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“The Best...We Will Be Back”

Maya's Legacy Whale Watching
Ranked #1 of 28 Tours in Friday Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching provides small group whale watching & wildlife tours from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington, the best location to experience Orca whales in the wild. We also offer private charter whale watch & wildlife tours for small groups and larger parties. Recreational, engaging and informative, we offer memorable experiences with a passionate crew , custom-built whale watching boats, and small groups of passengers. We offer two convenient departure locations on San Juan Island. Our whale watching & wildlife tours depart year-round from downtown Friday Harbor, next to the ferry landing, and Snug Harbor Resort, on the west side of San Juan Island.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed July 23, 2013

I have been on many whale watch trips, but Maya's Westside Charter is the absolute BEST!
A tour that has only 8 passengers can be great or really bad, Captain Jim makes it the best adventure ever. Saw many Orca's, which obviously is why we went, but also were introduced to many of the other creatures of the marine, land and sky environments. He along with his naturalist Jeanne kept us well informed about what we were seeing, including the history of the area. There was such great personal attention that every single member of our group thought that the tour was just for them.
While a 30 foot boat might seem a little intimidating in the wild and wooly Salish Sea, Captain Jim kept it smooth sailing all the way. He really knows his stuff and kept us all laughing too.
We will be back...

1  Thank Thatzall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"snug harbor"
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in 295 reviews
"small boat"
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"jeanne hyde"
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"sea lions"
in 86 reviews
"san juan islands"
in 95 reviews
"transient orcas"
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"dall's porpoise"
in 11 reviews
"small group"
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"intimate experience"
in 23 reviews
"canadian waters"
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"j pod"
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"great boat"
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"once in a lifetime"
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in 51 reviews
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994 - 998 of 1,235 reviews

Reviewed July 21, 2013

Our charter was scheduled for 1:00 on Sunday afternoon. Being the novice ferry riders that we are, we had NO idea that a 9 AM ferry departure meant being at the ferry port no later than 8 AM, add the 2 hour drive from Seattle and suffice it to say we were NOT on board. In a panic i called and left a message for Rachel with Legacy. The next ferry left at 11:55 the question was if we were on that one would we be in time?
Rachel returned my call and in the calmest kindest tone I have ever experienced, assured me she would do her best to find a solution...and she did. She contacted all of the other people on not only our charter, but also the private one scheduled to pull out after ours and advised them of our dilemma. She asked if it would be possible to delay everyone's departure time by 30 minutes to allow us to make it. They did, I am sure in response to her kindness (as well as their own).
The other members of our group were generous in accepting our apologies for the delay, and Spencer in no way made us feel that we had stressed his day. We hurried out to the area where the whales had last been seen, taking a slight detour to visit and talk about some Harbor seals resting on a rock with 2 pups.
Only 3 whales were around on our tour (mama Spirit with her boys Solstice and Skana), but Spencer did his best to educate us, entertain us, give us good visuals on the whale while maintaining the designated distance for the safety of the whales.
I can't imagine a large tour group holding a boat for us, i am delighted we chose to go out with Legacy and hope some day to return to visit the resident orcas of San Juan Island again with this charter.

Thank iammom3b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

We went on a 1:30 whale watch tour. We were referred to Legacy after the original charter boat was not available. We felt like we lucked out and got the best guide and boat ever. Our captain Spencer was extremely knowledgable and friendly. Spencer charters fishing trips as well as whale watching tours so his experience and level of understanding of the sea and area is broad. Awesome with our 8 and 11 year old. Went out of his way to make our charter enjoyable. We were lucky enough to see 3 orcas that day. This carter sails out of Snug Harbour on the other side of the island. Very quiet and unique. We loved that part because it seemed like a more personal experience besides the fact that it was our family of 4 and 2 other people on the boat. cannot recommend this charter enough. Fabulous!!!

Thank arkymommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

My mother and I decided we wanted to do a mother/daughter trip. We stayed 4 nights in Friday Harbor and the other 4 nights in Seattle. When you're in Friday Harbor, it's almost a requirement to go out whale watching. Having been out with Capt. Jim 2 times before, I knew whom I wanted us to go whale watching with! However, when it came time for our trips. Capt. Jim passed the wheel over to Capt. Justin.

I had never been out with Capt. Justin, but I have to say...he was awesome! We went on 2 whale watching trips during our stay and Justin Captained both of them. The first trip we went on had a family with kids. Justin kept them engaged and entertained, as he did the adults! He is very knowledgeable and engaging, no matter what he is talking about. Given the odd recent behavior of the Southern Resident Orcas, I was not sure we'd even see any. Our first trip (well both trips really) we were lucky in that there were some orcas not far away from Friday Harbor. Our first trip we met up with some members of J Pod and the L22's (Spirit, Solstice, and Skana). Our second trip was just the L22's again (along with some eagles and a baby harbor seal!) Justin enabled us to view the wildlife from a respectable range. You can see that he loves doing what he does - and he does it well! I can't wait to go back!

1  Thank Skana_Kwoli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 17, 2013

Most importantly, we saw whales, and lots of them. Our captain was awesome. He was very personable and great with our 8 year old daughter (he has 4 of his own). It was nice to be part of such a small party (there were 5 of us total, plus the captain). I highly recommend this tour company!

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

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