1. United States
  2. California
  3. Monterey
  4. Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Product ID: 246507
Monterey Bay is the premier destination for whale watching all year! There are whales seen every day here in Monterey. Trips are narrated by a marine biologist or naturalist who provides educational and interesting information about the wildlife.
About this activity
Duration: 3 - 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants and date:



  • See whales in their natural habitat
  • Explore Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
  • Admire some of the most incredible animals on earth
Full description
The tour departs from Monterey Old Fisherman’s Wharf, where the boat sets sail into the harbor, home to breathtaking sea views. As the tour leaves the dock, catch a glimpse of the hundreds of Californian Sea Lions inside the harbor. Take advantage of the view and snap a photo to capture the memory.

Upon leaving the harbor, the boat passes the historic Cannery Row and then enters the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Monterey is one of the world’s best locations for whale watching due to the deep submarine canyon close to shore. This is where the search for the wonders of the bay’s marine life begins. With whales spotted almost every day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Keep your eyes peeled as you scan the water for the abundance of marine life that lives here. Search for feeding humpback whales, a variety of dolphin species, porpoises, blue whales, fin whales and more. As you sail, listen to the onboard biologist provide fascinating insight into the creatures of the bay, and what is done to protect them.

During the summer/ fall season, the tour will focus on feeding whales that come to the bay to feast on small fish and krill. You can expect to see humpback whales daily but, you may also see blue whales, fin whales, gray whales (finishing migration), orcas and a variety of other dolphin species. During the winter season, the tour will focus on migrating whales. One of largest movements of mammals on earth happens just off the coast of Pacific Grove, CA – the south end of Monterey Bay. Gray whales pass by the coast, about a 30-minute ride from Monterey Harbor. Due to the short distance from the “gray whale super highway”, the trips can be shorter in duration for the winter time.
  • 3 or 4 hour whale watching cruise (depending on option booked)
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are provided in the office at check in and on the boat
What’s Not Included
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food
  • Gratuities
Not suitable for
  • Pregnant women
  • People with mobility impairments

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Please park in the main water front parking lot at the address: 245 Washington Street, Monterey CA 93940. This is a gated parking lot, to enter you must take the ticket at the gate and drive in. Park as close as you can to rows A through D. Once parked, walk down the tourist wharf past all the shops and restaurants. When you reach the Crab House restaurant and Glass Bottom Boat ticket booth you will turn right on the extended pier. The office is on the right hand side of the extension. Our building is light blue in color and has a sign on the roof that reads "Discovery Whale Watch".

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Important information
What to bring
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
Not allowed
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and drugs
Know before you go
• Summer and fall morning tours last 3.5-4 hours, while the winter morning tours and the afternoon tours year-round last 2.5-3 hours
• This tour is not recommended for people with limited mobility
• Pregnant women are not allowed on this tour
• Motion sickness remedies are available for purchase at the office before the tour, but you are welcome to bring your own
• Bringing a small packed lunch and non-alcoholic beverages is allowed
• There are restroom facilities on the vessel
• Friendly dogs are permitted on board
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 101 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4.8 / 5
  • Organization
    4.9 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.5 / 5
  • Safety
    4.8 / 5
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The whale watching tour was amazing! We got to see a lot and the guides were very informative about the general sea life. Unfortunately, some people didn’t listen about taking some motion sickness tablets before the trip and it was rough.. the say least. So warning the everyone, just take the tablets and enjoy your whale watching adventure from the seat, not over the rail.

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January 16, 2020

It was a small boat for about 50 people, but we were only 15, so you had a lot of space and could see everything. On board there was free coffee, tea and cocoa with which Peet provided us well. It was so great we saw several whales and rounded dolphins. It was definitely worth it

November 2, 2019

Recommended, but a matter of luck.

Very interesting and something special for the first time. Unfortunately, you also have to be very lucky, since it is not a zoo but the great outdoors. But that is also mentioned and that is why one should not raise expectations so much. We saw (unfortunately only) a whale. But you are always surprised. On the way back we saw about a dozen dolphins. Would definitely do it again next time. You never know.

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October 14, 2019

Organized by

Discovery Whale Watch

Product ID: 246507