Our Whale Watching Boats
Boats are an often overlooked factor in deciding which whale watching tour company to choose. However, the boat you go out on will, to a large degree, dictate the type of experience you have. Think about how many other people you want to be with on the boat, how much interaction with the Naturalist you want, and how far off the water you want to be. We are very proud of the boats that we operate and feel strongly that they help facilitate, along with our excellent crew, an experience that is unsurpassed. However, we are not right for everyone. Take a look and, if one of our boats sounds right for you, join us.
The Western Prince II
The custom 46' "Western Prince II" is a fast (cruising at up to 21 knots) USCG certified twin-engine vessel that was originally built as an ocean going charter boat. We limit guest counts to only 32, with seating for 41. It is large enough for safety and comfort, yet small enough for a more interactive trip with the crew, the wildlife and other guests. This is the boat that started it all.
Your whale watching and wildlife tour on the “Western Prince II” will be comfortable regardless of weather. The main seating area, which is outside in the fresh air, has cushioned seating and may be enclosed if the weather dictates. It has a "warm up" cabin with snacks and beverages available for purchase and a full walk-around viewing deck with a spacious forward deck, a favorite with photographers. Amenities also include a galley sink and a restroom.
The “Western Prince II” offers extraordinary comfort and safety for a vessel of her size. If you like your comfort but don't want to travel in a crowd, The Western Prince II is the whale watching vessel for you.
The Western Explorer
Looking for something a little more adventurous?
The "Western Explorer" is a 27' Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (Zodiac style), similar to the boats the Coast Guard uses for search and rescue. It is the only US Coast Guard certified Rigid Hull Inflatable in Washington State. The "Western Explorer" seats 15 guests and cruises at up to 30 knots, giving us more range than any other US whale watching boat and getting us where we need to go quickly. To ensure your comfort, every guest receives a full length Coast Guard approved anti-exposure suit.
Of course, while the "Western Explorer" is a thrill, it is not a thrill ride. Every trip is guided by an experienced Captain/Naturalist with an additional Naturalist on board with more than 6 guests. Seeing the islands at water level gives you a unique perspective and an opportunity to really experience the local ecosystem.
If you are looking for a wind in your hair "expedition style" adventure with the opportunity to learn about the amazing whales and wildlife of the San Juan Islands, then the Western Explorer is for you.