5 star rating: Highly Recommended 22 Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
  • Location: Friday Harbor, Washington
  • Duration:  3.5 - 4 hours

The best orca whale watching is off San Juan Island, near Seattle. The San Juan Islands are considered the "jewels" of the Pacific Northwest, located in the Puget Sound.


  • Seattle whale watching
  • Experience the best killer whale watching area, off San Juan Island, near Seattle
  • Whales have been viewed on over 90% of the tours
  • You will be guaranteed see marine mammals

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Whale Watching from Friday Harbor

Whale Watching from Friday Harbor

San Juan Island is considered the best place to view orca whales because the salmon, which are their prime source of food (about 95% of what they eat), travel up and down the west coast of San Juan Island and outlying areas.

Take this Whale watching tour and see orca whales which has been viewed on over 90% of the tours with the possibility of spotting minke, humpback and gray whales to be higher. What is the best time to see orca whales? Anytime. They are out and about all day. You will be guaranteed see marine mammals and come back with memories to last a lifetime!

Enjoy the beauty of San Juan Island on an exclusive Whale Watch Cruise from Friday Harbor. Sail aboard the fast, new 55 foot MV Sea Lion (with windowed, heated cabin, which seats up to 24 guests). 40 or fewer guest aboard this comfortable boat with walk around deck.

Want a more intimate tour - join the special limited tour, small groups with a maximum capacity of 12 people.

Important Note: Regardless of whether you are bringing your car on the ferry, it is best to be at the Anacortes ferry parking lot 1 hour prior to the ferry departure (not to be confused with the time of your tour departure) In July and August arrive at least 1.5 hours prior to the ferry departure if you bring your car across. A car may not necessary on San Juan Island.

Park your car in the Anacortes ferry parking lot and purchase a passenger ticket. Allow at least 90 minutes driving time from Seattle to Anacortes. Use I-5 north, Exit 230. The diamond lane makes it a breeze to drive up.

Ferry schedule changes seasonally and has specific departure times. Please ask about the latest Washington State Ferry schedule to ensure you arrive with enough time to make your way to the tour departure point.


We recommend you bring the following:
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Snack
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Extra Film
  • Extra batteries
  • Water Bottle (no glass please)
  • Snacks
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Jacket or Windbreaker - comfortable clothing
  • Flat, rubber bottomed shoes are recommended

The crew and other guests would appreciate it if you would leave behind:

  • Cell Phones
  • Smoking Materials

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

The guides were great. We saw lots of Whales and other Sea creatures. Highly Recommend!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

We followed a family of orcas for about an hour! The guides were great! We noticed the other whale watching boats would sit back and follow ours!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Although this was a long drive and ferry ride from where we were staying, it was more than worth it!! The staff was so easy to deal with and sent a very thorough set of information about getting to the island. The sightings were awesome and the entire day was something our family will never forget!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

Tour was all we expected. Saw Orcas and Humpbacks. Everyone was friendly and informative. Thanks for a great adventure!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

Nice boat, knowledgeable and friendly staff. We even lucked out seeing 10 whales circling the boat at one point of time.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2014

We saw a lot of Orcas and our naturalists were very enthusiastic and nice. It was a fabulous trip!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2014

Great experience!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2013

This was my third whale-watching trip--second from Friday Harbor. I take each of my grandchildren when he or she graduates from high school. My granddaughter's friend from Malaysia was with us last week, as was my sister. Unfortunately, this time there were no Orcas around, no fault of the tour conductors, of course. It was still a very special trip--awesome, in my grandaughter's word. An example of the very special service performed by the crew: Jessica's hat flew from her head into the water; immediately, the captain turned the boat, the female biologist, Caitlin (with the help of my sister!), fished the hat from the water, and the trip continued! That hat will remain special to Jessica! I will be back in three years, when my next granddaughter graduates!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2013

The Whale watching was perfect. The weather was beautiful and warm. Ashley and Kaitlyn were so knowledgeable and informative that the time flew by. This is our 3rd tour with Viator and they have all been wonderful and the staff is amazing. I would recommend this trip for all age groups and something everyone should experience at least once in their life.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2013

Our whale excursion with San Juan Safaries, Friday Harbor, WA was wonderul. Except for a slight snafu of Viator double booking us (they remedied it promptly without any problem) the entire experience from booking to end was excellant.

From USD $ 103.97

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: 3053WHALE_F


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