our boat to ride our bow wave and wake. If wildlife approaches the boat closely our engines are kept in neutral.
How far we go depends on where we find whales. During spring through summer, we’ll commonly travel 4-8 miles offshore. In the winter we may travel a few miles further to find gray whales are traveling on their migration route. Feeding and migrating whales often pass right in front of our harbor!
We run our trips rain or shine. We don’t run in heavy storms so the rain we experience is usually on the lighter side. There is plenty of space indoors to escape from the elements if need be.
Dressing warmly and in layers is highly recommended. The air is always cooler on the bay so come prepared. Closed toed shoes and windbreakers are a good idea. Watch the forecast and bring a rain jacket if necessary.
Yes, we have a very clean bathroom on board.
Our boat is certified and inspected yearly by the U.S. Coast Guard. We carry all the necessary items required by the Coast Guard to insure your safety: EPIRB, Life Floats, Life Jackets, fire extinguishers, etc.
The boat is not wheelchair accessible as there are stairs leading up to the entrance of the boat.
Whales can be seen throughout the day; whether it’s the morning or afternoon makes no difference in terms of sightings. However, weather conditions tend to be calmer in the mornings as opposed to the afternoons.
Yes! We have a very roomy cabin which is fully protected from the elements. Our boat is very tall which also reduces/eliminates the amount of spray that comes on board.
We sell coffee, tea, cocoa, sodas, water, and snack items like chips, candy, breakfast bars, instant lunches etc. Bringing cash is recommended. You are also welcome to bring your own food, but please no glass containers.
Yes. If you are going to be buying from the snack bar, it is recommended you bring approximately $10 in cash.
We do not sell alcohol on board but you are welcome to bring your own.
Parking is available right by the dock in the Moss Landing Harbor parking lot. Parking permits are $7.00 for the day and may be purchased from the Harbor Master’s Office. There is also limited street parking on Moss Landing Road and Sandholdt Road which is free (about a 10 minute walk to the dock).
Yes, there is plenty of space on board to stow your belongings.
No, smoking is not permitted on our trips.
We hope not! If you know you are prone to seasickness, it is advised to take precautions before boarding. We do offer ginger ale on board which may help some people with seasickness.
Yes, Blue Ocean hoodies and baseball caps are available for purchase on board.
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