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“Wild Orcas seen from Western Prince II”

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: Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed November 4, 2013

This was a fantastic experience. My husband and I wen in September 2013.There were only 20 people onboard with two naturalists who were both knowledgable and entertaining and love what they do.. We saw a juvenile bald eagle, lots of seals as well as the beatiful orcas. The Western Prince II was very comfortable and stable.I highly recommend this adventure to enyone who loves nature.

Thank Pamela V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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420 - 424 of 804 reviews

Reviewed October 31, 2013

I was very pleased with my tour with Western Prince Whale Watching. The naturalists on board were very knowledgeable and helpful, and the captain took us to multiple locations around the San Juan Islands to see a wide range of different wildlife. Highly recommended!

Thank Beko B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2013

My fiancee took me on this trip as a surprise and it was amazing. Even though it was late in the season, they stayed upbeat and found us whales! As a veterinarian student, I was very impressed with our guide Traci's animal knowledge; any question I thought of she knew the answer to. Our captain Pete was also full of personality. We found an orca group, a minke whale, seals, sea lions, etc on the trip even though it was late in the season. The boat is fast and nice. We even got an email with some amazing quality photos Traci took of the whales which far surpass our digital camera's. We would definitely only use Western Prince if we come back (which is a huge possibility because it was fantastic!)

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

While I usually do not give a five-star review, Western Prince Whale Watching deserves it! From the first contact by phone with Chris through our tour with Nan, Traci, and Captain Craig, I was impressed by how genuine everyone was, how much they wanted us to have a great experience, and their passion for what they do. Here's why to go with them:

-Thanks to a network of volunteers on land and on the boats, if there are whales in the area, you will probably see them no matter who you go with. So your choice should be based on what a particular tour can deliver.

-In addition to the comments above, the Western Prince offers two naturalists, who are very well informed. I learned a great deal. I live in Western Washington, but I did not realize that the transient orcas are so different from our resident orcas, that they have different food, different social structures, and different vocalizations. The two groups diverged thousands of years ago. Nan and Traci also offered many insights into the other birds and animals we saw.

-They thought of everything! I was not able to find my camera the day we were leaving, and because we were in a hurry to catch the ferry at Anacortes, I thought I would simply have to make do with shared photos from my friend. But Nan, one of the naturalists on board, took photos with a long lens and shared them with all of us. I appreciated they provided these at no extra charge. (I hate it that so often these days, you can pay a lot for a tour, then the company asks you for more money for extras--but not the Western Prince!) They even provided binoculars for all.

-I mentioned it before, but it's worth repeating: The people of the Western Prince are passionate about their jobs, and it shows. Katie, another naturalist, had the day off, but she went with us.

-No one can promise that you'll see whales. We were lucky that day. We got to observe a transient pod hunting. They were breaching, spy-hopping, and tail-lobbing, and we got to view them for over an hour. But even if we hadn't spotted the whales, I would still have enjoyed my tour, because the San Juans are always beautiful, and we saw other wildlife, too, including the biggest sea lions I've ever seen, Dall's porpoises, seals, and many birds.

-The Western Prince offers a choice of boats: a Zodiac-type and a larger craft. We had signed up for the Zodiac, but not enough other people had chosen to go, so we were on the bigger vessel. Even so, it was big enough to accommodate more people, but small enough that we still had a lot of personal attention and could get our questions answered. I don't think I would have enjoyed my experience as much on a larger craft.

Thank you, Western Prince, for one of the best experiences of my life!

4  Thank Travelgateway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013 via mobile

The crew was so knowledgeable and well versed in the area, they even remind you to put your phone on airplane mode so not to rack up data charges as we slipped into Canada. Thay were able to answer any questions we had. The trip started off with a pod of Dalls porpoises that played in the wake of our boat,followed by harbor seal pups and many bald eagle's. (Something I have never seen in the wild) Finally we got to see humpbacks and even got to see them breach! The capt was aweome! He cut the engines when we got close so we could hear their blowholes. Something no other capt was doing. The crew also explained the history of the islands and the animals found on and around them. Best place to go whale watching by far! We will be back this summer!

1  Thank medicchick06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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