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“Whales galore”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of San Juan Safaris

San Juan Safaris
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Whale Watching from Friday Harbor
Ranked #8 of 45 Tours in San Juan Islands
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The waters surrounding San Juan Island are the #1 place in North America to see wild orca whales. San Juan Safaris, located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, is in the perfect location to provide you with the thrill of seeing orcas in their natural habitat. For over 20 years, San Juan Safaris has been offering the highest quality whale watching tours with a focus on our guests’ experiences and respectful wildlife viewing. Experience orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, and more from the comfort of our safe, fast, and US Coast Guard approved vessels. With four vessels and multiple daily departure times, there’s sure to be a tour that’s right for you. Our seasoned Captains will keep you safe while aboard our vessels and position the boat in prime locations for whale and wildlife viewing. All of our tours are staffed by seasoned Captains and passionate Marine Naturalists who will teach you about the wildlife, ecology, and geology of the Salish Sea. We encourage you to ask questions and love to share stories about orcas and the local area. Choose from two vessel tours: M/V Sea Lion: The Sea Lion is our flagship vessel, built specifically for whale watching & wildlife viewing. 55 feet, comfortable, stable, great for passengers of all ages and mobility levels. Restroom on board, 360* viewing deck, heated inside cabin. Great for families and groups. M/V Kestrel: The Kestrel is our new high-speed adventure vessel-- perfect for anyone looking for an exciting excursion! Fast, safe, and comfortable. 360* viewing deck, all-weather exposure suits keep you warm and dry, plus on board marine bathroom. Fun and fast! This tour is great for passengers 8 years and older. Our brand new Whale Watch Headquarters is located just feet from the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor, and steps from local restaurants and shops. Stop by and say “hello” to learn more about our tours and the best spots on San Juan Island to explore. Visit our retail and gift shop for the latest in northwest guide style. Don’t forget to stop by our new Ridetide Cafe for coffee, sandwiches, desserts, and more!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Level Contributor
88 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Whales galore”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013

Great trip with loads of orcas from two of the three resident pods, along with seals, sea-lions, porpoises, a bald eagle and loads of other sea-birds. As with most of these things, though, it’s the crew that make the difference and naturalists Heather and Andrew and Capt. Mike were great. From spotting all the wildlife, to getting us in the right position to see it, to telling us so much about all the things we saw, not just the whales, they made the trip. So much so, that even without the whales it still would have been a good trip.
There’s a huge variety of whale-watch trips to choose from and I would recommend San Juan Safaris anytime. The wildlife isn’t guaranteed, so might as well go with the thing that is guaranteed, which is an extremely knowledgeable, informative and enthusiastic crew. There’s a lot of opinions on here about whether big or small boats are better; this was a big, full, boat but there was plenty room and everyone could get a good view. All the boats are meant to keep the same distance from the whales anyway so no-one should have a real advantage there either and I don’t think any other boats passed us either, so speed didn’t seem to an issue .

Visited September 2013
Thank AScotsmanAbroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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338 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
“Was Great Fun! Amazing views of Whales!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

We Took this Trip in Late September and we had a lot fun.

The Crew really make sure get to see whales by going out of the if need be.

The Staff was really nice and our tour guide was very well educated.

Visited September 2013
Thank TravelNowGirls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west hills, ca
Level Contributor
515 reviews
183 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 313 helpful votes
“Enjoyable afternoon”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

Only saw one whale but enjoyed the sail through the islands and the commentary. Good ship with blankets and some indoor space, smooth ride. Very pleased.

Visited September 2013
Thank jfd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
2 reviews
“Private whale watch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

The crew were amazing!! So flexible and personable! The private trip gave us a wonderful way to celebrate our wedding weekend!! They went out of their way to help us find whales and enjoy our time on the water! Couldn't give a higher recommendation! Thank you so much!!

Visited September 2013
Thank EllenCrowley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

Truly an amazing experience! The staff was very knowledgeable and went out of their way to make the experience everything it was. Our trip was very interesting, educational, and exciting. When we first spotted the group of transients, they were actively killing a porpoise, which was an amazing thing to see. They even breached, which is apparently very rare for transients to do. We got to watch these beautiful, wild orcas for about an hour. I simply cannot say enough about this experience. I highly recommend San Juan Safaris!!!

Visited September 2013
Thank abryant22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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