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San Juan Safaris

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: WA 98250-7199
Phone Number:
+1 800-450-6858
6:00 am - 10:00 pm
Open now
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Sun - Sat 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

The waters surrounding San Juan Island are the #1 place in North America to...

The waters surrounding San Juan Island are the #1 place in North America to see wild orca whales. San Juan Safaris, located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, is in the perfect location to provide you with the thrill of seeing orcas in their natural habitat.

For over 20 years, San Juan Safaris has been offering the highest quality whale watching tours with a focus on our guests’ experiences and respectful wildlife viewing.

Experience orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, and more from the comfort of our safe, fast, and US Coast Guard approved vessels. With four vessels and multiple daily departure times, there’s sure to be a tour that’s right for you.

Our seasoned Captains will keep you safe while aboard our vessels and position the boat in prime locations for whale and wildlife viewing. All of our tours are staffed by seasoned Captains and passionate Marine Naturalists who will teach you about the wildlife, ecology, and geology of the Salish Sea. We encourage you to ask questions and love to share stories about orcas and the local area.

Choose from two vessel tours:

M/V Sea Lion: The Sea Lion is our flagship vessel, built specifically for whale watching & wildlife viewing. 55 feet, comfortable, stable, great for passengers of all ages and mobility levels. Restroom on board, 360* viewing deck, heated inside cabin. Great for families and groups.

M/V Kestrel: The Kestrel is our new high-speed adventure vessel-- perfect for anyone looking for an exciting excursion! Fast, safe, and comfortable. 360* viewing deck, all-weather exposure suits keep you warm and dry, plus on board marine bathroom. Fun and fast! This tour is great for passengers 8 years and older.

Our brand new Whale Watch Headquarters is located just feet from the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor, and steps from local restaurants and shops. Stop by and say “hello” to learn more about our tours and the best spots on San Juan Island to explore. Visit our retail and gift shop for the latest in northwest guide style. Don’t forget to stop by our new Ridetide Cafe for coffee, sandwiches, desserts, and more!

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Whale Watching from Friday Harbor
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 338 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 311
  • 14
    Very good
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
Always a good time

This is my second November solo trip out to the Islands, and also the second time out with San Juan Safaris. It's very safe to say that these guys are awesome! They really put... read more

Reviewed November 14, 2016
via mobile

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338 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 332: English reviews
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 14, 2016 via mobile

This is my second November solo trip out to the Islands, and also the second time out with San Juan Safaris. It's very safe to say that these guys are awesome! They really put forth an effort to make sure everyone is comfortable and well informed on safety, the boat, and the area; the effort to locate wildlife is also... More 

Thank lvlup31
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 13, 2016 via mobile

Great captain and crew Locally owned Great knowledge of area and all species of whales and sea life Very frailty friendly All about comfort and safety

Thank Nana123Nancy
Stationed in England
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed November 5, 2016 via mobile

We had a great time and were lucky enough to see humpback whales, bald eagles, seals and other wildlife!!!! Even though it was cold, wet, and rainy the staff made this the best experience possible!!! They're so incredibly knowledgeable and definitely strive to ensure you get your money worth!! We would highly recommend them!!!

Thank Jenarosity
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2016

I had the pleasure of going out with these guys a couple of weeks ago, and wow what an afternoon it was! Managed to come across two small groups of Transients, working together to kill a Stellar Sea lion. It was like something off of a David Attenborough documentary! The boat managed to get reasonably close, and we watched them... More 

Thank Lucy T
Duvall, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed October 16, 2016

We made a last minute decision as it was late in the season. Spent the night in Friday Harbor, a real pleasant town! I can't give enough praise to San Juan Safaris for how well they run their all aspects of their business. As soon as we left the harbor they knew exactly where to go to find whales. The... More 

Thank Tom R
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed October 11, 2016

A fantastic trip with an amazing staff. Our guides went out of their way to make sure that we saw whales. Extremely knowledgeable and friendly crew. Highly recommend to anyone traveling to San Juan Island!!

Thank Libby T
1 review
Reviewed October 10, 2016

I visit San Juan Island nearly every summer and have gone on many amazing whale watches with San Juan Safaris--always fun and knowledgeable staff and great whale action! This summer I tried their new high speed boat--the Kestrel--what a blast! They gave us waterproof pants and a jacket to wear and then took us on an exciting wind-in-your-face tour that... More 

Thank Diane Z
1 review
Reviewed October 7, 2016 via mobile

My friend and I went on a trip and loved the captain and our guide. Even though it was a little chilly, they had blankets and a nice indoor heated area for us to warm up in. We saw lots of humpbacks and other wildlife, but unfortunately no Orcas this time. If I'm back in the area, I will be... More 

Thank Mike V
1 review
Reviewed October 3, 2016 via mobile

Had a great time on our whale watch trip. Our naturalist was very knowledgable and our captain did a great job in finding orcas (transients), as well as Steller sea lions and harbor seals! I would highly recommend San Juan Safaris!

Thank 1111Noname1111
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
76 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2016 via mobile

Our guide called our adventure magical, and I can't agree more. There were 2 pods feeding on salmon in the strait where we spent a few hours. Everywhere I looked there were fins and spray. A baby whale called out above water, a sound our guide said she had never heard before. There was a whale who jumped out of... More 

Thank rolsar

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?