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The Best Places for Whale Watching in the World

People travel far and wide to have incredible wildlife experiences. One of the most iconic is the whale watch. Whether you’re spotting humpback whales, searching for orcas, or keeping your eye out for the southern right whale, a whale watch is a unique and special experience.

There are many places around the world where you can head out on the water and enjoy viewing whales in their ocean home. The most exciting whale watching tours involve great wildlife sightings, stunning natural scenery, and an overall memorable experience. If you’re looking for some of the top spots to go whale watching around the world, consider the following destinations.

Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA

Off the coast of America’s New England region is some of the best whale watching in the USA and in the world. Heading out from Gloucester is a great choice, as there are many boats visiting the area of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. These tours generally depart between May and October, and focus on spotting humpback whales arriving from the waters of the arctic. Other whale species are often seen as well.

Gloucester is a unique place for whale watching due to the city’s seafaring history. New England was also a key location for the whaling trade a few centuries ago, so you can learn about this fascinating history while you’re in the area.

Hermanus, South Africa

The waters off of of South Africa provide for some of the most amazing whale sightings on the continent, and set this destination up as a major whale watching hub. Indeed Hermanus is frequently referred to as Africa’s whale watching capital. July to December is peak whale season here, and the main player is the southern right whale. But this area is rich in wildlife and you’re likely to see even more species on your excursion, including humpback whales, Cape Fur seals, dolphins, and even Great White Sharks.

San Juan Islands, Washington, USA

Near the famed American city of Seattle you’ll find some intriguing islands where wildlife is abundant. The San Juan Islands offer tremendous orca tours, so you can go killer whale watching amongst spectacular scenery. The rocky coastline of the Pacific Northwest is the habitat of the amazing orca whale. Witnessing them on a whale watching tour is a totally unique experience, as you watch their lithe forms leap cleanly out of the water and land with a mighty splash. Tours are April through October, and you’re likely to witness not just the orca but often the minke and gray whale as well.

Punta Arenas, Chile

South America has whales, too! Many of the coastal nations on the continent offer whale watching adventures, but some of the best are in Chile. The region near Punta Arenas is not only a top location to see southern right whales, humpbacks, and more, it is also in the breathtaking Patagonia area, which boasts some of the planet’s finest landscapes. Want to see glaciers on your whale watch? Set sail from Chile December through March.

Jervis Bay, Australia

Of course, some of the world’s best whale watching takes place right here in Australia. Jervis Bay, NSW is the premier wildlife destination for nature enthusiasts. From the port in Huskisson, a Jervis Bay whale watch takes its passengers along remarkable, rugged sea cliffs and out into the open turquoise seas. Here, not only are migrating humpbacks to be found, but a host of other species as well. These exciting adventures depart May through November.


Ready to experience whale watching at its finest? Come join us in one of Earth’s best whale watching destinations.