Insider's Guide to San Francisco

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

Get the
Inside Scoop

Privacy Policy

4 star rating: Recommended 153 Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
  • Location:San Francisco, California
  • Duration:Varies

Whale Watching & Wildlife Eco Tour from San Francisco

Board an eco-friendly catamaran for a whale-watching excursion off the coast of San Francisco. On this tour, join your knowledgable captain and crew to seek out these marine mammals as they migrate through California's coastal waters. From June to November, look for migrating humpback and blue whales; and keep an eye out for killer, gray and sperm whales from December to May. Enjoy spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the city skyline and the Farallon Islands along the way. Opt for a 5-hour (weekdays) or 6-hour tour (weekends only.)


  • 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

Meet your eco-friendly catamaran and marine biologist guide at Pier 39 to set out on your 5- or 6-hour whale-watching adventure. Board the 65-foot Kitty Kat, the most advanced vessel for wildlife expeditions in San Francisco. Bring a lunch and wear sturdy shoes and plenty of layers. Find a spot on the spacious sun deck or in the heated cabin and settle in to begin your search for blows and tail slaps. Choose from two tour options:

Whale Watching Wildlife Tour (5 hours)

Sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and get out your camera to snap photos of Stinson Beach, Muir Beach, Bolinas and the Point Reyes National Seashore. Watch for sea birds, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises and whales. 

Farallon Islands Natural History Tour (6 hours)

Get comfortable on the Kitty Kat for the 27-mile (43-hm) sail to the Farallon Islands. After passing under the Golden Gate Bridge and admiring the scenery of the California coastline, get to work searching for whales. The Gulf of the Farallones is densely populated with plankton, and is a feeding and migrating area for many whale species as well as Great White Sharks.

After your 5- or 6-hour whale watching adventure is over, disembark at Pier 39. 

Guaranteed whale sightings or your next trip is free.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

We're able to see numerous whales ... Various types

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This tour was amazing. The booking was easy. The meeting location was easily found. Our marine specialist, Heather, was outstanding in her patience, her knowledge, her enthusiasm and her genuine love for preserving the marine world. The captain and crew were so kind and fun! We saw at least 5 whales and a blow bow LOL. The birds were also fun to watch and beautfiful. Thanks for a quality tour!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

An excellent trip which includes great views of Alcatraz and The Golden Gate Bridge. Our first sighting was a sea lion ripping into a leopard shark it had just killed! Saw Minke Whales and numerous Humpbacks, had several opportunities to photograph the tail shot.
Thank you to Jason, Gerrard and EJ.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Unable to actually go on this as wife became unwell in days before trip and not well enough to go on the day. However when confirming trip after initially arriving in San Francisco telephone contact friendly and professional in manner. Would definitely look at booking this trip again if returning to area.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

WONDERFUL !! The crew is so much fun and made the ocean come alive for our grandson ... answering questions and sharing experiences... The whales are to be commended too .... imagine - wiping off whale spray .. one blew right beside the boat! Never to be forgotten!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

brilliant tour the crew and guides where top class anyone who wants a great day book this tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015


5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

It was a great trip. Jared, Ray and Jason were all fantastic. We only saw a bit of a whale, but saw a bunch of other sea animals and birds. It was totally worth it and I'd do it again anytime!

United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Excellent trip, saw 7 Humpback whales, took good 3 hours of searching before we saw a whale. But, well worth it. Crew were extremely friendly and informative, couldn't have asked for more. The area we went to was to shallow for Blue whales, but if looking for Humpbacks, couldn't wish for better.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

The crew and naturalist were excellent. The whales and other wildlife were much more than cooperative. An amazingly safe, fun, and informative trip. One to be remembered.

From USD $ 79.00

View price calendar

Low Price Guarantee

Select Travel Date

Flexible Date Guarantee

Enter Total Number of Travelers

What's this, and can I change it?

Please note: After your purchase is confirmed we will email you a link to your voucher.
What's this?

Tour code: 5311WHALE


Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message