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The Best Whale Watching In Seattle

By April 26, 2017No Comments

Seattle, Washington sits on the Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean on the Northwestern Coast of the United States. The city is home to fine restaurants, vibrant entertainment, and easy access to untamed forests, hiking trials, and waterfalls. Seattle also serves as a gateway to the Pacific Ocean. Without much effort, tourists can find a whale watching tour.

A gorgeous week of whale watching weather! Here’s the Chilkat departing from Edmonds this morning.

A post shared by Puget Sound Express (@pugetsoundexpress) on May 31, 2016 at 11:50am PDT

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​Marine life is abundant in the Pacific Northwest. orcas and humpback whales, porpoises, dolphins, seals, sea lions, otters, and several species of marine birds populate this area, and it’s not difficult to find them. You have a lot of options when searching for a whale watching tour in Seattle. On your next trip, don’t settle for any tour guide, select the best.

The Highest-Rated Whale Watching Businesses in the Seattle Area

​When you type in “whale watching” in Google, you’ll be overwhelmed with results. You need to narrow your list, but how? One way is to look at the overall average rating. For the purposes of this article, the “best” is the company with the highest overall rating. If two companies received a perfect 5.0, the one with the one with the most reviews would be the winner.

​With that in mind, here are the best whale watching tours in and around Seattle:

San Juan Safaris-Whale Watching

San Juan Safaris-Whale Watching (5.0, 25 reviews). San Juan Islands are Northwest of Seattle and are one of the best areas in the country to see orca whales in the wild. It’s a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from Seattle, but it’s well worth the trip if you’re searching for whales. These waters are teeming with marine life.

Discovery Sea Kayaks

Discovery Sea Kayaks (5.0, 22 reviews). If you want an up close and personal whale watching experience, go on a kayak tour. Discovery sea kayaks is located on San Juan island and you can choose from half-day, full-day, and multi-day tours of the area.

Beautiful day yesterday. We saw orcas on the morning half day tour. #discoveryseakayaks #sanjuanislands

A post shared by Discovery Sea Kayaks (@discovery_sea_kayaks) on Jul 27, 2016 at 4:44pm PDT

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Island Adventure Cruises

Island Adventure Cruises (5.0, 1 review). With 5 departure locations around the Seattle area, Island Adventure Cruises offer accessible, affordable boat tours.

Happy New Year from Island Adventures! Last year was one for the record books, but records are made to be broken! We can’t wait to see what Mother Nature has in store for 2017! #welovewhales #islandadventures

A post shared by Island Adventures (@islandadventurewhales) on Jan 1, 2017 at 9:47am PST

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San Juan Excursions

San Juan Excursions (4.9, 42 reviews). This is another popular tour guide company on San Juan Island. They claim that they see whales on over 90 percent of their trips out on the water.

Not a bad view from the new place….

A post shared by San Juan Excursions (@sanjuanexcursions) on Jul 3, 2016 at 2:03pm PDT

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Tours Northwest

Tours Northwest (4.9, 15 reviews). Tours Northwest is a large tourism company based out of Seattle. They offer a variety of tours, from bus trips into the city, rides up to Mt. Rainier, and whale watching tours.

#repost of this gorgeous shot by @mynameismarcusklotz. The beauty of the #PNW never ceases to amaze us ❤️

A post shared by Tours Northwest (@toursnorthwest) on Jul 15, 2015 at 9:31am PDT

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Outdoor Odysseys Kayak Tours

Outdoor Odysseys Kayak Tours (4.9, 7 reviews). Yes, this is another kayak tour on San Juan Island. Outdoor Odysseys has been around for more than 30 years and offers 3-day wine and beer tasting tours.

Orcas can swim at speeds in excess of 30 miles per hour! This female cruised by a day day trip of ours earlier this month!! // Photo by guide @sevpiper

A post shared by Outdoor Odysseys Sea Kayaking (@outdoorodysseys) on Sep 14, 2016 at 7:57pm PDT

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Puget Sound Express

Puget Sound Express (4.7, 41 reviews): 32-year-old family run businesses and proud member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA). They guarantee that you’ll see whales or your next trip is free! Their boat, the Chilkat Express, is a hydrofoil jet boat that tops out at speeds of 40 MPH. The company claims it’s the fastest and quietest whale watching boat in the Northwest, They have locations in Seattle/Edmonds and Port Townsend, Washington.

AMAZING double #orca breach today near Orcas Island. All three boats on scene and what. a. show.

A post shared by Puget Sound Express (@pugetsoundexpress) on May 20, 2016 at 9:22pm PDT

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