1) Do you recommend advance reservations?
While reservations are not required, our New England Aquarium Whale Watches are very popular and do sell out often. We strongly recommend that you reserve your spots if you know the specific day and time you want to attend, especially for weekend trips.
2) Can I make a ticket reservation online?
Yes! Boston Harbor Cruises offers online ticketing for your convenience. Click to reserve your tickets online or you can purchase them in person at a BHC or New England Aquarium Whale Watch ticket center location. Because BHC offers hassle-free dockside check-in, the old “will call” window is a thing of the past.
3) When should I arrive?
Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your departure time to allow for boarding.
4) Is discounted/validated parking available?
Discounted/validated parking for the NEAQ Whale Watch is available in two locations:
The Harbor Garage, 70 E. India Row, Boston, (in front of the Aquarium plaza) - You receive $10 off the $35 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 $22.00 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.
5) What should I bring?
We recommend wearing comfortable rubber-soled shoes or sneakers and bringing along 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.
6) Is there food on board?
Boston Harbor Cruises offers a full line of appetizing food and drink aboard the vessels. 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. There’s also a wide menu of fruit juices, teas, sports drinks and other beverages including a full bar serving beer, wine and top-shelf cocktails. Please Note: occasionally our location makes credit/debit card transactions impossible, so it is advisable to have cash for your food/drink purchases.
7) When is the best time to go whale watching?
March through November is great for whale watching. The time of day makes no difference in whale sightings or activity; it is just a matter of convenience for you.
8) What happens if I go on a whale watch but we don't see any whales?
Whale sightings on any New England Aquarium Whale Watch are fully guaranteed. If there are no whale sightings on your trip, you will receive a free ticket for a future whale watch with us.
9) Do passengers ever experience motion sickness?
Although our catamarans are designed to provide a more stable ride, depending on the seas, some passengers may experience motion sickness. If you think you may experience motion sickness, medication, such as Dramamine, can help but needs to be taken a at least an hour or more prior to boarding. In addition, riding near the front of the boat and facing forward can be helpful, as can ginger, crackers and keeping your head still by resting on a seat back.
10) Will the trip be exactly three hours?
The location of the whales on Stellwagen Bank may require more travel time, extending the trip beyond the scheduled three hours. Please allow for additional time in your schedule.
11) What happens if I've reserved tickets but can't make it for the cruise?
Unfortunately, advance-order tickets for all New England Aquarium Whale Watches are non-refundable. But, they may be transferred to another day and time depending on availability. Transfers cannot be handled online or over the phone – only in person at a BHC or New England Aquarium Whale Watch ticket center.
12) Do you offer discounts for large groups?
We do have discounted group rates for parties of 25 or more. Please see our Group Tours page for more information.
13) Do you sell gift cards for your cruises?
We do. BHC gift cards are now available online and in-person at our ticket booths. Or, you can call or email us with your specific request, using the information on our contact page, and we'll get right back to you!
14) Can I learn about recent sightings and see a recap with photos from my whale watch trip?
Boston Harbor Cruises posts a Whale Blog with a recap and pictures of every trip during the season.
For additional information, check out our Guide to Whale Watching.