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“Great trip, Great people, Beautiful Whales”

Western Prince Whale & Wildlife Tours
Ranked #2 of 25 Tours in Friday Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Just 90 miles north of Seattle, Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington. Owner Operated, Experienced Local Naturalist Guides, Small Groups, Two Great Boats. Choose from the fast and comfortable 46' Western Prince II (limited to 32 passengers or less, with seating for 41) or, for the more adventurous, the Expedition Style 30' Western Explorer (limited to 15 passengers or less).
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
171 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great trip, Great people, Beautiful Whales”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

The resident pods were no where to be founds, but there were some transients up toward the Canadian waters, so off we went. The weather was beautiful, so standing outside was great.

It took us probably about an hour to get where the whales were. There were 3 large ones and a baby. We stayed with them for a long time. Everyone got plenty of pics of whales, eagles and seals. We saw some dolphins. Went by Spiere Island and viewed the Mulfon sheep there.

Our naturalist Katy was so passionate about the whales, she teared up telling us about the males dying, and one special one who died last year. She was so informative. We felt Capt Nate went well beyond the usual whale trip to make ours successful. We ended up being out for almost 5 hours as he kept finding more things to show us.

We've been on others whale trips, but this one was simply one of the best, not only for the whales but the crew.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank carolyn h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Issaquah, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Saw a humpback breaching and pectoral slapping for over an hour, amazing!”
Reviewed May 25, 2013 via mobile

Captain Ivan and naturalist Chris were great. Very knowledgeable. The Western Explorer puts you right on the water, it's the only way to go. We got to see a 45 foot humpback whale jump out of the water and slap it's pectoral fins for around an hour, it was one of the coolest things I've ever had the privilege of seeing. Highly, highly recommend this tour.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank tomhowell662
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hollywood, Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Incredible Whale Watching Trip”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

We had an amazing time on the Western Prince Zodiac boat. We went in mid May and saw 7 transient orcas playing with a seal. The seal got away so he was not lunch to the whales. We saw about 5 eagles and saw several seals. The trip was an amazing experience. The dry suit was comfy and kept us dry and warm. We blasted through the water and made great time to see the whales. It was such a fun and exciting experience.We would do it again in a heartbeat. Next time we go back to the Pacific Northwest, we are going to go back to San Juan Island and do another zodiac tour with the Western Prince. This experience was a top rated trip. We were safe and yet had an exhilarating and fun afternoon. We learned so much from the naturalist on-board the boat. We highly recommend the Western Prince. I can't wait to go again someday. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jeanne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Experience of a liftetime!”
Reviewed May 14, 2013

All of my life I had hoped to see Orcas in their natural habitat, so my husband and me (whilst on our honeymoon) took the opportunity to go whale watching whilst staying in Friday Harbour. It was too early in the season for the resident Orcas to have arrived, so it was always a 50/50 chance that we would see some whales that day. We were lucky and had an ample amount of naturalists coming with us that day, since one of the boats was being serviced. While setting off we spotted the resident harbour seal and on our way out we passed by many other interesting anymals such the wonderful bald eagles. There was soon news of whales being heard over the "hydrophone", but not yet any sightings. Whilst heading in the assumed direction we were given a lot of insight into the life and social behaviour of the Orcas. All the naturalists were happy to answer questions and they were never short of a good story or two about the islands we passed,the wildlife and their owners. What I particularly liked about this whole experience was that we never felt like we were "cash-cows", so we could borrow a pair of binocculars for free and there were some snacks if the sea air made you peckish - for a dollar each.
After quite a bit of searching there were news of a sighting so we were told that usually we would be turning back at this point but because we now knew where the whales were we extended our trip and went after them. They were hunting a Steller Sea Lion, which is a very rare event to be able to watch. We were so incredibly lucky! We got so much information about behaviour during the kill, about tactics and behaviour. The naturalists had amazing lenses with them so could see a lot more than us, so got live commentry about the whole event. We had to turn back after a good 45 minutes of watching them, which was truly an amazing experience. On the way back we passed a group of Steller Sea Lions, and after seeing their size it was understandable that Orcas do have to work hard for a kill that size. One of our naturalists, Nancy, even offered to send us some pictures from the hunt after we were back in Friday Harbour. Which we received the same evening. If you are ever in Puget Sound, make sure to come to San Juan Island and go whale watching with this lot! Proably one of the most memorable days of my life! Thank you!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank iongerm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
39 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Western Prince Whale and Wildlife worth every penny”
Reviewed May 12, 2013 via mobile

well the first thing we learned is resident orcas are fisheaters while transient orcas eat the marine mammals and why you need to know that is because there is no guarantee you will see the resident orcas. Now the reason this is important is because I was so disappointed that I was sad when we departed. Factor in an awesome crew friendly approachable and knowlegeable combined with a samller vessel so that you are closer to the wildlife, and now you have better than a 180 turaround. We saw stellar sea lions, eagles, deer, harbor seals, an close relative to horned puffin, and minke whale who turned out to be a minke stinke cuz you can sorta smell them. What a great trip. Now be sure you leave time to park at Anacortes ferry terminal or you will end up like us running half mile, and be ware you need $10 cash to park because the machine may not take credit cards. The ferry to Friday Harbor is part of what makes this whale watch a can't miss. Plus the views of the mountains are spectacular. 5 stars for sure!!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank EllenGwynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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