Families will love this boat cruise out into open waters in search of marine life. Once aboard the jet-powered Whale Watcher, which has indoor and outdoor seating, families can hope to see Humpback, Finback and Minke whales, dolphins or seals. After 30 years of conducting whale tours, the sighting rate of seeing a whale is about 99 percent. So it is very possible kids will see whale tails and even whales breaching as they jump up from the waters of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. But remember they are wild animals and there’s never a guarantee that the whales will be in the mood to say hello to visitors.
The narrated three and a half- to four-hour tour can sometimes encounter rough seas that require guests to hang on but there is never a concern for safety. However be prepared if you’re prone to sea sickness Don’t forget your camera! It is very likely that you will see a whale up close as well as far off in the distance and you’ll want to capture the moment.
It takes about an hour each way to reach the marine sanctuary where whales are often found. So bringing a book, playing cards or other entertainment for kids during the boat ride may be a good idea. There are several restrooms onboard and a gift shop can be found at the dock entrance.
Cost: $49 adults, $28 for children 4 to 12, free for children 3 years old and under
Schedule: Cruises run from May through October. There is one sailing each day and during peak season in July and August there are two sailings on most days. Check online for specific sailing times.
Dining: Onboard the Whale Watcher families will find concessions available for cash only. Hot and cold beverages, pretzels, breakfast all day, sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, cookies and candy.
Things to Remember: Remember to bring sunscreen on a hot day and a sweater or jacket on a cooler day. The temperature is generally 10 degrees cooler on the water and it is often windy as well. Heels are not a good idea when aboard a boat where it may be difficult to balance.
Parking: A nearby parking lot is available specifically for the cruise at a cost of $15 (cash only). There aren’t many other parking options in the area.