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Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

Leesburg, Virginia
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Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

Hi All,

I am trying to figure out the best option for a whale watching tour. I worry that my boys might get bored on the long whale watching tour out of Bar Harbor. I have explored a couple out of Campobello Island that appear to be closer to 2 - 2.5 hours in length instead of the 3 - 4 hrs the Bar Harbor cruise states. Thoughts???? We will be in Lubec our last 2 nights. My biggest concern is that if I wait until the last 2 days we run the risk of cancellation with no time to do it. That happened to me in Venice with a gondola ride and I have always regretted it. Thoughts???? We are doing Diver Ed, but typically no whales are seen on that trip.

thank you!

Central Maine
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1. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

Suzibell -- Have no personal experience with Campobello whale watching tours -- but just a word of caution -- if you decide to do the trip from Campobello, remember to bring your passport or passport cards for easy entry back into the U.S. from Campobello, which is in Canada...

Leesburg, Virginia
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2. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

Thanks, Mainer...already have the passports for all 5 of us out and ready to go! Great advice though, sure appreciate it!

I did talk to a friend who did the Bar Harbor whale tour a few weeks ago and they had about 300 people on the boat with them. Wow! That is too many people for me! The ones out of Campobello are tiny little operations with very small boats in comparison. So I think we will take our chances in Campobello. If anyone has thoughts, please chime in here. No plans set in stone yet. Thanks!!

Leesburg, Virginia
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3. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

Just wanted to come back to this post after our visit in case anyone in the future has the same question. The Bar Harbor whale watch tour is on a huge boat....probably holds 300 people. We decided to take our chances with the weather and wait until we got to Lubec. So glad we did! Our trip out of Campobello Island had 17 people on board...that included our captain and co-captain. It was an amazing trip! We took our trip with Mac and Island Cruises http://www.bayoffundywhales.com/ Mac has all the credentials as does his co-captain, Rob. Fantastic fellows. We felt completely safe taking our three young boys on the boat with them. They did an excellent job finding the whales. Travel time to the whales from the marina is minutes unlike out of Bar Harbor. The Bay of Fundy was the perfect place to whale watch and I cannot recommend Island Cruises enough.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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4. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

Suzibell---

Thanks for this information---it's always nice to be able to provide an alternative.

Edited: 20 August 2011, 15:37
Wellington, Florida
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5. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

Thank you for taking the time to share this very useful tip! We are planning a trip to Maine early October and plan to stay overnight in Lubec. The Whale Watching you did seems to be very interesting. We would likely try it out. Other than that, do you have other recommendations of what to do in the area? Our only plan is to hike the Quoddy Head State Park and see the lighthouse. Anything else that might be better alternatives? Thanks,

Leesburg, Virginia
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6. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

So much to do!

You need a passport to do the whale watch we did because it is over the bridge from Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. If you go to Campobellow, there is FDR's summer home to visit. Very nice self tour through the house and grounds. It is an international park. Hiking, drive to one of the coves...very nice. Head Harbor Light house is gorgeous. The kids loved splashing in Herring Cove (no swimming as the water is 46 degrees, but the kids loved it). There is a wharf where the kids went fishing at Wilson's Beach. I think it was at Cook's Point Rd.

If you do not have passports and you must stay on the US side. Lubec is a cute little town to walk in but doesn't take long to do. We loved watching the seals in the Eddies of the Lubec Narrows. We watched them while dining at Franks. Quoddy Head light house is beautiful. We didn't do any hiking down there but I hear there are many trails. Visit Monica's Chocolates and have her give you a tour. LOVE MONICA! and her chocolates are divine...best caramel ever! She is located on County Rd 189. Take North Lubec Rd to Cobscook Bay to explore the beautiful bay. You can swim at Carrying Place Cove, but it was cold and fogged in the day we wanted to go, so we didn't venture down there.

We loved Lubec and Campobello Island. The people were the best part!

If you don't already have lodging, I highly recommend Quoddy Head Station http://www.quoddyvacation.com/ It is a renovated decommissioned coast guard station.

Concord, New...
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7. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

To YiYe34,

If you are interested in a whale watch you might want to check ahead, most of the Tourist based businesses in Downeast maine will be closed or have limited hours in October

Bar Harbor, Maine
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8. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

Well, not here on MDI. The lobster pounds may shut down before the Columbus Day weekend, but not much else. Actually, we don't start rolling up the sidewalks until November.

Concord, New...
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9. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

I was referring to the "Real Downeast" part of Maine ;-)

They had mentioned they were staying in Lubec, having lived in Eastport, most of the tourist based businesses in that area do start closing or reduce hours after Columbus day. (not that there are many, most businesses are year round since we don't get the volume of summer tourist MDI does.) But for things like whale watching and boat tours, ferries, etc typically start closing down.

Thanks for the clarification on MDI though.

Wellington, Florida
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10. Re: Bar Harbor or Campobello Island for whale watching tour?

Thanks for the helpful notes. We will definitely call ahead to make sure they are running and to reserve. There seems to be plenty of alternatives if whale watching doesn't pan out.

Thanks again for all the inputs!