Monterey Bay Whale Watch
Winter and Spring Trips


Gray Whales, Dolphins - mid-December through mid-April

Gray whales, photo by Richard Ternullo
Gray whales in Monterey Bay
Photo by Richard Ternullo

The entire Gray Whale population migrates past the Monterey coastline every winter and spring. These whales have one of the longest animal migrations known, traveling over 12,000 miles from their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to their winter breeding grounds in Baja California and back again. Gray whales are easily observed as they hug the coastline during migration. Gray whales are present off Monterey from mid-December through mid-May. Several species of dolphins and porpoise are also present at this time, including Common Dolphins, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Risso's Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Dall's Porpoise, Harbor Porpoise, and Killer Whales! Sea Otters, California Sea Lions, and Harbor Seals are seen on all trips.

Monterey is the best place along the California coast to observe Gray Whales. Whales can be seen very close to shore here due to the proximity of the submarine canyon, as the Gray Whale prefers shallow water and therefore migrates closer to shore here than at other places along the coast. This allows us to easily find the whales and spend more time with them, leaving enough time to search for deep water species of dolphins and porpoise and Killer Whales near the canyon edge.

We are unique in that we are the only group that offers regular 3 to 3.5 hour trips led by marine biologists who fully narrate and answer questions on trips. Our marine biologists feel a 3 to 3.5 hour trip is needed to allow excellent viewing opportunities for whales and dolphins under unrushed conditions. Due to this trip length, our success rate for sighting whales averages close to 98% during this season. We also offer a Junior Marine Biologist program for children.

Three-hour trips run daily from December 13, 2014 through March 31, 2015. Trips run every day at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

In addition to the daily trips at 10 and 1:30, on most Saturdays from January through the end of the winter/spring season we also offer breakfast trips leaving at 7 a.m.

   Wake up With the Whales! Be the first boat out for the day! For early risers who would enjoy an early morning whale watch, have the whales to yourself, as no other boats are normally around, plus enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast (bagels, donuts, pastries, cereal, bread, cheese, fruit, coffee, and hot chocolate). Then you will have the rest of the day for your other activities -- how about the Monterey Bay Aquarium? These trips run on most Saturdays during the Gray Whale season, starting in mid-January.

There are no trips on Christmas. See our Schedule for exact dates and times of trips. Cost: $40 adults, $27 children 4 through 12, $15 children 3 and under.

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

Go to Whale Watch Trip Information Page for further details (trip preparation, directions, etc.).

Gift Certificates are available for these trips.

Killer Whale and Pt. Sur Clipper, photo by Nancy Black
Killer Whale and Pt. Sur Clipper
Photo by Nancy Black


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U R Here Trips - Winter/Spring

Monterey Bay Whale Watch logo (2K)
Monterey Bay Whale Watch
84 Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone 831-375-4658  

.Copyright © 1997-2014 Monterey Bay Whale Watch. All rights reserved.
Photos by Richard Ternullo and Nancy Black.

Last updated August 11, 2014