PWWA MEDIA WATCH - BBC Doc Features Southern Residents
PWWA Yellow
Natural WorldBBC's Natural World: "Killer Whales, Beneath the Surface" / The World's Most-Renowned Natural History Unit Explores the Crisis Facing the Southern Resident Orcas of British Columbia and Washington State  / "The Captures" and "Tucker the Pooper-Snooper Dog" / Featuring Dr. Sam Wasser and Archive Footage and Project Consultation from Michael Harris, Baby Wild Films


Humpack transparent  SURFACING WHALE STORIES...


L95 tag orca-2.adapt.590.1

Satellite Tagging Caused Northwest Orca's Fatal Infection / David Kirby, TakePart  / October 6, 2016

When Technology Meant to Save a Rare Whale Turns Deadly / An autopsy finds that a Southern Resident orca died from an infection likely related to a satellite tracking tag attached to its dorsal fin / Siemny Kim, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / October 5, 2016

Tagging Point of Infection That Contributed to Orca's Death / Phuong Le, Associated Press  / October 5, 2016

From April...

Government Stops Tagging Killer Whales After Death of Rare Orca / Conservationists Want a Permanent Ban on the Devices that Track the Marine Mammals’ Movements / David Kirby, TakePart  / April 19, 2016


Orcas Sunset Jen

THE "CLASS OF 2015" / PWWA Releases Newest Photos of Eight Southern Resident Community Orca Calves Born Between December 30th, 2014 and December 1st, 2015. 

KILLER WHALE KIDS - J50 with J16. Photo by Naturalist Tasli Shaw Steveston Seabreeze Adventures Richmond BC 2sm

BEATING THE ODDS. The first of the Baby Boom blackfish, 22-month-old Southern Resident orca J50, aka "Scarlett," once again goes airborne, keeping close to spyhopping 43-year-old mom J16, or "Slick." J50's midwifed birth captivated the scientific community, and her survival has engendered hope among conservationists. Approximately 50% of wild killer whale calves don't make it through their first year. Eight of ten calves born to the Southern Resident Community since December 30th, 2014 are still with us. Awesome photo by Naturalist Tasli Shaw, Seabreeze Adventures Whale Watching, Steveston, BC.

West Coast Orca 'Class of 2015' a Sign of Hope for Endangered Species / Killer Whale Population Faces Many Obstacles to Recovery, but 2015's ‘Baby Boom' Calves Doing Well / Sheena Goodyear, CBC News  / October 5, 2016

"We've got fish issues, we've got tough times ahead, but for now we are just wrapping our big arms around these baby orcas and trying to fill ourselves with some hope," Harris said. "Firefighters don't rush to a building that's already burned down. We want people to understand that there is hope. This population can recover.”

COMMUNITY / PWWA Reports Southern Resident Calves Still Surviving / Journal of the San Juans  / October 4, 2016

But birthing babies doesn’t necessarily mean recovery. “Every time we had a baby born to this population last year, people got giddy,” remembers Michael Harris, Executive Director of PWWA, representing 38 companies operating out of 21 ports in BC and Washington. “And awesome as the news always was, I guess we sometimes had to be a buzzkill. We had to remind everyone that wild orcas have a 50% mortality rate out there, that half of these babies don’t make it through their first year. It’s a coin flip, we said. Well, now we can breath a little easier. We’ve got six calves who have passed that threshold and two more soon. Only two babies didn’t make it – they didn’t win that coinflip. But eight look great, growing like weeds. They are in no way out of the woods, we’ve got to get fish to these blackfish, but this is great milestone and real hope for the future of the Southerns. These whales never cease to amaze me. They are absolutely the most resilient and adaptive creature I have ever seen on this planet. They are survivors.”

(below) KILLER WHALE KID: J28 with her nine-month-old calf J54 off San Juan Island in September 2016. Photo by Capt. Gary Sutton, Seabreeze Adventures Whale Watching, Steveston, BC.

KILLER WHALE KIDS - J54 with J28. Photo by Capt. Gary Sutton Steveston Seabreeze Adventures Richmond BC 1sm

(below) A SURVIVOR'S TAIL: 19-month-old J52 shows some fluke. Photo by Naturalist/Capt Heather MacIntyre, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, San Juan Island, WA.

KILLER WHALE KIDS - J52. Photo by Naturalist-Capt Heather MacIntyre Mayas Legacy Whale Watching Friday Harbor WA 5smcrop

(below) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, J53! "Kiki" turns one-year-old on October 24th, 2016. And turning one means a lot in an orca's world. Seen here off San Juan Island with J17 and family. Photo by Naturalist/Capt Heather MacIntyre, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, San Juan Island, WA.

KILLER WHALE KIDS - J54. Photo by Naturalist-Capt Heather MacIntyre Mayas Legacy Whale Watching Friday Harbor WA 1sm 


“It just seemed like a great way to help the whales. As whale watch operators we work every day to reduce our footprint on the water, and we all have to do that from shore,” explained Capt. Hobbes Buchanan of San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours and Black Fish Whale & Wildlife Tours in Friday Harbor.

“Gandhi used to say, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world,’ and people get it. We know there’s a big constituency of consumers especially here in the Pacific Northwest who want more information to inform their buying behavior, to make sure what they’re putting on their lawn or using to clean up around their house isn’t harming our endangered Southern Resident orcas – or any creature out there. Now, in these Ace stories in Anacortes and Friday Harbor, they can begin by looking for that Orca Friendly label.”

Orca Friendly Products label

Ace Hardware Stores Get Hyper-Local with Orca-Friendly Labels / Cone Communications/Just Means  / September 8, 2016

The "Humpback Comeback" is "Great News" for the Species / Kipp Robertson, KIRO Radio/My Northwest  / September 7, 2016

Anacortes Hardware Store Labeling Orca-Friendly Products / Aaron Wienberg, Skagit Valley Herald  / August 30, 2016

Orca Friendly Products at Ace Hardware / Journal of the San Juans  / August 24, 2016

These Hardware Stores Are Adding "Orca-Friendly" Labels To Products / Protecting watersheds for orcas could also help all wildlife / Adele Peters, Co-Exist  / August 24, 2016

Orca Friendly on shelf

"There's a whole range of things people use in their homes or put on their lawns that make their way into the watersheds, wherever they are," says Michael Harris, Executive Director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, which partnered with two Ace stores on the labeling project. "It just so happens that our watershed here in the Pacific Northwest has endangered orcas in it."

Are Orca-Friendly Products Coming to Your Home Improvement Store? Ace Hardware stores near the endangered Southern Resident killer whales’ home are using a new label to show what products won’t hurt the marine environment. / David Kirby, TakePart  / August 22, 2016

B.C.’s Whale Watching Industry Making a Comeback / Simon Little, News Talk 980 CKNW/Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk  / August 22, 2016

BC’s Whale Watching Industry Seeing “Big, Big” Boom / Jayson MacLean, Cantech Letter  / August 22, 2016

B.C. Sees Boost in Tourists, First Half of 2016 / Simon Little, News Talk 980 CKNW/Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk  / August 22, 2016

Thar She Blows! It's Been a Great Summer for Seeing Whales in the Strait of Juan de Fuca / Jeffrey P. Mayor, The Tacoma News Tribune  / August 21, 2016

PWWA and Ace Hardware in Anacortes and Friday Harbor launch “Orca Friendly Products” / San Juan Islander  / August 17, 2016

Editorial: Whales’ Return a Hopeful Sign / The Victoria Times Colonist Editorial Staff  / August 14, 2016

2-16-07-01 6079-web-pm

"HUMPBACK HEAVEN... and a Fin, too." PWWA crews are reported unprecedented sightings of large congregations of humpback whales in the Salish Sea. Crews also reported a 70-ft fin whale off Dungeness Spit in mid-July 2016, the second confirmed sighting of the species in Washington State waters since 1930. Humpback lunge feeding photo by Naturalist Val Shore, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria, BC.

Washington Must Fix Culverts that Block Salmon from Habitat, Court Rules / Lynda Mapes, Seattle Times  / June 27, 2016

Canada to Release Salmon to Help Feed Endangered Killer Whales / A lack of food is the biggest threat to Southern Resident orcas / David Kirby, TakePart  / June 27, 2016

DFO Rubber-Stamps Unusual Plan to Feed Endangered Orcas / CTV News  / June 22, 2016

Where to See Orcas Near Seattle This Summer / Sara Bernard, Seattle Weekly  / June 22, 2016



Short-beaked common dolphins Delphinus delphis off Victoria BC on June 16 2016. Photo by Capt. James Mead Maya Mayas Legacy Whale Watching San Juan Island WA 1
Common dolphins (Delphis delphinus) were spotted by PWWA crews on June 13th off Port Angeles, WA and on June 16th off Victoria, BC, possibly the first-ever confirmed sightings of the species in the inland waters of the Salish Sea.  Photos: Capt. James Mead Maya, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, Friday Harbor, WA.

Short-Beaked Dolphins Spotted Near Port Angeles / Associated Press / June 18, 2016

Apparent Short-Beaked Dolphins Sighted Near Port Angeles / Jessica Lee, The Seattle Times  / June 17, 2016

Pod of Rarely Seen Dolphins Spotted in Port Angeles Harbor / The Olympian  / June 17, 2016

“We get very excited of course whenever we have a rare sighting like this,” (PWWA Executive Director) Michael Harris said. “They’re beautiful animals, and we’re thrilled to get a chance to observe and study them, but at the same time we know that if our oceans were healthier and this planet weren’t in the throes of a climate crisis we probably wouldn’t be seeing this species up here.”

Photo by Capt. James Mead Maya Mayas Legacy Whale Watching San Juan Island WA 3

Rare Glimpse of Common Dolphins Captured in Port Angeles Harbor / Jesse Major, Peninsula Daily News  / June 15, 2016

“I was pretty shocked,” (Island Adventures and Port Angeles Whale Watch Company owner Shane) Aggergaard said. “I've been running whale-watching trips for the last 20 years, and I really enjoy when we have a first. It was just incredibly exciting to see. It's got the attention of the research world for sure.”

Common Dolphins May Have Been Seen in Salish Sea: Rare Sighting / Liam Britten, CBC News  / June 14, 2016

Dolphin Sighting South of Victoria Could Signal Warmer Oceans: U.S. Group / The Canadian Press  / June 14, 2016

Dolphins in Salish Sea Signal Warming Worries / Sarah Petrescu, Victoria Times-Colonist  / June 14, 2016

(l-r) Capt. Alan Niles and Naturalist/First Mate Heather MacIntyre of Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, San Juan Island, WA.
Capt Alan Niles Mayas Legacy Whale WatchingNaturalistFirst Mate Heather MacIntyre Mayas Legacy Whale Watching San Juan Island WA 1

Rescue of Capsized Kayakers in Haro Strait / Journal of the San Juans  / June 15, 2016

Fear Kinder Morgan Pipeline Could Wipe Out Whales / Tess van Straatenon, CHEK News  / May 20, 2016

“One thing we all agree on is oil and water and whales don’t mix,” says Michael Harris of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. “All it takes it one bad spill and we’ve got a population of orcas that are wiped out. This is the number one most immediate threat to the long-time survival of the endangered Southern Resident community.”

Transient Orcas Return to Salish Sea / Journal of the San Juans  / May 20, 2016

Transient Orcas Visiting Northwest Waters in Record Numbers / KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / May 18, 2016

Bigg's Killer Whales Become Regulars in Pacific Northwest Waters / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / May 17, 2016

A “Humpback Comeback” is Happening in the Salish Sea / Journal of the San Juans  / May 17, 2016

Hobby Drones Over Orca Whales: Legally Murky And A Potentially Bad Mix / Tom Banse, National Public Radio (NPR)  / May 16, 2016

Drones Becoming "A Real Threat" to B.C.'s Whales, Say Tour Operators / Wendy Mclellan, Vancouver Sun  / May 6, 2016

Hobby Drones Over Orca Whales: Legally Murky And A Potentially Bad Mix / Lynda Mapes, Seattle Times  / May 5, 2016

Whale Watchers Spot Humpback "Big Mama" With New Calf / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / May 3, 2016

"Big Mama" Humpback Whale has 6th Calf / San Juan Islander  / May 2, 2016

Environment / Drones Over Puget Sound Orcas: Legal or Illegal? / Eric Wilkinson, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / April 28, 2016

Courtesy of R. Bryon Frenyea OIFDANOTHER RESCUE BY PWWA CREW! 

Whale Watch Crew Helps OIFD Rescue Hiker Injured on Orcas Island / San Juan Islander  / April 26, 2016

This is the seventh rescue involving a PWWA crew in the last three years. "We're not just watching whales out there," explained Executive Director Michael Harris, "we're watching out for everyone."


Government Stops Tagging Killer Whales After Death of Rare Orca / Conservationists Want a Permanent Ban on the Devices that Track the Marine Mammals’ Movements / David Kirby, TakePart  / April 19, 2016

L95 Ellifrit CWR
 The Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) calls for an immediate moratorium on NOAA Fisheries' dart-tagging of endangered Southern Resident orcas following death of L95, also known as Nigel (above), a critical breeding age member of the population. Scientists are concerned that invasive dart-tagging in February of this year may have contributed to his death. Photo: Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.

