We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wonderful experience seeing nature up close”
Review of Island Adventures

Island Adventures
Ranked #1 of 14 Tours in Anacortes
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We pride ourselves as being one of the most experienced and dedicated whale-watching companies in Washington. Because of our very high success rate, Island Adventures was one of the first and only companies to guarantee whale sightings on every tour - but it's our team of highly qualified crew that will make your trip unforgettable! They boast over 100 years of combined experience in the islands, over 4100 days with the whales, and have led excursions for over 80,000 satisfied customers.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Wonderful experience seeing nature up close”
Reviewed July 25, 2013

We had a terrific tour with Island Adventures. My husband, our two boys, 13 and 9, and I drove a rental up from Seattle to Anacortes in hopes of seeing Orca whales and boy did we get lucky! We saw a pod of 9 pass within 10 feet of the boat and we were thrilled. The kids will never forget it.

The price was pretty steep but seeing the whales made it worthwhile. Had we not been so lucky, it would have been super sad and the 5 hours would have been a bit too long for the kids (plus the hour and a half drive each way from Seattle). We did also see sea lions, dolphins, several bald eagles and other birds which was nothing to balk at. The naturalist on board was very knowledgeable. We came away with a much greater understanding of the types of Orcas and their behaviors. She gave a very interesting slide presentation on the way back that we all enjoyed. We also appreciated the printed marine life booklet available free onboard. I was glad to hear the captain of the ship communicates with other tour captains to scour the seas to locate the pods as best possible. I was also pleased that they were careful to stay a respectful distance from the whales.

My husband is very prone to sea sickness but did not get sick in these calm waters (he did wear seabands and take a fraction of medicine in case and got a tiny bit queasy). The ship was stable and the captain always warned us when we were going to go over a choppy part of the ocean. I was pleasantly surprised that the food on board was tasty and fairly reasonably priced considering they had a captive audience.

If you go, for goodness sake, don't be an idiot like me and wear shorts! This San Diego girl assumed that if the weather forecast calls for 75 and sunny skies it will be warm enough for summer wear- definitely not!! I nearly froze even inside on a beautiful July day. Wear pants, long sleeves, a jacket, hat and blanket at least! Also, get there early and stake a claim to the inside booth seating. If you don't you are going to have to perch on the edge of an inside seat when you want to warm up. Its too bad they don't have a 'move your meat, lose your seat policy' so everyone can have a chance at the comfy spots. We felt a bit like second class citizens encroaching on first classer's cabin space. Some families even brought snacks and games on board to stay entertained.

We originally were considering taking a 5 hour kayak Orca sightseeing tour. I'm so glad we did this instead as we had to get way out there to see them and there is no telling where they will be each day. I doubt the kayak tours see Orcas very often.

The only negative we could complain about was that the captain announced at the end that tips are not necessary for the crew but appreciated. It was a very good tour but for crying out loud we already paid nearly $100 each! And we tipped them when we purchased food. Two of the crew members were waiting along the dock walkway as we exited and it was a bit awkward. Especially when one started walking along with me and asking how it was etc. Really an unprofessional end to a super professional tour. All in all, we would do it again without hesitation if we are ever in the area again. Thanks Island Adventures for a truly memorable adventure!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sandra K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnacortesWhales, Owner at Island Adventures, responded to this review, July 28, 2013
Thank you for your review! Our main goal on all of our trips is to show everyone the whales in the area each day and to also educate our guests about the different species encountered. We are so glad that you enjoyed those aspects and the color wildlife viewing guide!

As you mentioned, we don't have assigned seating on the Island Explorer 3, but we do encourage people to move around and spend as much time as possible outside. That way, you can see all of the wildlife the islands have to offer and as a result, we have found that most of our guests do not stay in the same area for the duration of the tour.

We can truly appreciate your constructive comments about your trip. We are always trying to improve our tours and make sure our guests come away from their whale watching trip with their expectations not only met, but exceeded. Tips are absolutely not necessary, but as in any service industry, greatly appreciated by the crew if you thought they did a good job. By no means did we mean to make you feel awkward - at the end of the tour each of our crew members will station themselves along areas of the dock and vessel that can be tricky for passengers to navigate to ensure everyone's safety.

