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“Incredible sunset cruise”
Review of San Juan Safaris

San Juan Safaris
Experience for Yourself
More Info
and up
Whale Watching from Friday Harbor
Ranked #8 of 48 Tours in San Juan Islands
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The waters surrounding San Juan Island are the #1 place in North America to see wild orca whales. San Juan Safaris, located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, is in the perfect location to provide you with the thrill of seeing orcas in their natural habitat. For over 20 years, San Juan Safaris has been offering the highest quality whale watching tours with a focus on our guests’ experiences and respectful wildlife viewing. Experience orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, and more from the comfort of our safe, fast, and US Coast Guard approved vessels. With four vessels and multiple daily departure times, there’s sure to be a tour that’s right for you. Our seasoned Captains will keep you safe while aboard our vessels and position the boat in prime locations for whale and wildlife viewing. All of our tours are staffed by seasoned Captains and passionate Marine Naturalists who will teach you about the wildlife, ecology, and geology of the Salish Sea. We encourage you to ask questions and love to share stories about orcas and the local area. Choose from two vessel tours: M/V Sea Lion: The Sea Lion is our flagship vessel, built specifically for whale watching & wildlife viewing. 55 feet, comfortable, stable, great for passengers of all ages and mobility levels. Restroom on board, 360* viewing deck, heated inside cabin. Great for families and groups. M/V Kestrel: The Kestrel is our new high-speed adventure vessel-- perfect for anyone looking for an exciting excursion! Fast, safe, and comfortable. 360* viewing deck, all-weather exposure suits keep you warm and dry, plus on board marine bathroom. Fun and fast! This tour is great for passengers 8 years and older. Our brand new Whale Watch Headquarters is located just feet from the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor, and steps from local restaurants and shops. Stop by and say “hello” to learn more about our tours and the best spots on San Juan Island to explore. Visit our retail and gift shop for the latest in northwest guide style. Don’t forget to stop by our new Ridetide Cafe for coffee, sandwiches, desserts, and more!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Everett, WA
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Incredible sunset cruise”
Reviewed 24 August 2014

One of your employees recommended the last sunset cruise of the season after discovering our afternoon trip the next day may be cancelled. We had to do some very quick last minute rearranging of our schedule and make a dash to be there on time for check in, but we're so glad we went on this particular cruise.

We headed south and were very soon with a group of transient orcas. We actually spent over 2 hours with this group watching from a distance and were surprised and delighted when they decided to surface right next to the boat--even more surprised when they went underneath us and surfaced again right next to us!

We've been whale watching several times and like the other companies we've gone out with, San Juan Safaris is very professional and follows all whale watching guidelines--this just happened to be a time when the whales decided to come close to us, you never know what will happen, amazing every time we've been fortunate to see them. The naturalists were interesting and informative and having two on board made it nice.

As an absolute bonus, we had a beautiful sunset all the way back with the whales along side us in the distance most of the way back. An absolutely magical trip that will be hard to top.

Thanks San Juan Safaris (and the nice guy in Roche Harbor that politely pushed us into taking this particular trip), we'll definitely recommend you and continue to tell everyone we know that seeing these magnificent creatures in their own environment is the only way to see them.

Visited August 2014
Thank debbiehEverett_WA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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358 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Orcas and Sun in the San Juans...It Doesn't Get Any Better!”
Reviewed 21 August 2014

San Juan Safaris is fabulous and we had a perfect day with them. This is my third trip with this organization and each time I have had exceptional viewing and feel the captain provided the best positioning yet stayed within the boundaries legal which I think is 100 yards. The office staff was welcoming and the naturalists were especially knowledgeable and their enthusiasm for the whales and dolphins together gave us a special experience. We really learned so much about the individual animals and their existence. Our guests were from England and the staff made their trip exceptional.

Visited August 2014
Thank MaryLouise62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Orca Watching”
Reviewed 18 August 2014

I did the last sunset cruise of 2014 with these guys and it was amazing. We went straight to the whales, they were getting regular reports from other vessels which made them easy to find. The pod we stuck with had 5 whales of varying different ages all belonging to one Mother. We had two guides Sarah and Chelsea, the captain was Mike. They were all very helpful and informative. I got some awesome pictures and at first we were quite a distance away but eventually the whales showed a bit of interest in us and swam under the boat, probably some of the best video I have ever shot!

The website is informative and the booking staff was helpful as I managed to book the wrong date. The only downer for me was the ferry back to Anacortes did not dock until midnight, also that was late due to an emergency. No blame on the ferry staff they had to wait for an ambulance.

Will definitely do this again, was good value for around the $100 mark for over 3 hours cruising with some of the best sights you will ever see

Visited August 2014
Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
212 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Great whale watch tour - we saw many whales!”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

Had a great tour with San Juan Safaris. We saw about a half-dozen different whales on our trip, as well as some seals and sea lions. Naturalist Kevin was very knowledgeable and Captain Mike led us to many whales. The boat is-midsized and fits about 35 people, so if you are looking for a more personalized experience you might want something smaller. I will say though, we had plenty of opportunity to talk to Kevin and ask questions. The boat was very clean and you could walk around all sides. Very professional, class act.

Visited August 2014
Thank Aquaman_22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Whale Watch I Have Even Been On!”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

This outfit is very professional. We had the best time of any whale watch we have been on, and I have been on 5 previous ones with other outfits from Hawaii to New England. The captain quickly found the whales and they were breaching all over the place. We stayed right with the whales a good long time. The captain put us in the best location of any or the many boats around us. The staff were also very helpful on shore and we are going to do a kayak tour with their sister company. You get a 20% discount on the kayak tour if you go on a whale watch with them. Over all a wonderful experience!

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

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