Orca Satellite Tagging Halted After Dart Found in Dead Whale: Concerns Raised After Parts of a Titanium Dart Found in Dorsal Fin of Dead Whale / Mike Laanela, CBC News  / April 16, 2016

Orca Tagging Program on Hold After Dead Whale Found in B.C. / Leeanna McLean, The Weather Channel  / April 16, 2016

Two Recently Found Dead Orcas Determined to be from Southern Resident Population: The Pacific Whale Watch Association is calling for an immediate moratorium on the dart-tagging of the Southern Resident Orcas / Anacortes American  / April 15, 2016

“We don’t know yet if this dart-tagging had anything to do with L95’s death, but it certainly didn’t help,” Michael Harris, PWWA executive director, said in the release. “It’s also not needed. It follows a long pattern we’ve seen from NOAA Fisheries, this eagerness to go out and collect mountains of data and then never get around to analyzing it.”

Scientist Blasts ‘Overly Barbaric’ Orca Tagging System / Andrew Weichel, CTV News  / April 15, 2016

Another Female Calf Raises Hopes for Endangered Orca Population (see "Our Baby Orcas are Mostly Males. That Has Scientists Freaked Out" 4/1/16) / Mike Laanela, CBC News  / April 15, 2016

Klamath Brown

A "DAM GOOD IDEA" - The Pacific Whale Watch Association Applauds Decision Today to Remove Antiquated Dams Along Klamath River, Restoring Major Salmon Source for Southern Resident Orcas. 

“We’re starting to get it right after so many years of getting it wrong,” said Gov. Jerry Brown (above). “What a beautiful day.”

VICTORY! Historic Agreement Clears Way for Removal of Klamath River Dams/ Lacey Jarrell, Klamath Falls Herald & News  / April 7, 2016


Sympo 2016

“You have to remember our sailors come from all across Canada and are often just as excited about seeing whales as you are,” said Danielle Smith, Maritime Forces Pacific Fleet Environment Officer, to a room full of researchers, naturalists and advocates at the 2nd annual Pacific Whale Watch Association International Symposium last month in Anacortes, Washington.

Navy Talks Marine Mammal Mitigation at Symposium / Katelyn Moores, MARPAC PA Office, The Lookout of CFB Esquimalt  / April 6, 2016

NOAA Orca Attacks Gray Whale

Boat Captain Calls Whale Fight Near Everett ‘Spectacular’ / Eric Mandel, Seattle Post-Intelligencer/MyNorthwest  / April 5, 2016

Boat Crew Sees Rare Orca Attack on Gray Whales in Puget Sound / Jessi Loerch, Everett Herald  / April 4, 2016

Lucha de Titanes: Batalla de Orcas Contra Ballenas Grises / Vozpopuli (Spain)  / April 4, 2016

Clash Of Titans: Whale Watchers Witness Transient Orca Whales Attack Gray Whales Off The Coast Of Everett / Katrina Pascual, Tech Times  / April 3, 2016

Boat Crew Witnesses Whale Fight Near Everett / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / April 2, 2016

Rare Whale Attack in Puget Sound Witnessed Near Everett / KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / April 2, 2016

Our Baby Orcas Are Mostly Boys. That Has Scientists Freaked Out / Isolde Raftery, KUOW FM (NPR Seattle)  / April 1, 2016

J55 NOAA 011816crop
Good news, bad news... (above) J55, the newest calf in the Southern Resident Community, spotted January 18th, 2016 by NOAA Fisheries scientists. The crew also discovered that day a 20-year-old female of the population with her dead calf at the surface. It would've been J31's first baby.

"Hearing that she was pushing around this dead calf was heart-wrenching," said Michael Harris, Executive Director of Pacific Whale Watch Association. "It’s almost as if she wanted so much to be a part of this baby boom, to become a mother like so many in her pod, that she simply couldn’t bring herself to the bitter reality of losing her calf. I guess we all have to be aware of reality — this population has turned a corner, no question, but in no way is it out of the woods. We’ve got some tough salmon years ahead of us, and that means extra pressure on the whales.” 

SCIENCE / Orca Born During Killer Whale ‘Baby Boom,’ Another Found Dead / Canada Journal  / January 20, 2016

Killer Whale Baby Boom at Nine and Counting / Victoria Times Colonist  / January 19, 2016

New Addition to Southern Resident Orca Community / Ben O'Haraon, CHEK News  / January 19, 2016

Another Orca Born During Killer Whale ‘Baby Boom' / Vancouver Sun  / January 19, 2016

Ninth Baby Orca Confirmed in Puget Sound / Associated Press and KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / January 19, 2016

Jack Knox: Orcas Rule, Green Project Abandoned / Jack Knox, / Victoria Times Colonist  / January 9, 2016 (see our Media Room for previous stories on this tidal turbine project, the siting of which was opposed by PWWA, the treaty tribes of Washington State, Orca Conservancy and other organizations.)

jeffrey foss
All hail, the Jeffrey Foss! The Southern Resident orcas thank you.

Bulk Carrier Loses Power at Entrance to Strait of Juan de Fuca; Vessel Tugged to Victoria / Rob Ollikainen, / Peninsula Daily News  / January 6, 2016

Whaaaaa?! Another Baby Orca?
Lisa Brooks, KUOW FM (NPR Seattle)  / December 17, 2015

J54 and J28 CWR 2sm

Welcome J54! The calf was spotted in early December by Pacific Whale Watch Association crews and confirmed on Wednesday the 16th. This is the eighth baby orca born into the endangered Southern Resident Community since December 30th, 2014. Photo by Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.

New Baby Orca Joins Local J Pod / Jim Donaldson, Editor, Bellingham Herald  / December 17, 2015

New Baby Orca Joins the Local J Pod / Jennifer Sullivan, Seattle Times  / December 17, 2015

Orca Baby Boom / Ben O’Haraon, CHEK News  / December 16, 2015

Another Baby: 8th Endangered Orca Spotted in Puget Sound / Phueong Le, Associated Press  / December 16, 2015

THE BABY BOOM CONTINUES! Introducing L123, the seventh calf born into the endangered Southern Resident killer whales since December 30th, 2014. Photo by Capt. Mark Malleson of Prince of Whales Whale Watching, under Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada license #2013-04 SARA-272 “3” and NMFS Permit #15569.

L123 Malleson 635849331360703961-L123-3

Another Baby Orca Is Born In Puget Sound! / Gil Aegerter, KUOW FM (NPR Seattle)  / December 8, 2015

The Puget Sound Welcomes a New Baby Orca / San Juan Islander / December 7, 2015

Another Baby Orca in L-Pod / San Juan Islander / December 6, 2015

Concern Over Food Supply as Orca Baby Boom Continues With 7th Calf / Simon Little, News Talk 980 CKNW Vancouver  / December 5, 2015

Endangered Puget Sound Orca Pod Celebrates New Birth / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle)  / December 5, 2015

FREE AND CLEAR! Once-entangled "Twin" Bigg's killer whale T77A finally found by PWWA crew on November 23rd, 2015 near D'Arcy Island, BC, unencumbered and apparently in good condition. Photo: Capt. James Mead Maya, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, San Juan Island, WA.

T77A Free and Clear 112315 Capt James Mead Maya Mayas Legacy Whale Watching 2

Orca Whale Spotted and No Longer Tangled Up in Rope / Marcus Hondro, Digital Journal  / November 26, 2015

Orca Seen Free of Rope Tangle Near D’Arcy Island, BC / Schiavonne Robinson, AmeriPublications  / November 25, 2015

Orca Spotted Free of Rope Tangle Near D'Arcy Island / Michael D. Reid, Times Colonist/Vancouver Sun  / November 25, 2015

Popular Orca Free From Fishing Gear / April Lawrence, CHEK News / November 24, 2015

Orca Free of Entanglements / San Juan Islander / November 24, 2015

Good News: Killer Whale Entangled in Rope and Float 3 Weeks Ago Seen as Clear and Free Now / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle)  / November 23, 2015

THE "HUMPBACK COMEBACK" CONTINUES! / Dean Stoltzon, CHEK News / November 17, 2015

Humpback Gnarly Photo Andrew Lees Five Star Whale Watching 3sm

(above) The mystery humpback "Gnarly," one of 50 whales documented for the first time by researchers in the Salish Sea since last year, part of the "Humpback Comeback." Photo by Andrew Lees, Five Star Whale Watching, Victoria, BC.

Gallery: Humpback Whales Migrating Through Salish Sea this Fall / Jim Donaldson, Editor, Bellingham Herald  / November 17, 2015

Amazing Photos of Migrating Whales in Salish Sea! / CHEK News  / November 17, 2015

Humpbacks Making Whale of a Recovery on West Coast / Cheryl Chan, The Province  / November 17, 2015

ANOTHER PWWA RESCUE! (below) Capt. Ian Roberts of SpringTide Whale Watching & Eco Tours in Victoria, BC throws a line to nine divers clinging to a capsized vessel in the frigid waters off Race Rocks on Sunday, November 16th, 2015. This is the second life-saving rescue involving a PWWA crew this year, and the sixth over the last three years. "We're not just watching whales and wildlife out there, we're watching out for everyone," said Michael Harris, Executive Director of PWWA.

SpringTide Rescue 7

Whale Watch Crew Rescues 9 People from Capsized Boat / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle)  / November 17, 2015

Nine People Rescued From Overturned Dive Boat Near Race Rocks / Rob Germainon, CHEK News  / November 16, 2015

Tragedy Averted off Race Rocks Thanks to Marine Radio / Tess van Straatenon, CHEK News  / November 16, 2015

T077A whale-rope-float2

Urgent Search Underway for Popular Orca Possibly Entangled in Rope / Amy Judd, Global News  / November 4, 2015

Search On for Whale Seen with Fishing Tackle Attached / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / November 4, 2015

Transient Whale May be Tangled in Rope and Float / San Juan Islander  / November 4, 2015

BC Marine Mammal Response Network

If you see an orca with possible entanglement, immediately contact the British Columbia Marine Mammal Response Network at (800) 465-4336.

Tofino Shattered by Tragedy, but Rallies as a Community / Carla Wilson, Victoria Times Colonist  / October 27, 2015

Serious Whale-Watching Accidents are Incredibly Rare: Industry Head / Canadian Press  / October 27, 2015

Trouble and Tragedy Came Suddenly for Capsizing Leviathan II / Sunny Dhillon, Mark Hume, Ian Bailey and Tu Thanh Ha, Tofino, Vancouver and Toronto, The Globe and Mail  / October 27, 2015

J53 Capt Simon Pidcock Ocean EcoVentures 1 BMP0512sm
(above) GRANDMA HAS A BABY! Newborn calf J53 with its mother, 38-year-old grandmother J17, first seen in Haro Strait on Saturday, October 24th. This is the sixth calf born into the endangered Southern Resident Community since December 30th, 2014.  Photo by Capt. Simon Pidcock, Ocean EcoVentures, Cowichan Bay, BC.

Experts Happy With "Brady Bunch" of Orcas / Sara Jean Green, Seattle Times  / October 26, 2015

J53 Brady Bunch sm

More Good News for B.C. Orca Fans as New Baby Observed: Calf is the sixth born recently to endangered southern resident community, which travels waters of B.C. and Washington coasts / Cheryl Chan, The Province  / October 25, 2015

Conservationists Thrilled: 6th New Baby Born to B.C. Coast Orca Pods / Global News and The Associated Press  / October 25, 2015

New Baby Orca Sighted in Haro Strait, off Saanich / Jeff Bell, Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun  / October 25, 2015

INTERNATIONAL BREAKING NEWS / Conservationists are Thrilled: 6th New Baby Born to Puget Sound Orca Pod / The Associated Press and Canadian Press  / October 25, 2015

Under Surveillance: Drones Used to Help Endangered Orcas / Allen Schauffler, Al Jazeera America  / October 21, 2015

Puget Sound’s Killer Whales Looking Good / Lynda Mapes, Environmental Reporter, Seattle Times  / October 21, 2015

A friendly humpback approaches a whale watch boat in Haro Strait. Photo: Naturalist Clint "Showtime" Rivers, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria, BC.

Clint Rivers Showtime Photography

Humpback Whales Resurging in Salish Sea / Kate Clark, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / October 15, 2015

Incredible Humpback Whale Encounter Near Victoria / CTV News  / October 13, 2015

California Agency Votes to Ban SeaWorld Orca Breeding / California Coastal Commission OKd Expansion of Controversial Tanks but Also Banned SeaWorld from Breeding Captive Orcas / Azure Gilman, Al Jazeera America  / October 8, 2015

ENVIRONMENT / DFO Urges Public to Keep a Safe Distance When Whale Watching / Global News  / October 8, 2015

OH BABY!  Welcome L122...

L122 NOAA babyorca-MAIN

THE BABY BOOM CONTINUES! Meet L122, the newest member of the Southern Resident Community of orcas, spotted September 7th, 2015 near Sooke, BC by Capt. Mark Malleson of Prince of Whales Whale Watching, Victoria, BC, and Capt. Jim Maya and Naturalist Jeanne Hyde of Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, San Juan Island. The birth brings the endangered population to 82 members, with its 83rd, Lolita, in Miami Seaquarium. Photo: Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research. 

