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Condor Express Whale Watching

Features Animals
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
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About Condor Express Whale Watching
The Santa Barbara Channel offers some of the finest whale and dolphin watching in the world. Gray whales pass along the beautiful Santa Barbara coastline during their annual migration every winter and spring. Friendly humpback and gigantic blue whales enter our Santa Barbara Channel to feed from May through fall. The channel is home to over 27 species of whales and dolphins, six types of seals and sea lions, and countless seabirds and fish throughout the year. Come aboard - your adventure awaits! The Condor Express is an eco-friendly, 75’, quad-jet catamaran that has an extremely stable and comfortable ride. It carries up to 127 passengers. This state-of-the-art vessel uses water jet propulsion and was specially designed for allowing ocean mammals to visit up close without endangering them with a spinning propeller. Because of its design and speed, we get to the wildlife quickly, sit quietly, and allow whales and other sea life to safely visit with us.
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Hours Today: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
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Condor Express Whale Watching
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Krender wrote a review Jul 2021
Denver, Colorado35 contributions23 helpful votes
The company should honor their reservations. We made a reservation in late May/early June for a whale watch trip. At the beginning of July, we received a note from the captain saying they decided to take a charter so sorry we are canceling your trip. They offered another day (doesn't work for us), or a ride on the charter which is 8 hours and not 4 which is too long for our schedule as we are only in Santa Barbara for a limited time or a floating credit which would be great if we actually lived anywhere near Santa Barbara. On their site if YOU cancel, you cannot get a refund only a floating credit. However, they are able to ruin what was to be one of the highlights of our California vacation for more $$$. Their excuse was there weren't a lot of people for our trip even though it was over a month and a half out before it was to take place. Disgusted by the greed and disappointment.
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Date of experience: June 2021
1 Helpful vote
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Mr_AK_82 wrote a review Jun 2021
San Jose, California168 contributions473 helpful votes
Great experience!! The staff was very nice and the boat was very clean. Pros: 1. Food to buy inside was decent. Much better than I had expected but takes some time to get the food so please keep patience. It is hot prepared for your order especially, it is not frozen or pre-packed food. 2. Knowledgable staff and polite 3. Saw 2 big humpback whales and 1 baby humpback. Saw thousands of dolphins. The captain is experienced and took us to the best location to find whales and dolphins. Cons: 1. 4 hours tour was tooooooo long. The trip to an island was useless. Please select 2 hours tour. Recommendation: Try to sit inside on the lower deck as it gets windy and water from the ocean if you are seated outside or in the upper deck.
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Date of experience: May 2021
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Suzee G wrote a review May 2021
Sb2 contributions2 helpful votes
Unfortunately, I saw five pieces of trash that flew into the ocean on my 2.5 hour whale watching trip. The staff never walked around to pick up trash on deck. Four pieces of trash were on the deck, which then made their way into the ocean with the winds. The trash cans weren’t emptied. A boy put a candy wrapper in the trash can and it flew right out into the ocean. The trash can was too high and it didn’t have a cover. The only time I saw the crew was at the end when they wanted a tip as we disembarked. I was upset about the trash and didn’t tip.
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Date of experience: May 2021
2 Helpful votes
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Lynx123 wrote a review May 2021
San Francisco, California138 contributions72 helpful votes
+1
The Condor Express is a catamaran. That means it is more stable ; good news to people who are afraid of motion sickness. That said, the ride can still be bumpy and if one is prone to motion sickness, one should be prepared. Good news is that if you are not prepared , you can pick up motion sickness pills and wrist bands at their office before you board. I have seen whales both in Antarctica and Alaska but this is still exhilarating. We saw a couple of Humpback Whales , dozens of California Sea Lions, and seals. Also plenty of sea birds. I think this is a very educational outing for kids . Teach them to respect wildlife and see these magnificent animals up close. The Captain did a pretty good job pointing out the various animals and giving some facts as to each species. I wish he also pointed out that boats should turn off the engine and not get too close to the whales etc and definitely should not chase them. That would be part of the education for the kids ( and some adults) on board. All in all, this is a very worthwhile trip and the price is most reasonable.
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Date of experience: May 2021
1 Helpful vote
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Erica M wrote a review Apr 2021
Ester, Alaska5 contributions
The staff were friendly and did everything they could to make sure we got to see whales during the 2.5 hour tour. It was much better than expected, especially after we had done a tour with a different company several days before and didn’t get to see very much.
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Date of experience: April 2021
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