Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

From $65 per person

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
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 3 - 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Instant confirmation
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
The tour departs from Monterey Old Fisherman’s Wharf, where the boat sets sail into the harbor, home to breathtaking sea views. As the tour leaves the dock, catch a glimpse of the hundreds of Californian Sea Lions inside the harbor. Take advantage of the view and snap a photo to capture the memory. Upon leaving the harbor, the boat passes the historic Cannery Row and then enters the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Monterey is one of the world’s best locations for whale watching due to the deep submarine canyon close to shore. This is where the search for the wonders of the bay’s marine life begins. With whales spotted almost every day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Keep your eyes peeled as you scan the water for the abundance of marine life that lives here. Search for feeding humpback whales, a variety of dolphin species, porpoises, blue whales, fin whales and more. As you sail, listen to the onboard biologist provide fascinating insight into the creatures of the bay, and what is 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. You can expect to see humpback whales daily but, you may also see 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. One of largest movements of mammals on earth happens just off the coast of Pacific Grove, CA – the south end of Monterey Bay. Gray whales pass by the coast, about a 30-minute ride from Monterey Harbor. Due to the short distance from the “gray whale super highway”, the trips can be shorter in duration for the winter time.
  • 3 or 4 hour whale watching cruise (depending on option booked)
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are provided in the office at check in and on the boat
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food
  • Gratuities
Not suitable for
  • Pregnant women
  • People with mobility impairments
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • Customers must keep distance in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • Customers are required to bring and wear masks
  • Customers must fill out a travel information form

Select participants and date



Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Please park in the main water front parking lot at the address: 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. Park as close as you can to rows A through D. Once 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 office is on the right hand side of the extension. Our 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

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen

Not allowed

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and drugs

Know before you go

  •  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
  • 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 153 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety
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Lovely team of gentlemen who were kind and entertaining. We enjoyed Andrew’s singing since you hardly get to hear old sea shanties anymore. The team was incredibly thoughtful with an elderly woman experiencing nausea on her birthday trip whale watching. We saw a variety of wild life. Well worth the trip and great narration of what we were seeing. Well informed crew. Thanks again guys!

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June 1, 2021

Our tour with Discovery Whale Watch was simply amazing! We could not have been luckier with the weather; and we were blessed to see MANY humpback whales, a pod of Dalls porpoises, and even a Minke whale! And let’s not forget all the fun and playful seals, sea lions and sea otters. Kevin and Isiah were exceptional guides; friendly, very knowledgeable, and professional. This trip completely exceeded our expectations and we will definitely be using them again!

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November 25, 2020

So much fun. Learned a ton! Friendly staff and crew. Btw we came literally the minute we were supposed to leave and they were so nice and got us on but let that be your warning! It can be very hard to find parking. Took us 30 min because of traffic in the parking lots! But the tour was worth it my only complaint is that we found the whales right away and the captain and crew took us away from them for the last 40 minutes to try to find dolphins or porpoises which I understand are beautiful creatures and they just really want to teach you and show you everything which is so fun; I just wish we stayed with the whales because that's what 1 came for. Other than that only thing, it was a beautiful time. Will go again.

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November 10, 2020

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Product ID: 246507