Water activity

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Activity provider: Discovery Whale Watch

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Activity provider: Discovery Whale Watch
Likely to sell out

From US$ 70 per person

Likely to sell out

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

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible — book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details. Learn more
Duration 3 - 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • See whales in their natural habitat
  • Explore Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
  • Admire some of the most incredible animals on earth
Full description

Discover a variety of whale species in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on this cruise from Monterey. Uncover one of the world’s best locations for whale watching due to its deep submarine canyon close to shore. With whales spotted almost every day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Set sail from the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Catch a glimpse of the hundreds of Californian Sea Lions inside the harbor as the boat leaves the dock. Take advantage of the view and snap a photo to capture the memory.

Pass the historic Cannery Row as you leave the harbor and enter the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Search for feeding humpback whales, a variety of dolphin species, porpoises, blue whales, and fin whales.

Listen as the onboard biologist provides fascinating insights into the creatures of the bay and what is being 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.

Spot humpback whales daily but keep an eye out for 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 at the south end of Monterey Bay where gray whales pass by.

Return to your starting point at the end of your tour.

  • 3 or 4-hour whale-watching cruise (depending on the option booked)
  • Biologist guide
  • Hot beverages
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food
  • Tips
Not suitable for
  • Pregnant women
  • People with mobility impairments
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • You must fill out a travel information form

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet your guide at the Fishermans Wharf to begin your tour. If you are driving you can park by the main waterfront parking lot at 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. Once you are 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 activity provider's office is on the right-hand side of the extension. The building is light blue in color and has a sign on the roof that reads Discovery Whale Watch.

Open in Google Maps ⟶
Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen

Not allowed

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and drugs

Know before you go

  • Due to the short distance from the “gray whale super highway,” the trips can be shorter in duration for the winter time
  • 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
  • Please bring your confirmation and ID card with you
  • 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
  • Due to the unforeseen rise in fuel costs, we have had to add a $5/person fuel surcharge to all trips. We thank you for your understanding and value your continued support as we navigate through these difficult times
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 699 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

Sort by:

Traveler type:

Star rating:

We had a wonderful time. The company overall was very professional and the crew were warm and friendly. We were very fortunate that we had a lot of humpback activity as well as sightings of Orca’s hunting while we were out. The boat is perfect for the size of the group and everybody was able to enjoy watching the whales comfortably. I would thoroughly recommend this activity and hope you have as much luck as we did with the sightings.

Read more

October 4, 2022

I had a great experience. There was lots of activity to observe the entire ride, from whales and sea otters to birds and other aquatic life. It was fascinating to watch the whales and other animals in their natural environment, a much different experience than simply seeing them in a zoo or on TV. I had limited expectations going in, but I wasn't let done at all. There was nearly an hour and a half of constant action on the water with the whales, so I couldn't have been happier. It's important to note that you don't want to go in with expectations that you'll see a whale jump your boat or anything you may have seen on TV. Those are once in a lifetime occurrences. The more realistic you are with expectations, the more impressed you will be. You see whales from a distance, but that doesn't make it any less fascinating or awe inspiring. You never know what might happen, and that's the fun of it as well.

Read more

September 29, 2022

It was a great day to be on the water. The Discovery Whale Watching tour was fabulous. It was the best run and organized Whale Watching tour that I have taken. They took care that all of us had good viewing where ever the whales were. I received important information I did not know. Lovely guides and naturalists all seemed to love their job and were delighted to share with us.

Read more

September 24, 2022

Product ID: 246507