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“We hit the pod load”
Review of Island Mariner Cruises - CLOSED

Island Mariner Cruises
Reviewed August 25, 2013

We had the most unexpected day with approx. 60 whales all around us after a long boat ride. only complaint along with others is smoking on back that comes back inside cabin area very disturbing and disgusting with second hand smoke .

1  Thank Larry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (50)
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27 - 31 of 50 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2013

Although there are whale watching companies closer to where I live, I found a deal on groupon which at that price was hard to refuse. After reading some reviews I went ahead with it. I knew this boat was slower due to it's size, but I liked the idea that they had washrooms, food, and multiple viewing areas. I knew there was a chance that we wouldn't see whales, and figured at the very least we would get to spend the day on the water viewing wildlife and the spectacular San Juan Islands.

Our first trip was on July 25, and unfortunately that day we did not see any whales. However, we were given a voucher to come back as part of their guarantee. We came back again August 22nd, and this time we got to see Orcas!!!!

The staff/crew.... very friendly and knowledgeable! Casey the naturalist was excellent and did a great job pointing out wildlife, and also informing everyone about the history of the islands.

The boat.... Older, and a bit slow due to it's size, however was clean and spacey. The washrooms onboard are definitely a bonus as the tour is long. You have the option to sit inside or outside. Good selection of food onboard, which was actually pretty tasty, and very well priced. They also offer binoculars onboard incase you don't have your own.

Overall... Had an excellent time and would recommend this company for sure. Bring warm clothes though as it does get chilly, even on the warmest day!

1  Thank Jason T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Bought this tour from groupon so price was good. Left at 10 am sharp and back at 5:45. Admittedly it was a very long day, maybe too long. Bit disappointed there wasn't much to see after the first 2 hours. There were no Orcas to be seen. We spent the last half of the day in a frantic seach for a Minky whale. Finally we saw it, but really wasn't that special. The day for what we paid was great, it was enjoyable. Nature can't always perform the way we want so keep that in mind. Not sure if I'd bother as this tour was a bit to long when no whales around.

1  Thank AbbotsfordSunflower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

You can not make Orcas magically appear but today my husband and I were lucky. A pod of 8-10 Orcas magically appeared in the Salish sea and put up a show. The boat spent about an hour in the area so everybody can see these magcal creatures. How I wished we could have been up closer but iI know there are restrictions. To the captain and the crew, Don, Wif? and Casey, awesome job. The trip was very informative. The boat ride was smooth and the weather perfect.
The boat, though not new, was clean. Food was available and prices reasonable. For those who were not fortunate to see whales in previous trips, you have another chance to take a cruise for free.

1  Thank Andima42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marinercruises, Naturalist at Island Mariner Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2013

Thank-you so very much for taking the time to write this review! You described our encounter with this group of transients well...Magical! The size of this group was larger than we usually get to see, and the activity was so exciting to watch! I will be passing your feedback on to the rest of the crew. I feel confident in speaking for all of us: You are so very welcome, and again, thank-you so very much for coming out with us!

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Reviewed August 20, 2013

I took my parents on this tour and we used a groupon which still cost us $60 each. With taxes our day cost $195. We reserved on-line about three weeks before our trip but when we arrived to check in they had no record of our reservation despite my e-mail confirmations. We got on board and had to scramble for seats and for a while we didn't end up sitting togther. The entire trip was very cold despite having jackets and there was no room to move indoors. The vast majority of the time on board was spent going to and from the one Minke whale that we stalked with two other boat tours. They claim to use a plane to spot whales but someone on board overheard and employee saying the whales had gone away in recent days. I realize they can't make whales magically appear, but we are very disappointed in our experience. We did see porpoise, sea lions, eagles etc but only that one poor whale. They do sell food on board but we brought our own and when I did go to get a coffee as it was very cold outside all they had was powdered creamer. Really? Parking was free - that's a perk I guess. Next time I do a whale tour I'll go on one with a much more powerful boat so that we don't spend 6 hours of our tour going to and from the whale. The naturalist in board was well informed however his insistince that "there was plenty more to see" was unfounded. I can't say how many times he said this. Folks on board just rolled their eyes.

2  Thank Kim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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