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Channel Islands Whale Watching

Captain Frank began his career at sea aboard the Ranger 85 in 1976 as a teenage crew member on whale watching trips and fishing charters. He earned his 100 ton Captain's license in 1980, and for the next 10 years operated boats in the Channel Islands. In 1990, Captain Frank launched out on his own, purchasing his first boat, the Coral Sea. Immediately, he began offering eco-tours and fishing charters in the Channel Islands and off the coast of Baja Mexico.

Channel Islands Whale Watching offers breathtaking excursions through the waters surrounding Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Southern California. The Channel Islands region is a premier global destination for whale watching and marine wildlife sightings. Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Orca (Killer Whales) Whales, Finback Whales and Gray Whales, are commonly observed in the pristine waters surrounding the park and sanctuary. Additional wildlife includes seals, sea lions, dolphins and a rich variety of bird life; some of which are endangered and protected. 

Individual Rates:

Adults $50.00
Children $30.00 (12 & under)
Seniors $40.00
 

Private Charter:

Weekday $2,500.00 (Mon-Thur)
Weekend $3,000.00 (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Schools $1,800.00
 

Group Rates: 

Adults $40.00
Children $25.00 (12 & under)
Seniors $35.00
Schools $25.00(Mon -Fri)
Group rates available "Monday-Friday"

A journey through park and sanctuary waters affords the visitor a unique opportunity to experience the splendor and beauty of these giants of the deep. The Channel Islands are the perfect location to observe California Gray Whales on both their south and northbound migrations. The waters surrounding Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary are rich in nutrients and feed for many species of whales, particularly in the springtime. There is no greater thrill than watching majestic Humpback Whales lunge feed on schools of fin fish. Breeching and tail lobbing are commonly observed behaviors of this crowd pleasing cetacean. Marvel at the sheer enormity of the Blue Whale, the largest animal on our planet. The Channel Islands is one of the few places globally where you can observe several species all on one trip.

Our knowledgeable and friendly crew have years of experience identifying wildlife within the park, and provide fully narrated tours. Additionally, wildlife interpretation is provided by Channel Islands Naturalist Corp, (CINC) volunteers, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We strive to provide you with an educational and entertaining adventure as we explore the natural beauty of what is referred to as the "Galapagos of the Northern Hemisphere." You can expect to encounter seemingly endless wildlife on our Whale Watching excursions, which typically last 3 to 4 hours. A Channel Island Whale Watching trip is perfect for families, friends, school groups and organizations. Experiencing wildlife in their natural setting is a thrill for children and adults of all ages. Come join in the adventure. Welcome aboard Channel Islands Whale Watching.

Departure Time:
Weekdays: 9:00 AM
Weekends:  9:00 AM and 1:00 PM
 
What To Wear:
We recommend you dress casually and wear layers to ensure your comfort should the weather change during the excursion. Bring or wear sunscreen and comfortable, non-slip shoes. We have a full service galley to provide food and beverages for your trip.
 

January through March

These are the peak months of the Gray Whale migration and sightings of these majestic creatures are common. Southbound whales are typically found a bit further offshore during the months of January and February. March gives way to the northbound migrations with Grays heading back to the Bering Sea. Many mother calf pairs are observed during this period. 

April through September

As the weather warms up the blue whales and humpback whales move into the Channel Islands to feed in the nutrient rich water. These behemoths are typically found in the west channel and trips later in the season are available on a private charter basis only. Orcas, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals are all year-round residents of the Channel Islands. You have a good chance of sighting these animals on any of our whale watching trips.

Type of Wildlife in the Channel Islands Region

There are several different species of whales you are likely to encounter on one of our trips. California Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Blue Whales, Finback Whales and Orca Whales (Killer Whales) are common sightings in the waters surrounding the Channel Islands. Additional wildlife includes seals, sea lions, dolphins and a rich variety of bird life; some of which are endangered and protected.