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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“These People Treat You Like Family!”
Review of Sanctuary Cruises

Sanctuary Cruises
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
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: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“These People Treat You Like Family!”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We wanted a "Last Of Summer Adventure" before our child had to go back to school. So we decided on Whale Watching. I originally chose this company because of their reputation amongst the locals and fact they use environmentally friendly fuel. They treated us like family. When my child and I got ill, they attended our needs. When wildlife was spotted we were told every detail about them. We also got fantastic shots and video - the captain made it very easy to do this. And the best part, our child was invited to sit with the captain - he was glowing with pride! I recommend this tour to everyone. We loved it so much that we're gonna go again.

Visited August 2013
Thank i_1uv_u_vry_much
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

457 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Danville, CA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Whale Watching on Monterey Bay”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We had a wonderful 4-5 hours last week with marine biologist Dorris on her whale watching boat out of Moss Landing. She was very knowledgeable about all the sea life we encountered: many humpback whales, sea lions, huge schools of large jelly fish, and a sole sea otter. You could tell that she loves what she does: one example was her delight in explaining the two sleeping humpback whales floating on the surface, and how she never had seen whales exhibit the behavior of just floating there indefinitely. The boat was comfortably small with only about 25 guests. There were basic snacks aboard which were plenty for us. You had a choice of watching from the bow out in the wind, from the aft deck where it was more sheltered, and in the glass walled cabin completely out of the elements. A nice touch was that electronic motion sickness bracelets were offered for rent for anyone who was worried about getting sea sick. My wife used one and had no hint of sea sickness all day long. We would recommend Sanctuary Cruises without hesitation.

Visited August 2013
Thank JBE20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“The Sanctuary people know the whales and love them too”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

My wife and I love whales. We went out on 6 tours while in the Bay - 4 times with Sanctuary from Moss Landing and 2 times with different operators from Monterey. While Sanctuary may not have the biggest or most comfortable boat in the circuit, their other attributes more than off-set their disadvantage in the hardware.

- As many other reviewers have already said, Captain Mike and wife, Dorris the marine biologist were passionate about whales. They made every efforts that were humanly possible to find the whales for us - in one occasion we sailed for 2.5 hours (1-way) to get the sighting of 3 blue whales. With the other 2 operators, we had to leave in the middle of the action because the operator had to turn back for the next tour. This never happened with Sanctuary - Mike and Dorris made sure that we had the best experience possible - in each and every one of our 4 outings with them. We felt like hitting the jackpot on Jul 4 when we spent 2 solid hours amidst countless numbers of blue and humpback. One blue whale was swimming parallel to our boat, then turnaround to check us out. At the closest point, it was only 5m away and we could see its eyes below the surface. It was an unforgettable experience!! Thanks to Captain Mike!!

- Mike, Dorris and the other crew members, Chase in particular were all very attentive to our needs and tried their best to make us comfortable. We didn't experience similar level of caring with the other operators. It wasn't that the others were bad - but it was business like whereas you felt like being a guest on the Sanctuary boat.

- Dorris has been extremely flexible to accommodate our last minute changes to the booking. Thanks to Dorris, otherwise we would have missed the Jul 4 sighting.

We highly recommend Sanctuary to those who really love whale watching!!

Visited July 2013
Thank chc9533
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fabulous adventure!”
Reviewed August 30, 2013 via mobile

Chose Sanctuary for 3 reasons: the sustainability statement on their website, small groups, and marine biologist on board. Chase and the captain were so knowledgable and friendly. I do not know how the trip could have possibly been more perfect! Glad to have reserved our motion sickness bracelets for our perfect day.....thanks to the whales too ;) We have fantastic pictures! The pelican landing on our boat was super cool to me! Really fun trip.

Visited August 2013
Thank Dianna D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
“Amazing! 100% worth it”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We booked this whale watching trip last minute. The people who run the tours were not just tour guides, they went above and beyond to make this the most amazing boat tour that we had been on. The guys knew the Bay inside and out and they even surprised us at the end by finding some blue whales at the end of the trip. They seemed perfectly happy with extending the tour to five hours to accommodate all the time it took driving out to see the whales! They were clearly extremely passionate about marine wildlife and that made all the difference in the world. It was five hours of whale watching which was amazing but for people with young children, bring a game for them so that you can enjoy the whales. I would recommend this tour to anyone!

Visited August 2013
Thank Ruth D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Sanctuary Cruises also viewed


Been to Sanctuary Cruises? 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