Drone Captures Photos of Newborn Endangered Baby Orca Swimming Alongside Mother in Puget Sound / Daily Mail UK and Associated Press  / September 15, 2015

Save the Whales, Save Ourselves / Editorial Staffs, Victoria Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun  / September 10, 2015

"The new orca calf that dominated the front page of Wednesday’s Times Colonist is much more than a cute tourist attraction; it’s a reminder of the interconnectedness of all living things. The state of the orca population is a direct reflection of the ocean’s health, and without healthy oceans, we human beings are in trouble. / Whale-watchers spotted the new calf swimming in Puget Sound with its mother. It is the fifth calf born this year to the southern resident killer whales that swim off the coast of B.C. and Washington..."

Whale Watching Captain Rescues Distressed Diver / Cali Bagby, Islands Sounder  / September 10, 2015

WHALE WATCH CREW RESCUES DIVER / PWWA Crew Responds to Diver in Respiratory Distress off Orcas Island, Possibly Saving His Life / PWWA PRESS RELEASE / September 10, 2015

L122 VanAq

Baby Boom: A Fifth Orca Calf for Endangered Southern Resident Pod / Michael D. Reid, Victoria Times Colonist  / September 9, 2015

Puget Sound Experiencing Orca Whale "Baby Boom" / CBS News  / September 9, 2015

New Baby Orca Spotted With Mother / Siemny Kim, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / September 8, 2015

Timeline: Southern Resident Orcas Experience 2015 'Baby Boom’ / Jeff Lawrence, CTV News  / September 8, 2015

Baby Boom Continues for Puget Sound Orcas / Seattle Times  / September 7, 2015

Another New Orca Calf for L-Pod / Elizabeth Wiley, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / September 7, 2015

IMG 9235 edited-1FX

Puget Sound Express Whale Watching reported an extremely rare sighting of a fin whale in north Puget Sound, the second-largest creature to ever live on Earth. Naturalist photographer Janine Harles of Edmonds, WA got the shots and got them to scientists to review. KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reported that "the Center for Whale Research confirmed that Janine captured history."

Fin Whale Makes Appearance in North Puget Sound / The Associated Press  / September 6, 2015

Rarely-Seen Fin Whale Spotted in Nearby Waters / Adrian Chamberlain, Victoria Times Colonist  / September 5, 2015

Onlookers Treated to Rare Fin Whale Sighting / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle)  / September 5, 2015

Rare Fin Whale Spotted in Puget Sound, Experts Hope More Will Follow / Joanna Small, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / September 4, 2015

B.C. Orca Calves "Growing Like Weeds" in Waters off Vancouver Island / Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist  / September 3, 2015

Four Baby Orcas Born This Year are Thriving off B.C. Coast, Says Whale-Watch Group / The Province  / September 2, 2015

New Photos of Baby Orcas “Class of 2015″ / PWWA Crews Report Four Southern Resident Calves Still Doing Well / Dana Hutchingson, CHEK News  / September 2, 2015

To Protect Puget Sound Killer Whales, Washington Law Enforcement Patrols Keep Boaters in Check / Manuel Valdez, Associated Press  / September 2, 2015

"While the commercial whale watching industry is growing, authorities say they've been doing a good job of self-policing. That's not an easy task, said Michael Harris, executive director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, which has 34 members. / 'We knew you can't have whale watching if you have no whales,' Harris said. So the main focus for officers has been recreational boaters 'who either don't know what the rules are, they don't know the impact they could potentially have, or they don't care,' (Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Sgt. Russ) Mullins said."

Barbara Bender  J39 fishing flasher crop

Photo: Naturalist Barbara Bender, All Aboard Sailing. "We’re obviously very concerned about the lure and how it might affect J39’s feeding and behavior," Lynne Barre, protected resources branch chief in NOAA Fisheries’ Seattle office, said in a statement released to the media. "We appreciate the reports from whale watchers who first noticed this and we will work with our partners on the water to watch J39 carefully.”

NOAA Boosts Monitoring of J-Pod Orca Spotted with a Fishing Lure / Alison Grande, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / August 4, 2015

Orca Found With Salmon Lure Stuck Inside Mouth / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle) and Associated Press  / August 4, 2015

20150704 7734sm

Seven-month-old orca calf J50 "Leaps for Joy" in Haro Strait, July 4th, 2015. Photo: Naturalist Clint "Showtime" Rivers, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria, BC.

Official Orca Census: 81 Whales, Including 4 Babies / Phuong Le, Associated Press  / July 23, 2015

Official July Census of Orcas: 81 Whales, Including Four Baby Orcas Born Since Winter / U.S. News & World Report  / July 22, 2015

SCIENCE / Orca Baby Boom: Enough to Save the Endangered Whales? / Kelsey Warner, Christian Science Monitor  / July 18, 2015

Baby Orcas Thriving in the Northwest / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / July 17, 2015

Whale-Watching Crews say Salish Sea’s Orca Calves are Doing Well / Jim Donaldson, Editor, Bellingham Herald  / July 17, 2015

Orca "Preschool" in the Salish Sea is Good News for Endangered Whales / Amy Judd, Global News  / July 17, 2015

New Photos Show Orca Pods, Baby "Leaping for Joy" / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle)  / July 17, 2015

All Four Baby Orcas Doing Well, Especially J50 / San Juan Islander  / July 17, 2015

Do You Know When You’re Too Close to Orcas? / Amy Clancy, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / June 15, 2015

New Allies in Killer Whale Recovery? Orcas Adopted by Obama Girls / Scott Rasmussen, Editor, Journal of the San Juans  / June 9, 2015

Navy Halts Live-Fire Exercise to Avoid Harming Whales / Pacific Whale Watch Association Alerts Military of Incoming J-Pod Orcas With Three Calves / Katie Derosa, Victoria Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun  / June 3, 2015

Four Baby Orca Calves Beating the Odds / Amy Clancy, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / June 5, 2015

Killer Whale Population Rebounding Off the Southern Coast of B.C. / Robin Levinson King, Toronto Star  / June 3, 2015

Killer Whale Population: Four Calf Sightings Near Canada, Despite Recent Population Decline / Amanda Bernocco, Global News  / June 3, 2015

L121 DSC 0595 2 sm

Killer Whale Baby Boom: 4th Calf Spotted Near Tofino / Confirmed Sighting of L-121 Raises Endangered Southern Resident Population to 81
/ CBC News  / June 2, 2015

Fourth Baby Orca Spotted off B.C.'s Coast / Cassandra Jeffery, Kamloops BC Now  / June 2, 2015

Rare B.C. Humpback Encounter Leaves Whale Watchers in Awe / Photographer Captures "Once in a Lifetime" Moment With Photos and Video / Bal Brach, CBC News  / May 13, 2015

Humpback Calf, Mom Show Off for Whale Watchers / Susan Wyatt, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / May 10, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: Just in Time for Mother's Day: Baby Orca and Mother in the Sound / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / May 8, 2015

OPINION: How Whale Watch Boats Could Help During Oil Spill in Puget Sound / By Hobbes Buchanan and Michael Harris / Everett Herald, Vancouver Sun and Others / May 3, 2015

ANOTHER BABY IN J-POD!  On March 30, 2015, Pacific Whale Watch Association crews spotted and documented the latest addition to the endangered Southern Resident orcas, J52. Capt. Mark Malleson of Prince of Whales reviewed photos taken from his boat and from naturalist Jeanne Hyde of Maya's Legacy Whale Watching to Ken Balcomb from the Center for Whale Research where it was confirmed. This is the fourth birth within the population in the last three months, bringing their numbers to 81 - with its 82nd member, Lolita, now at Miami Seaquarium. (Photo: Jeanne Hyde.) 

J52 03302015- 855-NewCalfsm

PHOTO GALLERY / Fourth Baby Orca Born to the World's Most Endangered Killer Whales / Emily J. Gertz, TakePart  / April 1, 2015

Newborn Orca Buoys Hope for Endangered Species / Amy Smart, Victoria Times Colonist  / March 31, 2015

Orca Baby Boom Hits Puget Sound / Phuong Le, Associated Press  / March 31, 2015

Fourth Baby Orca Born This Season / CNN  / March 31, 2015

Another Baby Orca Born to J-Pod / CBC News  / March 31, 2015

Endangered B.C. Orca Group Welcomes Yet Another New Baby / The Province  / March 31, 2015

Baby No. 4 Born to J Pod Orcas / Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / March 30, 2015

Eagle Wing Valerie Shore J27 with J51 15-03-27 5603 BB and baby sm

Six-week-old orca J51 with 24-year-old J27 off Pender Island, BC. (Photo: Naturalist Valerie Shore, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria.)

Baby Orca J50 Comes Out to Play - Pacific Whale Watch Association Reports That J-Pod Babies are "Lively and Rambunctious" / CBC News  / March 29, 2015

New Southern Resident Orcas Doing Well / CHEK News  / March 29, 2015

New Baby Orcas Healthy, "Leaping for Joy" / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / March 28, 2015

GRAY WHALE WATCHING SEASON OPENS!  Northern Puget Sound has its "regulars" back, massive gray whales taking three-month pitstops every spring off of Everett and Whidbey Island from the greatest migration in the animal kingdom. Whale watchers have a 100% chance of seeing these amazing creatures. Book now with Island Adventures, Mystic Sea Charters, Victoria Clipper or Puget Sound Express Seattle/Edmonds.

50 tons of gray 031315 steveringman

50 Feet of Gray, Now Showing in Puget Sound / Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times  / March 13, 2015

Mexico Death Shocks B.C. Whale-Watching Operators / Glenda Luymes, The Province  / March 12, 2015

A Deadly Whale Encounter in Mexico Hits Home in BC / Scott Cunningham, CTV News  / March 12, 2015

NEW BABY IN L-POD! (below) Exclusive NOAA Video of L121 and family off Westport, WA on February 24, 2015.

BABY BOOM! (below) Newborn Southern Resident orca L121 with mother L94. This is the third calf reported in the population since 12/30/14. Photo: NOAA Fisheries.

L94 and L121.jpg

Baby Boom in Southern Resident Killer Whale Population / Global News / February 27, 2015

NEW ORCA IN L-POD! / KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle)  / February 26, 2015

Third Orca Calf Born Within Two Months off Vancouver Island / CBC News  / February 26, 2015

J51 2 
ANOTHER NEW BABY!  Newborn J51 with mum J19 in Haro Strait, off San Juan Island, WA (photo: Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.

Second Orca Born to J-Pod / Michael Harris Says J51 Breathes Hope Into Endangered Whale Population. / JoAnn Roe, CBC Radio "The Early Edition" / February 13, 2015

    CTV 2/12 and 2/13/15.

New Orca Calf Born to Endangered Southern Resident Pod - 2nd baby whale in two months born to JPod is more good news for endangered population. / CBC News  / February 13, 2015

Another Baby Orca Spotted in Endangered Killer Whale Pod off B.C. Coast / The Province  / February 13, 2015

“This is about the best Valentine’s Day present you can imagine,” said Michael Harris, executive director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, which represents 32 tour operators in Washington and B.C.

Newborn Killer Whale Spotted off Vancouver Island / CTV News  / February 13, 2015

Another Baby Orca Born! It’s the Second in the Past 2 Months / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle)  / February 12, 2015

SeaWorld Testifies Against Measure Banning Whale Capitivity in State / Long before the 2013 anti-whale-captivity movie “Blackfish” and Thursday’s hearing on a proposed bill to ban whale captivity, Washington has been home to opposition of using wild whales for display and entertainment in aquariums. / Walker Orenstein, Seattle Times  / February 5, 2015

Brian Goodremont from San Juan Safaris and the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) is against whale captivity and has been in the whale-watching businesses for 15 years. The industry is thriving, and Michael Harris, director of the PWWA estimated his association of businesses (18 in Washington) has seen 15 percent growth in the last two years.

“I grew up with the wildlife ethics through my family that the best place to view wildlife is in their natural environment with no or very little impact on their natural functions or life cycle,” Goodremont said. “From a professional standpoint I think it’s most interesting to view those animals in their natural environment.”

“We just think that it’s a tsunami of public perception against the idea of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity in the care of humans,” Harris said. “You can’t keep an animal that travels 100 miles a day in the care of humans because that’s not caring for them.”

The Toxic Threat to One of the World’s Rarest Killer Whales / A Canadian city has green-lighted a hazardous-waste recycling plant — right next to salmon spawning grounds that feed Southern Resident orcas. / PWWA joins coalition of groups on both sides of the border in raising concerns about project sited along the Fraser River location, the world’s No. 1 producer of Chinook, the preferred diet of the critically endangered whales.  By David Kirby,  / January 26, 2015

(below) Banged-Out Baby... Center for Whale Research photo of newborn J50 with bite and rake marks. Scientists and experts speculate that orcas within J-Pod assisted in the birth of J50, pulling it out of its mother.


Orca Baby Not Traveling With Mother, Scientists Believe / After the celebrated sighting of a baby orca in the Salish Sea earlier this week, questions have emerged about the baby’s birth and the identity of its mother. / Paige Cornwell, Seattle Times  / January 3, 2015

Orca Midwife? Scientists Say It May Have Happened / The birth of a new Southern Resident Killer Whale raised a lot of hopes this week, but it's also raised some questions. / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / January 2, 2015

NEW YEAR'S BABY IN J-POD! Godspeed, little blackfish. We need you.  Photo by Naturalist Valerie Shore, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria, BC.

