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“Beautiful scenery! Nice boat & crew!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Deception Pass Tours

Deception Pass Tours
5596 SR 20, Deception Pass State Park, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, WA 98221
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Ranked #2 of 17 Attractions in Oak Harbor
Attraction details
Kent, WA
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery! Nice boat & crew!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

We've seen Deception Pass from the bridge a number of times and have hiked around the area, but this was our first time on the boat tour. A Groupon coupon brought the cost down to a price that I couldn't resist. It may be a little confusing as to where to check in exactly, as the web site said that the check-in was south of the bridge, but we found the ice cream cone sign and boat tour sign north of the bridge; it turns out that you could check in at either location, but that could be made a little clearer on the web site. It would be nicer if you could check in down by the dock so you would only have to park once. Parking is easier at the north-side check in booth because you have to fight with all the bridge tourists at the south-side check in booth. The nice-looking waffle cones were irresistable, very tasty and reasonably priced at $4 with two large scoops of ice cream. If you don't already have a WA state parks Discover Pass, you may be surprised to find you have to pay $10 per vehicle when parking down by the dock because that parking lot is apparently within state park land. The boat was very stable, powerful and open with good viewing for all. There were good photo opportunities of the bridge from both sides of the pass and you get an entirely different perspective from the boat than from up on the bridge. The steep, tree-covered cliffs around the bridge and pass are very scenic. The staff were all very friendly and informative. I didn't know about an old prison mining operation up in the cliffs by the bridge, so that was interesting. We also saw several harbor seals, a great blue heron, a flock of rhinoceros auklets, lots of cormorants flying overhead, a bald eagle nest with an adult bald eagle perching nearby, and even a couple on shore in the wedding finery. Nice views of snow-covered Mt. Baker and the Olympics. I'd recommend bringing your binoculars to see the wildlife better. The weather was perfect, but it could be pretty miserable if it is raining and cold, as the seating on the boat is all out in the open with no overhead shelter. Jackets are provided if you didn't bring one. Restrooms are at the check in booth, down by the dock and on board. If you could be the first to answer a maritime/nautical question, you won a free ice cream cone at the check in booth. Free souvenirs are given out if you go back up to the check in booth (probably to get you to buy more ice cream cones). Photos are taken (for a fee). Free red licorice is passed out at the end of the tour and fresh kelp strips are given out for tasting when stopping by a kelp bed. There is a big sign at the front of the boat reminding tourists to tip the crew, so remember to bring some small bills. I'd suggest that the crew set out some crab pots (if in season), pull one up on the tour to show tourists some of our local Dungeness crabs and offer a small taste of cooked Dungeness crab. All in all, it was a very enjoyable boat tour and one I'd recommend, especially if you can get a Groupon deal or similar deal to lower the cost.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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105 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Oak Harbor, Washington
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great views of the bridge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2012

I have lived on Whidbey Island 40 yrs and had never seen the Deception Pass Bridge by water. It was pretty nice to finally view it from the Deception Pass tours boat. Staff was super friendly and knowledgeable. They even provide a piece of red licorice at the end. Great tour to show your visitors from out of town. You'll learn a lot.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Lots of fun, educational, and short (good for a little one)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

Brought my 2 year old daughter. She thoroughly enjoyed the boat ride and getting to see seals and various birds. My wife and I enjoyed her attention span being used up and appreciated the relaxing environment as well as the great tour guide with really fun, educational information.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gearhart, Oregon
Top Contributor
473 reviews 473 reviews
174 attraction reviews
Reviews in 118 cities Reviews in 118 cities
227 helpful votes 227 helpful votes
“Rainy but still a great tour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

Family reunion and 20 of us took an hour tour through Deception Pass. The jet boat was comfortable enough. The view was misty but dramatic. Commentary told us interesting and helped us spot lots of eagles, a momma and baby harbor seal, and a few other birds. Definitely worth the fare and the rain did not inconvenience us too much because an enterprising nephew found us plastic ponchos.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Foggy but Beautiful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

Our Saturday tour started out foggy but eventually cleared up. There were porpoises, seals, birds, and orcas to be seen as well as the San Juan Islands. The skipper was knowledgeable about the wildlife and the area making the trip filled with a plethora of information. I liked the fact the boat could manuever easily and zip about the water to get to the orcas when a new pod was seen by another whale watching boat. Fun few hours.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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