We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A day not soon forgotten!”

Spirit of Orca Whale and Wildlife Tours
Ranked #6 of 25 Tours in Friday Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: An Intimate Small Boat Experience With A Six Passenger Max Limit for a very personal experience. Whale Watching is our passion! Your goal is to see whales and our goal is to show them to you. Captain Ken has been a professional mariner for 37 years serving as captain mainly on ocean tugs on the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. He has worked small cruise ships in SE Alaska and Inside Passage and Excursion vessels on the Columbia and Snake Rivers from Astoria, OR to Lewiston, ID. Ken has had opportunity to see whale behavior as well as many other marine life on the Pacific Ocean from Kodiak Alaska all the way down to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico and on the Atlantic Ocean. He has seen Humpback Whales “bubble net feeding” in Alaska and scratched the heads of curious Gray Whale calves in Mexico One of Ken’s greatest passions is to share his experience with others and now he is able to do just that by taking you out to meet the whales in their natural environment. He is a certified Naturalist and loves to share what he has learned, with you on the tour.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A day not soon forgotten!”
Reviewed August 31, 2012

My wife and I booked our trip with Capt Carli due to the intimacy and size of the group/tour (6 max) and we were not disappointed. The day we went out not only did we follow one pod of orcas for over an hour but he got word that there was another large group near the Canadian border. He went the extra mile (or 10 or 20+) and gas expense to get us up there and what a sight! This grouping was extra playful and breaching, all the stuff you can only hope to see when you plan a trip of this type. Capt Carli's knowledge, experience, and willingness to go the extra mile for us created a day that will not soon be forgotten by these desert dwellers from Phoenix!

Visited August 2012
1 Thank Lance A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

336 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Grapevine, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
“We got lucky, thanks to Captain Carli!”
Reviewed August 29, 2012

I chose Captain Carli's tour because of the reviews I read online and because of the size of the boat. I didn't want a large group because I felt a smaller one would be more personal. It definitely was and Capt. Carli was delightful, knowledgeable and went out of his way for us to see a transient pod of orcas. The day before, he said there were tons of whales around, but not our day. However, his dedication (and determination!) to find some orcas paid off.

In addition to the orcas, he knew the locations of bald eagle nesting sites, Stellar sea lions and seals. I highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting this type of experience.

Melissa C

Visited August 2012
Thank Melissa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mendota Heights
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2012

August 2012 We chose Captain Carli because of his small boat--we didn't want to have to push and shove our way to see the orcas. And did we see orcas!!! He heard from other boats they were running up north a little out of his usual sailing area, but he was determined to get us up there because he knew it would be the best whale watching. He was so helpful prior to the tour, too--I emailed several 'stupid' questions and he was very prompt and helpful with his answers. We knew exactly where to go, how to get there and what to do when we got off the ferry. Captain Carli's boat is great! Captain Carli is great! We had a terrific time and would do the tour with Captain Carli again if we're ever traveling west. You must see the whates with Captain Carli! Cori and Don P.

Visited August 2012
Thank Cori P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashburn, Virginia
1 review
“July 2012 Whale Watching with Captain Carli”
Reviewed August 26, 2012

After spending a great day at a Friday Harbor, exploring a small town and all that it offers, we ended with a whale watching trip with Captain Carli. Our experience was more than our expectations. After Capt Carli small tour of the San Juan Islands, he lead us out to sea where we were fortunate to see a small pods of whales. Enclosed is some of the photos we were able to take.And many thanks to Captian Carli for a wonderful trip. Plan on doing another tour in the future. Highly recommend Captian Carli and his boat called " Soulmate".
Mike & Misty Paulot

Visited July 2012
Thank Michael P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Mateo, California
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“This is the one you want”
Reviewed August 9, 2012

We chose this tour because it took only 6 passengers. The boat was comfortable and very clean, and Captain Carli was a terrific guide for us. Even though there weren't any whales to be found (I'm starting to suspect we might actually be whale repellents), he took us near dolphins, seals, bald eagles and their nest, and his own favourite spots. Afterward, he gave us a map to the best beach to see whales from when they are near that side of the island, and told us he would call us if he got any reports of sightings there. Which he did the next morning. He really went above and beyond.

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

Travelers who viewed Spirit of Orca Whale and Wildlife Tours also viewed

Friday Harbor, San Juan Island

Been to Spirit of Orca Whale and Wildlife Tours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing