If you are visiting the Pacific Coast this season, one of the best tourist activities is whale watching. Gaze out into the vast ocean as you watch the world’s largest mammals make unforgettable appearances. If you are interested in this incredible experience, below are some tips for your whale watching adventure.
California Whale Watching Cruises
The length of a whale watching cruise varies depending on the type of experience you would like. If you have never gone before and prefer just to sample whale watching, you can elect to take a two-hour jaunt out of a local harbor. For those that are more experienced or very fond of whale watching, there are multi-day cruises to Baja, Mexico.
Regardless of what type of experience you select, to find a cruise provider that is right for you, asking the following questions may help you secure a reliable company:
- Is the boat Coast Guard certified?
- Do they use a sighting network?
- Will a naturalist be on board? If so, what is their training?
- How long will the trip last?
- What is available on the ship? Is there a galley or snack bar, or should you bring your own food?
- Are there plenty of seating areas?
- Are they a member of a Whale Watching Operators Association?
- Will they take you out again for free if you do not see a whale?
In addition to these inquiries, you should also read customer reviews on sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp.
Advice for Your Whale Watching Cruise
- Have reasonable expectations: you cannot predict whether or not a whale will appear, so try not to be disappointed if you do not get as many sightings as you anticipated.
- Dress Warm: it will always be colder on the water than on the shore, so expect a 20-30 degree temperature difference.
- Bring a Waterproof Jacket: even if it is not raining, some of the smaller boats can generate quite a bit of spray, causing you to get wet.
- Wear Sunscreen: a lot of sunlight will bounce off the water’s surface, so it is important you protect you skin. It is also recommended to wear sunglasses and hats.
- The Time of Day Matters: it is better to embark earlier in the day because the wind usually picks up later in the day, making your ride a bit turbulent.
With these tips in mind, hopefully you will have an unforgettable whale watching experience!
For those seeking accommodation while on their adventure, Ayres Hotel Seal Beach is a commonly sought out destination for whale watchers!