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Whale Watching on Monterey Bay

The perfect vessel for intimate whale encounters

Quick Details

Adult 3-4hrs
Child (Ages 0-12) 3-4hrs
Adult 2-3hrs
Child (Ages 0-12) 2-3hrs

Whale watching on Monterey Bay is a year-round adventure.

Our 3.5 to 4 hour whale watching cruises from Moss Landing are long enough to allow plenty of time to see whales and dolphins in a relaxed manner. Learn from our marine biologists aboard the perfect vessel for intimate whale encounters – the stout, able and sea-kindly Sanctuary!

Sanctuary is a 43-foot Delta Marine. She has a comfortable cabin with upholstered seating as well as outside seating both covered and uncovered and we limit the number of passengers on board to 22 to ensure that the boat never gets crowded.

What to Bring Whale Watching in Monetary Bay

  • 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?
  • Cash: For parking, snacks, souvenirs, tipping, etc.
  • 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.

Whale Seasons in Monterey Bay:

  • Year Round: Humpback Whales, Orcas, Dolphins, and Sunfish
  • Spring: Gray Whales, Albatross, and the occasional Blue Whale & Fin Whale
  • Summer: Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Great White Sharks, Albatross, and Sea Turtles
  • Fall: Blue Whales, Fin Whales, and Sea Turtles
  • Winter: Gray Whales

Other wildlife highlights include pulsating jellies, foraging sea otters, playful California sea lions, harbor seals, local and migratory birds and a lot more. We also sometimes see the rarities such as beaked whales, minke whales, sperm whales, other species of sharks, and so much more! So bring your sense of wonder, awe and anticipation for what may well be the adventure of a lifetime.

If you are looking for a high-end, in-depth and highly personalized whale watching cruise, Sanctuary Cruises is the trip for you.

Seasickness Prevention

Aboard Sanctuary we take customer comfort seriously and do everything we possibly can to help you feel good and enjoy the trip. From biodiesel to relief bands to gingersnaps and aromatherapy – we have all the good tricks and tips to keep you happy.

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