4 star rating: Recommended 113 Reviews

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  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Duration:  Varies
Join your captain for an enthralling San Francisco whale watching tour and catch incredible sightings of these magnificent creatures migrating through one of Earth's most unique ecosystems! The Pacific coast adjoining San Francisco and the picturesque Farallon Islands are known for their rich and diverse marine life and you'll discover the beauty of the ocean and its inhabitants on this full-day adventure.

The California coastal waters off San Francisco have annual migration patterns for whales. From June to November you'll sail in search of blue and humpback whales, and from December to May you'll have the chance to spot gray, sperm and killer whales! In addition, you'll enjoy gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco skyline and the Farallon Islands from the decks of your eco-friendly catamaran. An exciting and intimate encounter with nature that you'll never forget!


  • San Francisco Whale Watching Tour from Pier 39
  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot a variety of whales!
  • Opt for 5-hour Whale Watching Wildlife Tour on weekdays or upgrade to the 6-hour Farallon Islands Natural History Trip at weekends
  • See humpback whales, blue whales or killer whales depending on migration season
  • Knowledgeable captain, crew and naturalist aboard to answer questions and identify marine wildlife
  • Cruise aboard a fully-equipped, stable catamaran

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

There's nothing quite like seeing a whale breach right before your eyes! This cruise led by a marine biologist guarantees whale sightings as well as terrific views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Stinson Beach and Point Reyes National Seashore. San Francisco Bay waters can be choppy, so prepare yourself!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Whale Watching & Wildlife Eco Tour from San Francisco

San Francisco Whale Watching Tour

Choose from two thrilling marine adventures depending on the day of the week:

Whale Watching Wildlife Tour (5 hours)

Catch sightings of various whale species, dolphins, porpoises, sea birds and San Francisco's famous sea lions on the 5-hour Whale Watching Wildlife Tour. After you board your vessel and set sail under the Golden Gate Bridge, you'll enjoy spectacular views of Stinson Beach, Fort Cronkite, Double Point, Muir Beach, Bolinas, and the Point Reyes National Seashore and Lighthouse on your exciting quest for whales.

Farallon Islands Natural History Tour (6 hours)

On this longer tour, you'll sail to the Farallon Islands, approximately 27 miles (43 km) offshore from San Francisco, to experience an extra thrilling whale watching tour. Perfect for boating enthusiasts, this six-hour excursion takes you straight to the Gulf of the Farallones after cruising underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and bypassing California's amazing Pacific coastline.

The Farallon Islands are the perfect spot to see the whales migrating, as they often roam in this area that is densely populated with plankton. It is also not uncommon to see White Sharks as they migrate to the Farallon Islands and feed.

Both tours are taken on the comfortable 65' Catamaran Kitty Kat that features a unique hull design and superior engineering. The Kitty Kat is the most advanced vessel for wildlife expeditions in San Francisco, and features a heated cabin, spacious sun deck, and can sail at high speed! Be sure to pack lunch and beverages, bring a camera and wear warm clothing and sturdy, waterproof shoes for this expedition.


Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

Really enjoyed this tour. I'm a native of San Francisco but had never been to the Farallones, so this was a treat to book a local day trip. We lucked out with fabulous, clear weather, and relatively calm (given the normal roughness of the Pacific) waters. The guide was EXTREMELY informative about the islands, the wildlife, etc. We didn't see any whales that day, however, but it didn't matter, I enjoyed what I saw...although the tour company says that if you don't see whales, they'll let you go on another trip - you have to ask for that! (They're not going to just offer!)

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

This tour was amazing! We knew there was no guarantee that we would see whales however we Saw several whales even young ones. The view was amazing as well would definantly recommend

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Tour code: 5311WHALE


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