 Valerie Shore Eagle Wing 14-12-30 9758sm

Orca Midwife? Scientists Say It May Have Happened / The birth of a new Southern Resident Killer Whale raised a lot of hopes this week, but it's also raised some questions / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)  / January 1, 2014

SOUTHERN RESIDENTS / A New Year’s Baby for Endangered Southern Resident Orcas / Amy Judd, Global News  / December 31, 2014

Endangered J-Pod of Orcas Have a New Baby / J50 was Born Into the J-Pod of Killer Whales Sometime This Week, and Appears to be Healthy / CTV News  / December 31, 2014

The Old Year Ends With Newborn J-Pod Orca / Richard Watts, Victoria Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun  / December 30, 2014

(below) KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle): New Year's Baby in J-Pod! / December 30 and 31, 2014.

PWWA Media Room  


PWWA Media Room



PWWA whales onlyThe Pacific Whale Watch AssociationPWWA YellowPWWA Yellow
consists of 38 dedicated whale watching and ecotourism businesses committed to research, education, and responsible wildlife viewing. Member companies depart from 21 different ports in Washington State and British Columbia, taking about a half-million passengers out every year, creating critical constituencies for conservation.

Each one of our member operators provides a unique experience.
Whether it’s a fast, exciting Zodiac-style boat, or the comfort of a larger family-friendly vessel, or maybe something in-between, there is a PWWA member company that’s just right for you!

All members of the PWWA have a great respect and admiration for the Pacific Northwest and its magnificent wildlife, regarding them as family. Many of our captains and naturalists are marine scientists and educators, and we consider our boats to be classrooms on the water.  We're also committed to direct conservation, using our extraordinary access to these sensitive populations of marine mammals to help protect them for generations to come.

POW orca
Pacific Whale Watch Association

All Aboard Sailing - Friday Harbor, WA
All Seasons Charters - Edmonds, WA
Anacortes Kayak Tours - Anacortes, WA
BC Whale Tours - Victoria, BC
Black Fish Whale & Wildlife Tours - Friday Harbor, BC
Deer Harbor Charters - Deer Harbor, WA
Eagle Wing Tours - Victoria, BC
Five Star Whale Watching - Victoria, BC
Island Adventures - Everett, Anacortes and Port Angeles, WA
Island Mariner Whale Watching Cruises - Bellingham, WA
Maya's Legacy Whale Watching - Friday Harbor, WA
Mystic Sea Charters - Anacortes and Langley, WA
Ocean EcoVentures - Cowichan Bay, BC
Orca Spirit Adventures Group - Victoria, BC
Orcas Island Eclipse Charters - Orcas, WA
Outer Island Expeditions - Eastsound, WA
Prince of Whales Whale Watching - Vancouver and Victoria, BC
Puget Sound Express - Port Townsend and Seattle/Edmonds, WA
Salt Spring Adventure Co. - Sooke, BC
San Juan Cruises - Bellingham, WA
San Juan Excursions - Friday Harbor, WA
San Juan Island Outfitters - Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor, WA
San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours - Friday Harbor, WA
San Juan Safaris - Friday Harbor, WA
Sidney Whale Watching - Sidney, BC
Spirit of Orca Whale Watching - Friday Harbor, WA
SpringTide Whale Watching and Eco Tours - Victoria, BC
Steveston EcoTours - Steveston, BC
Steveston Seabreeze Adventures - Steveston, BC
Vancouver Whale Watch - Steveston, BC
Victoria Clipper - Seattle, WA and Victoria, BC
Western Prince Whale Watching - Friday Harbor, WA
White Rock Sea Tours - White Rock, BC
Wild Whales Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

PWWA Ports:

Anacortes, WA
Bellingham, WA
Cowichan Bay, BC
Deer Harbor, WA
Eastsound, WA
Edmonds, WA
Everett, WA
Friday Harbor, WA
Orcas, WA
Port Angeles, WA
Port Townsend, WA
Roche Harbor, WA
Salt Spring Island, BC
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Sidney, BC
Snug Harbor, WA
Sooke, BC
Steveston, BC
Vancouver, BC
Victoria, BC
White Rock, BC 

PWWA whales only


In this extremely rare footage captured on June 17, 2013, whale watchers aboard a Prince of Whales boat out of Victoria, BC chance upon a pod of transient killer whales as these master predators plan and execute a brilliant hunt of what appears to be a large seal or Steller sea lion. The orcas used a technique that most researchers we know say they've never seen - "bubble feeding," where a group of whales cooperatively send a burst of bubbles toward the surface, stunning the prey above and then snatching them up. Humpbacks of course do this. Resident orcas use the technique to catch salmon or herring. These transients appeared to be using it to catch a large pinniped. We weren't able to get to the stern fast enough to document this, but two passengers described witnessing a circular upswell looking "like a big jacuzzi." A minute or two later, we saw a bloody carcass float up off our starboard side, the orcas spending the next several minutes feeding on the carcass, pushing large pieces to the youngest member of the group. It was an amazing experience for everyone on board, expertly articulated by Prince of Whales First Mate and marine scientist Mika Ogilvie. And even with a westerly heading our way and a little bit of chop in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Captain Jeff Smith managed to operate Ocean Magic adeptly, safely and with exceptional care around the wildlife, keeping the boat well outside of 100 meters, shut down most of the time, bow turned windward. And with the exception of some oohs and ahs aboard the board, we were quiet eavesdroppers. The whales gave us just one discerning look - the spyhop you see in the video - but then went about their spectacular business.

Vignettes photographed and edited by PWWA Executive Director
and Baby Wild Films Principal Creative Michael Harris.


"Baby Wild: Orcas Song" by Nancy Wilson
Filmed on the beach in front of The Center for Whale Research in the summer of 1999.  

KISS Logo transp BLK


Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (top); Graham Nash.

KISS THE SKY logo box sm

Victoria / Vancouver Island, BC

BC Whale Tours - Victoria

Eagle Wing Tours - Victoria

Five Star Whale Watching - Victoria

Ocean Ecoventures - Cowichan Bay

Orca Spirit Adventures Group - Victoria

Prince of Whales - Victoria

Salt Spring Adventure Co. - Sooke

Sidney Whale Watching - Sidney

SpringTide Whale Watching & Eco Tours - Victoria

Victoria Clipper - Victoria

San Juan Island, WA

All Aboard Sailing-  Friday Harbor

Black Fish Whale & Wildlife Tours  Friday Harbor

Maya's Legacy Whale Watching -  Snug Harbor and Friday Harbor

San Juan Excursions - Friday Harbor

San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours -
Friday Harbor

San Juan Island Outfitters - Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor

San Juan Safaris - Friday Harbor

Spirit of Orca Whale Watching - Friday Harbor

Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours - Friday Harbor

Vancouver, BC

Prince of Whales Whale Watching - Vancouver

Steveston EcoTours - Steveston

Steveston Seabreeze Adventures - Steveston

Vancouver Whale Watch - Steveston


White Rock Sea Tours - White Rock

Wild Whales Vancouver - Vancouver



Deer Harbor Charters - Deer Harbor

Orcas Island Eclipse Charters - Orcas

Outer Island Expeditions - Eastsound



Anacortes Kayak Tours - Anacortes

Island Adventures - Anacortes

Mystic Sea Charters - Anacortes and Langley


 All Seasons Charters - Edmonds


Island Adventures - Everett and Port Angeles

Island Mariner Cruises - Bellingham

Puget Sound Express - Port Townsend and Edmonds

San Juan Cruises - Bellingham

Victoria Clipper - Seattle



20150930-logo with photo2

Member Owner: David Howitt / Address: 685 Spring Street #2020, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 / (360) 298-1918 

All Aboard Sailing - Friday Harbor, WA

The Peniel is a beautifully maintained pilot house sloop built in Seattle in 1956 of Yellow Cedar on Oak. Auxiliary power is an 85 HP Diesel giving us a cruising speed of 7.5 knots. Luxuries include barbecue supper.  Owner/operator Captain David Howit has a lifetime history with whales and boats -- first sailing from Cornwall, England, running the engines of the whale conservation ships of the Sea Shepherd Society, and then many years with North Vancouver Island’s OrcaLab setting hydrophones and cameras recording and live streaming the Northern Resident orcas. David has been a Captain for Soundwatch Boater Education Program, as well as Relief Captain with Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, also on San Juan Island. Partner/Naturalist/Captain Barbara Bender really knows her whales with a background as staff with the Center for Whale Research. Check out the history of tours in photographs on the All Aboard Sailing Facebook page and read the reviews - we’re different and we’re proud of it.

All Seasons Charters

Member Owner: Michael Jablinski / Address: 9590 300 Admiral Way, Suite 102 Edmonds, WA 98020 / (425) 743-9590, (877) 943- / (425) 743-9590 / Toll-Free (877) 943-9590

All Seasons Charters - Edmonds, WA

All Season Charters has been operating fishing charters since 1975, but in the last couple of years has been offering gray whale tours out of the beautiful Port of Edmonds Marina. All Season Services are available year round, seven days a week. For fishing reservations, view All Seasons Charters' fishing season schedule first. Reservations should be made as early as possible, especially for weekends and holidays. A deposit may be required to confirm your reservation. All Seasons Charters also caters to private parties and custom trips. 
Why not get a group together and reserve the 
whole boat for a day on the Puget Sound? 
The Annie A can accomodate 25 people. 
Catering is available.


Member Owners: Megan and Erik Schorr / Address: Anacortes Kayak Tours, 2201 Skyline Way, Suite 203, Anacortes, WA  98221 / Toll-Free: (800) 992-1801

Anacortes Kayak Tours - Anacortes, WA

Anacortes Kayak Tours offers several choices of sea kayaking adventures. With both families, and seasoned travelers in mind, we have created a variety of sea kayak tours to match your needs, budget, and available time. Whether you are looking for a kayaking day trip, a family kayak tour, or a longer multi day sea kayaking expedition, Anacortes is a great place to start. No kayaking experience necessary! Join us on a sea kayaking trip and enjoy an incredible day as we search for porpoise, seals, eagles, orcas, and much more! AKT has trips that depart from both sides of the San Juan Island ferry route. There are a variety of choices that depart from convenient Anacortes/Fidalgo Island, as well as Friday Harbor/San Juan Island, where all of our kayak tours depart from the San Juan County Park on the scenic west side of San Juan Island, summer home to our famous Southern Resident orcas. Although all of our tours enjoy whale encounters throughout the summer months, these trips have a statistical advantage over any other launch site (including any other place on San Juan Island).

BC Whale Tours

Member Owner: Capt. Harold Benischek / Address: 1234 Wharf Street / Victoria, BC  V8W 2Y9 Canada / Local: (250) 590 5030


BC Whale Tours - Victoria, BC

The Victoria coast is abundant with whales, if you know where to look. Knowing where to look is a specialty of BC Whale Tours. Come enjoy a spectacular whale watching extravaganza from Captain Harold Benischek’s intimate 12-passenger vessel. Our luxury zodiac-style yacht is fast and long range, which guarantees orca sightings. Captain Harold is a certified marine naturalist and a seasoned mariner with over 30,000 hours accredited to him and a vast knowledge of the local waters, marine life, and coastal history. His animated spirit and passion towards the local marine wildlife, along with his many travel adventures, will ensure an enriched whale watching experience. BC Whale Tours has some of the most interesting skippers in the industry. You might go out with Captain Jim Zakreski, an internationally acclaimed marine biologist and expert in orca behavior and conservation who, when he’s not driving boats around the local waters of Vancouver Island, explores one of the most extreme places on Earth – Antarctica. In the wheelhouse may be Captain Mike Hann, a marine wildlife naturalist, eco-adventure guide and dive instructor who also “heads south” in the off-season, playing an integral role in research expeditions photographing and tagging whales in the waters of Antarctica. Also driving our boats is Victoria born and raised Captain Gordon Blunt, a commercial diver and expert sailor and sea cadet instructor, and Captain Rod King, a certified marine mammal naturalist, founding member of the West Coast Anti-Whaling Society and former Vice President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. Our Sales and Operations Manager is Captain Tom Mitchell, an internationally qualified and experienced marine biologist who has worked throughout Australia and Vancouver Island with various research and environmental conservation groups. Most recently, Tom has been working on the Great Barrier Reef via Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, educating and inspiring visitors about the beauty and complexity of the reef systems. As a Dive Master, he has great first-hand experience and knowledge of marine ecosystems through his countless interactions with the marine wildlife in their natural environment. His passion for the conservation of the marine world is both engaging and contagious as he inspires all of those on board. At BC Whale Tours, your enjoyment and safety is both paramount to us. Our boat design ensures a safe ride, so you can have peace of mind while enjoying the marvels of sea.

Black Fish WWT Logo

Member Owner: Hobbes Buchanan / Address: Spring Street Landing, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 / (360) 298-0012

Black Fish Whale & Wildlife Tours - Friday Harbor, WA

Black Fish Whale & Wildlife Tours is the sister company of San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours and longtime whale watch operator and PWWA member Capt. Hobbes Buchanan.  Join them aboard Tokitae, a new 28’ Albin fast-express cruiser, with a 32′ stable platform, cabin cruiser, with inside and outside seating, a heated cabin, restroom, and warm courtesy jackets if needed.

