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“Unprofessional”
Review of Sanctuary Cruises

Sanctuary Cruises
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Explore Monterey Bay year-round with a marine biologist aboard Santuary, a beautiful boat that is only booked to 80% of her capacity for a more personalized passenger experience. We run longer trips with fewer passengers. We really care about the environment and run 100% local biodiesel. Knowledgeable, warm owner/operators engage and enchant. Responsible captains who don't crowd the animals but ease into the area, which often results in fantastic sightings. We have a great device for avoiding seasickness. Located in Moss Landing at the heart of the Monterey Bay & beginning of the submarine canyon for awesome sightings. We are the boat the locals prefer and the National Marine Sanctuary recommends.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed February 7, 2013

The boat was due to leave at 12:30 - and my husband and I were the only ones there. Eventually a nice lady offered to call Mike and let him know we were waiting. He never apologised for not turning up and then claimed that the waters were too choppy. That is no excuse for not coming! He then spoke to a different company and we were put on their boat leaving an hour later. So much time waisted!

2  Thank Isabela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael S, Owner at Sanctuary Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2013

Marine conditions are unpredictable and when the Captain makes the call not to run the boat, most customers understand and appreciate our caution. Fortunately we could place you on a partner boat within 30 minutes of the original departure time, so you did get to go out. We do ask all customers to provide us phone numbers we can reach them at the morning of the trip in the event we need to cancel. However, you did not provide us a phone number that we could reach you on. We had an associate at the dock (the nice lady you referred to) to inform you we had cancelled the trip. We do our very best to provide great customer service and are perplexed at this review.

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Reviews (547)
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491 - 495 of 548 reviews

Reviewed November 6, 2012

I truly can't imagine a better whale watching cruise than this one. It was well worth the small fee we paid for the time we stayed out and the whales we saw!
Mike and Doris really know what they are doing and they do it well. They are eco friendly in every way possible and extremely knowledgeable about what they do. Doris is a marine biologist and Mike is a great captain who is quite mindful of positioning the boat well for photos. All the crew are very compassionate with those who get queasy on the open waters.
They guarantee you will see whales and we definitely did. We saw two humpbacks feeding, a moon fish, seals, sea lions, squid and an orca. The orca had made a kill, but fortunately we didn't see it happen before our eyes. What we did see was an amazing display by the orca. It literally swam right up to the boat and directly under us which made for some pretty amazing photos.
Doris and Mike really do stay out long past other boats so you definitely get your money's worth. Now, a word of caution for those who aren't on the open seas much. Be sure to follow all the directions on the Sanctuary Cruises website to prevent seasickness. Several of us on this particular trip had to "visit the back of the boat" a few times. I didn't let it slow me down, but there were some who really couldn't shake it. Doris and crew could not have been more compassionate or helpful in taking care of those who were not feeling well.
We booked on a weekday morning so there were only a handful of us on the boat which made viewing the whales quite easy. Other boats we saw were completely loaded with people.
They have snacks and drinks available for purchase on the boat although I wouldn't recommend eating much while out at sea unless you have a very strong stomach.
I HIGHLY recommend Sanctuary Cruises and would encourage anyone considering this cruise to visit their beautiful and detailed web site. You just can't beat this cruise for great whale watching!!

Thank hookedontrvl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael S, Owner at Sanctuary Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2013

Thanks for taking the time to write this detailed review. That was a GREAT day! Orcas are our favorite hands down. We often do have quite small passenger loads on our weekday trips and pride ourselves in our personalized interpretation and customer service. So glad you had a great time!
Dorris

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

We went out on a 5 hour whale watching trip in late October. Within ten minutes we were surrounded by humpback whales lunge feeding, and we sat there for about an hour watching them.
We cruised a little further out, and saw hundreds of Riso dolphins close up, followed by tons and tons of jellyfish right off the boat. A little further on we saw huge groups of squid feeding and they even brought one on board for us to see up close.
Doris, the marine biologist, was extremely helpful and knowledgeable, and all the staff was professional, warm and friendly.
They made sure lots of remedies for seasickness were on hand, and checked in regularly that everyone was happy and comfortable.
Check out their website for more info. This was the best trip we have ever had on the water, and I was on crutches at the time, and they were extremely accommodating!

Thank ChrisandLoriann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael S, Owner at Sanctuary Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2013

Dolphins, humpbacks and even Humboldt squid! That was a great trip, wasn't it? Thanks so much for your kind review and we hope to see you again! Dorris

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Reviewed October 6, 2012

I have done whale watches on the east coast - so this was my first west coast trip. I was happy that this company is ecologically friendly. The company pledges that you get to see whales or you get a another trip for free. They tend to stay out long past when other tours give up. Our trip was successful - we saw seals, dolphins, a huge whale called "Stinky", and after heading way out for long while we found a pod of Orcas that were literally leaping out of the water 10 ft off the side of the boat!!! The captain and crew were wonderful and solicitous. This was definitely worth the price.

The boat is on the smaller side, but they have wonderful advice on website for sea sickness and also offer electronic bracelets to help. Definitely dress in warm layers and wear footwear that you don't mind getting wet. I booked online and it was very easy to find - nice quiet area, with some nice restaurants as well.

My visit was actually in August of 2011, but couldn't choose that option below.

Thank Julie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

We booked with Sanctuary and another company for whale watches two consecutive days during a weekend in Monterey, hoping to see blue whales. Sanctuary offers a few advantages over the other whale watching cruises in the area. First, it leaves from Moss Landing, mid-bay, so you can avoid the crowds at the Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. Second, the group size is smaller so you can actually see the whales when you find them without having 4 layers of people between you and them. Third, they use bio-fuel and are environmentally conscious. Fourth leaving from Moss Landing you see sea lions and sea otters up close, which is harder to do on the vessels departing from Monterey. For a great trip, dress warmly, bring a windbreaker, and take motion sickness medicine. On our trip we had nice humpback and orca sightings, a good group of people, and nice hosts. The website reservations were easy to do in advance and the directions on their website were very detailed so it was easy to find. Parking was cheap and easy also. Overall, an excellent experience and highly recommended.

1  Thank DAEsmae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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