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Spirit of Orca Whale and Wildlife Tours

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Spring Street Landing, Port of Friday Harbor, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250 (Formerly Captain Carli's Whale Watch)
Phone Number: +1 360-378-0302
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10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

An Intimate Small Boat Experience With A Six Passenger Max Limit for a very...

An Intimate Small Boat Experience With A Six Passenger Max Limit for a very personal experience.

Whale Watching is our passion! Your goal is to see whales and our goal is to show them to you.

Captain Ken has been a professional mariner for 36 years serving as captain mainly on ocean tugs on the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. He has worked small cruise ships in SE Alaska and Inside Passage and Excursion vessels on the Columbia and Snake Rivers from Astoria, OR to Lewiston, ID.


Ken has had opportunity to see whale behavior as well as many other marine life on the Pacific Ocean from Alaska all the way down to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico and on the Atlantic Ocean. He has seen Humpback Whales “bubble net feeding” in Alaska and scratched the heads of curious Gray Whale calves in Mexico


One of Ken’s greatest passions is to share his experience with others and now he is able to do just that by taking you out to meet the whales in their natural environment. He is a certified Naturalist through the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor and loves to share what he has learned with you on the tour.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 195 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 178
  • 12
    Very good
  • 0
  • 2
  • 3
The Beauty of Orcas Island, WA

This was the first time I visited my two grandchildren's home on Orcas Island,WA. I traveled from my home in Lelend,NC. After arriving in Seattle Airport, I boarded a 10... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed October 30, 2015
Helen N
Leland, North Carolina
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195 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Traveler type
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Leland, North Carolina
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2015

This was the first time I visited my two grandchildren's home on Orcas Island,WA. I traveled from my home in Lelend,NC. After arriving in Seattle Airport, I boarded a 10 passenger plane that took me to Eastsound which is a part of Orcas Island.( On eof the San Juan Islands) The sights from the small plane over the land and... More 

Thank Helen N
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2015

Tour is approximately 3 hours. Depart Friday Harbor and head for sea lions and whales. We were fortunate to see both on the tour we did. FYI, this is a smaller boat with limited amenities. It was quick and able to get to see some good sights. The captains of the boats from competing companies work together on sightings to... More 

Thank Colton_Gartin
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2015

What a great morning we had on the water with Captain Ken! Saw many whales, sea lions, seals and eagles. I love, love, love the small boat experience. We were the first boat on the scene when a pod was spotted. Eventually some really big boats arrived and it didn't look nearly as much fun. Also glad we weren't on... More 

Thank wondergirlseattle
Seattle, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2015

Spent the morning tour with Capt Ken, 2 minkes, 3 humpbacks, a fin whale and loads of stellar sea lions. The orcas were quite a distance away, but he gave us quite the thrill ride to be able to see them too! It didn't stop there...we were whale greedy and did not want to day to end, so we spoke... More 

Thank Steph P
Seattle, Washington
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2015

Unfortunately the Orcas were out of range the day that we went and that is not the fault of Ken and Lisa at Spirit of Orca. We still had a great time and managed to see humpback whales, sea lions, harbor seals and bald eagles. Ken was a great host. He is clearly knowledgeable about the wildlife and did well... More 

Thank Justin W
Saint Helens, Oregon
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2015

This trip was perfect! Captain Ken was both careful with the whales while getting us as close as possible!!! As a Sea Shepherd I appreciate his clear love and respect for these majestic ceatations!! The boat was a perfect size for a very quite and personalized trip. Caption Ken was generous with his time and information. Next time I will... More 

1 Thank Michelle S
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2015

Captain Ken was fantastic, definitely knowledgeable and has a deep respect and love for whales and the beauty of nature that is the San Juan islands. The boat is much smaller than other whale watching vessels giving a more private and personal experience. The highlight of the trip was a beautiful humpback breaching TWICE very close to our boat. Absolutely... More 

Thank Ashley R
Warner Robins, Georgia, USA
Level Contributor
120 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2015 via mobile

Three of us went on a private tour with Capt. Ken on Saturday September 12th. It was onehighlights on my trip to Seattle. We saw a humpback come up about 4 different times, seals, 6-8 (or more) orcas, and stellar sea lions. Ken respects the whales and it keeps his distance. You can still view them and I managed to... More 

1 Thank luv2travel6482
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2015

This was the best experience during our trip to San Juan Islands and Seattle! My family of 6 filled the boat and we didn't need to worry about anyone else getting in the way of my kids (6 & 8) or great grandmother (92) seeing the Orcas and there were plenty to see! While you always want to be closer,... More 

Thank CIJ73
Duvall, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2015

I booked this whale watching cruise after my other reservations fell through. I was intrigued by the capacity of Captain Ken's ship. My family and I took 5 of the 6 seats available, and it was a wonderful afternoon! While the local orca pods were out of the area, we did see some transitory orcas hunting seals. We got to... More 

Thank Tina L

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?