Recent Sightings Archives

monterey whale watcing dolphins

This Friday #OptOutside with Whale Watching

IN the sprit of the #‎OptOutside‬ campaign to get out in Nature instead of shopping, we invite you to join us whale watching on Friday, Nov 27. Forget the mall; enjoy the beautiful Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary!

Tickets available online or call 831-427-0230

Tuesday 11/24 Today another good show – We saw humpback whales and dolphins both – Singing in the rain!
November 20-22: On all recent trips we’ve had scattered humpback whales not too far out of Santa Cruz. Whales are feeding and showing off a few good breaches, pec slapping. On Friday a nursery pod of common dolphins, bow riding, breaching, chirping. Sea otters lounging in the kelp.


Orca video goes viral!
We got picked up on TV’s Right This Minute! Crew member Damian Alcarez’ video is certainly compelling. Wild free killer whales healthy living in Monterey Bay.


November Whale Watching Monterey

Last trip was Saturday, Nov 14 – Another great outing on Monterey Bay, and we didn’t have to travel far for wildlife action. We saw 8 humpback whales within 3 miles of Santa Cruz, feeding, and tail throwing. Then we saw 300 common dolphins out near the Soquel Canyon, bow riding and jumping. Great trip!

monterey whale watching

Feeding Humpbacks, with Santa Cruz Whale Watching. Photo: Nancy Costa

Join us this weekend! CALL 831-427-0230
Friday, Nov 20 at 11:00 AM
Saturday, Nov 21 at 12:00 PM
Sunday Nov 22 at 12:00 PM

Next Week Holiday Schedule:
Tues 11/24 at 10:00 AM, Wed 11/25 at 11:00 AM, Thanksgiving Day 11/26 at 9:30 AM and Friday 11/27 at 12:00 PM

$47.95 adults and $32.95 kids age 4-13. Infants age 0-3 ride free!

Get your Monterey whale watching tickets now ~ Buy online
or call 831-427-0230

Velocity, Star of Stagnaro Charter Boats on Monterey Bay

Velocity, Star of Stagnaro Charter Boats on Monterey Bay

Wild Orcas Monterey Bay 11-12-15

Video captures Monterey Bay wild Orcas visit with whale watching boat

Here it is! We had an amazing interaction with orcas on Thursday, 11/12/15. An adult along with a juvenile orca, or killer whale, came right up the the whale watching boat Velocity to give us a little spray. Crew member Damian’s footage captures it all!

Orca, or Killer Whales, can be seen at any time but are unpredictable. They are however most common during April, May, and June as they predate on northbound migrating Gray Whales, usually mother and newborn calves. Killer Whales are found worldwide. Most Orca seen in Monterey Bay are the “Transient” type somewhat nomadic, feeding on marine mammals.

Photo: Michael Nelson

Orcas Active in Monterey Bay

Thursday, Nov 12 — Today was the ultimate whale watching adventure on Monterey Bay, with humpback whales, dolphins, and orcas! We enjoyed crisp, clear conditions, sunny skies, and…

10 Humpback Whales — A few miles outside the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor we found a pod of feeding humpback whales, including one surface lunge.

100s of Dolphins — We went a little further, and found a pod of 400-500 common dolphins. The dolphins were frolicking, breaching, and chirping to each other.

Killer Whales/Orcas — Even further out we found a pod of at least 8 orcas, which had recently made a kill, and were teasing two very distressed humpbacks while doing tail slaps and drive-bys of the boat. Some passengers got misted by orca breath!

Common Dolphins Photo: Michael Nelson

Common Dolphins Photo: Michael Nelson

Amazing Monterey whale watching! Whale watching Monterey trips depart out of Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor at the north tip of Monterey Bay. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is vibrant with healthy wildlife: humpback whales, orca killer whales, dolphins, sea lions, birds, jellies, otters and the beautiful view of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Next Monterey Whale Watching trips – Tickets available!

Saturday 11/14 at 12:00 PM
Sunday 11/15 at 12:00 PM
Tickets $47.95 ADULTS, $32.95 kids age 4-13.
or call 831-427-0230

Humpbacks near Santa Cruz, Baby Dolphins

11/11 Wednesday
10 humpback whales today, some friendly whales approached nearby the boat for great looks. The whales were a bit closer in to Santa Cruz, about 5 miles offshore. During the later part of the trip we found 3-4 humpbacks lunge feeding near Santa Cruz. Also saw about 100 common dolphins – many young ones tagging along with mama dolphins!

