What To Expect On Your Whale Watching Trip

Adventure awaits on the open ocean and many organizations look forward to making a trip across the coast as thrilling as possible.  Whale watching trips are inexpensive ways to live the day as a sailor on the high seas. Each expedition is filled with excitement, magic, and intrigue. You never know when something will breach the surface. Hopefully the cameras are ready! Each sighting no matter the creature is a treasure that will create special, lasting memories. 

As a recent first timer on a whale watching trip, there are some things people should be prepared for prior to embarking on their journey.

Picking an Organization for Your Voyage

Whale watching trips are usually inexpensive but keep in mind you will get what you pay for. Some trips are hundreds of dollars and include meals throughout the trip. If you want extravagance, the trip will be pricey. Otherwise, an expedition around $50 will buy you three hours (give or take, everywhere is different) out on the waves and just as much fun. Contrary to popular belief a great trip doesn't have to break the bank.


Let's get the elephant in the room out of the way. Seasickness! It can really put a damper on your trip and leave miserable memories. No one wants to remember the time they were hanging over the ship rail. To avoid this painful memory take heed of the crew's advice. Buy preventative anti-nausea medication. Take it 30 minutes prior to setting out so it has time to set in. Some people are very prone to seasickness and others aren't. That's just the way it is so even if you try with all your being, it's best to be prepared to lose your lunch. The most important thing to remember is to stay away from the bathroom. All the motion from the waves could cause you to bump your head on things. Instead, ask a crew member for help. They can direct you to a trash can or escort you to the back of the boat and from there you can "feed the fish". If you do end up throwing up don't let it ruin your trip. The good thing is once you're through you will feel so much better! The crew will share with you the best way to avoid getting sick which is staring at the horizon and not looking down. This lets your eyes stabilize.

In order to make your trip as enjoyable as possible, get there early. Some whale watching boats fit up to 100 people.


Photographers! Your pictures may not come out perfect, but that doesn't mean you won't get fantastic images. Don't expect the whale or dolphin to freeze in mid air so you can align the shot, adjust the lighting and get into position. You have a matter of seconds to get the shot, so set the camera on sports mode. This will rapidly capture pictures allowing you to capture the moments when something breaches or raises a tail. 

If you're a photographer I recommend the top deck that way you can get better shots and keep your gear dry.

No Whales?!

Be aware that while this is a whale watching trip, you may not see whales. Nature is unpredictable and the crew cannot conjure up a whale whenever need be. Even if you don't see a whale, the chance of sailing through a dolphin pod, or spotting some seals is still good. It all depends on where you decide to go and when. If you want a better chance at seeing a certain whale, research their migration patterns and then decide where you will sail.

These trips are great chances to educate the public about marine life and the ocean first hand. It is an amazing opportunity, that is easy to obtain, and just as fun as any trip to a theme park or sight seeing endeavor. Overall whale watching is like an adventure on the high seas. You get to be a pirate for a few hours searching for a few cetacean treasures.

Whale watching trips are unforgettable and a great way to responsibly witness spectacular marine wildlife. Seeing whales and dolphins in their natural habitat and able to display their natural behaviors is educational and absolutely breathtaking. These intelligent mammals heavily depend on their “pods” also known as their families. They are absolutely beautiful to see and will leave an impression on you that will last a lifetime.

Click HERE to learn about the top Whale-Watching destinations!

Shop Towels

  • Heather Weller, Plea for the Sea

Back to blog