We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best time of day for whale watching

Tampa, Florida
9 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Best time of day for whale watching

My fiance and I are planning to go whale watching during our mid-June visit to Provincetown and were wondering if there is a best time of day to depart.

I see that some reviewers like the later cruises for the sunset. Would a cruise early in the day be less crowded? And is there any difference in the likelihood of spotting whales between early, midday, or later?

Never been before, so any advice is welcome.

Level Contributor
5,748 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Best time of day for whale watching


The whales will be there regardless of what time you choose, so don't let that be the deciding factor. That said, it's a known fact that the morning tour tends to be less windy. Just like with hot air balloons. They leave early in the morning when the wind is usually at it's calmest. The heating of the day increases the winds. So less wind, cooler in the morning and warmer but windier in the afternoon. This info isn't a 100% guarantee but a good rule of thumb to go by.

Don't forget to dress in layers even if it's warm at the dock. Motion sickness meds if you think you'll need them an hour before departure. Waterproof windbreaker, sunglasses, sunscreen and a camera are essential. It's a great experience so don't let being unprepared put a damper on it.

Have a great time.

Edited: 18 May 2010, 06:16
The Sea
Level Contributor
1,629 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Best time of day for whale watching

Whatever time you pick will provide the opportunity to see whales. The electronic 'whale finders' being used make the watches a sure thing. I like going when the air and water have warmed up a little and the wind has blown the fog and mist away so I prefer mid-morning or early afternoon trips.

Level Contributor
223 posts
130 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best time of day for whale watching

Personally, I prefer the earlier watches, as I like to free the rest of my day up to do other things (beach, pool, etc.) The sunset watches can be romantic (as can sunset sail cruises...) Since you're going with your beloved, perhaps romance trumps convenience. Sunset on the water is just pure magic.

Level Contributor
56 posts
112 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best time of day for whale watching

I go in the morning, usually on the 2nd boat. As mentioned above, the seas tend to be calmer than the afternoon. I go on the 2nd boat because the first boat will send findings to the 2nd boat about what they're seeing and where. Definitely bring layers. You can go from sweltering to freezing to sweltering really quickly on the water. Whale watching in Ptown is amazing. It's a relatively short boat ride, and the whales are plentiful and often come right up to the boats. Suggestion -- at some point give up on photos/videos, and just watch. It's incredible. Have fun!

New York NY
Level Contributor
295 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best time of day for whale watching

We usually go fishing with a charter group on the Bay early in the morning, and whale watch on the last boat out. That way, we often get to see the sunset and perhpas moonrise as we round Land's End to approach the harbor. But according to what I just read here, we'll have to try the morning for a change.

Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
343 posts
203 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Best time of day for whale watching


We went on the morning ride 10 a.m - and had a very succesfull tour. We were there in late september and even then there was many tourist, but there is also many boats. The tour is about 4 hours - bring some warm clothes. Its an amazing experience - not only for sights of the whales but also the crew ( biologist and others) on board. They know a lot.

Stay on top of the boat - dont go inside - you cant see a thing.


We saw about 40 whales different kinds.

Good luck

7. Re: Best time of day for whale watching

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 24 November 2010, 05:16