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“Too much talking not enough spotting”
Review of 7 Seas Whale Watch

7 Seas Whale Watch
Ranked #1 of 28 Tours in Gloucester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Trip Advisor's #1 of 26 Tours in Gloucester, 7 Seas Whale Watch has had the privilege of introducing thousands of passengers to the many species of whales and marine wildlife that inhabit the waters from Cape Ann and out to the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary. Our trips run from mid-April to mid-October and are designed to educate, inspire and provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of our fragile marine environment. We are a family business – Three generations of career captains have worked from this very dock for more than 7 decades. We have a love and respect for the marine environment and a passion for providing the best possible customer experience for you and your family. We look forward to seeing you on the water.
Useful Information: Stroller parking, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Level Contributor
43 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Too much talking not enough spotting”
Reviewed October 1, 2012

This is my fifth WW and my first with 7Seas. The guide spent way too much time glamorizing the prospect of sightings all the while missing the actual sightings. Seemed like they were economizing on staff and fuel. I saw multiple whale sightings in the distance which the guide never saw and the captain was very slow to the chase or not at all. Every good trip has always had a spotter in addition to the Captain and Guide. On this day we saw one whale guided from ship's crew. Crew let unruly kids run up and down ship even after we complained. Ship is steel and wouldn't you know a child fell and cut themselves. Poor seamanship! Top it off we got a parking ticket after being told what lot to park in by staff. Next day we went with Cap'n Bills and saw seven different whales up close and personal. My bet is to go with Cap'n Bill he is proven and very devoted to Whale conservation and their well-being.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Drzagat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
7seaswhalewatch, Manager at 7 Seas Whale Watch, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Dear Drzagat,

Thank you for writing a review. After reading your review (and seeing that your visit with us was in September 2012) I went back to check our log book and I believe you came out with us on 9/23/2012. On this day we have in our log book that we did, in fact, see 1 Humpback Whale and that there were also 4 Finback Whales in the area.

A couple of things to consider:

1) The reason the Captain may not have "chased" the whales you saw at a distance is that they were Finbacks and, as you probably know since you are an experienced whale watcher, Humpback Whales are usually much more cooperative in terms of allowing close approaches by boats, spending less time beneath the surface, and Humpback have a tendency to exhibit surface active behaviors much more frequently than other whales species. This is why they have become a favorite among whale watchers not just here in New England but all over the world.

Now to be fair I do think Finbacks are impressive animals. They are, after all, the second largest animal on Earth, but they can be elusive and since there was a Humpback Whale in the area the best bet to ensure our passengers got plenty of good looks was probably to stick with that whale and that species.

2) Concerning the number of whales sighted. As any experienced whale watcher knows, whale watching is a nature trip! These animals are not in cages or pens, they are not trained to perform on command. They are wild animals that are free to roam the oceans at will. Each trip is different and each trip is unique. That is part of keeps whale watching fresh, exciting, and interesting no matter how many times you have been out.

The number of whale seen from one day to the next does vary but is not a function of the boat you are on. According to our ship's log, on September 23, 2012 we saw one Humpback Whale. The following day we saw 6 Humpback Whales. This is how a nature trip works.

3) Concerning the behavior of child passengers on board: We make every effort to ensure the safety of our passengers. While we do speak with kids who are seen running on deck (which is obviously unsafe on an aluminum... not steel... boat) ultimately kids will get excited, especially when we first find whales.

4) Concerning the parking ticket situation: The City of Gloucester implemented a new parking system during the course of the Summer and it did cause confusion at times. If you received a parking ticket we'd be happy to compensate you for it.

Thank again for writing and for giving us 3 stars. I find it interesting how so many TripAdvisor reviews are either 5 or 1 stars. I appreciate someone who can see the middle ground!


7 Seas Whale Watch
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714 reviews from our community

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English first
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“An Afternoon Delight”
Reviewed September 23, 2012

This is my second year of whale watching with 7 Seas Whale Watch and I have not been disappointed. We enjoyed the Friday afternoon trip in September so much that we decided to stay and go again on Saturday. We were lucky enough to see a Fin whale and several Humpbacks showing off their tails. I can not say enough about the crew and their plethora of knowledge. It was hard to believe that one crew member referred to himself as an ornithologist because of his extensive knowledge about the whales. It does get cold on the water and we were told to dress warm for the trip.The entire crew make you aware of everything you need to know to make this an unforgettable trip. We spent the entire time out on the deck and did not see anyone smoking on board. They do offer light snacks and hot beverages, which were needed on the trip back to land. What a sheer delight to watch these magnificent mammals glide through the water!

Visited September 2012
Thank ktwent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
7seaswhalewatch, Manager at 7 Seas Whale Watch, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
When I saw the title of this review I got a little nervous! But I agree, this trip was, indeed, delightful.

Thanks for complimenting our crew. I'm the crew member that referred to himself as an ornithologist by-the-way. I went to school for wildlife and fisheries biology and my concentration was in ornithology. I've been working for 7 Seas for (gulp) 22 years now and so I've learned a thing-or-two about the whales in that time.