Deer Harbor FX

Member Owner: Tom Averna / Address: PO Box 303, Deer Harbor, WA  98243 United States / Toll Free: (800) 544-5758  Local: (360) 376-5989  Fax: (360) 376-5815


Deer Harbor Charters - Deer Harbor, WA

Deer Harbor Charters celebrates its third decade of whale watching and marine wildlife tours in the San Juan Islands. We are exclusively the only whale and wildlife tour company leaving from Rosario and Deer Harbor Marina on Orcas Island. The U.S.C.G. certified Squito is the first whale watch boat in the San Juan Islands, with comfortable inside seating as well as outside viewing decks that make it a great all-weather boat. The Pelagic is a 36′ vessel that is licensed for 20 passengers. Pelagic was built in Maine in 2000 and is a lobster boat design, used by commercial operators for over 75 years! Stable, fast and roomy, Pelagic is equipped with a modern, cleaner burning diesel meeting the latest EPA standards. Bring the family and join us for a cruise through the San Juan Islands. Our skilled and experienced naturalists give lessons on marine wildlife and local history. Each trip has on board a trained professional naturalist who maintains an educational, informative dialogue regarding the natural history, distribution and habits of the whales and other wildlife. We’ll cruise through protected waters in search of orcas and minke whales, along the way also looking for bald eagles, seals and porpoises. Bird watchers will delight in the numerous types of seabirds we will encounter. Well-known local captain and naturalist Tom Averna established and operated Deer Harbor Charters in 1988, making it one of the longest operating whale watching businesses in the San Juan Islands. Tom has a background in marine science and has been a professional captain for 35 years. He also was the first elected President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

Eagle Wing BIG logo

Member Owner: Brett Soberg / Address: Fisherman's Wharf (near Pier #2) 12 Erie St. Victoria, BC  V8V 4X5 Canada / Local: (250) 384-8008

Eagle Wing Tours - Victoria, BC

We are Wild 4 Whales! The truth is, not all whale watching tours are created equal.Eagle Wing Tours is Victoria, BC's 1st multiple award winning whale watching tour company. Guaranteed Whales & guaranteed adventure with the most thrilling, environmentally responsible, sustainable, professional, comfortable, and safe marine adventure tour company on Vancouver Island. Don't take our word for it, we have been rated as the #1 whale watching tour company in Victoria on Trip Advisor since 2007. As passionate stewards of a world renown marine environment we are motivated to provide our guests with more than just, "a look at the whales". Eagle Wing Tours was Canada’s first 100% carbon neutral whale watching tour company and the only one to support 1% For the Planet. You will be treated to attentive service by dedicated professionals who have spent their lives learning the intricacies of the local ecosystem. This locally owned and family operated marine adventure eco-tourism company offers the only sustainable, premium experience for travellers demanding more. We realize that most of our guests have traveled great distances at high cost to experience what we have the privilege of doing daily. We respect, and ultimately are grateful for this and so with every departure we go above and beyond - maximizing guest satisfaction, overall comfort, and delivering the "WOW" factor!- at the center of the world's highest concentration of Killer whales,orca, (Blackfish) and other whale (cetacean) species in the Salish Sea, such as: Humpback whales, Gray whales, and Minke whale.  Eagle Wing's mission is to work with purpose and passion on behalf of all wildlife in the Salish Sea, encouraging our guests to become more involved in the education and conservation of a sustainable, healthy, and more balanced marine eco-system... Inspiring the conservation of our marine environment, with a thrill!  PASSION - EXPLORE - INSPIRE

Five Star FX

Member Owner: Andrew Lees / 645 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC  V8W 1A6 Canada / Local: (250) 388-7223


Five Star Whale Watching - Victoria, BC

In 1985, Five Star Charters Ltd. was one of the three founding companies of whale watching out of Victoria, B.C. Five Star Charters Ltd. played an integral part in making Victoria, BC a world-famous destination for travelers wishing to see killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the wild. We operate two high-speed Expedition Catamarans. These are purpose-built for whale watching and, therefore, are great viewing platforms. Up to 40 passengers on each vessel have seating available in the comfort of a covered cabin, while still having the option to enjoy the upper and outer viewing decks at any time. We call ourselves "Victoria's Catamaran Whale Watching Company" as many people are drawn to the open layout and stability of our vessels. Our high-speed Expedition Catamarans are fast enough to maximize range and the percentage chance of sightings and to offer an exhilarating ride; both have lots of outdoor seating and the option of "wind-in-your-face adventure." These vessels also provide (a) A viewing area on the bow so that passengers can look down into the water at porpoise and sea lions; (b) The ability for passengers to move around the vessel for more comfort, better visibility and optimum photography; (c) An "at the rail of the boat" viewing position is available for each and every passenger on board; (d) Upper decks for better viewing angles, especially as viewing regulations have changed; (e) Easily accessible washrooms; and (f) The option of Indoor Seating (still with great visibility through large picture windows). We love what we do and it shows. Our experienced and well-trained staff will ensure your voyage is fun, educational and comfortable. Plus, Five Star often features legendary orca tracker Ron Bates as an on-board naturalist. Join us for Salish Sea adventures and lifelong memories! We're also proud members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and participants in the "1% for the Planet" carbon-neutral project, an alliance of businesses that believe in providing financial support to environmental initiatives. These measures deepen our commitment to supporting conservation of wild places. 1% of our annual gross revenue is donated to local environmental causes to help save the whales!

Island AdventuresFX


Member Owners: Shane and Jennifer Aggergaard / Address: Gift Shop and Office, 1801 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA  98221 United States / Local: (360) 293-2428

Island Adventures Whale Watching - Anacortes, Port Angeles and Everett, WA

There's nothing quite like being aboard the Island Explorer 3. At 101 feet long with an upper viewing deck and the largest bow pulpit in the industry, the Island Explorer 3 has more than enough space for everyone to have a front row spot at the rail. Both the upper and lower deck are fully walkaround, which allows effortless movement around the boat and great viewing. Because of our very high success rate, Island Adventures was one of the first and only companies to guarantee whale sightings on every tour - but it’s our team of highly qualified crew that will make your trip unforgettable! We boast over 100 years of combined experience in the islands, over 6,000 wildlife tours conducted, and have led excursions for over 220,000 satisfied customers. The San Juan Islands provide one of the best whale watching opportunities anywhere in the world, offering calm waters and a huge variety of wildlife which includes our three pods of resident orcas. Go gray whale watching out of Everett, WA! Island Adventures also runs a popular gray whale watch every spring from the Everett Marina, just a half-hour north of Seattle, with a nearly 100% success rate finding whales.

Island Adventures also operates now out of Port Angeles!  It's the best place on the U.S. side to catch up with humpback whales. As an active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association since 1996, Island Adventures is also a leader in responsible wildlife viewing, helping to create guidelines still used today to protect our local orcas. The company was founded and is locally owned and operated by Shane Aggergaard, who has served three terms as PWWA's President and two terms as its Vice President. Island Adventures Whale Watching is longtime supporters of The Center for Whale Research, donating a portion of all ticket sales to salmon enhancement and whale research.

Island Mariner FX

Member Owner: Capt. Terry Buzzard / Address: 2621 South Harbor Loop, Bellingham, WA  98225 United States / Toll Free: (877) 734-8866  Local: (360) 734-8866  Fax: (360) 734-8867

Island Mariner Cruises - Bellingham, WA

Island Mariner and USCG-licensed captain/owner Terry Buzzard are celebrating 51 safe years in business. Capt. Terry is a true pioneer in the ecotourism industry, beginning whale watching in the San Juan Islands in 1980 and one of only four remaining founding members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association – and he still loves what he does! Take time to view the San Juan Islands up close as you cruise from Bellingham Bay to see whales and other marine life. You can relax and enjoy your nature cruise aboard the Island Caper, a comfortable 110' boat with modern amenities allowing you to sit and visit at a table for eating snacks, or stand up and walk around, inside or outside, while onboard. With 386 feet of outside railing space, you'll never feel crowded. You will see the breathtaking island scenery, hear local folk lore and learn interesting facts from an onboard naturalist, who can also answer questions about the wild life you may encounter such as orcas, minke whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, bald eagles and a variety of sea birds. Island Mariner offers free binocular usage, free coffee and tea, free parking, and no fuel surcharge. We make our large library of resource books available to you throughout your cruise. Our excellent and reasonably priced lunch counter offers many selections, meaning you don't have to worry about bringing food with you. (But you can if you want.) Join us for a memorable boat cruise and find out why the San Juan Islands scenery and orcas are considered to be Pacific Northwest treasures. Plus, no whale watch boat has "Rusty," Chief Navigator. Rusty is a five-year-old Airedale terrier and he loves everybody. If he is onboard, he will be in the pilot house. Stop by and see him. He loves to make new friends!

Maya Logo New

Member Owners: Carolee and Jim Maya. Spencer and Rachel Domico, and Joelle and Jeff Friedman / Address: PO Box 1456, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Local: (360) 378-3744

Maya's Legacy Whale Watching - Friday Harbor, WA 

Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching provides personalized eco-adventures from the best location to experience orca whales in the wild. Recreational, engaging and informative, we offer memorable experiences with a passionate crew, the most innovative boats, departing from the heat of it all, the west side of San Juan Island.

In 1986, Carolee and Jim Maya decided to take their summer vacation in the Great Northwest. They were dumbstruck by the natural beauty, the warmth of the people, the mountains, and the sea. Oh that sea! Jim had been in boats all his life, but had never seen such amazing waters. That very first ferry boat ride set in motion a dream. That dream was to live close to these waters, where they began watching Orcas that summer. A passion was born. Lifelong teachers, Jim and Carolee made the move to San Juan Island, and in 1997 started Maya’s Westside Whale Watching Charters. Their first boat, the Annie May, started them on a journey that today has become Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching.  Spencer & Rachel Domico / Nearly ten years ago, life long naturalist, Captain Spencer Domico returned to his childhood playground of San Juan Island where he began filling in for Capt. Jim and offering tours on his own boat, the Island Dream. Jim introduced Rachel to Spencer a couple years later (ask them about that story some time!). They are now married and are Jim and Carolee’s island children. Combining Spencer’s love of the outdoors with Rachel’s passion for art, they strive to inspire others by sharing the beauty around us. They have operated Legacy Charters along side the Maya’s at Snug Harbor, and now the two companies have merged, not only their businesses, but their passion for the Orcas and the other wildlife that live with them on and in the Salish Sea. Joelle & Jeff Friedman /In 2014, whale and oceans advocate, Jeff Friedman began talking with Captains Jim and Spencer about his dream of working in the field. His clear and evident love of whales and educating others, brought him to join the Maya’s-Legacy vision. Jeff and his wife, Joelle, have found their forever home on San Juan Island and are looking forward to many more years among friends, the trees, mountains and whales.

Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching carries on the tradition of responsible whale watching and wildlife viewing, personalized private charters and photography tours. Behind every great captain, there is a great crew. We have a couple of exceptional naturalists and part-time relief captains that compliment our tours. In the event your tour has one of our part-time captains, we assure you they have lots of experience running our tours, are very knowledgeable, and well connected with our spotting network.  Our naturalists have extensive knowledge of the Salish Sea, and especially orca whales. Heather MacIntyre and Jeanne Hyde most frequently join us, and are both industry-known for their insight. Jeanne is a volunteer, and has been joining Captain Jim on tours for many years. Additionally, she has donated lots of time, sharing her wealth of knowledge with visitors at Lime Kiln State Park. Check out her blog, a Whale of a Purpose. Heather MacIntyre is a wildlife biologist, whose passion for marine mammals brought her to the Island. Her sincere enthusiasm parallels her knowledge, and her commitment to the oceans and their inhabitants is admirable. In addition to her time spent on the water, Heather pursues her interests in training horses and photographing wildlife. To follow Heather and her photography work, find her on FaceBook. No matter who is on board, we’ll always take good care of you!


Mystic Sea FX

Member Owner: Monte Hughes / Address: Cap Sante Marina, Dock A, 819 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA  98221 United States / Toll Free: (800) 308-9387  Local: (800) 308-9387

Mystic Sea Charters - Anacortes and Langley, WA

Join us for a whale of an adventure! Mysterious in mist or sparkling in sunshine, the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands are always changing and always beautiful. Come aboard the classic 100-foot Mystic Sea for our guaranteed whale watch and wildlife cruise and enjoy a fun and relaxing day on the water. Learn about the history, lore, and hidden nooks of this unique area from our friendly and knowledgeable crew, and make memories for a lifetime! We explore 80-100 miles on our cruises and have a spectacular array of wildlife that migrate into these calm waters at various times and stages throughout the year; everything from bald eagles and puffins, to Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall's porpoise and Stellar sea lions. We have several different types of whales in addition to the 82 Southern Resident orcas, including minkes, humpbacks, gray whales, and transient orcas... the true "killer whale"! Choose your destination... whether it's winding your way up the Guemes Channel or through the pristine beauty and serenity of the San Juan Island paradise or cruising to the awesome splendor of Deception Pass with its rock-hewn cliffs and rushing, swirling, eddies. We'll depart from historic Anacortes, Washington with its quaint shops, delightful lodging, and unique ambiance. A cruise you'll remember for a lifetime... whale watching, lighthouse cruises, birdwatching, and more. As we value quality over quantity, we limit the number of people on our daily cruises to 60 instead of filling the boat to maximum capacity (77 people); this allows for more space so everyone can be comfortable while cruising through the San Juan Islands. The resident orcas of J-, K- and L-Pods can move up to 100 miles in a day, so some days they are only 20 minutes away from Anacortes, and other days they can be three hours away - near Victoria or Point Roberts. If we need to go the extra mile or take the extra hour to get you whales, we will. We don’t make claims to be number one – we just find you whales and make sure you have fun doing it!

