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“Fantastic crew!!!”
Review of Island Adventures

Island Adventures
Ranked #3 of 15 Tours in Anacortes
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We pride ourselves as being one of the most experienced and dedicated whale-watching companies in Washington. Because of our very high success rate, Island Adventures was one of the first and only companies to guarantee whale sightings on every tour - but it's our team of highly qualified crew that will make your trip unforgettable! They boast over 100 years of combined experience in the islands, over 4100 days with the whales, and have led excursions for over 80,000 satisfied customers.
Reviewed 27 May 2018 via mobile

Listen, you already know that a whale watch adventure in the exquisite San Juan Islands, on a boat that is barely a year new, is going to be AWESOME! What you may not expect is a funny captain, engaging naturalist and a wonderful galley crew. The team at Island Adventures makes the trip REALLY special! Kudos to a fantastic group!

Thank NW-K9s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnacortesWhales, Manager at Island Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2018

Thanks so much for those kind words! Our crew works exceptionally hard to make every tour great for our guests. We'll spread the word that you had a wonderful time!

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"whale watching"
in 149 reviews
"harbor seals"
in 72 reviews
"captain carl"
in 22 reviews
"see whales"
in 52 reviews
"bald eagles"
in 62 reviews
"the galley"
in 23 reviews
"pods of orcas"
in 27 reviews
"friendly crew"
in 9 reviews
"hot dogs"
in 9 reviews
"saw orcas"
in 32 reviews
"spy hopping"
in 12 reviews
"sea world"
in 7 reviews
"port angeles"
in 12 reviews
"j pod"
in 15 reviews
"great trip"
in 35 reviews
"the upper deck"
in 8 reviews
"canadian waters"
in 21 reviews
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17 - 21 of 668 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2018

What a Great Experience!

The entire staff: Captain Scott, Naturalists Sam & Claire, and galley staff Eric & Naomi worked so well together to make sure everyone was well taken care of. Sam, Claire and Scott shared the air time effectively to keep us very engaged in our quest to discover all of the nature available to us in the Salish Sea that day.

The boat is state-of-the-art and had so many possibilities available to us. My friend and I explored every option but could see that it has something for everyone. If you get easily chilled, there is ample indoor heated space, if you like outside but want to be out of the wind there are multiple options there too. Then there stadium seating on the bow making it easy to be front and center for the nature sightings outside. The boat travels very fast and we were able to go into Canadian waters that day, a definite plus to increase our chances to see the jaw dropping whales and/or orcas in action!

I can’t imagine a better whale watching trip. Fantastic!

Thank Kris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnacortesWhales, Manager at Island Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2018

Kris,

Thanks for choosing Island Adventures! We'll let your crew members know that you had a fantastic time and appreciated all their hard work!

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Reviewed 16 May 2018

I am a tour operator based in Orlando, FL. I recently had the privilege of touring a high school group from Oklahoma and we decided to add a whale watch day to our itinerary. After some research, I discovered Island Adventures and started setting up the process with Matt. Many months later, our sail date was finally here. Saturday, April 28, 2018 was a day myself and many many in my group will never forget.

There were 72 of us so we took up most of the boat. What to say about the boat... The Explorer 5 is unreal. 3 decks, all designed to accommodate passengers comfortably and uniquely. Lots of room to explore and inside, the seating was spacious and comfortable with state of the art video monitors and navigation equipment. The weather was a bit chilly and forecast called for rain but it never got to be more than a drizzle and there were plenty of places to get out of the rain and chill when needed.

The crew was fantastic. Can't say enough about their professionalism and fun and festive attitude. Brittany and Emma were our cafe crew and they quickly got overwhelmed by 70 hungry high school kids but they managed to keep the line moving, all with a big smile on their faces the whole time. Scott was our captain and remained seated at the helm in that really cool tucked away captain's deck commenting often on the scenery we were passing by or the wildlife we were seeing.
Our naturalist (or as I referred to him as our emcee) was Tyson. Tyson had the easiest job of the bunch, hanging out with us passengers and using a microphone explaining more about the wildlife, the islands, etc. He did so with a great sense of humor, telling really funny jokes, all while giving us all quite an education of the area and the wildlife. Tyson was a pleasure to speak with and learn from and I decided he probably has the greatest job on the planet.

The scenery was just beautiful. As this was my first ever visit to the area, I was amazed at the islands and the mountains we passed. Again, Tyson was such a great resource to learn about the area. About 2 hours in, I was beginning to wonder if we would see any whales at all. Tyson said that it can take up to a couple of hours but he had been on less than 1% of cruises that came away with no sightings.

About 2 and a half hours in, we saw our first pod of orcas. Totally magical to experience for the first time in the wild! The crew was great at telling us which side of the boat to go to and the Explorer 5 is expertly designed with tiered viewing areas so everyone could see perfectly. We saw 2 more pods and the captain's navigating closer without being intrusive was quite impressive. I really felt the respect the crew had for the animals' personal space.

The ride back to the port was total zen. I don't know when I've felt that much peace and I just stood on the deck taking in the beautiful scenery. Tyson went inside to prepare a photo zip drive for purchase (on top of his awesome commentary, he is quite the photographer)...the photos were also on display on the monitors. Beautiful photography and so worth the money since my phone pics didn't turn out so great.

The only thought going through my head as we approached the dock was how soon can I get back here to do this again? I polled my group at the end of our wonderful 5 day trip (the cruise was about 5 1/2 hours) and overwhelmingly the whale watch cruise on the Explorer 5 was the highlight. Also, for me personally, as I have been a tour operator for the better part of the last 10 years and have gotten to experience some pretty spectacular places and activities, my day on the Explorer 5 tops them all!

Thanks Matt and everyone at Island Adventures for a truly incredible experience!! I cannot wait to return!

1  Thank OKGuy13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnacortesWhales, Manager at Island Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2018

Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such a detailed review of your experience. No doubt this will all be very helpful for those looking to plan a tour with us. It was a pleasure having your (large) group aboard. It was a really fun day for everyone!

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Reviewed 12 May 2018

My husband surprised me with the full-day trip out of La Conner the last weekend in April and it was AMAZING. Tyler and the crew were super fun and knowledgeable and we absolutely loved the experience. There were maybe 12 passengers in total, the boat can accommodate around 60 (if I remember correctly) but being such a small group made the trip VERY enjoyable. We were able to see and enjoy transient orcas, steller sea lions, harbor seals and loads and loads and loads of other marine life. There is a small bar on board with loads of things to choose from and tasty too!

A couple days later we also went on the three hour tour out of Everett where within twenty minutes we got to see Grey Whales. This tour accommodated MANY more tourists, so it felt crowded at times but still enjoyable. The crew was nice and knowledgeable but honestly if you have to choose, I would choose the full-day experience!

Thank Jessica G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnacortesWhales, Manager at Island Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2018

Jessica,

Thank you so much for joining us from La Conner! These full-day tours from La Conner are a newer offering for us and we are so pleased with the quality of these trips. The smaller group sizes and extended time on the water allow for some really unique experiences. All of our tours are great, but we're really pleased with this latest offering from La Conner!

Once again, thank you for sharing your experiences!

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Reviewed 6 May 2018

We saw a lot of whales. It was worth making the trip. The crew was fantastic and was very informative

Thank Cheryl J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnacortesWhales, Manager at Island Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2018

Cheryl,

Thanks so much for taking time to review your tour! We will pass your review on to the rest of our staff!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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