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“Whale Watch”

Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company offers a variety of boat tours for all ages that show different sights and wildlife in the area around Mount Desert Island, Maine. The tours that we offer include a Puffin and Whale Watching trip, and Whale Watching tour, a Historical Lighthouse tour, a Nature Cruise, a Lobster Fishing and Seal Watching Tour, and a tour to Baker Island. We also have a gift shop in our ticket office, where you can purchase souvenirs during your time in town. We hope to see you on one (or more!) of our boat tours so we can show you why Bar Harbor, Maine is such a special place!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Whale Watch”
Reviewed August 4, 2012

We did a whale watch on the Friendship V boat, which is smaller than the AlantiCat. I've done several whale watches in my lifetime and this one was just average. The staff was very knowledgeable and we ended up seeing seals, porpoises, 2 fin whales, and a humpback whale. A couple of issues to note. It takes a very long time to get out to the whale grounds. And it is a very long trip in general. It took about and hour and a half to get out, two and a half hours looking at and for whales, and about an hour to get back (the current helped us on the way back). There were large rolling waves out in the ocean and on a small boat where you can't see land,well that only means trouble. I am not lying when I say that at least half the boat was extremely sea sick after being on the boat for 3 hours. I listened to a woman vomit and cry so loudly for the first half hour that I was shocked not one staff member offered to help her. I've been on whale watches where they start to pass out saltines and ginger ale early on in rough seas and keep an eye on everyone that is sick. This was not the case here. Everyone on the boat was either sick or was with someone that was sick. In my case it was my 9 year old daughter that felt sick and she's never been sea sick her entire life. After 2 hours of looking at a few whales, everyone was ready to go back. As far as we were concerned, it was a pretty successful trip, but the captain and marine biologist were oblivious to the misery of the customers and kept slowly looking for whales. Everyone was asking when we were leaving and the boat crew kept saying "it should be any minute now." I overheard two of the bartenders saying, "when are we going back, this is ridiculous." Once we finally headed back, everyone was a lot happier. If you are planning to go on a whale watch, I would definitely recommend going on their larger boat (less sea sickness) if you can and plan on a long, cold trip. I wouldn't do this whale watch again. We've been on several whale watches out of Cape Cod that are far superior to this. It takes a short amount of time to get to the whales, you always see several whales, the ships are larger, the water is more protected (less big rollers), and you always see land. All good things to prevent sea sickness. It is far more enjoyable to look at whales when they are easy to find and people aren't wretching over the rails next to you. Some of our other family members did a lobstering tour and said it was fantastic. We'll do that next time instead of the whale watch.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank BostonGrl_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,150 reviews from our community

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English first
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great Day on the water, but a bit crowed”
Reviewed August 1, 2012

Great for a first time outing in Bar Harbor. Ships are big, comfortable and everyone onboard is helpful and smiles. We have been on several different outings with this company over the years, and never have any problems.

Visited September 2011
1 Thank kevin h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2012

Ive read the reviews and decided to try. We took the 430pm sunset cruise. They are NOT lying when they say wear WARM clothes. I'm talking jackets, windbreakers, ear Warner's, and gloves! The minute that boat hits speed you get some serious wind and cold in your face. It was nice to be taken out on a boat. We saw whales. They move quick so pay attention! They served hot chocolate for $2 which really helped the cold. Had binocular rentals for $5. Had plenty of bathrooms. You could move and go anywhere on the boat..most stayed under to keep warm. The sunset off the water was beautiful. It was the most spectacular tour I've been on but there were many great things about it. If you want to see whales I'd give it a whirl. If for any reason you don't see any they give you a voucher to come back.

1 Thank Hennac03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed July 31, 2012

My son loves puffins, so we booked the Whale and Puffin Tour. What a wonderful experience! You stop to see puffins first, and they were everywhere. They look just like their pictures, and it was fun to watch them when they first take off to fly. Just a warning, though - puffins are very small birds (not big like penguins), and the boat can only get so close to the shore, so you'll want to take binoculars if you want a good view of them. If you want to try to get pictures of them, you'll definitely need a telephoto lens. After the puffins, we headed further out to go search for whales. Rather quickly, we saw fin whales off in the distance. They never got that close to us, but they're so large that we still had a great view. We kept sailing and eventually came upon a pod of humpbacks. Wow... They were extremely close to the boat, and words can't describe how amazing it was to see them.

A couple tips: there are no guarantees on these trips that you'll see wildlife while you're out. Bar Harbor Whale Watch is going to do everything they can to try to find whales, but there is a chance that you won't see them. If this happens, they will give you a rain check to go out again.

Heed the warnings to dress warmly! You'll definitely want a windbreaker, long pants, and to dress in layers. The boat moves fast on the way back into Bar Harbor, and it's bitter cold.

If you don't like being on the water, you may not like this tour. You can definitely feel the boat rocking, especially when it's moving fast.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Lauren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
280 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2012

We ahd a great day and we saw whales kind of. They were fairly far away. The boat was crowded. The naturalist was good and informative. It is not what I would call a relaxing trip and it is fairly expensive. If your goal is to see a whale no matter how far away this trip is for you. If not their are other water excursions that would better fit the bill.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank robbythegreat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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