Ocean Ecoventures FX

Member Owner: Simon Pidock / Address: 1721 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay, BC  V9L 2M1 Canada / Local: (250) 748-3800
Toll-Free: (866) 748-5333


Ocean EcoVentures - Cowichan Bay, BC 

Are you ready for awe-inspiring whale watching memories from Vancouver Island? Ocean EcoVentures' quality whale watching excursions depart daily from the seaside village of Cowichan Bay. Our whale watching tours focus on the Southern Resident orcas, transient orcas, humpback whales, gray whales and minke whales. You will also encounter sea lions, bald eagles, harbor seals, Dall's and harbor porpoises as well as a myriad of marine birds on your whale watching eco tour. A small, owner-operated family business, Ocean EcoVentures is committed to providing you with an intimate and informative whale watching tour. Small tour groups ensure personalized service, while your Transport Canada-certified captain provides a safe and knowledgeable tour of the scenic Canadian Gulf Islands and U.S. San Juan Islands. Whales are our passion! We love sharing Vancouver Island's marine ecosystem and all that inhabits it. We are dedicated to responsible and ethical whale watching and wildlife viewing. We consider our vessel a floating classroom. Our captains/naturalists have a vast amount of knowledge of Vancouver Island's and the Gulf Islands' local natural history. As well as the most up-to-date science regarding our local orcas, humpback whales, gray whales and the rest of marine ecosystem. The more we learn about our local ecosystem, the harder we’ll work to protect it.

Orca Spirit FX

Member Owner: John Douglas / Address: Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel (marina level), 146 Kingston St., Victoria, BC  V8V 1V4 Canada / Local: (250) 383-8411

Orca Spirit Adventures Group - Victoria, BC 

Orca Spirit offers you Victoria’s original and authentic whale watching experience. You’ll tour the waters around Vancouver Island - which boast some of the most spectacular marine wildlife on the planet - with a certified marine naturalist. You can have the opportunity to view orcas, humpbacks, gray and minke whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and bald eagles in their natural environment, and perhaps even listen to whale vocalizations as many of our boats are outfitted with hydrophones. We’ll also introduce you to our region’s extraordinary species of birds, including cormorants, rhinoceros auklets, common murre, pigeon guillemot, tufted puffins, great blue herons, and black oyster catchers. We at Orca Spirit Adventures Ltd. know just how lucky we are, and we take the responsibility that goes with our chosen careers very seriously: To provide responsible and ethical wildlife viewing; to promote and support conservation and stewardship of the marine environment; to educate as well as entertain. Everyday we are grateful to be living in such a wonderful city, near so many amazing marine mammals and with incredible ocean vistas, mountains, islands and forests. You won’t find a group of people who appreciate and respect Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife more than the crew at Orca Sprit Adventures, which is why we are a proud proponent of the Pacific Whale Watch Association guidelines for responsible whale watching. And a portion of all whale watching adventure proceeds goes to support local marine research initiatives. We’re also a Climate-Friendly company, proud to provide carbon neutral whale watching trips and harbour cruises! We thrive not only on maintaining but improving the environmental standards on which we operate, by being a leader in the eco-tourism industry. We as an organization, now have a unique opportunity to protect this valuable resource- that is the nutrient-rich Pacific Ocean- by investing in a conservation economy through the purchase of carbon offsets. We have selected to support the Great Bear Rainforest initiative, which is focusing on protecting an area that is so crucial to the purity of our inland waterways, that filter into our coastal marine environment.

Orcas Island Eclipse Charters TRANS

Member Owners: Capt. Dan and Denise Wilk / Address: PO Box 353, Orcas, WA  98280 United States / Local: (360) 376-6566

Orcas Island Eclipse Charters - Orcas, WA

Orcas Island Eclipse Charters is one of the longest-serving and most beloved whale watch businesses in the region. It’s also one of the most convenient in the San Juans – leave the car behind, walk onto the Washington State ferry and get off at Orcas Island. It's then just a few hundred feet down the pier to the beautiful 56' Orcas Express, with a spacious, bright and airy interior and 46 comfortable contour Norwegian-made seats with an additional four jump seats for a total of 50. Inside our heated cabin, there are seats at tables for 36. The other 14 seats are open. The outside has 60 feet of open deck to walk around. With ever-changing cycles of nature, each tour is unique. You will discover the excitement of meeting whales, eagles and more in their natural habitat. An unpredictable wilderness, full of surprises, is waiting just for you. You will never forget it! And no one conducts a wildlife viewing tour quite like Capt. Dan Wilk. A USCG-licensed Master Captain, Dan was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and shares a fascinating running narrative about the unique history of the islands and all-things-wild, turning every trip into an experience of a lifetime. Dan and his wife Denise Wilk have run whale watching tours since 1991 and are founding members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and still some of its most active, completely dedicated to providing spectacular viewing opportunities for passengers while protecting sensitive wildlife, particularly our Endangered resident orcas. Dan and Denise also have a great passion for lighthouse preservation, and run tours of these historic beacons of San Juan Islands. If you're a lighthouse aficionado, this is your boat!

Outer Islands Expeditions FX

Member Owner: Beau Brandeau / Address: 54 Hunt Rd., Eastsound, WA  98245 United States / Local: (360) 376-3711

Outer Island Expeditions - Eastsound, WA

Outer Island Expeditions offers high quality, unforgettable marine experiences in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We offer tours starting from Orcas Island and Anacortes. Our focus is on a personal experience. Aboard our boats you’ll be able to converse with the captain, have a say in the itinerary and your interaction with wildlife viewing will be up close and personal. Outer Island Expeditions boat tours are able to incorporate many activities into one trip – whale watching, wildlife viewing, charter fishing, crabbing, kayaking, lighthouse tours, island tours and gourmet meals served on an island park. We’ll put together a day for you that you’ll never forget. Outer Island Expeditions is based on the North Shore of Orcas Island, in Brandt’s Landing Marina, near Smuggler’s Villa Resort, however we can pick up you from all the San Juan Island regions which includes Lopez Island, Shaw Island, San Juan Island, Blakely Island, Lummi Island, Anacortes, Bellingham and most anywhere else you might be in the San Juan Islands.

Prince of Whales FX

Member Owner: Alan McGillivray / Address: 812 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC  V8W 1T3 Canada / Toll-Free: (888) 383-4884  Local: (250) 383-4884 / Lobby of the Westin Bayshore Hotel, 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver, BC Canada  V6G 2V4 / Toll-Free: (888) 383-4884

Prince of Whales Whale Watching - Victoria and Vancouver, BC

Victoria -- Get ready for the Adventure of a Lifetime! Whether you are a first time whale watcher or a seasoned veteran, we guarantee that you will have a blast! Our fleet of open-air, purpose built, zodiac-style vessels is Victoria’s largest. Equipped with bright yellow inflatable collars, this stable design cushions your ride and guarantees maximum buoyancy even if the sea conditions are rough. With aerodynamic aluminum hulls and reliable twin two-hundred horsepower Mercury engines, our vessels are able to cover over one hundred miles in one trip. This maximizes the distance you can travel on your tour and the amount of time you are ultimately able to spend viewing whales and other marine wildlife. Your tour will last a minimum of three hours and will include various stops at different points of interest within the protected waters of Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. While on scene with whales and other marine wildlife, the vessel will be positioned parallel to the animals allowing for excellent photo opportunities. All the while, you will be fully entertained and educated by the industry’s best and brightest marine adventure guides.  

Vancouver -- No visit to the city of Vancouver is complete without getting out on the water and seeing the spectacular wildlife we have here. Come to the Prince of Whales office in the lobby of the Westin Bayshore Hotel (adjacent to Starbuck’s) and choose from five different wildlife viewing adventures. One of the most popular is "The Ultimate Day Tour." Escape the big city of Vancouver for a day or two and visit British Columbia’s charming capital city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Our 62′ covered cruiser, the Ocean Magic, takes a breathtakingly beautiful route across Georgia Strait and through the Gulf Islands on an expedition to find marine mammals, from little harbour seals to the magnificent killer whales and humpbacks that roam our waters. The whale watching tour concludes in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, where you will have time to explore the city and discover our neat shops, attractions and restaurants. Shuttle buses will depart from downtown Victoria throughout the afternoon, to deliver you up to the world famous Butchart Gardens for a couple of hours of leisurely strolling and a chance to stop and smell the roses. That evening you will re-board the Ocean Magic at The Garden’s private dock, for a two-hour sunset cruise back to beautiful Coal Harbour in Vancouver, just in time for dinner! Prince of Whales Vancouver also partners with Harbour Air and Helijet for one-of-a-kind “Whales & Fly” packages to Victoria and back. No matter what adventure you choose, we promise it’ll be an experience of a lifetime.  Owner Alan McGillivray and his partner Chris Hall pioneered whale watching out of Victoria in the early 1990s, growing their business from one marine mail boat to what is now the largest whale watch company in the region. Alan currently serves as President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

Puget Sound Express2 FX


Member Owners: Pete and Sherri Hanke / Mailing Address: 227 Jackson Street, Port Townsend, WA  98368 United States / Local: (360) 385-5288 


Puget Sound Express - Port Townsend and Edmonds, WA 

Puget Sound Express has been running wildlife viewing tours from beautiful Port Townsend for over three decades.  Come aboard the Red Head and Glacier Spirit, two of the most comfortable and spacious whale watch boats in the industry. Puget Sound Express has three generations of knowledge and caring at the ready. In 1981, the company started with owner Pete Hanke’s dad, Pete Sr., providing week-long sailing adventures in the Pacific Northwest aboard the 80ft schooner, Alcyone. Over the years, they moved from sailboats to powerboats, but always made sure the orca watching experience and the vessels were first rate. To that end, they still continue to operate what they feel is the best whale watching company in the Pacific Northwest. Besides Pete and Sherri, there are now the children, who are actually getting so much time under their belts that they probably do it better than the parents. Sarah takes care of reservations and helps market the Seattle/Edmonds tour, and Christopher, now with his engineering degree, is helps us keep the boats in running order and is in his sixth summer behind the wheel of the boats. Even the grandparents play active roles ashore and on the water.

Puget Sound Express Edmonds! The Seattle metropolitan area now has its first-ever half-day whale watch option. Puget Sound Express Whale Watching is now running 4-1/2-hour excursions out of Edmonds Marina, just a few minutes north of Seattle. Puget Sound is known as Orca Country, and Seattle is the only city in the U.S. with a resident population of killer whales. The Southern Residents are often called “The Urban Whales,” with one of the three orca pods, J-Pod, frequenting the Sound year-round. But locals know the best whale watching in the summer and fall happens in and around Washington’s picturesque San Juan Islands, which for many living in and visiting the greater Seattle area requires an hour-and-a-half drive to Anacortes, waiting hours for a spot on a crowded ferry, and then battling to find accommodations in one of the most-visited tourist destinations in North America – and once they get there, finding a seat on a local whale watch boat during the busy season. A northern migration like that calls for a multiple-day expenditure of time and money. Now they can see whales in half a day. The 63-foot foilcat Chilkat Express is the fastest passenger vessel on the West Coast. With a top speed of roughly 55 knots, or about 63 miles per hour, and a cruising speed of about 35 knots or over 40 mph, the Chilkat will get passengers to the San Juans and the whales in a little over an hour. That leaves plenty of time in the quiet company of some of the most majestic creatures on the planet, and once back in Seattle, a half-a-day to enjoy the rest of what western Washington has to offer.  

Sherri Hanke grew up on a blueberry farm, so every whale watch trip includes her signature, freshly baked “blueberry buckle” made from her grandmother’s recipe. The Edmonds run may be departing from one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America, traveling on the fastest passenger vessel in the region, but the experience will always have that down-home, blueberry buckle feel. It's big city-meets-the family farm, meeting some of nature’s most fascinating families of wildlife. There’s no experience like it.

Salt Spring Logo

Owner Member: Blair and Yvonne Poirier / Address: Salt Spring Adventure Co. / Salt Spring Marina, #7-126 Upper Ganges Road / Mailing Address: P.O. Box 276 Ganges, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2V9 / Toll Free: (877) 443-4552 Local: (250) 537.2764

 Salt Spring Adventure Co. Ltd. - Sooke, BC

Your destination? WILDLIFE!  Since the locations of many animals are determined by the tides, weather, time of day, breeding cycles and food supply, Salt Spring Adventure Co. does not confine our journeys to one particular route. The speed and maneuverability of their specially-built vessel, and the daily observations of the crew, make a tour with Salt Spring Adventure Co. the best way to experience the nature and splendor of Gulf Islands. Every journey truly is unique. Salt Spring Adventure Co. operates between March and October, based on weather and on whale/marine wildlife and bird sighting information. Sightings of whales vary day to day and generally sightings are greater between April and October. Salt Spring Adventure Co. does not guarantee seeing whales, but they are always out there and they find them about 80% of the time! Salt Spring Adventure Co. belongs to a whale spotter network and will provide passengers with the most up to date information prior to departure.

The Gulf Islands are a wild place, full of amazing wildlife, and inspiring landscapes. It is also a region that's facing growing conservation concerns. Salt Spring Adventure Co. is committed to observing federal guidelines with respect to marine mammal and whale viewing. Learn first-hand about endangered species and ecosystems. Wildlife sightings can include orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, gray whales, fin whales, harbour seals, porpoise, sea lions and bald eagles! Departures are from the Salt Spring Marina with pick-ups (on request) available on Galiano Island, Mayne Island (Miners Bay) and North Pender Island (Port Washington), at no extra cost.


