Monterey Bay Whale Watch
Monterey Bay Whale Watch
4.5
7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
About
Monterey Bay Whale Watch is the only whale watch tour that is owned and operated by experienced Marine Biologists! We have been operating for almost 30 years. Nancy Black is the owner of MBWW and has been studying Monterey Bay's marine life for more than 30 years. We have experienced Marine Biologists on every tour who specialize in the marine life we see, natural history of the area, and are passionate about conservation and education. We are also dog friendly! We are located at 84 Fisherman's Wharf #1.
Monterey, California
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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(50 reviews)
(97 reviews)
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,606 reviews
Excellent
1,303
Very good
192
Average
58
Poor
32
Terrible
21

RRK0505
San Jose, CA77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
I went on the 9:00am 4 hour whale watch trip with Nancy Black. It was amazing! We saw many humpback whales at a fairly close distance. We also saw different kinds of dolphins and many of them, including Northern Right Whale dolphins that have no dorsal fin and are black. We saw many sea lions feeding way out in the ocean. And some sea otters as we left and returned from the trip. We were out 5 hours. There were about 20 people on the Point Sur Clipper, which was very comfortable and did not raise any COVID-19 concerns about social distancing. Everyone wore a mask. The bathroom was cleaned each time someone used it. There were a lot of swells, the ride was sometimes like a disney ride and some people got seasick. Don't ignore the company's advice to take sea sickness medication before the trip. It's also pretty cold out there, even on a warm day, so wear/bring a warm jacket. The only issue I had was when we returned to shore at 2:00pm - the wharf area was super crowded. Very hard to avoid close contact with people. Lots of people out waiting to go whale watching, shopping and eating outside in the restaurants and waiting in line for the public restroom. I recommend they figure out how to limit the number of people in the wharf area.
Written August 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi! Thank you so much for the amazing review! We are so happy to hear you had such a fantastic time and we hope to see you again in the future!
Written August 5, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lhoop17
Tallahassee, FL7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
I have been on many whale watches before and this was definitely one of the best! The crew (Captain Liz, Colleen, and Dane) were all fantastic, friendly, and super knowledgeable. Captain Liz did a great job not crowding the whales and allowed us to get great views without harassing the animals. Colleen and Dane shared great info about the whales and made the whole trip more fun. We were able to see over 20 humpback whales, dall’s porpoises, and a small mola mola, not to mention a ton of sea lions feeding among the whales. The boat was nice and not crowded, and the company did a great job making sure everyone followed proper safety protocol for covid-19. I would definitely recommend!
Written July 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks so much for the fantastic review! We can't wait to have you on board again!
Written July 25, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rakkasan68
Petersburg, AK168 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
We chose the 8-hour cruise in late April. The vessel (Sea Wolf II) is sound and roomy, with limited seating inside the cabin and good benches out in the sun and the breeze. We saw the harbor sea lions right away. The skipper found a pod of about ten orcas quite quickly and followed them, at a safe distance, for six hours. We were able to observe orcas of several sizes doing what they do. We were able to take many decent photos of the whales. Great cruise !
Written April 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello, thank you so much for the review! We are so happy to hear you had such a great time and we hope to see you again!
Written May 4, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Grace Carr L
SF Bay Area363 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
We chose this company because they have fantastic naturalists (and had seen Nancy Black on a documentary). The trip was well organized and COVID precautions were observed. I recommend you pay a few extra dollars to sit on the top deck, if the larger boat is available - you can an excellent view from up top. We saw tons of dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, and 15 humpback whales! We'll definitely be going back in the spring for orca season. Highly recommended!
Written September 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello, thank you so much for your great review! We are so happy to hear you had such an excellent trip and we hope to see you again soon!
Written September 8, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Traveler5225700
Chicago, IL47 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
I really hate to write a negative review but this was not an enjoyable tour [9 AM morning tour]. I gave it two stars only because we did not get sick. People were puking everywhere around us, which makes for a very unpleasant experience. You could not sit down anywhere without seeing someone vomit. It took over 1.5 hours to see one whale dive down not to resurface and another hour to see another one [and we could only stay with it for less than 5 minutes because we had to get back]. My parents were good sports and I realize you can’t control Mother Nature, but They should have offered to refund peoples money. the guide was saying things like “National Geographic shot!” To seeing a few dolphins in the water and “folks, were going to get you back early so you can get a head start to your day!” When we headed to shore, he exclaimed “this was a great trip by anyone’s measure!” and that was clearly not the case and quite the stretch. As someone whose been on several whale watching tours in the area and had excellent sightings, It would have helped to be honest. Our best pic of the trip was of a dog onboard.

