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Whale Watch NEA Logo

No one gets you closer, faster. Board one of our high-speed catamarans and spot your first whale in about an hour. 

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Whoosh to the Whales.

Set sail with us for the whale watch experience of a lifetime. Our destination: Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, a rich feeding ground for whales, dolphins, sea birds and other marine creatures. You’ll have a good chance to view several different species of large whales, including humpbacks, finbacks, minkes, pilot whales and the critically endangered right whales. And you’ll learn about them from New England Aquarium naturalists who are always on board to share knowledge, answer your questions and explain the mind-blowing behaviors of these truly magnificent mammals.

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Recent Activity

Every day NEAQ-trained naturalists capture their experiences on our whale watches. To read more about each trip, click here.

Naturalist Note: November 15, 2016

Our whale watch aboard the Aurora took us to the SW corner of Stellwagen Bank. Luckily we got out before the later rainstorm, and in total found 10 scattered humpbacks, and tons of birds including northern gannets, kittiwakes, and great shearwaters.  Read more

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High Speed. High Adventure.

Our custom whale watch catamarans are among the largest and fastest in the country. Up to 400 passengers can zoom to the whales at speeds approaching 35 knots (37.5 mph for you landlubbers). They’re also incredibly stable, and feature three outside viewing decks as well as a climate-controlled interior cabin with cushy seats and snack bar. Don’t just get to the whales—get to them in style and comfort.

You can recognize our cats by their distinctive blue and white hulls—but did you know they’re also green? BHC is proud to participate in the Passenger Vessel Association Waters Best Green Practices Program.

We are also a proud member of whalesense.org, which recognizes whale watching companies committed to responsible practices.

Meet the Whales

Most of our whales return to Massachusetts Bay every year, so we’ve gotten to know them by name. And now, you can too. See how individual whales are identified.

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Jabiru's 2015 Calf

This was Jabiru’s first known calf, spotted in late May of 2015 with a spectacular display of tail breaching.

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Sundown

Sundown is named for her beautiful dark fluke, resembling a night sky sunset.

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Hancock

Hancock, an older female, arrived with a new calf in 2015.

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Etch-a-Sketch

Etch-a-Sketch is part of a well-documented whale family which is very special to us, and was born in 1998.

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Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Stellwagen is one of the world’s premier wildlife viewing areas.

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Humpbacks

These Northern Hemisphere whales reach an average length of 50 feet, and weigh about 37 tons.

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Minkes

Averaging 20-30 feet in length and up to 8 to 10 tons

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Finbacks

At 60-80 feet and 50-60 tons, Finbacks are second in size only to blue whales.

Schedule & Rates

Schedule

March 25 - May 5

Monday

  • 10:00 AM

Tuesday

  • 10:00 AM

Wednesday

  • 10:00 AM

Thursday

  • 10:00 AM

Friday

  • 10:00 AM

Saturday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 2:30 PM

Sunday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 2:30 PM

May 6 - May 26

Monday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Tuesday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Wednesday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Thursday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Friday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Saturday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Sunday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

May 27, 28, 29 (Memorial Day Weekend)

Saturday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1:30 PM
  • 2:30 PM
  • 3:30 PM
  • 5:00 PM

Sunday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1:30 PM
  • 2:30 PM
  • 3:30 PM
  • 5:00 PM

Monday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1:30 PM
  • 2:30 PM
  • 3:30 PM
  • 5:00 PM

May 30 - June 23*

Monday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Tuesday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Wednesday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Thursday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Friday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Saturday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM
  • 3:30 PM

Sunday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM
  • 3:30 PM

* 6/17/17 - TBD, may be cancelled due to Harbor shutdown

June 24 - September 4 (*Weekend Schedule for July 4th and Labor Day)

Monday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Tuesday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Wednesday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Thursday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Friday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Saturday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1:30 PM
  • 2:30 PM
  • 3:30 PM
  • 5:00 PM

Sunday

  • 9:00 AM
  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1:30 PM
  • 2:30 PM
  • 3:30 PM
  • 5:00 PM

September 5 - September 22

Monday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Tuesday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Wednesday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Thursday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Friday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Saturday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

Sunday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:30 PM

September 23 - October 29

Monday

  • 12:00 PM

Tuesday

  • 12:00 PM

Wednesday

  • 12:00 PM

Thursday

  • 12:00 PM

Friday

  • 12:00 PM

Saturday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

Sunday

  • 10:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM

October 30 - November 19

Monday

  • 12:00 PM

Tuesday

  • 12:00 PM

Wednesday

  • 12:00 PM

Thursday

  • 12:00 PM

Friday

  • 12:00 PM

Saturday

  • 12:00 PM

Sunday

  • 12:00 PM

Rates*

Adults

$53

Seniors

$45

Children (3-11 years)**

$33

Under 3 years

$16

Family 4-Pack***

  • Monday thru Friday all departures, Saturday and Sunday 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM departures only.