San-Juan-Cruises   LOGO

Owner Member: Drew Schmidt / Address: San Juan Cruises / Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue #104, Bellingham, WA, 98225 United States / Toll Free: (800) 443-4552 Local: (360) 738-8099 Fax: (360) 738-7685

San Juan Cruises - Bellingham, WA

Welcome aboard San Juan Cruises! Experience the beautiful San Juan Islands as you never have before. Enjoy the sights and sounds of its incredible marine wildlife on our Whale Watching Adventure cruise. Each day we look for orcas, bald eagles, seals, porpoises, sea lions, minke whales and more, as the captain tells you about the history, wildlife and geology of the area. Around noon we serve our delicious, complimentary Northwest salmon and BBQ chicken lunch, with a variety of side dishes and dessert. Yes, the delicious, freshly prepared wild salmon that our passengers have raved about for years is back! Next is our shore visit in Friday Harbor, with two hours to wander around this vibrant seaside town, filled with interesting shops, artist galleries, pubs, and the largest whale museum in the Northwest. Afterward we'll cruise back to Bellingham, while soaking in the early evening sun. No other cruise in the Northwest offers so much! San Juan Cruises is a locally owned and operated Bellingham, WA-based company that operates three beautiful, comfortable passenger vessels: the Victoria Star, Viking Star and Island Commuter. We started back in 1987 as Gray Line Cruises, operating from the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, WA, and moved to Bellingham shortly after the Alaska Ferry Terminal opened in 1989. Since that time we have offered sightseeing tours to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, BC during the summer months, as well as private charters. San Juan Cruises is also a longtime active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, committed to responsible, sustainable wildlife viewing in the region.

San Juan Excursions FX

Member Owners: Capt. Pete and Erin Ancich / Address: #2 Spring Street Landing/PO Box 2508, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Toll Free: (800) 80-WHALE  Local: (360) 378-6636

San Juan Excursions - Friday Harbor, WA

Join Captain Pete Ancich and his naturalist wife Erin aboard the Odyssey and experience the thrill of seeing orcas, harbor seals, California and Steller sea lions, Dall's and harbor porpoise, gray and minke whales, bald eagles, cormorants, great blue herons and so much more on one of our whale watching trips. Just steps away from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor you will embark upon the Odyssey. Built in 1941, this converted U.S. Navy search and rescue vessel welcomes you aboard to experience her class and comfort as you cruise the San Juans. For over 20 years, we have been offering whale watching/wildlife cruises in the San Juan Islands. Our goal is to give our guests an enjoyable and exciting tour, while always practicing the highest level of respect for wildlife and boating safety. We want to set an example for other boaters on the water ensuring the continuation of wildlife viewing for years to come. Our captains and naturalists, who live year 'round on San Juan Island, are among the best in the business. Not only are they experts about the wildlife and natural history of the San Juan Islands, but they are entertaining and fun. They get excited every time they see wildlife. This enthusiasm is one of the main ingredients that keeps people coming back year after year to San Juan Excursions for whale watching/wildlife tours.


Member Owner: Brian Goodremont / Address: PO Box 325, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Toll-Free: (866) 810-1483  Local: (360) 378-1962

San Juan Island Outfitters - Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor, WA 

The waterways surrounding the San Juan Islands are considered the best place in the world to observe orcas (killer whales) in the wild, and one of the best locations in the islands to access those waters is San Juan Outfitter’s exclusive marine adventure center at historic Roche Harbor. This location allows us to access all the major waterways the whales travel, and we often view whales within the Haro Strait, just a few miles from Roche Harbor. During the peak season, we see whales on 90% of our tours, in addition to a variety of marine wildlife. Our small, family-owned and locally-operated business has over 12 years of experience conducting whale watch tours in the San Juans. We specialize in providing high-quality whale watching, kayaking, and adventure tours for groups, families, and independent travelers. San Juan Outfitters is located at both Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, allowing guests safe and easy access to the water, whether you are sea kayaking or whale watching. Experienced paddlers, novices, and families alike will enjoy our sea kayaking tours, with a wide variety of tours and services available. Whale watch guests will appreciate the small group feel of our 42’ MV Sea Hawk, with both your captain and naturalist answering your questions one-on-one. Owner/operator Brian Goodremont has worked on San Juan Island in eco-tourism for 15 years as a kayak guide and boat captain, and currently serves as US President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

SJIWWT whale-eco-tours-homelogo

Member Owner: Capt. Hobbes Buchanan / Address: Spring Street Landing, Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Local: (360) 298-0012

San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours

Experience an orca and wildlife learning adventure of a lifetime. This is the best place to view orcas in the wild, right here in the San Juan Islands! Put your whale watching experience in the hands of a professional. Learn about these magnificent mammals and what you can do to help ensure their survival by being a steward of the Salish Sea and our oceans. Join Captain Hobbes Buchanan aboard Natsilane, a 30’ Albin fast-express cruiser, with inside and outside seating, a heated cabin, restroom, and warm courtesy jackets if needed. Orcas are what we’re looking for, and we do see them about 90% of the time May-September, and about 70% of the time in April and October. Currently 82 orca whales make up the Southern Residents, and live in three families or “pods” - the J-, K- and L-Pods. We also see harbor seals, Stellar sea lions, harbor porpoises, Dall’s porpoises, bald eagles and many wonderful sea birds. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to see minke whales, gray whales and even humpback whales! “Natsilane” offers you the comfort of a warm cabin or an exhilarating wind-in-your-hair way to experience the ecosystems and wildlife of the spectacular San Juan Islands!

San Juan Safaris2 FX

Member Owner: Brian Goodremont / 2 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Local: (360) 378-1323

San Juan Safaris - Friday Harbor, WA

San Juan Safaris is one of the most venerable, beloved whale watch operations in the region. Founded by ecotourism pioneer Bill Wright in 1995 and now owned by Brian Goodremont, US President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, the company set the standard for responsible, non-impactful wildlife viewing, helping to establish whale watch guidelines that are still being practiced today - all while providing a truly unique, personalized experience for passengers. Our whale watching boat is the beautiful 55-foot Sea Lion, with only 40 or fewer guests aboard, there is plenty of room at the rails or in the windowed cabin for everyone to view whales and wildlife. Knowledgeable marine naturalists will inform and amuse you. Our crew loves their work and it shows. Guests tell us that the staff is attentive, warm and friendly. Spring, summer and fall find magnificent orca whales plying the waters of Haro Strait off San Juan Island, Washington. These whales are focused on finding the Pacific runs of salmon that traditionally move through these waters, mid-April to the first part of October. Enjoy San Juan Island!  It's known for orca whale watching, of course, but also sea kayaking, hiking, biking, mopeding, history, a vineyard, museums, a lavender farm, an alpaca farm, a farmers market and many fine restaurants. Consider spending at least a couple of days. San Juan Island has over 50 lodging facilities. You may also wish to visit Lopez Island and Orcas Island as a day trip from San Juan Island. We can assist you with lodging selections. No matter what you do, we guarantee that you will take home life-long memories!


Member Owners: Mike and Steve Childs / Address: 2537 Beacon Avenue, Sidney, BC  V8L 1Y3 Canada / Local: (250) 656-7599


Sidney Whale Watching - Sidney, BC 

Sidney Whale Watching (formerly SeaQuest and Emerald Sea) is a family-run, First Nations-owned company that has been serving Sidney for over 15 years. We love what we do and we’re positive that you will have a great experience with us. We’re located in the Cannery Building at the foot of Beacon Avenue, offering three-to-three-and-a-half-hour tours departing right from Sidney's waterfront! With Sidney's moderate climate, protected harbor, calm seas, and beautiful Gulf Islands right off shore, it's no wonder why this is one of the best places in the world to depart for a whale watching adventure. Breaching, spy hopping, bow riding, tail slapping - if these terms aren't familiar to you, it probably means you haven't been on a whale watching tour. What are you waiting for? Our coastline is home to the Southern Resident J-, K- and L-Pods of killer whales, currently numbering 82 altogether. Whale sightings on the tours are guaranteed during the summer months and often occur within the first 20 minutes of leaving shore. As well as orcas, there are often sightings of minke, humpback and gray whales. Nearby islands are home to seal colonies and porpoise feeding grounds and sea lions can be seen basking on sun-warmed rocks. Don't be surprised to find a bald eagle soaring above either! Friendly and knowledgeable local guides provide a truly interactive and educational adventure.

Spirit of Orca3

Member Owner: Capt. Ken Rea / Address: 685 Spring St. #306 / Friday Harbor, WA 98250 / United States / (360) 378-0302 

Spirit of Orca Whale and Wildlife Tours - Friday Harbor, WA 

Walk off the Washington State Ferry in Friday Harbor and two minutes later you are onboard Spirit of Orca. Take a 3-4-hour trip into the heart of San Juan Islands orca territory. You'll have the opportunity to see the resident orcas, also known as killer whales, minke whales, harbor porpoises, California sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles and much, much, more. 

The Spirit of Orca is a beautiful and seaworthy 26’ boat with a powerful yet very economical diesel engine that will take you safely and quickly to where the whales are. The boat is capable of running 30 knots (35mph) but normal cruising speed is around 20+ knots (24 mph). There have been extra high handrails added for your safety during the whale watching experience. We encourage you to use the restroom before your tour but there is a marine head (toilet) in the forepeak (forward cabin) in case you need it before we get back to the dock.


Springtide FX

Member Owners: Dan and Joanne Kukat / Address: 1119 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC  V8W 1T7 Canada / Toll Free: (800) 470-3474  Local: (250) 384-4444  Fax: (250) 658-0779


SpringTide Charters - Victoria, BC 

SpringTide Charters was established in 1986 and began operations in Victoria in 1994, initially as a professional Sport Fishing Company. Dan Kukat and his 42′ Uniflite Sportfisher - the SpringTide - quickly became known as a top guiding service, with an excellently outfitted vessel and consistently great “catches.” Many wonderful times were had by avid sportsmen, corporate clients, derby organizers and families wishing to have a tremendous experience together! Whale watching became a very popular activity in the early ‘90s. Dan, with his passion and commitment to wildlife and the environment, jumped in with both feet to author wildlife viewing guidelines now used in many countries and organizations. During this time, our custom-designed vessels were built and the SpringTide fleet grew to its current 152-passenger capacity. Now, Dan’s wife Joanne and family are actively involved in all aspects of the company’s operations. Like many Pacific Whale Watch Association operators, SpringTide is also a leader in salmon restoration projects throughout the region, addressing the most urgent problem facing our Southern Resident orcas. No fish, no blackfish.


Member Owner: Capt. Bruce Livingston / Address: #301-6451 Princess Lane, Richmond, BC  V7E 6R7 Canada / Local: (604) 377-5964


Steveston EcoTours - Steveston, BC 

At Steveston EcoTours, you choose the cruise! We offer unique marine travel experiences to your choice of destinations, from our home port of Steveston, B.C. Steveston is located at the mouth of the Fraser River, in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. This Historic Fishing Village is Home Port of Canada's largest fishing fleet - over 350 fishing vessels of all gear types and sizes - yet is close to all Richmond hotels and the Vancouver International Airport. Rapid transit connects Richmond to Vancouver. Historic sites are everywhere in Steveston, including London Heritage Farm, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, and Britannia Shipyards, a National Historic Site of Canada and our place of departure aboard the Archie V. Britannia Shipyards also transforms on occasion to "Storybrooke Shipyards" for the hit TV series, Once Upon A Time. Fans will recognize many buildings and locations when visiting. Join us as we explore the islands and channels of the Fraser River Estuary, rich in bird and marine life. We've developed a network of special destinations in the Gulf Islands. This ecosystem is truly unique in Canada supporting thousands of species of marine life. Travel by boat is the best way to explore the marine routes through its countless islands and passages. Quiet trails on the islands invite discovery of rare inland ecosystems. On your Steveston EcoTour, you will visit the habitat of many marine mammals including orcas, humpback, gray and minke whales, California and Stellar sea lions, harbour seals, Dall's and harbour porpoises and Pacific white-sided dolphins, depending on the season and the tour. Upon arrival we respectfully observe these animals, in their natural environment. Steveston EcoTours is Whale Wise. We follow the Whale Watching Protocol of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) when in Canadian waters, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) when in US waters. Steveston EcoTours also supports the whale and wildlife guidelines of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. We're also proud members of the B.C. Waterfowl Society, the Georgia Strait Alliance, the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society, the Steveston Historical Society, Valdes Island Conservancy, BC Nature - Federation of BC Naturalists, London Heritage Farm Society, Bird Studies Canada, and Tourism Richmond. Our EcoTour boat has comfortable, safe seating in a heated cabin. Its design gets us into bays and passages the big boats can't reach! You go safely ashore for beach explorations. We are fully insured, and we have the latest marine safety equipment and marine first aid training. Let us share with you our 35 years in the Gulf Islands, and a lifetime on the Coast. We'll take you to special places you'll never forget, that others never see! We know and love this area, and we are delighted to share its wonders with you!