They also had some sort of boat issue and frantically sent the crew Inside the hull without ever explaining the situation. All in all, It felt more like an ocean cruise in choppy waters than any kind of wildlife tour.
Written August 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello. Thank you very much for your review. Unfortunately, we cannot control the weather or the amount of people getting seasick. We warn everyone in the email confirmation, in our shop, and in our safety speech, as well as several times throughout the trip about how to deal and prepare for seasickness. We also cannot control mother nature (as you stated in your review). We have spoken with the naturalist that was on board during your trip about professionalism and overselling the trip and how it is nice to just be honest with everyone. Thank you for the comments. That naturalist will alter his comments in the future and be more honest with our passengers. However, we did look at our data sheet and see that you saw humpback whales along with two different species of dolphin, which is a good trip in terms of wildlife. If you have any other comments, please do not hesitate to contact us at mbww@gowhales.com. Thank you.
Written August 18, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Agnes Z
Singapore, Singapore25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
We booked the 3-hour trip starting at 9am. We had the chance to see sea lions, dolphins and whales. The boat got us close to them and we were able to watch them for a long moment, it was truly magic. We even was some whales jumping! We had great comments from Kyle, who explained very interesting things about whales and dolphins. I highly recommend this experience, especially with kids. Make sure you bring warm clothes and restrooms are available on the boat.
Written July 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for the great review!
Written August 5, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

litmanen16
Dublin Ireland128 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Well worth the bucks! Maybe a little long for us but thats not really a complaint. Staff were excellent and one guy on the boat took time to record a video for a 'whale mad' nephew of ours at home. would recommend
Written March 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello, thank you so much for the review! We are happy to hear you enjoyed the trip and we hope to see you again!
Written April 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nick W
London, UK162 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Pre-booked online in the UK, as MBWW had a very flexible rebooking policy if we had to postpone due to Covid etc.

In the end, all good & we were able to make our booked 9.00am trip in June 2022. Arrived at the jetty, paid, & had a short wait before boarding (we had premium upper deck tickets).

On the way out into the bay, saw lots of sea lions, & pods of dolphins around the boat. We soon found a number of humpback whales, which was amazing to see. After a while we moved on, but the fog appeared so it was a while before we saw any more whales. When we did, it was great seeing a breach, & also a lunge feed!

The return to dock also saw more humpbacks, dolphins, porpoises, & sea birds. In total, we'd seen 36 humpbacks, over 100 dolphins, some harbour porpoises, & untold sea lions.

We really enjoyed our trip, which lasted just under 4 hours (by way of comparison, another company's trip left about 5 minutes before us, but the same boat was already on it's next outbound trip when we were docking back in the harbour).

Of course, the nature of whale watching is that you never know what you may see (or when), but overall we had a great time & I'd happily recommend MBWW.
Written June 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for this great review! We are so happy you were able to make it!
Written June 12, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Neil B
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
The Thursday morning 12/1/2022 boat was cancelled due to weather but we were easily able to reschedule the trip to Friday morning 12/3/2022. The boat crew was friendly and helpful and the naturalist was very friendly and informative. We saw about 10 humpback whales on Friday morning and a couple of large pods of Risso's dolphins as well as several bobs of sea lions that were dolphin diving (jumping out of the water like dolphins do). And we got a really special treat when one of the young humpback whales did a tail splash on one of its dives. It was a great trip.
Written December 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Neil, thank you so much for the great review! We really appreciate it and are so happy that you were able to have an incredible trip!
Written December 6, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Davetheaddick
Sidcup, UK1,417 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
We have been fortunate to have used Monterey Bay Whale Watch a number of times and it has never disappointed. If you are thinking about whale watching then book it. On this trip we spent about 45 minutes with a very splashy humpback whale who gave us a show of their behaviour - full breaches, pectoral fin and tail slapping.
After this the captain found a school of about 300 risso dolphins including casper, plus a few abtrosses, porpoise, sea otters and sea lions.

The boat also had marine biologist to explain what we were seeing and to answer questions about.
Written March 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello, thank you so much for your great review! We can't wait to see you again!
Written March 24, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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