$142

Add New England Aquarium admission when purchasing Whale Watch tickets and save.

Great for Groups

For groups of 10 or more, we offer discounted rates as well as extended personalized services. New England Aquarium discounts are also available so please ask.

Our Group Sales department is always on hand and prepared to help with any request including specialty or private tours, water transportation, gourmet food, custom apparel, souvenirs, entertainment, team building programs and more.

To learn more about our Group Tours services, please contact Doug Hall in our group sales office.

Tell us a little about your group and we’ll get right back to you.

* Rates and schedules are subject to change and an additional 5% Boston Sightseeing Tour Surcharge.
** Rate applies to children 3-11 yrs.
*** Family Four Pack applies to two adults and two children (ages 3-11) and is valid Monday - Friday for all departures and Saturdays and Sundays for the 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM departures only.

 

Tickets are non-refundable.

Combination admission with the New England Aquarium available.

Waterfront and Center.

1 Long Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

The adventure begins at Long Wharf, just steps from the New England Aquarium, the North End, Faneuil Hall and other popular Boston landmarks.

FAQS

Do you recommend advance reservations?

We strongly recommend that you reserve your trip, especially on weekends and holidays. Trips often sell out.

When should I arrive?

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your departure time to allow for boarding.

Is discounted/validated parking available?

Discounted/validated parking is available in two locations:

The Harbor Garage, 70 E. India Row, Boston, (in front of the Aquarium plaza) - Receive $10 off the $38 daily rate with validation at the whale watch booth. Good for up to eight hours. PLEASE NOTE:  In order to receive the discount, you must present the validation when paying as you exit the garage.  If you prepay for parking when entering the garage, you will not be able to receive the discount.

Rowes Wharf Garage, 30 Rowes Wharf, Boston – With validation, you pay $28.00 on weekdays and $15.00 on weekends. Rate without validation is up to $36 for weekdays and up to $18 for weekends. In order to get the discount, you must pick up a coupon from the info desk inside the Aquarium.

What should I bring?

Comfortable rubber-soled shoes or sneakers are a good idea, along with a light sweater or jacket, even on a warm day. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a must, and don’t forget your camera or binoculars.

Is there food on board?

Our galleys offer a terrific selection of breakfast and lunch sandwiches, tasty snacks such as hot pretzels, popcorn and chips, nutritional bars, fresh fruit, nuts and cereals. Fruit juices, tea, sports drinks and other beverages are also available along with beer, wine and cocktails. Please Note: at sea, credit/debit card transactions are sometimes not possible, so it’s a good idea to have cash in hand.

When is the best time to go whale watching?

Our season runs from March through November.

What happens if we don't see any whales?

Whale sightings are fully guaranteed. If there are no whale sightings on your trip, you will receive a free ticket for a future trip with us.

Do passengers ever experience motion sickness?

Our catamarans are designed to be highly stable, but some passengers may experience motion sickness. If you think this could be you, a medication such as Dramamine may help but you should take it at least an hour before boarding. Riding near the front of the boat and facing forward can help, as can ginger, crackers and keeping your head still by resting on a seat back.

How long is the trip?

The location of the whales may require more travel time, extending the trip beyond the scheduled three hours. Please allow for additional time in your schedule.

What happens if I've reserved tickets but can't make it for the cruise?

Advance-order Whale Watch tickets are non-refundable. But, they may be transferred to another day and time depending on availability. Transfers cannot be handled online, only over the phone or in person at a BHC or New England Aquarium Whale Watch ticket center.

 

Do you offer discounts for large groups?

We do have discounted group rates for parties of 10 or more. Please see our Group Tours page for more information.

Are gift cards available?

Yes. You may purchase gift cards online, over the phone or in-person at our ticket booths. Or use the information on our contact page to call or email us and we'll get right back to you.

Can I learn about recent sightings or see photos from my whale watch trip?

Check out our Whale Blog with a recap and pictures of every trip during the season.

For additional information, see our Guide to Whale Watching.

For any other questions, please contact us directly at contact@bostonharborcruises.com

or Call 617-227-4321 or 1-877-SEE-WHALE (733-9425)