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“Don't expect too much. Adjust your expectation.”

Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company offers a variety of boat tours for all ages that show different sights and wildlife in the area around Mount Desert Island, Maine. The tours that we offer include a Puffin and Whale Watching trip, and Whale Watching tour, a Historical Lighthouse tour, a Nature Cruise, a Lobster Fishing and Seal Watching Tour, and a tour to Baker Island. We also have a gift shop in our ticket office, where you can purchase souvenirs during your time in town. We hope to see you on one (or more!) of our boat tours so we can show you why Bar Harbor, Maine is such a special place!
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Stairs / lift, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Baby buggy parking, Activities for older children
Reviewed 11 October 2013

So it was an okay trip. To be honest, many people fell asleep because it takes a good hour to get out to where the dolphins and whales are. Now, we saw lots of dolphins and they were approaching the boat very closely. Whales on the other hand, you will need binoculars and an extremely good camera. Otherwise, you will see the tail and that's about it. We were considered lucky, so I guess our expectations were not realistic and of course, how "whale watching" is marketed.

Know that the boat carries a lot of people and it is absolutely freezing outside. Dress accordingly, or sit inside until there's something to look at, although you may miss something, but at a minimum sit inside for a good 45 minutes before coming outside.

It was an okay experience for us.

1  Thank savvy_traveller175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 October 2013

We went on both the Nature Cruise and the Whale Watch Cruise. It was cold and cloudy on the nature cruise but the naturalist did a great job of pointing out wildlife and other points of interest and I enjoyed it very much. We weren't uncomfortable since we were wearing layers. I wore warm slacks and top, a hoodie, knit cap, gloves AND winter coat. The cold is no joke out on the ocean so I didn't care if I looked silly. It was about 54 on shore, so much colder on the boat once it was underway My husband wasn't as crazy about the Nature Cruise as I was, likely due to the clouds and cold weather. The following day was warmer and sunny and perfect for a Whale Watch Cruise, although a warm jacket and hat were still necessary. Love love LOVED it! The crew did a great job of finding a pair of Humpback whales and keeping relatively close for a long time. It was at the end of the season so there had been some doubt as to whether we'd see whales at all so we were extremely pleased. We had taken 2 whale watch cruises near San Diego without a whale in sight. We also saw whales 3 years ago on a previous vacation. Be sure to take Dramamine if you get queasy, although it wasn't bad at all when we were out. The inside cabin (The Atlanticat, the larger catamaran) was roomy and comfortable enough for the trip back to the harbor despite many passengers, and there were drinks and snacks available. We don't know how the restrooms were, but they DID have them, which might be a concern for some. The smaller catamaran, The Friendship V, although not as new, was also fine for the nature cruise. You could actually hear the naturalist better while outside of the cabin on it than from the Atlanticat. We were told that some of the whale watch tours also go out on The Friendship V. I'll include pics of both.

Thank Nan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013

I went on a whale watching tour with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company during my stay in Bar Harbor this past summer. I was looking for a day activity to do that would be unique to the area, fun to do, and also considering it was quite a hot day out (in July). I had never gone on a whale watch cruise before, so this was interesting to try out.

You can either buy the ticket for the cruise online or at the ticket booth near the harbor in downtown Bar Harbor. The one I went on started in early afternoon, so it was quite hot out there when I was waiting with the other passengers to board. But one thing that they warned you (and I'm glad I listened) was that it gets considerable cooler once you're out in the open sea where we would be going for whale watching. It was at least 20 degrees F cooler out there (especially with the wind chill), so I was glad I brought my windbreaker jacket with me.

We did see a couple of humpback whales and a minke whale in one area. The tour guide referred to the whales by name, so it seemed that they knew the spots where the whales typically hung around and each had something unique that identified them from the others. It was a nice, educational trip as we learned some trivia about whales. The guide was a college student in marine biology, so she seemed to be very knowledgeable about these whales and showed passion for sharing her knowledge with the guests.

I think this is a great activity to do especially if you come with kids who are interested in learning about nature. You might have to take the weather and potential sea sickness into consideration as well.

Thank rsetia67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013 via mobile

My wife and I went on our first Whale watching adventure today. We were excited since this has been something my wife has always wanted to do. Needless to say these guys did not dissapoint!

They took us about 28 miles offshore to where the water is colder and anywhere from 300-600 ft deep! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND going on a calm day which is what we lucked out with (5 mph winds). Wear warm clothes!!!

The captain and crew were very friendly and really knew what they were talking about. The narrator was great and told us all this information about the wild life around us.

We ended up seeing 5 whales playimg aroumd in the water flipping their tales and flippers. The Captain was good at allowing both sides of the boat to see the Whales by steering the boat around for all to see.

They drove us over to another island with a lighthouse where they still do scientific research on. We were able to see seals and more wildlife here.

Overall we were really impressed and we have great memories and we look forward to doing it again.

Thank Justin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2013

We had an amazing experience seeing a number of whales from a distance, and up close! I'm sure it could be hit or miss, and we were really luck to see all we did. Definitely take Dramamine before if you are susceptible to seasickness. It gets FREEZING cold out there, so please bring warm clothes, even on a hot summer day! The sunset was beautiful!

Thank rhonewjersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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