Thank you for making the trip up from Seattle to go whale watching with us! We hope to see you again soon in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

552 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    471
    50
    20
    7
    4
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“AMAZING CREW AND EXPERIENCE!!!”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

We use Island Adventures every time we go Whale Watching. They have the best staff, the nicest captain, and the most knowledgeable naturalists. Brooke has been on our trip each time and she is so warm, you can ask her anything. I wouldn't go out with any other boat, they have been the best by far!
*It's just my husband and I who have gone together but it is very family friendly, kids love it!

Visit my blog post for a more detailed review with pictures and videos: http://outoftheordenary.blogspot.com/2013/07/whale-watching-transient-orca-pods.html

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank SaraVanOrden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnacortesWhales, Owner at Island Adventures, responded to this review, July 27, 2013
Thanks for the review! We are happy that you have enjoyed our trips so much and the blog you wrote is fantastic! It's a wonderful account of your most recent tour. We wish you could stay in the area to join us for more trips, but we know that you will visit when you can! Thank you for sharing your blog and photos.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Whale Watching with Island Adventures”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

I can't say enough about the employees, they are professional, courteous, and very knowledgable about the wildlife in the area. The boat has two decks ample room on the main and upper deck for everyone and is very well maintained, the onboard food is great (clam chowder) my favorite is a must. If you are in the Anacortes area you must stop by and book your trip the price is reasonable and the scenery and whales are spectacular.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Bwohlgemuth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnacortesWhales, Owner at Island Adventures, responded to this review, July 27, 2013
Thank you for your review! You wrote a great summary of the amenities offered on our tours. We absolutely love your pictures and greatly appreciate your recommendation. We hope to see you join us again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shoreline, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Whale Watching with Island Adventures, Anacortes, Wa”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

We had low expectations for actually seeing whales since whales are in the wild and do their own thing. We were hopeful, but also realistic. What we saw was beyond belief. The captain and crew were constantly on the look-out and the captain was on the phone talking to other boats and friends that live in the area. The captain really had the inside track for info and we certainly did benefit from that. We ventured to an area where there were NO other boats and we found a pod of no less that 7 Orcas. If that wasn't good enough we had a drama unfold that would rival Wild Kingdom. There we two seals sunning on a large rock when the whales spotted them. The whales were definitely hungry and all 7 circled the rock in hot pursuit. It was a real drama and those of us cheering for the seals were happy to see the whales finally lose interest and depart from the rock. The whales them came along side the boat and we could not only see them but also hear the blow from them. It was so fantastic that I am still stunned at what we experienced. Thank you crew from Island Adventures.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Bette M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnacortesWhales, Owner at Island Adventures, responded to this review, July 20, 2013
Thank you for the review! We are delighted to have exceeded your expectations! Our captains work together with other whale watch captains in the area so that we can give you the best experience the whales and wildlife have to offer each day. And you picked a great trip to be on! Seeing transient orcas hunt is one of the most interesting behaviors to witness while on our tours and we were lucky enough to have been on scene several times this season with hunting whales. Hopefully we will be able to take you on a trip again in the future!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
50 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Really nice whale watching cruise...saw orcas & minkes!”
Reviewed July 17, 2013

Took the 3:30 p.m. Orca cruise on a Sunday in early July 2013. Had beautiful weather, only a half-filled boat (lots of room on the railings to see the whales!), and a very pleasant and informative captain named Michael. It was a great day and we did see three Orcas from L-pod. Michael kept us as legally close to the whales as possible for almost an hour...it was great! Unfortunately, they were feeding on salmon in the area and did lots of deep dives so we didn't see any spyhopping or breaches or tail flops. It was still a wonderful experience and I would do this tour again in a heartbeat. I really recommend the 3:30 - 9 p.m. cruise when it's offered. It's usually less crowded and the sun doesn't go down until after 9:30, so you see plenty of scenery and a nice sunset on the way back to the port of Anacortes. Reservations, parking, and the entire trip were organized and convenient. Great company!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank ediegretchen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnacortesWhales, Owner at Island Adventures, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Thank you for your review! We also enjoy the afternoon trips quite a bit. The sun sets later in the Pacific Northwest than in other parts of the country (around 9:30 pm) and the sunset in the marina as we return to the harbor is beautiful. The afternoon tours also provide really nice lighting for photography. We are offering a special on all of our 3:30 pm departures this year. Adults receive an automatic $20 savings and kids an automatic $10 savings. We can't recommend the afternoon trips enough!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Island Adventures also viewed

 
Anacortes, Fidalgo Island
Anacortes, Fidalgo Island
 

Been to Island Adventures? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing