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“Capt Jim is great...but whale watching not the best we have had.”

Maya's Legacy Whale Watching
Ranked #1 of 25 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 on San Juan Island, the best location to experience Orca whales in the wild. Recreational, engaging and informative, we offer memorable experiences with a passionate crew and the most innovative boats. We offer two convenient departure locations on San Juan Island.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed June 29, 2010

First off I think Capt Jim is wonderful and this entirely not his fault, but I was highly dissapointed in this whale cruise. The fact that they have an ordinance that won't let you get 100 yards near the whales really killed my enjoyment of it. I don't have a fancy expensive camera, and I had done a whale excursion in Nantucket where you could get right up close to the whales. The police were out in force when we were there and Capt Jim kept having to back away from the whales whenever they came close to us. Like I said not his fault, more the fault of the stupid ordinance. I wouldn't have spent the money had I known this, but if you have never seen Whales before like we had, then you should do this if you don't think you will have the opportunity to see them ever.

1  Thank pemeigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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962 - 966 of 1,011 reviews

Reviewed June 17, 2010

Captain Jim is knowledgeable, humorous and caring. He went out of his way to make all 7 of us on his boat feel like family. Not only is he a walking encyclopedia about whales but it was very interesting to learn about the history of the island as well - as only Capt. Jim could make history interesting and humorous. My daughter and I had decided to listen to the recommendation of our hotel and the comments on tripadvisor and I'm so glad we did. We had so much more flexibility to find the whales with a smaller vessel than if we had gone on one of the larger charters. He even emailed us photos he took that afternoon which were better than ours because he has been doing this for years- what a spectacular day! Highly recommend Capt. Jim Maya.

Thank bucketlist62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2010

I had a wonderful experience with Maya's charters. I had previously been on a larger boat to whale watch in the San Juans and enjoyed this smaller, more personal experience very much. You will need transportation to Snug Harbor, but it was nice to leave from there and get to the whales a bit faster. We then followed the whales for over an hour. Captain Jim also pointed out seals and eagles. I would definitely ride with Maya's Charters again and would recommend my friends and family do so as well.

1  Thank traveltandem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2010

This was one of the highlights of our trip to the San Juan's. Captain Jim was great! It was like being taken out on a personal tour by a family friend. Because it was early in the season we were one of the only American ships to see orcas the day we went out. We went well up into Canadian waters to see the whales which was possible due to his smaller, faster boat. We were also able to see a humpback just off the coast after coming back near San Juan Islands which was rare for the time of year.

He is very educational in a fun approachable way. We didn't have any children with us that day but I feel after the experience he would definitely be the way to go if you had kids with you. In addition to seeing whales we also saw lots of other wildlife and got a great tutorial and sight seeing expedition of the islands as well.

I thought he was very accomodating. They arranged transportation for one of the other passengers to and from the ferry. He was also very accomodating about the time to try to optimize your trip with weather conditions and opportunity to see whales.

Another couple staying at our hotel went out the next day but weren't able to see whales but they were full of good things to say about the experience as well.

Definitely get what you pay for and more.

Thank allicat88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 27, 2010

My partner and I love Capt. Jim. He is didactic and funny, personable and charming. He has an intuition about the whales that other guides don't have. He is the best. I know its his job to be amazing and accomodating but he does it with style.

We saw whales, otters, seals, a sea lion, a type of duck, a hippopotamus duck... or something, and he taught me all the different types of pinnipeds. He clearly loves his job and that is evident.

It is expensive at $85/person but he's so worth it.

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

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