Water activity

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Activity provider: Discovery Whale Watch

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Activity provider: Discovery Whale Watch
Likely to sell out

From US$ 65 per person

Likely to sell out

Monterey Bay is the premier destination for whale watching all year! There are whales seen every day here in Monterey. Trips are narrated by a marine biologist or naturalist who provides educational and interesting information about the wildlife.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible—book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Duration 3 - 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • See whales in their natural habitat
  • Explore Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
  • Admire some of the most incredible animals on earth
Full description

Discover a variety of whale species in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on this cruise from Monterey. Uncover one of the world’s best locations for whale watching due to its deep submarine canyon close to shore. With whales spotted almost every day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Set sail from the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Catch a glimpse of the hundreds of Californian Sea Lions inside the harbor as the boat leaves the dock. Take advantage of the view and snap a photo to capture the memory.

Pass the historic Cannery Row as you leave the harbor and enter the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Search for feeding humpback whales, a variety of dolphin species, porpoises, blue whales, and fin whales.

Listen as the onboard biologist provides fascinating insights into the creatures of the bay and what is being done to protect them. During the summer/ fall season, the tour will focus on feeding whales that come to the bay to feast on small fish and krill.

Spot humpback whales daily but keep an eye out for blue whales, fin whales, gray whales (finishing migration), orcas and a variety of other dolphin species. During the winter season, the tour will focus on migrating whales at the south end of Monterey Bay where gray whales pass by.

Return to your starting point at the end of your tour.

  • 3 or 4-hour whale-watching cruise (depending on the option booked)
  • Biologist guide
  • Hot beverages
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food
  • Tips
Not suitable for
  • Pregnant women
  • People with mobility impairments
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • You must fill out a travel information form

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet your guide at the Fishermans Wharf to begin your tour. If you are driving you can park by the main waterfront parking lot at 245 Washington Street, Monterey CA 93940. This is a gated parking lot, to enter you must take the ticket at the gate and drive-in. Once you are parked, walk down the tourist wharf past all the shops and restaurants. When you reach the Crab House Restaurant and Glass Bottom Boat ticket booth you will turn right on the extended pier. The activity provider's office is on the right-hand side of the extension. The building is light blue in color and has a sign on the roof that reads Discovery Whale Watch.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen

Not allowed

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and drugs

Know before you go

  •  Due to the short distance from the “gray whale super highway”, the trips can be shorter in duration for the winter time
  •  Summer and fall morning tours last 3.5-4 hours, while the winter morning tours and the afternoon tours year-round last 2.5-3 hours
  • This tour is not recommended for people with limited mobility
  •  Please bring your confirmation and ID card with you
  • Pregnant women are not allowed on this tour
  •  Motion sickness remedies are available for purchase at the office before the tour, but you are welcome to bring your own
  •  Bringing a small packed lunch and non-alcoholic beverages is allowed
  •  There are restroom facilities on the vessel
  •  Friendly dogs are permitted on board
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 519 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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This was an absolutely fantastic trip. The people at Discovery are the friendliest, most accommodating and helpful group we could have asked for. The boat, while not huge or fancy, was clean and offered plenty of seating space. The wind was low but the swell pretty big on the day we went and the boat handled it very nicely, thanks to the skill of the captain and his crew. It is a smaller boat, though, so if you're susceptible to motion sickness, remember your Dramamine. They boat provided coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate, complimentary, and it was very well received by the guests. I was initially worried that the smaller boat would be less awesome than the much larger boats at the pier but, after finding the whales, we could see the bigger boats had people lined up, shoulder-to-shoulder from stern to bow vying for a space to see the amazing creatures. All the while, we were standing comfortably, hot chocolate in hand, with plenty of room and some amazing views.

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August 9, 2022

Absolute aanrader! Met een niet al te grote boot, een goede schipper en een zee bioloog de oceaan op gegaan om 9 uur in de ochtend. Vrij snel zagen we een groep dolfijnen en niet veel later een groep van 7 walvissen, die samen met honderden zeeleeuwen aan het jagen waren op anchovis, het was spectaculair!!! De walvissen kwamen dichtbij de boot, we konden ze erg goed zien. Later nog verder de oceaan opgevaren en daar nog 2 blauwe vinvissen gespot, de grootste walvissoort op aarde en zeer zeldzaam. Ik ben nu 3 dgn later nog steeds onder de indruk. De gids was erg kundig, betrokken en toegankelijk, nogmaals een aanrader!!!

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August 9, 2022

Discovery Whale Watch was great! The captain and guide explained how they kept in close communication with other tour operators in the area, in order to let each other know where the best viewing experience was. While we were traveling to the best viewing spot, Isaiah, the on-board marine biologist, explained how all species were dependent on each other, from plankton to anchovies, to humans, and he helped guests understand how massive the humpback whales are that we saw. The entire experience, from ticket purchase to check-in, and boarding to completion, was top-notch. We would highly recommend Discovery Whale Watch for such an exciting experience!

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July 31, 2022

Product ID: 246507