Steveston Seabreeze FX

Member Owners: Rick Thompson, Bobby Morimoto and Lloyd Nakade / Address: 12551 No. 1 Road Building 43, Richmond, BC  V7E 1T7 Canada / Local: (604) 272-7200


Steveston Seabreeze Adventures - Steveston, BC 

Just south of Vancouver in the quaint historic fishing village of Steveston you’ll find a gateway to some of the best whale watching Vancouver has to offer! Have you ever dreamed of seeing some of the world’s largest creatures in their natural habitat? Or wondered how to get a "seal’s eye view" of the beautiful BC coast? If you’re looking for a way to spend the day on a Vancouver whale watching tour cruising the coast looking for whales, porpoises and other marine mammals and seabirds in one of the most beautiful places in the world, then you’ve come to the right place! Whether visiting the West Coast from out of town, or if you’re a local, a Vancouver whale watching tour is a great way to gain an educational, informative experience you’ll never forget! Depart from Steveston Village, three miles south of Vancouver International Airport, aboard our covered and heated scenic cruising vessels. Upper and lower unrestricted viewing decks on all vessels. Coffee service and washroom facilities on board all vessels. Relax and enjoy our three-to-five-hour tours, along the lower reaches of the Fraser River, Gulf of Georgia and the beautiful Gulf and San Juan Islands. All tours are professionally narrated by our marine biology naturalists. We boast the most scenic and pristine areas that the B.C. coastline has to offer! With the majestic orcas, humpback whales, gray whales, minke whales, Dall’s porposies, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Stellar sea lions, California sea lions, harbour seals, as well as bald eagles, falcons, puffins, pelicans and a large variety of other aquatic marine birdlife, this is truly a "Once in a Lifetime Experience." Shuttle service and lunches are available on request.

Vancouver Whale Watch FX

Member Owner: Cedric Towers / Address: 210-12240 Second Avenue, Richmond, BC  V7E 3L8 Canada / Local: (604) 274-9565


Vancouver Whale Watch - Steveston, BC 

Cedric Towers of Vancouver Whale Watch is a true pioneer of whale watching in the region, starting the first company conducting regular tours from the Vancouver area 14 years ago. Located in the beautiful, historic fishing village of Steveston just 40 minutes south of downtown, Vancouver Whale Watch provides passengers with the adventure of a lifetime through excellent customer service, first class vessels, the highest possible safety standards and added value from an on-the-water education of the west coast ecosystem. We emphasize science and conservation while maintaining a fun and professional atmosphere. Join our professional naturalists for a three-to-five-hour tour, starting in Steveston and traveling through the spectacular Gulf and San Juan Islands. While we journey to find the orcas (killer whales), you’ll have the opportunity to see a diverse marine ecosystem, including bow-riding Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles and seals. Choose between the thrill of an open zodiac or ride in comfort and style in one of our larger semi-enclosed zodiac-style vessels. Our boats are equipped with onboard washrooms and Coast Guard Standard safety equipment. Transportation and lunch available upon request. We can accommodate groups of any size. Vancouver Whale Watch is also a longtime active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, with Cedric currently serving as its Secretary. We’re committed to the guidelines for responsible whale watching that PWWA has helped put in place in both U.S. and Canada, and a portion of our proceeds go to support local marine research programs.

ClipperVacaLogo rgb-smaller

Member: Darrell Bryan, Clipper Navigation, Inc. / Jason Mihok, Staff Captain / Address: 2701 Alaskan Way, Pier 69, Seattle, WA  98121-1199 United States / Reservations: (800) 888-2535 Fax: (206) 443-2583

Victoria Clipper - Seattle, WA and Victoria, BC

Conveniently departing from downtown Seattle, your San Juan Islands Whale Watching & Sealife Search Day Trip begins with a scenic Victoria Clipper cruise through the Puget Sound and scenic Deception Pass to an area world-renowned for its resident pods of orcas.  With the guidance of a trained onboard naturalist, you will be taken on a Whale and Sealife Search where in addition to whales you will be on the lookout for migratory birds, bald eagles, the playful Dall's porpoises, seals, otters and other area wildlife.  Also included is a stopover in the charming seaside village of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. If you're in Seattle and want to head north to Victoria to see wildlife, why not leave your car behind and get there in comfort, style and with time to spare? Take one of our high-speed passenger-only Victoria Clipper ferries for a fast trip with a host of great amenities. When you travel with us, you'll enjoy a three-hour cruise through Puget Sound and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca on your way to Victoria's Inner Harbour. Once there, hop onto any of a number of great whale watch boats in Vic, including our partner operator, Prince of Whales. Since, Clipper Navigation, Inc. has provided transportation, tours and accommodation packages for over seven million customers.


Member Owner: Captain Ivan Reiff / Address: 1 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA  98250 United States / Local: (800) 757-6722

Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours - Friday Harbor, WA 

Join us on a whale watching tour from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, just 90 miles north of Seattle, Washington. Breathe the fresh island air, take in the scenery, and experience the magnificence of seeing orcas, minke whales, bald eagles, porpoises, seals, sea birds and sea lions in their natural environment. Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours provides quality whale watching and wildlife tours with a personal touch. Skilled local naturalists make our trips fun, informative and interactive, and our owner/captain is dedicated to making your whale watching and wildlife trip an experience of a lifetime. We'll take you deep into the territory of the Southern Resident orca, the most magnificent of Washington’s and BC’s wildlife. There is nothing quite as spectacular as the sight of a pod of orcas along the protected coastlines of the San Juan Islands. A whale watching trip from Friday Harbor is the perfect choice for any vacation in the Pacific Northwest, and being near the Seattle, Washington area makes it a great day trip as well. Captain Ivan Reiff is the proud owner and operator of Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours. He holds a USCG Master 100 Ton License and is a full-time captain on the Western Explorer and Western Prince II. As an active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, Western Prince is dedicated to research, education and responsible wildlife and whale watching. We pledge at least 4% of our profits for conservation, and we feel strongly that education is a key part of our trips. We hope you will come away with memories to last a lifetime and a newfound appreciation for the natural world.

White Rock Sea Tours Logo

Member Owner: Andrew Newman / Address: 1524 133B Street, Surrey, BC V4A 6M2 / 604.868.1755

White Rock Sea Tours - White Rock, BC

White Rock Sea Tours provides thrilling whale watching adventures and harbour tours amidst stunning sceneries and wildlife. We also provide services that includes water taxi, charters, memorials, towing and marine assistance. Andrew Newman started White Rock Sea Tours from a passion to share the wonders of the ocean with families, tourists, and groups in the local community. He hopes to better connect people with their natural legacy through spectacular coastal journeys, close encounters with animals, conservation, and adventure, "turning moments into memories." We are the only dedicated whale-watching company operating directly from White Rock, British Columbia. Our Zodiac Captains have years of experience and are serving or former members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. They are Transport Canada certified to deal with safe navigation, first aid and marine emergency situations. Our staff are passionate about marine wildlife and conservation. They keep up-to-date with the latest research in marine mammal research and conservation and are happy to share their knowledge.



Wild Whales Vancouver logo-transpbkgd

Member Owner: Roger Obayashi / Address: Granville Island / 1806 Mast Tower Rd., Vancouver, BC  V6H 4B6 Canada / Local: (604) 699-2011

Wild Whales Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

Whale watch from Granville Island! Departing from downtown Vancouver’s historic and eclectic shopping district, Wild Whales will soon take you deep into “the North American Serengeti,” allowing you to observe the diverse wildlife of the Pacific Coast in their natural habitat. It is an unforgettable trip of a lifetime! Board one of our three vessels at Granville Island and keep your cameras ready as you travel down False Creek and into English Bay, where the views of Vancouver, the Coast Mountains and Stanley Park are unparalleled. From English Bay, we pass the Fraser River estuary into the Strait of Georgia. Every trip, every day is different as we explore the Canadian Gulf Islands, the U.S. San Juan Islands and beyond in search of our resident killer whale pods and all of the other wildlife along the way. Sightings guaranteed! Our trips vary greatly in length, from three-to-seven hours. We are often asked why we have such variation in our schedule. The answer, the wildlife we are looking for is unpredictable. Killer whales are always moving and searching for food, we cannot say where they will be from one day to the next. However, we want to give all of our guests the opportunity to experience these amazing mammals. We will therefore travel those extra miles on days when the killer whales are further away from Vancouver. Over the past 10 years, we’ve maintained a focus on customer service, ensuring we go the extra mile to find whales for our guests. Our staff has always been professional individuals who are passionate about the marine environment and its conservation. We have selected jet boats as they are ideal for whale watching in this area. They are able to travel quickly, allowing us to cover a large range, but more importantly, they are whale friendly!



Unusual Recent Sightings from PWWA Boats:

Northerns off Sooke 110813 Mark Malleson 4526  Northerns Off Sooke Sandi Murdock 110813 Aboard Maya 1424304 10201888770453465 1130625271 n 

Northern Resident orcas off of Race Rocks, Sooke, BC on 11/8/13. (left) Northern Resident G2 and Pacific white-sided dolphin off of East Sooke Park. Photo by Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales;
(right) photo by Sandi Murdock, aboard Maya's Westside Whale Charters.

November 8, 2013: I came across the G2 and G27 matrilines foraging east of Race Rocks on the morning of November 8th. There was a group of Pacific White-Sided dolphins accompanying them. I last saw them off of Sooke west bound passing through a group of humpback whales. 

- Capt. Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales Whale Watching

(see also SIGHTINGS)


Environment Northwest: Tidal Energy Sparks Concerns Over Impact on Marine Life

Gary Chittim, Environmental Specialist, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)

November 18, 2013

Anchor Dennis Bounds: A groundbreaking plan to generate underwater power in Puget Sound is now generating concern for marine life.

Anchor Lori Matsukawa: Tidal energy is dubbed the clean power of the future, but as KING 5 environmental specialist Gary Chittim reports, not everyone is on board.

Gary Chittim in Bellingham shipyard: The newest addition to the Puget Sound whale watching fleet is being custom-fitted for the job.

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: We're going to place the whole upper deck here, you're seeing the start of it now…

Gary Chittim: The Island Explorer 4 is being customize above and below deck.

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: C'mon down..

Gary Chittim: The engine room is being beefed-up, and toned down. Mechanics will refit this boat to use less fuel, produce more speed, and produce less sound.

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: Low-noise propellers, larger exhausts…

(orcas surfacing)

Gary Chittim: Whale watch boats have to be quieter, to protect their star attraction -- endangered Southern Resident orcas could be harmed by too much noise. So the fleet spends millions to be as silent as possible.

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: We're working on making it quieter. But to put this amount of noise into the water, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before that happens.

Gary Chittim: This is what he's worried about -- underwater generators that the Snohomish County PUD wants to put in Admiralty Inlet in Puget Sound. They're big, powerful, and loud.

Craig Collar, Snohomish PUD: The median broadband sound put in by the turbines is about 145 decibels.

(sound-up, Seahawks game)

Gary Chittim: That's louder than the short-lived record crowd noise of 136.6 decibels generated by the 12th Man this year…

(sound-up, "Seahawks!!")

Gary Chittim: But PUD officials say that's nothing compared to Admiralty Inlet's other noisemakers.

Craig Collar, Snohomish PUD: The sound of the Port Townsend ferry that crosses Admiralty Inlet very near to where the turbines will be is about 175 decibels, and a big, large tanker or cargo vessel going through Admiralty Inlet is about 180 decibels or more.

Gary Chittim: The PUD says researchers have extensively studied the underwater site and found it's a great place for turbines that can produce a lot of power, but not enough sound to harm sealife. They say tidal power could be the least harmful, most effective energy producer since hydroelectric dams. Some environmental groups are thrilled with the idea of replacing carbon-producing power plants with "deep green" tidal power. But whale watching groups, local tribes and others say Admiralty Inlet is a critical passage for sensitive sea creatures entering and exiting Puget Sound.

Gary Chittim, on beach: They're not saying that they're totally against the idea of tidal power. What they're asking is, is this place where all of these salmon and orca travel the best place to find out if it's safe or not?

(sound-up, welder working on Island Explorer 4)

Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: Those whales are back and forth right in front of the proposed zone that they're looking to put these power generation tidal turbines.

Craig Collar, Snohomish PUD: Admiralty Inlet at the point where we're going to install the turbines is over three miles across. The size of a turbine motor is 20 feet.

Gary Chittim: If all goes well, the generators could be installed by 2015. But this project will be producing a lot more noise topside before the turbines begin spinning underneath. In Everett, Gary Chittim, KING 5 News.





How To Help

Become a member of The Center for Whale Research! The Pacific Whale Watch Association is proud to be a longtime supporter of Ken Balcomb and his team as they continue their fourth decade surveying the Southern Resident orcas and working to recover the population. Help them help the whales.

PWWA is also proud to assist the important work of Dr. John Calambokidis and his researchers at Cascadia Research Collective, a scientific and education organization based in Olympia, Washington studying and protecting threatened marine mammals. Contact Cascadia and see how you can pitch in.  

You can also help the whales by coming out with one of our member operators and seeing these majestic animals first-hand, and then joining their constituency for conservation.

Become a Member

Join our prestigious group of whale watching and eco-tourism businesses.

The Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) consists of 31 dedicated operators committed to research, education, and responsible wildlife viewing.

Member companies depart from 18 different ports in Washington State and British Columbia.  Learn how to join PWWA at:

Contact PWWA


Contact Us

Pacific Whale Watch Association 

2247 15th Avenue W.
Seattle, WA  98119