Experience the awe-inspiring migration of gray whales and their calves as they journey northward through the Pacific Ocean from Mexico to Alaska, reaching peak numbers around Seattle during April and May.
After departing from Seattle, you’ll cruise the protected waters of the Puget Sound looking for whales and learning about marine wildlife in its natural habitat. Your onboard naturalist will share informative commentary about the marine environment, in addition to pointing out places of historical and cultural interest. In many cases, the naturalists know and can identify individual whales by their distinctive markings. The magnificent mammals can reach 50 feet (15m) in length and 35 tons (31,751kg) in weight.
At the naturalist’s station on the main deck, you can examine a variety of field guides, nautical and animal identification charts, children’s books, and specimen samples. Watch the naturalist taking water samples with plankton, the tiny creatures that form the foundation of the Puget Sound food chain. The samples will be shown on video screens located around the boat, or grab a closer look through the microscope at the naturalist’s station.
Once you have been whale watching in the Puget Sound for about two hours, you’ll dock at the historic town of Coupeville on Whidbey Island. Spend a couple of hours at your leisure exploring, perhaps having lunch at one of the excellent restaurants (own expense) and trying a famous local favorite, Penn Cove mussels. Stroll about town looking at the varied architecture of the original pioneer homes, including Queen Anne, Saltbox and Block House styles. Be sure to check out the red wharf building, with displays of the skeletons of a gray whale, sea lion and porpoise.
After appreciating the natural beauty of the Puget Sound, you'll return to Seattle to end your tour.