While whales are always the main focus of our trips, I've found that our passengers really appreciate it when the naturalist includes information on the myriad of other fascinating wildlife species we see. From birds, to sharks, seals, Bluefin Tuna, even the occasional Sea Turtle, there are A LOT of great things to see besides the whales and including them makes for a better experience for sure.

Thank you for writing and I'm glad you enjoyed your time on the water!
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Norton Shores, Michigan
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great tour and the "Smoking Option" was a PLUS!”
Reviewed September 22, 2012

We thought the tour was not only informational, with the marine biologist and naturalist on board, but also very relaxing and accommodating to all of the passengers. To address the previous posting, on our tour, the smokers all congregated to the smoking section in the back of the boat and stayed there. To my knowledge no one was smoking on the upper deck or anywhere else. Our tour also boarded at 1:00 and didn't get back until 6:00, so we thought it was very nice to be able to smoke while 12 miles from land options ... after all, we were outside on a moving vessel, not in a restaurant, hotel, or school. I would rate this trip based on the amazing scenery, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and the fact that we saw 6 whales (including a mother and her calf) and two who were "slapping the water" with their fins rather than he occasionally whiff of smoke that drifted into the cabin from time to time. Lighten up and learn to share the space with everyone to enjoy the experience. This one was top-notch.

Visited September 2012
Thank Dana Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
7seaswhalewatch, Manager at 7 Seas Whale Watch, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Dana Z,

Thank you for writing about your whale watch with us and I am very happy to hear you had such a great time. I remember this trip and it really was a good one!

I also want to thank you for noticing that the smoking issue is something we have gotten some negative feedback on recently and coming to our defense. As you mentioned in your review we ask that any passengers who wish to smoke while out on the water do so in the back of the boat, away from other passenger areas, and that they dispose of the cigarette's filter is an environmentally responsible way (in other words, not to throw it overboard). If someone is seen smoking elsewhere on the boat, we politely ask them to go to the stern or to extinguish the cigarette. To my knowledge, this is the same policy that every other whale watch boat has as well.

We do our best to meet the needs of all of our passengers and I believe that most of the time we succeed in doing just that. Thank you for your healthy perspective and for having such a positive attitude!

While I'm writing this review, I would also like to extend a sincere thank you to EVERYONE who took the time to write about their experience with us this year. The VAST majority of you wrote fantastic reviews that I think they capture the excitement of being on the water and seeing wild and endangered animals better than anything. We are thrilled that you had such a great time with us, we hope you made memories of good times spent with friends and family that will last a life time, and it truly was our pleasure to have all of you onboard.

Have a fantastic winter and we hope to see you again next year!


All of us at 7 Seas Whale Watch
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Smoking on the boat??? expensive, long & lousy sound system”
Reviewed September 20, 2012

As soon as the smoke drifted into the cabin of the boat, I knew what rating I would give this whale watch. It astounds me that Massachusetts bars cannot allow smoking but a whale watch boat can. At least with a bar, I can move far enough away that I don't have to deal with the smoke or I can choose to exit the establishment. Unfortunately, there aren't too many places you can go on a boat and you definitely cannot exit when you are 12 miles off the coast. They can say whatever they want about how smoking is 'limited' to an area. Tell that to the smoke that chooses to drift wherever the wind takes it. A gentleman also was smoking right next to my wife and kids on the upper deck.

The interior of the cabin was a lot more cramped than I thought it would be. Some of the passengers had their bags laying around and became extremely uptight if you happened to lose your balance on a swaying boat inadvertently stepping on them. Perhaps they shouldn't leave their bags laying around on the deck of a boat.

I thought the trip was 1-2 hours too long as well. Boarded at 1pm and didn't get back until close to 6pm. I would have preferred to have paid less and have the trip be a little shorter. I also looked forward to hearing the 'marine biologist' talk about the Gloucester area on the way out and the whales, but the sound system in the cabin didn't work as we couldn't hear anything. The information provided during the time we could hear also didn't meet my expectations for any useful insight either. I don't mind paying a premium for a premium product, but paying a premium for an average one is not worth it to me.

I was truly hoping this whale watch would match the accolades listed, but it was really only average as compared to other whale watches I have been on. Smoking on the boat drops it to a one especially as I feel sorry for the infant on board who had smoke drifting over to them. Sometimes when I read reviews like this in light of a bunch of positive ones, I question if the person has an ulterior motive. Yes, my ulterior motive is I don't want to be exposed to smoking when I have zero options to exit a place that allows it.

Visited September 2012
5 Thank whit_iii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chatham, ny
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellent Experience”
Reviewed September 13, 2012

The thing that stood out most from the many whale watches I’ve been on was the knowledge and experience of the narrator and delivered in a manner that was never overdone. Great job!

Obviously the quality of the experience depends a lot on the weather and the sightings but 7 Seas things that added value to our experience . . . the boat is clean and comfortable and fast enough to get you to the sighting area to max the watching time. , there is GPS screen showing the location of the boat; there is a senior citizen discount; the 150 max rule didn’t matter on our midweek September trip but I appreciate it as I’ve been on some that were packed; they didn’t rush us back as we had a interesting “flipper slapping” we encountered on return trip; and the galley actually has draft beer (3) including a local brew . . . what more can you ask – perfect!

If you go to their website or get their brochure pretty much everything they say is true.

Visited September 2012
Thank romerjt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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