Granite State Whale Watch
Boat Tours • Dolphin & Whale Watching
Read more
About
Rye, New Hampshire
Features animals

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Granite State Whale Watch
Booking unavailable on Tripadvisor
Want other options you can book now?
Show options
Travelers talk about
(21 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
204 reviews
Excellent
180
Very good
20
Average
4
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Kevin K
Dumfries150 contributions
Aug 2022
This trip was an extraordinary experience. We took the morning tour, and the boat leaves promptly at 830 for a 1.5 hour trip out to the ledge where the whales congregate. The seas were rough, and on this particular day you couldn't move around on this boat without holding on at ALL times. Many hurled off the stern, and were strewn about the benches lying down by the end of the trip.

The boat has an upper deck and lower, and a total capacity of around 120 passengers. If it rains, there's a bit of cover but nothing on the upper deck. Dress in layers. Snacks and beverages are allowed, and also for sale on the boat.

The naturalists on our tour were extremely informative, and the captain took considerable time once we arrived at the whale watching area on the ledge to add color commentary to the sightings of 12 humpback whales, a minke whale, and even scarce migratory seabirds observed on the trip. At $46 a head for a five hour boat trip, a great value. Very entertaining and a lot of fun. Shout out our upper deck naturalists, Ana and Jill, who did an excellent job on this trip.
Written August 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cbmcc84
Havertown, PA7 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
8/8/22 AM tour was great! Originally had booked the afternoon tour for the 8th, but decided we wanted to try the morning time instead. Called a few days prior to switch and that was no problem. Definitely make reservations especially if going in July-August.
Check in went smoothly, the boat was clean and the crew was friendly. The naturalist did an awesome job informing passengers where we were going Jeffreys Ledge and what made it such a great spot for whales. She came around and interacted with my young daughters showing us a map, pictures of possible whales we could see and even some baleen and explained to us how the whales ate the fish. Helped fill the time getting to the feeding grounds. We ended up seeing EIGHT humpback whales and the captain made sure that everyone on board knew where to look and turned the boat so that everyone had a good view. We also saw a pod of dolphins and the crew made sure we had a enough time to view them. The naturalist really explained how the whales all have different markings and a bit about the life of each whale. How the whale watching companies help document and track the whales with the Ocean center so that they can learn more about the patterns of each whale. I thought it was the perfect blend of information and just letting us relax and view the whales.

Bathrooms and the common area inside were nice and clean. We will definitely be back if ever vacationing up in NH again.
Written August 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WorcesterMoray
Worcester993 contributions
Oct 2022
A overcast day with a bit of rain.
Not long out of the harbour we came across a large sunfish and the boat was skilfully manourvered so that we got a close up view of this large and strange fish.
We then motored out to the area were whales are apt to be. Our first sighting was a brief glimpse of a finwhale which then vanished. However we then came across a number of humpbacks, 7 of them in one group. They were not feeding but loading about on the surface and slowly moving along. We also saw them slepping the water with flippers but some distance away.
During the trip also saw a number of different seabird species.
Crew were knowledgeable and helpful. Snacks and drinks on on board including some alcoholic. I tried hard Meltzer for the first time and decided I did not like it!
Quite a run out to the area where whales are. Over one and a half hours each way so a long day. Also cold at this time of year so take plenty of layers.
Written October 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sep 2022
Our family took the ferry to the Isles of Shoals. The day was spectacular with sunny skies, low humidity, mild wind, and cool temperatures. Just a perfect day for a boat ride. The Captain was well versed in the history of the various islands along the way, as well as having some interesting anecdotes to share. We docked at Star Island and had a lot of time to explore it. Highly recommend this trip.
Written September 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anne A
4 contributions
Jul 2021
What a fun and exciting experience. We saw many whales and even a shark and the entire trip and viewings were nicely narrated. Great service and friendly crew. Definitely a MUST when in Rye, NH.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DaBigG
Slidell, LA629 contributions
Oct 2021
Did the whale watch Oct 6. One of the best things I’ve ever done on a vacation. Saw 6 whales, 4 of them “logging” and 2 of them were flapping there fins. Comfortable boat. Snack bar and bathrooms. Good value, for what you do.
Written October 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JohnRH45
Calabash, NC84 contributions
Aug 2022 • Friends
Had great time. Folks on boat were great. Good explanations from guide. Saw several whales up close. Even saw baby whale with momma whale. Also saw on ocean sunfish, now that was one ugly fish🤣

Highly recommend this tour.
Written August 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Steph S
Philadelphia, PA6 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
We did our whale watching boat trip early August and had the best time. I’ve only done one boat trip prior in New Jersey and saw nothing so I kept my expectations low but we saw about 7 whales from the Granite State boat! And a lot of dolphins too. Weeks later I’m still thinking about it as it was so magical. Two whales passed by our boat very closely, we had a fantastic view. The boat was pretty full as it was a Saturday afternoon but the boat driver (?!) did turn around so that both sides could see any whale sightings. Loved the information given about whales. We were out for 4 and a half hours I think.
Written September 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

clutchzat@aol.com
Berlin, CT34 contributions
Jul 2022
We took the afternoon trip to Star Island on Wednesday. Arrived a little early and had lunch at the harbor. Nice tour of the islands first before going to Star, then had a wonderful little tour of Star for about 20 minutes, with the remaining 45 minutes or so to look around on our own. Captain Tom conducted the tour and was wonderful!
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

klwils0n
Washington DC, DC51 contributions
Jul 2013 • Friends
This was a really unfortunate trip. We spent six hours total on this trip (from pulling into the parking lot to pulling out), never saw any whales, got seasick, got sunburned, were freezing cold, and felt exhausted and disappointed by the end. I do not think our experience was the usual one. It seems like Granite State Whale Watch is a great company, but based on my experience I would recommend you consider a number of factors before going:

1. Consider how easy it will be for you to return. We were only passing through Portsmouth on a road trip and have no intention to be back in the area any time soon. Although they did give us each a free ticket for whale watching in the future (because no one saw any whales the whole trip), the ticket expires in two years, and it will be really difficult for us to return in the next two years. Basically, we feel like we lost our time and our money ($36 dollars per person).

2. The boat will be really cold and spots in the cabin are limited. On the day we went, the weather forecast had a high of 86 degrees. We still brought sweatshirts, just in case, but froze to death most of the trip because we never got spots in the cabin. I envied the people who thought ahead to bring warm blankets.

3. Even if it's cloudy, you can easily get sunburned. I know this may seem obvious, but the whole trip was very overcast and rainy and we still got painful sunburns. It's our mistake, but one you don't have to make.

4. It's a really long boat ride; you might want to bring some entertainment. Some people brought books, and I also envied them. We were really bored most of the trip, and I think that's common even to people who have better experiences. The ride out to the whale watching area and the ride back are really long rides (it seemed like 1-2 hours each way).

5. Bring cash. Unfortunately during our trip the biggest thrill most people had was buying chips and drinks from the boat's snack stand. We also needed cash for parking when we arrived.

Again, I do think our bad experience had a lot to do with bad luck and even poor planning on our part, but I will say that if seeing whales is as common as they claim, it would be a better policy to just refund people their tickets when there are no whales, or give them the option of a half refund. Free tickets for future whale watching are pretty much worthless if you don't plan to be back in the area.
Written July 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 199

Granite State Whale Watch (Rye) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go