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“Islands Galore”
Review of Island Packers

Island Packers
Ranked #2 of 16 Tours in Ventura
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Island Packers runs several boats most days from Ventura Harbor out to the Channel Islands. The captains and crew are very knowledgeable and everyone should plan to see lots of wildlife whether it be whales, seals, birds, or most probably, hundreds of dolphins. The boats are really comfortable even for those who have some motion sickness issues. This is a must see while visiting Ventura.

1  Thank Fasteddie100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"whale watching"
in 46 reviews
"humpback whales"
in 25 reviews
"santa cruz"
in 50 reviews
"day trip"
in 56 reviews
"boat ride"
in 32 reviews
"great trip"
in 26 reviews
"wildlife cruise"
in 14 reviews
"blue whale"
in 14 reviews
"national park"
in 27 reviews
"painted cave"
in 11 reviews
"common dolphins"
in 10 reviews
"nature conservancy"
in 10 reviews
"guided hike"
in 9 reviews
"scorpion bay"
in 5 reviews
"sea birds"
in 14 reviews
"wear layers"
in 6 reviews
"arch rock"
in 6 reviews
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310 - 314 of 408 reviews

Reviewed November 11, 2013

We took the Island Packers to Santa Cruz for a day trip to the Channel Islands and got more than just a ride to the island. Unfortunately, we had to postpone our trip due to a family medical emergency, but Island Packers was happy to change our reservation to a later date with no problem whatsoever. The staff on shore and on the boat was incredibly friendly and helpful. We had a terrific ride over where we stopped to see sea lions and even saw a Stella sea lion which is rare. We also saw some dolphins. On the way back we stopped to see several pods of dolphins, seals, and sea birds. They circled back to take a better look -- more than I expected. Overall a great experience. Bring cash for snacks and drinks on either way of the trip. Restrooms were clean and working!

Thank NorthOCTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013

This was a lot more than transportation to and from the island. We slowed and stopped to see whales and other wildlife! The crew was great and friendly and eager to make the trip memorable. Thank You!

Thank DenverTrolley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Birders take note! Opposite the ample parking lot for Island Packers is an amazing beach that (on the day of our trip) was full of birds -- Wimbrel, Godwit, Willet, Black Turnstone, Peeps, Brown Pelican, Elegant Tern, etc... The boat ride across was wonderful and birdy, Black-vented Shearwater, Pink-footed shearwater, etc . . . We saw dolphins as well. The crew was great and the naturalist on the boat zeroed in on the birders and was very helpful pointing out birds. When we got to the island the two naturalists were very helpful and clear in their instructions on what we could do and not do. And we got the Song sparrow sub-species, the Orange-crowned Warbler sub-species AND the Island Scrubjay within about a half hour. On the ride back to Ventura we got into a small group of Humpback whales. The captain was good enough to stop, turn around and chase the whales for a half hour!! GREAT SERVICE!! Great people to work with.

Thank danielKeiran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 21, 2013

We booked a tour of Santa Cruz Island on-line, and everything worked smoothly. Even though the National Park Service was shut-down at the time, Island Packers was still operating the Prisoners Harbor cruise. (We called the day before to check. Recommend checking your trip a couple of days in advance, just because one never knows about weather, etc.)

Trip notes: If you forget something, including binoculars, you can get it at the Island Packer store. They do not gouge. I needed gloves and they were $4. Binoculars were $6, I believe, and you need to leave identification. Food and drink on board the ship were also reasonably priced. We arrived early (based in Santa Barbara - easy 30-minute or so drive on Sunday morning). I believe the tour was a little bit "better attended" than usual (maybe 40 people) because folks who would have gone on other tours could not, due to the government shutdown which affected the National Park Service. Impressively, the National Park Service kept restroom facilities open at Prisoners Harbor.

Wildlife notes: We saw a Santa Cruz Island fox right at the Prisoners Harbor "stable" area. Our hike was great - we strolled up the Del Norte Trail, off the Navy road from Prisoners. Definitely bring at least one liter of water per person for a four-hour hike. The Island Packer staff are nature lovers and very respectful of the environment. They gave us close-up looks at common dolphins, seals drying off on a buoy, and pointed out brown pelicans and other birds. We had a wonderful trip and hope to go again, possibly to other islands.

Thank TrademarkTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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