Seeing the whales is an amazing experience, but please stay away informal tours with local fishermen unless you want to be hauled around in a small motor boat at top speed each time a whale comes near the water surface, scaring the whales away and perhaps even putting them in danger of being hurt. We came to Samana to see the whales, but the "official tours" (Kim Bedall) were already fuly booked so we let ourselves be convinced - together with 4 other tourists - to take a tour with local fishermen. The hotel owner told us that they had permits and that the tour was basically the same than the "official" one. None of the rules and regulations set up for whale watching were respected as there were 5 motor boats trying to overtake each other and to come as close as possible to the animals to give "their" tourists a better look. Mid-tour, we all said that we'd had enough and asked the capitain to drop us off at the beach earlier than planned. Once on the beach (Playa Fronton), we could actually sight the whales much more frequently and it was much more pleasant (even if further away) from this perspective with the knowledge that we were not disturbing or harming them. Driving back from Las Galeras to Samana the day after, we also noticed several spots along side the road overlooking the sea that would be perfect for more sustainable whale watching. The hotel Vista Mare which has apartments overlooking the sea could also be perfect for that.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.