Did you know you can do whale watching tours in Boston? Here’s what to expect


Can’t make it to the West Coast? Fear not, whale-watching tours are here for those on the East Coast – and you can sail straight from Boston.

Whale watching is fun and adventurous and something everyone loves to do. Some of the best whale sightings are found on the West Coast off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and Alaska. But there are also whale watching options on the East Coast.

Boston offers the chance to see these mighty sea mammals as they frolic and breach, and it’s considered one of the top 10 places in the world for whale-watching tours. It is something that is a fun family experience for anyone visiting historic Boston. While in Boston, be sure to visit the Plimoth Living Museum and the replica Mayflower II.

About Boston Whale Watching

In Boston, there’s whale watching off the coast in the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary. This marine sanctuary has rich waters that provide rich feeding grounds for whales. But not just whales – there are also dolphins and seabirds as well as other marine life to see here. Species of whales and other animals here include:

  • humpback whales
  • fin whales
  • minke whales
  • pilot whales
  • Occasional blue whales (The largest animal ever known to have existed)
  • right whales (which are also critically endangered)
  • dolphins (including white-sided dolphins)
  • Different types of seabirds

There are several companies here offering high quality whale watching tours. Two companies will be considered here, City Cruises (which is based in Boston) and 7 Seas Whale Watching (which is based a short drive from the city of Gloucester).

These ocean giants can reach 50 feet in length and weigh 40 tons.

  • Whale watching season: April to October (summer months have more scheduled outings)
  • To note: One may want to plan a visit to see the whales during the warmer months of the year

City Cruises Whale Watching Tours

One of the whale watching companies is City Cruises. Their whale-watching boats are custom-built high-speed catamarans – which they claim are among the largest and fastest in the United States. These boats are air-conditioned and very stable, which reduces the risk of seasickness. They also have professional and knowledgeable naturalists on the tour to explain all there is to know about these stunning Maine animals.

Tours vary by season and prices may vary as well, but in September tours depart at 10:00am.

  • Catamaran speed: 35 knots or 37.5 miles per hour
  • Maximum number of passengers: Up to 400 passengers
  • Reduced group rates: For groups of 20 or more, they offer a reduced group rate
  • Or: Departure: 1 Long Wharf, Boston, MA 02110 (next to New England Aquarium)
  • Cost: $60.00 per adult and $40.00 per child

Related: Why Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most valuable underwater treasures

Whale Watching of the 7 Seas

7 Seas Whale Watch is not located in Boston but a short drive from Gloucester. Gloucester Harbor itself is a beautiful waterfront filled with fishing boats returning from their fishing trips unloading their fish as well as lobster fishermen baiting and setting their traps. This part of the coast is also home to harbor seals, gray seals and a range of seabirds.

Stellwagen Bank and Jeffrey’s Ledge is where the whales feed in numbers and it’s only 12 and 8 miles (respectively) from Gloucester Harbor so it doesn’t take long to get to your destination on a catamaran high speed. No other Massachusetts port is closer to these sites.

  • Premium: Departing from Gloucester, we have a view of the historic port of Gloucester
  • It’s time to reach the whales: It normally takes over 45 minutes to reach the whales from the start
  • Whale Watching Time: About 1.5 hours
  • Narration: The company’s experienced naturalists will tell you all about the whales
  • Cost: $50.00 per adult or $35.00 per child
  • Program: Scheduled outings vary by season, October outings are at 11:00 a.m. daily

They don’t just stop to watch the first whales they see, but they will continue to search and find many whales and different species of whales to see. This is a wild excursion as the whales are untrained or captive wild animals. They are in their natural environment feeding, playing, frolicking and breaching.

Related: Whale Valley Bones Are Still A Mystery, And These Photos Show Just How Weird It Is

7 Seas Whale Watch also has the lowest price guarantee. They say:

“We will match any competitor’s ticket price (except for a Groupon ticket that has already been purchased from a competing whale watching company.)”

Whale watching is a fun activity and one of the most fun sea safaris you can do. It is possible to see these majestic creatures on both sides of the continent. So don’t wait to go to Alaska or Washington to see them. Learn how to see whales in Washington State’s Puget Sound and what to expect here.

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