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“As long time locals, we really liked this tour” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Island Mariner Cruises

Island Mariner Cruises
2621 S Harbor Loop Dr, Bellingham, WA
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Renton, WA
Level Contributor
51 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“As long time locals, we really liked this tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

We grew up in the Puget Sound area and have taken boat tours (including whale watching) all over the world. We had explored Puget Sound in our own boat, but we had never gone on a whale watching tour in our own backyard. Talking to other customers, it appeared many were from western Washington too. Now we're wondering why we waited so long. We went for the scenery of the San Juans, and the whales were a bonus. The weather was perfect - we waited for the for 5 day forecast and then booked a nice day.

The cruise was very professional with good narration on the animals and also on the history of Bellingham and the San Juans. Okay, so they stopped to view seals and eagles for the out of town folks, but even though we locals see them all the time, it's always pretty cool.

All the whale watching boats know where to go each day and we were not disappointed. We ended up in the middle of one of the orca pods and saw plenty of whales - also a minke whale on the way back.

The food on the boat was a bit expensive $5 for a plain hot dog or $7 for a hamburger. Some of the customers brought their own lunches or snacks. There were 2 restrooms - both were clean even at the end of the day.

Even though it was a hot day on the land, it was pretty cold on the water. Customers who started out on the top (open) deck moved to the enclosed lower deck - especially if they were wearing shorts. We were lucky, the day after our tour the weather turned cooler and windy.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank JuniperToo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Best Vacation Day!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014 via mobile

We found this company by accident...ran across their brochure in a transit station. They were appealing due to their departure from Bellingham, rather than someplace in the San Juan Islands...eliminating the need for a ferry ride. Their price was also quite reasonable. We placed a phone call at 9:45pm expecting to get voicemail, but they answered the phone and were very pleasant and helpful. We made reservations and it was a fabulous experience...they had a large boat with plenty of room inside and out (and you WILL get cold...we went on a 90 degree day in July and it is COLD on the water, even with long sleeves and a jacket). Staff is very friendly and accommodating. They allowed us to bring our picnic lunch on board. The naturalist did a great job pointing out wildlife and giving us historical info on the islands while we cruised through. And we saw LOTS of whales. Best day of our vacation...possibly all of our vacations!!

4 Thank IowaMom99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great tour of the San Juan Islands”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

We had a great time. We saw Orcas, seal, eagles, and much, much more. The crew and staff were very friendly and informative. The boat, <all 110 feet of it> was kept and clean. The snack bar has something for everyone, kids and adults alike. I was an all day trip, almost 7 hours. I should have brought a jacket, as it was a little chilly in the morning, but I was told when I booked to dress warm just in case, My bad.

I will defiantly be going again.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank Evan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Comfortable and Fun Whale Cruise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

The boat was one of the larger boats that offers the whale watching cruises and I found the indoor heated cabin to be very comfortable with ample seating. We could stay inside or go outside and found plenty of space along the rail as well as on top where there is covered outdoor seating. It was nice to be able to move around, plus there are two regular size restrooms. I went with my family and we all had a great time seeing the islands, whales and other wildlife. We also enjoyed the narration about the wildlife and facts about the islands. The crew is very personable and the food is excellent and much better than I would expect on a boat. You can also bring your own lunch or snack. It was such a fun and relaxing day that I'm planning to go again next month with my sister.

Visited June 2014
4 Thank Catherine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
224 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Exceeded all expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

14 September. Grey and foggy day. I have never seen sooo many orcas for so long and so active. I have wonderful breaching shots. It was fantastic. We left them not the other way around. They were all around us. The guide was first class The vessel was comfortable. The snacks were good. Highlight of this holiday, may try to post a photo from home if all goes well. Thank you to all involved. Ps even the office staff were excellent. So friendly and helpful.

Visited September 2013
5 Thank Tiish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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