The Princess of Monterey Bay Whale Watching tours is one of a few tour companies that charge extra to ride a top their upper viewing deck. There is a an additional $20 fee but you have to arrive early to get this special perk. I recommend going on a weekday to take advantage of this offer; most likely there will be less people on top and not passed out due to seasickness.
On November 17, 2013, I went out on their vessel, "The Greatland". There were about 30 people including children on the upper viewing deck and I estimate about 40-60 people below. I saw the first whales about 30 minutes into the trip, though they were a bit in the distance. The tour continued onward to towards Moss Landing where a raft (a group of sea lions) were trailing a couple of humpback whales feeding on anchovies. We were in this area about 30 minutes and then moved off to view another group whales.
Some of the wild life viewed, were humpback whales, sea lions, sea otters, sea nettle jellyfish (are abundant in the bay), several types of sea birds. There were no dolphin or orca sightings on this trip. I was really hoping to see the orcas since local media played this up on the televised news casts.
Monterey Monterey Bay Whale Watching is an enjoying experience for families especially small children.
Ask for life preservers when you board to insure safety for your children.
There is a lot of room for roaming around on the side railings and heated interior cabins and snack bar.
Dress in layers and prepare for a day on the Monterey Bay.
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