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Address: WA 98250
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

The waters surrounding San Juan Island are the #1 place in North America to...

The waters surrounding San Juan Island are the #1 place in North America to see wild orca whales. San Juan Safaris, located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, is in the perfect location to provide you with the thrill of seeing orcas in their natural habitat.

For over 20 years, San Juan Safaris has been offering the highest quality whale watching tours with a focus on our guests’ experiences and respectful wildlife viewing.

Experience orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, and more from the comfort of our safe, fast, and US Coast Guard approved vessels. With four vessels and multiple daily departure times, there’s sure to be a tour that’s right for you.

Our seasoned Captains will keep you safe while aboard our vessels and position the boat in prime locations for whale and wildlife viewing. All of our tours are staffed by seasoned Captains and passionate Marine Naturalists who will teach you about the wildlife, ecology, and geology of the Salish Sea. We encourage you to ask questions and love to share stories about orcas and the local area.

Choose from two vessel tours:

M/V Sea Lion: The Sea Lion is our flagship vessel, built specifically for whale watching & wildlife viewing. 55 feet, comfortable, stable, great for passengers of all ages and mobility levels. Restroom on board, 360* viewing deck, heated inside cabin. Great for families and groups.

M/V Kestrel: The Kestrel is our new high-speed adventure vessel-- perfect for anyone looking for an exciting excursion! Fast, safe, and comfortable. 360* viewing deck, all-weather exposure suits keep you warm and dry, plus on board marine bathroom. Fun and fast! This tour is great for passengers 8 years and older.

Our brand new Whale Watch Headquarters is located just feet from the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor, and steps from local restaurants and shops. Stop by and say “hello” to learn more about our tours and the best spots on San Juan Island to explore. Visit our retail and gift shop for the latest in northwest guide style. Don’t forget to stop by our new Ridetide Cafe for coffee, sandwiches, desserts, and more!

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Whale Watching from Friday Harbor
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 332 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 305
  • 14
    Very good
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
Try the Kestrel!

Our family has been out on several adventures with San Juan Safaris and our trip on their new high speed boat, "Kestrel", was another awesome trip. Despite having fairly rough... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 18 January 2017
Kennewick, Washington

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332 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 326: English reviews
Kennewick, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2017

Our family has been out on several adventures with San Juan Safaris and our trip on their new high speed boat, "Kestrel", was another awesome trip. Despite having fairly rough water on our way to the west side of the island, we were kept comfortable in our dry suits and the trip was so much quicker than other vessels. Once... More 

Thank Whitjenn
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2016

My wife and I can't say enough great things about San Juan Safaris! The crew was awesome and the trip was amazing. The views are breath taking and the wildlife sightings were spectacular. We saw so many amazing animals (porpoises, sea lions, humpbacks). So happy to be able to cross this off the bucket list, now we can't wait to... More 

Thank CSetters
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2016

We had an amazing whale watching trip with San Juan Safaris. We saw tons of orcas and a humpback whale. But what really made the trip so great was the naturalist, Sarah C. She knew everything about the whales, gave us tons of information, and was ready to answer every question she was asked. A great trip!

Thank amiegrillo
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2016

Thanks to Captain Brian and his staff who hosted a San Juan Outfitter/Safaris reunion, taking the entire staff out for a memorable whale watching trip. Lots of transients and reminiscing about the good ol' days. It was great to be back on the water, with a company that truly supports its employees and promotes conservation through education. Keep up the... More 

Thank Joe G
Brian G, Owner at San Juan Safaris, responded to this review

Thanks for your kind words Joe. It was a great whale sighting, and fun weekend overall. Hope to see you up in the islands again soon. Brian Goodremont More 

Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2016 via mobile

This is my second November solo trip out to the Islands, and also the second time out with San Juan Safaris. It's very safe to say that these guys are awesome! They really put forth an effort to make sure everyone is comfortable and well informed on safety, the boat, and the area; the effort to locate wildlife is also... More 

Thank lvlup31
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2016 via mobile

Great captain and crew Locally owned Great knowledge of area and all species of whales and sea life Very frailty friendly All about comfort and safety

Thank Nana123Nancy
Stationed in England
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2016 via mobile

We had a great time and were lucky enough to see humpback whales, bald eagles, seals and other wildlife!!!! Even though it was cold, wet, and rainy the staff made this the best experience possible!!! They're so incredibly knowledgeable and definitely strive to ensure you get your money worth!! We would highly recommend them!!!

Thank Jenarosity
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

I had the pleasure of going out with these guys a couple of weeks ago, and wow what an afternoon it was! Managed to come across two small groups of Transients, working together to kill a Stellar Sea lion. It was like something off of a David Attenborough documentary! The boat managed to get reasonably close, and we watched them... More 

Thank Lucy T
Duvall, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2016

We made a last minute decision as it was late in the season. Spent the night in Friday Harbor, a real pleasant town! I can't give enough praise to San Juan Safaris for how well they run their all aspects of their business. As soon as we left the harbor they knew exactly where to go to find whales. The... More 

Thank Tom R
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2016

A fantastic trip with an amazing staff. Our guides went out of their way to make sure that we saw whales. Extremely knowledgeable and friendly crew. Highly recommend to anyone traveling to San Juan Island!!

Thank Libby T

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?