★ 20 (or fewer) guest to guide ratio ★Members of a whale spotting service
★ A 90+ % (per trip basis) whale sighting record!
★ Fast, safe, stable, new vessels
★ Emphasis on the entire ecosystem
★ FREE use of: Binoculars, blankets & jackets
★ Educational books, materials & maps
★ Hydrophone (hear the whales)
★ Equipped with bathroom
★ Member of the Whale Watch Operators Association North West
(aka Pacific Whale Watch Association)
★Member of the San Juan Island Whale Watch Association
★ Adhere to all Federal and Whale Watch Operators Association viewing guidelines
★We enjoy an excellent reputation for respectful wildlife viewing
San Juans Resident Orca WhalesSan Juan Island is where the southern resident killer whales (SRKW) live about 6 months of the year. At this writing there are 87 resident orca whales. They are in and about the San Juan Islands from traditionally mid-April to the beginning of October.
Why Orcas Love San Juan IslandSan Juan Island is considered THE BEST place to view orca whales. Salmon, which are their prime source of food (about 95% of what they eat), travel up and down the west coast of San Juan Island and outlying areas.
How Lack of Chinook Salmon Affects the Resident Orca Whale PopulationOrcas eat salmon, but not just any salmon. They LOVE Chinook salmon. 90% of their diet is Chinook salmon. Click here to see graphs that show the correspondance of orca population to chinook population. Scroll 1/2 way down the page.
Click here to see critical salmon habitat.
Here is a link to how farmed fish in BC are affecting orca whales
What's The Best Time To See Orca WhalesWe see orca whales on over 90% of our tours. The best months to see orca whales are: Mid-April through the first part of October.
What is the best time of day to see orca whales? Anytime. Orcas are out and about all day, so morning, afternoon or evening- it doesn't really matter. We say go when it fits your schedule.
Click here to see a map of where orca whales are frequently seen
Our GuaranteeWe guarantee that you will see marine mammals and that you will come back with memories to last a lifetime!©
"Guaranteed whales"? Read what it really means - click here
Why you should tour with usWe keep our guest count small. This gives you, our guest, the opportunity to converse on a one to one basis with your naturalist and captain.
Guests frequently tell us that our whale watching staff is warm, friendly and how informative they are. Our staff is handpicked for both their scientific understanding of wildlife, their love of and dedication to wildlife and their respect for the environment. We also select staff that have an outgoing and warm personality. Our tours and staff are so well loved that a good portion of our business is repeat customers.
We respect not only the legal distance from orca whales, but the polite distance. This allows the orca time for foraging, resting, playing and going about their lives.
All of us at San Juan Safaris pride ourselves on attention to detail and
Ask us about Birding Safaris
Tour Reviews From An Independant Online AgentWhale Watching By Boat From San Juan Islands (Whale Watching) We saw several pods of Orcas fairly close up, and on the way out we saw several Dahl's Porpoise porpoising. This was after all the purpose of our porpoise cruise. And it was a lovely day, to boot. But the birding was dull.
Reviewed by: Robert H., United States, July 2008
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Eye patch of a resident orca whale - one of the identifying marks photo by Adam U
Two orca whales breaching near San Juan Island photo by whale watching guest Dawn Gentry