Whale Watching In Maine

Tips For The Best Trip And More

Whale Watching in Maine - Boothbay Whale Watch

Whale watching in Maine can be a really special thing to do - or it could be the worst experience of your life! What makes the difference? Knowledge and preparation.

Each year, thousands of Maine tourists and locals alike climb aboard boats and catamarans in hopes of seeing these majestic beings - the largest animals on earth.

About 20 miles off the coast of Maine, several types of whales including Humpbacks, Minkes, Finbacks and endangered Right whales come to feed and play (tours are narrated so you learn a lot and know what you are seeing). Seeing them in their natural habitat is a thrill most people have not and will not ever experience. For those who do, it is often an experience they won't ever forget.

Is a Maine whale watching tour right for you? If so, how can you make it the best experience it can be?

Keep on readin' to find out!

Tips For Whale Watching In Maine

While no one can control whether or not the whales will will come out to play during your trip (many of the companies give vouchers for a free trip if no whales are sighted), there is much you can do to make your whale watching in Maine experience more enjoyable. Here is my best advice...

  • Take sea-sickness medication! Even if you "never get seasick", don't take the chance! The seas off the coast of Maine can get quite rough and even the most hardy sea-goers can get sick - I mean really sick. Make sure to take either Dramamine or Bonine at least a couple hours before your scheduled departure and bring some more with you. The trips generally are 3 - 4 1/2 long - which can feel like an eternity when you are nauseous! Whale watching in Maine is no fun when you are sick - don't let it happen to you.

  • Along the same theme, bring snacks and drinks. It helps if you eat fairly regularly while on board to ward off sea-sickness. Even though there are snack bars on board of most boats, it's great to not have to stand in long lines and possibly miss whale sightings.

  • Get there early - at least 30-45 minutes - to stand in line so you can get good seats. These tours are often very crowded and you'll want to get a great seat for viewing and comfort. If there is a top deck, go there or in the front of the boat. Sides don't matter as the captain turns the boat around so people on both sides get good views of the whales.

  • Be sure to check out the height of the seas and whether or not there is fog before you go. If the seas are high - 5 to 10 feet - it'll be rough and you'll have a greater chance of getting sick. If it is foggy, as it can be quite often on the coast of Maine, you probably won't see the whales very well even if they are there. Best to reschedule.

  • DRESS WARM! Oh, and did I mention, DRESS WARM! Even if it is 90 degrees and humid on-shore, DRESS WARM! 20 miles out to sea, temps can be as low as 40 degrees and with that chilly wind from a fast moving boat, it'll feel even colder. Add the spray from the ocean and you'll be hating life if you didn't dress warm enough. Bring winter hats, gloves and a jacket or several layers of sweatshirts and a windbreaker. Throw in a scarf for good measure.

  • Don't forget your camera, binoculars and video camera! Not only will you want to capture whales on film, you may also see porpoises, puffins, seals, lighthouses and more!

  • Lastly, remember that you're dealing with Mother Nature and there are no guarantees so choose a company that gives another trip if there are no sitings. Go with the mindset that you MAY not see whales, hope that you do, enjoy the scenery, relax and have fun!

Whale Watching in Maine - Where To Go

You can take a whale watch cruise from several different towns along the Maine coast. In general it'll cost between $38 and $58 per adult, $28 to $38 for kids (each company defines "kid" a little differently but usually between 6-12 or 14), and little ones under 3 might be around $10 or free. It is an expensive outing for a family, but no one seems to complain when they see whales and don't get seasick!

Southern Maine

Nick's Chance Whale Watch Cruise
4 Western Ave, (Route 9) Kennebunk Maine

Deborah Ann Whale Watching
Perkins Cove Ogunquit Maine
Phone: 207-361-9501

Greater Portland

Odyssey Whale Watching
170 Commercial Street
Portland Maine
(207) 775-0727

Mid-Coast Maine

Boothbay Whale Watch
22 Commercial Street
Boothbay Harbor Maine
888-WHALE ME, 207-633-3500

Cap'n Fish's Whale Watch
20 Wharf Street
Boothbay Harbor
800-636-3244, 207-633-3244

Downeast Maine

Bar Harbor Whale Watching Tours
1 West Street
Bar Harbor Maine
888-WHALES-4 207-288-2386

Whale watching in Maine can be a memorable experience! Many people do it not only once, but every time they come to Maine. As long as you are prepared, have reasonable expectations and appreciate being out on the ocean, you're sure to have a great time!

Check out these related pages...

(Forgive me, I'm a work in progress...not all links are active yet...but they will be soon!)

Maine Deep Sea Fishing
Things to Do in Maine - Outdoors
Maine Lighthouses
Maine Tourist Attractions

Back to the Maine vacation home page from whale watching in Maine

Wells Maine

Marginal Way Ogunquit Maine

Perkins Cove Footbridge

Wells Harbor

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