What To Expect
Find a comfortable place at the railing and carefully scan back and forth over the water to the horizon. Look for things that don't belong. Watch for blows, the whales' tall exhalations. Look for backs, dorsal fins, or tails at the surface. Splashing in the distance often indicates active whales. Also, watch for groups of seabirds who may be feeding above whales. Once whales are located, the boat stops to begin the whale watch. It is important to note that the boat voluntarily operates within Whale Sense whale watching guidelines to keep the whales safe!
The whales we hope to encounter are wild animals. They are not fed or trained. They come to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary during the warmer months to feed on schooling fish and other small animals. The whales' behavior cannot be predicted, but are often spectacular. The numbers and species of whales always vary from trip to trip. Our naturalist will provide an expert narrative on the natural histories and behaviors of the species you encounter.
On the return to Barnstable Harbor, our naturalist will circulate and answer questions. Research Interns from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society will demonstrate how to identify the whales you saw that day. That's the anatomy of a Hyannis Whale Watch!
Check our whale watch routes on the map below. We most often encounter whales at the southwest corner or in the southeast reaches of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, but please note: whales can't read maps. Sometimes the whales are within the limits of the sanctuary sometimes they will be somewhere else. It's all up to them!
Meals and drinks
Tips and gratuities
Children 3 years old and below will receive a free boarding pass.
Be certain that you have all of your belongings before you disembark.
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