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“Very good operation; know what you are getting...”

Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises
Ranked #1 of 7 Tours in Barnstable
Certificate of Excellence
Syracuse, New York
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Very good operation; know what you are getting...”
Reviewed 17 August 2014

We have been on several whale watches from other locations and companies; this establishment provided an experience that is as good as most, and better than some. Be aware of what you are getting and why, and you will have a good experience (or choose someplace else). Here is what to be aware of:

PARKING is difficult in the area of the whale watch due to space and businesses competing for parking; in order to guarantee spaces and safety and because the other nearby establishments are harsh about not letting whale watch patrons park, the whale watch operates their own parking at $15 - do not be surprised by this and understand why it needs to be, and it won't hurt your experience; not knowing in advance or understanding, and it can really put a damper on your experience from the first moment.

THE BOAT is larger than most that I have been on for whale watch purposes. This has positives of allowing spacious and varied comfortable seating options during the trip and providing ample space for those who want to be in each seating situation (upper deck indoors, upper deck outdoors, lower deck); it however has the negatives of meaning a larger number of people can fit on the boat making the watch moments more crowded, and a much greater need for many people (particularly shorter and younger) to scamper back and forth between sides trying to get glimpses. I recommend parking yourself on one side of the boat to stake out a good piece of railing real estate, and then avoiding the temptation to dash to the other side of the boat... the captain turns the boat often and both sides of the boat end up with good viewing opportunities.

THE TRIP is four hours, which includes about an hour of travel time in each direction. This can seem a nuisance unless you (a) consider the equal or greater traffic at times trying to drive up the cape, and (b) enjoy the boat ride along the cape, with a few sights such as lighthouses along the way.

THE CREW included: a narrator who spoke about the science of the whales (and occasionally made mediocre or stupid jokes such as picking on the New York Yankees for no apparent reason except this is Massachusetts), two volunteer marine biologist interns that circulated throughout the boat to answer questions and offer children the opportunity to feel a sample of whale baleen (this is an almost universal whale watch feature), and a videographer who was there to record the whale watch and offer DVD purchases (but whom was refreshingly non-pushy and spent most of the non-whale-intense time talking with passengers and sharing what she knows as well), in addition to the galley and ship crew (a small and simple snack bar is available)... small bags, non-alcoholic drinks contained in anything except glass, and food all ARE allowed, and we appreciated that; we brought our own water, snacks, and sandwiches, which helped to keep the adventure's cost down.

THE WHALES on our watch were fantastic. We saw several humpback whales, including a humpback calf "playing" right next to the ship for a little while doing very adorable tail flip splashes; the adult humpbacks were observed in feeding behavior. We also saw at least four or five finback whales during the final part of the watch, saved for last because although they are interesting to see (second largest animal on planet), their behaviors make there less to observe from a whale watch boat than the humpbacks.

In all, our experience was very positive, even if not perfection. I strongly feel that as long as you know about the parking in advance and don't have sticker shock from the ticket price (about $50/person), and if you know how to make the most of your trip (bring approved food/drink onboard from home; ask questions; stick to one side to reserve some railing rather than running back and forth), this is an above average choice for your whale watch experience.

Visited August 2014
5 Thank GregJHipius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Amersham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2014 via mobile

this is MUST in cape cod. We had an amazing time on this cruise and saw loads of whales up close. The naturalist was brilliant and knew all the humpbacks by name and gave us loads of info about them. For the price we paid it was well worth it.

Thank Holly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trenton, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“There is most defiantly something better!”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

For two people it was around 100 bucks... Okay a bit steep but I am told it would be worth it... Then we arrive to find we had to pay 15 bucks extra to simply park. Over loaded the boat and we felt like sardines and had to stand the hole time... Wish I had my money back... Do not do this Trip!

Visited August 2014
1 Thank knox_joey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Lots of whales seen”
Reviewed 14 August 2014

Great opportunity to see whales up close. We saw lots including humpbacks, fin and Minke. Yes it is a longer boat journey than from Provincetown but it could take you an hour and a half to get there by car and another half hour to find somewhere to park (we were stuck in traffic so long that we missed our boat in Provincetown). Boat is a bit too crowded but they ensured that the boat was positioned so that both sides of the vessel had a fair share of whale viewings. We parked in Barnstable town which avoided the "nominal parking fee" of 13 dollars !

Visited August 2014
1 Thank JimboR7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Loved every minute of it!”
Reviewed 14 August 2014

The boat was large and spacious. The crew well informed and helpful. We saw a ton of whales. The woman commentating over the speaker had an great voice and kept you listening. You can tell she really cares for the whales and knows everyone by name. I was dreading the fact of being on the boat for 4 hours without a cigarette. We were told we could smoke in a certain area and I was in my glory! The snacks were decent, I had a pizza which was tasty. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for an excursion.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank rmovers315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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