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“Too bad, so sad.....” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Western Prince Whale Watching

Western Prince Whale Watching
1 Spring St, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250
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Ranked #2 of 30 Activities in Friday Harbor
Type: Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
Owner description: Just 90 miles north of Seattle, Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington. Owner Operated, Experienced Local Naturalist Guides, Small Groups, Two Great Boats. Choose from the fast and comfortable 46' Western Prince II (limited to 32 passengers or less, with seating for 41) or, for the more adventurous, the Expedition Style 27' Western Explorer (limited to 15 passengers or less).
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
“Too bad, so sad.....”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

My girlfriend and I planned our whale watching / Friday Harbor adventure back in March, 2013. One day in the boat, and one day in the zodiac; hopeful to take in those amazing orcas. No expense spared... Float planes and ferries, my friends first experience for all.

We arrived in FH, OMG, took our breath away. So beautiful. And totally awesome to be met by Popeye, the seal by the fish shack.

Not even off the dock, I received a call from Chris at WP. She told me that weather could be a factor, but to stop by the shop once we were situated. At the moment, it didn't seem like a big deal, as we were still in awe from the surroundings.

We wondered over to the shop, taking in all of Chris's Australian charm and wit. She was awesome from day one with all my reservation questions, through my reservations, down to meeting her face to face.

The next morning, it was drizzling... no big deal. We wondered down to the WP shop, greeted by Chris, who was prepared to break the bad news to us, no boat today.

Sitting at the counter, was a man working on his laptop. "This is Ivan, the captain and owner"...
he was busy posting photos to Facebook, and trying hard to steer clear of us.

Forgive us.... we booked this trip back in March, you've been sitting on my money since that time, we took a week off of work and spent how much, just to come see some orcas.... now the boat is cancelled, which I get, but Ivan, you totally dismissed my friend as she was trying to get some info out of you. Worse, some of the crew? or friends, laughing at us, when some generic questions were asked. Wow, that's professional..!!

On the boat, most of those questions would have been answered, but really, for someone that knows nothing about any of this, you can't take 15 minutes and talk to her and answer some of her questions? I paid for at least that much from you since you got my money 6 months ago. I was pissed, and more so shocked by his behavior. If you don't want to deal with your customers, then don't sit out where you may have to share some of your air. I really appreciated his comment, "I can take you out if you want to just sit in the rain and look at the water", with a sarcastic tone in his voice.

I live in a tourist town myself. You work for the people that use your services, who pay your bills. You have to be civil all the time, and when you don't want to be, remove yourself from the situation.

I will be back to FH, I will look up Chris, I will NOT use WP, and I will share this experience with all my friends that travel. So not cool.

Visited September 2013
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460 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Amazing trip! The tour lasted more than 2 hours, we saw a lot of orcas and other wildlife (bold eagle, sea lions).
The crew is very professional and the naturalist on board is a added value.

Marco from Italy

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great Day in Friday Harbor”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

We had the best time on this outing. The two women guides---naturalists - made a point of talking to everyone on the boat. Even though we didn't see any whales that day we saw quite a bit of wildlife. The Captain took us all the way up to Stuart Islands. Very informative & they were prepared for the chilly & rainy weather! Loved it.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thousand Oaks, California
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Trip of a lifetime!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

This was our first time out to the San Juan Islands. Whale watching was on our bucket list. Thanks to the Western Prince Whale Watching my dream came true! It was an amazing trip with the Orca whales playing all around us! I cant wait to book another trip with them next year.

Visited September 2013
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Olympia, WA
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
86 attraction reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Great Guides”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

We had Captain Pete and Nan as the naturalist-guide. After a safety briefing, we departed Friday Harbor in search of wildlife. Capt. Pete headed for the place where the last sighting of orca whales had been. Not finding any, we moved along until we quickly spotted two pods of transient orcas. Keeping a safe distance we stayed with them for well over an hour. We then moved on to see eagles, herons, sea lions, porpoises, and seals. Capt Pete knew exactly where these animals "hang out". Nan was great with explanations. She also asked for our email addresses and sent us photos that she had taken with her telephoto camera.

This was a great experience, and we would go on the Western Prince again.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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