Humpbacks still here! Lots of great whale watching in Monterey Bay!

Humpback Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins

Thursday – We spotted nine humpback whales feeding in Monterey Bay offshore from the Pajaro River mouth, showing tail throw surface behaviors. Monterey whale sightings included a mother humpback whale and her calf. Heading home we found a pair of bottlenose dolphins near Pleasure Point, we got a good look at them frolicking in Monterey Bay!

Humpback whale mid-tail throw, Monterey Bay with Santa Cruz Whale Watching

Humpback whale mid-tail throw, Monterey Bay with Santa Cruz Whale Watching


This week Orcas, whales and dolphins

Tuesday – Today we found quite a few humpback whales, with several “drive-bys” close to the boat for amazing looks.

Saturday we saw a FIN WHALE , 100s of common dolphins, many humpback whales in middle of Monterey Bay.

Friday we had a special treat – came across 4 ORCAS! We were able to watch them for about 10-15 minutes. Plus 10 humpback whales – even a few breaches!

10-13-14 Gabe Torres

Breaching whale, Monterey Bay. Photo: Gabe Torres

Orca, Monterey Bay 10-23-15

Orca, Monterey Bay 10-23-15 Photo: Michael Nelson

Wednesday’s whale watching trip we had 100’s of common dolphins, plus a friendly curious humpback whale that spent a long time near to the boat for wonderful wildlife viewing. Humpbacks were spotted near Santa Cruz, too – offshore from 26th Ave and another whale about a mile offshore from Lighthouse Point.

Humpback whales lunge feeding, Monterey Bay, September 30, 2015.
With Santa Cruz Whale Watching
Photo: Michael Nelson

Monterey whale watching continues

Wednesday 9/30/15 Great trip! About 10-20 humpback whales on our Monterey whale watching trip…Big open lunge feeding near the boat.

Humpback whales lunge feeding, Monterey Bay, September 30, 2015. With Santa Cruz Whale Watching Photo: Michael Nelson

Humpback whales lunge feeding, Monterey Bay, September 30, 2015.
With Santa Cruz Whale Watching
Photo: Michael Nelson

Friday 10/2/15 Many whales! We had some close “horizontal” lunge feeding about 20 yards from the boat, the humpback whale showed its pectoral fin then lunged sideways in a way we were able to see its eye! Later we had about 20 whales surface lunge feeding at the same time, and numerous common dolphins.

How many whales can you count? Photo Michael Nelson

How many whales can you count? Photo Michael Nelson

Saturday 10/3/15 More fabulous views of humpback whales in Monterey Bay! Close breaches! Close-by pec slaps and tail slaps.

Orca Monterey Bay

September Highlights Orcas, Whales, Dolphins

What an amazing month for whale watching in Monterey Bay! Plenty of humpback whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and a special day with Orcas! Plus a pair-trio of humpbacks took up residence very near shore in Santa Cruz, feeding on schools of anchovies near West Cliff Drive for over a week. Here are some highlights from September.

Fri, 9-25-15.
Yesterday whale watching we saw humpbacks everywhere we looked! At least 30 whales!

Wed, 9-21-15.
Bottlenose Dolphins in the harbor. Hundreds of Common Dolphins, bow riding, riding the wake. Many groups of multiple Humpbacks feeding, feeding, feeding. Partial lunge feed. WOW!

humpbacl whale monterey

Santa Cruz Whale Watching 9-21-15 M.Reynolds

Santa Cruz Whale Watching 9-21-15 M.Reynolds 2 Santa Cruz Whale Watching 9-21-15 M.Reynolds 3



Wed, 9-16-15.
One of September’s most memorable trips! We had a group of 7 orca near the boat! Epic show today! 7 orcas by the boat; orcas were picking on a humpback whale and on a shark, and we got to see an orca breach! Countless lunge feeding humpback whales.
Common dolphins and sunfish, too!

Orca Monterey Bay

Wild and free Orca! 9-16-15, Monterey Bay.
Photo Nico Ientile

The whales at West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz were amazing! Check out this VIDEO by RitaZero