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Wildlife Cruise & Photography Workshop

Quick Details


Join us  for a 7 hour photography workshop in Monterey Bay, CA in search of whales, dolphins, and more!

On this extended tour, you will be joined by biologist and professional wildlife photographer, Chase Dekker. Chase holds degrees in Organismal Biology and Zoology and is also a certified naturalist and interpretive guide. He has been published numerous times by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Nature’s Best Photography, BBC, and many other organizations. Whenever he is not out on Monterey Bay, he is off guiding tours or finishing photo assignments all over the globe. His expertise on whale photography will ensure you learn as much as possible while capturing incredible images.

What to Bring

  • Wear warm clothes and dress in layers. A waterproof outer layer is helpful, but not absolutely necessary. If you run cool anyway, bring toasty gloves and a warm scarf.
  • Shoes: Hiking or tennis shoes – they are flat-soled with good traction and securely laced to your feet. Heels, flip flops and open shoes are a bad idea. Rubber boots work well, especially in wet weather
  • Hat: For shade and/or warmth. Ball caps and canvas wide-brimmed hat with cords work well.
  • Sunglasses: Polarized are best, with a keeper cord.
  • Sunscreen: Use it often; the sun can be surprisingly strong, even on an overcast day.
  • Camera/Extra Batteries & Storage Media: Your best bet is a camera with a good telephoto lens.
  • Binoculars: Not essential, unless you are a birder. If you are experienced with them, bring them along, as a steady hand can provide extra great views of whales.
  • Notebook: To jot down particulars about the trip or identifying marks on the whales. We’ll tell you how to ID whales and you can either take photographs or sketch what you see. Wouldn’t it be something to see that whale again?
  • Drinks & Snacks: We have a snack bar on board Sanctuary with good coffee, teas, cocoa, instant soup, waters, sodas and snacks. You may bring your own, but please no glass or coolers.

What to Expect

The Sanctuary is the perfect vessel for whale photography as the stern rises no more than 2 feet above the sea. This gives you a spectacular low vantage point to photograph the wildlife from an intimate level that few other vessels offer. The Sanctuary is also equipped with an indoor cabin that has snacks, drinks, and a restroom. Whether you are a beginner or expert photographer, you are bound to pick up some new skills and tips on capturing stunning marine life imagery. For those who are not into photography, this is still an excellent trip to be out on the water during a beautiful time of day. You can sit back, relax, and watch the whales swim and breach under the setting Pacific sun while the photographers let their shutters fly!

The photography tours running between April-May will be a good time to look for killer whales as they come into the bay to hunt migrating gray whales. We might also encounter humpback whales, blue whales, and multiple species of dolphins. From July-November, expect to see humpbacks, blues, and dolphins with the occasional killer whale sighting. There will also be opportunities to photograph sea otters, sea lions, and many bird species. So whatever your interests may be, we look forward to welcoming you aboard for an amazing whale watching experience!

For question or inquiries you may check our FAQ’s page or Contact Us