Whale watching boat rentals are undoubtedly the best way to see such large creatures, alive, and in their natural habitat. It is an experience unlike any other – being completely in their territory and witnessing the massive size that makes humans look like ants. There are so many different whales and whale behaviors to see while out on the water. Here are some highlights.
Wondering How Whale Watching Boat Rentals Work
While out on your whale watching boat rental, you’ll be on a decently-sized boat about 3-5 miles off shore. Depending on the season and location, this might be closer or further. Your boat rental captain can guide you, looking for telltale signs of whales and heading in the direction of where there have been known whale sightings. Some telltale signs include:
- Breaks or splashes on the surface of the water
- A cluster of boats might indicate they are watching something
- Any obvious visual sign like seeing a dorsal fin or tail
- Whale spouts – the air and water that comes out of the whale’s blowhole when they exhale at the surface that creates a kind of mist.
Once whale activity is detected, the boat captain will head in that direction and switch the engine to idle when he gets close. Even though whale watching is a fun experience for people, it is also a way for scientists to learn more about these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Respecting their space and the sea is always a priority!
Types of Whales You Might See on Whale Watching Boat Rentals
There are lots of whales in the sea, but a few species take center stage during whale watching boat rentals in most regions of the world. Learn more about the species and how you can spot them are:
- The Humpback Whale. The humpback whale is one of the most common animals we see, and they are distinguishable by their distinctive playful behavior. These large creatures – measuring from 35 to 60 feet long – love to jump out of the water, splash their tails, and take long dives before resurfacing. If you see this kind of behavior from a distance, it’s most likely a humpback whale.
- The Right Whale. There are only about 490 of these whales currently in existence, but during the winter months, these whales take the trip from the northeast down to Florida, and put on quite a show for whale enthusiasts. Right whales are unique and can be identified by their V-shaped spout of water. All other whales have a single spout.
- The Blue Whale. To put things into perspective, blue whales can be the size of a boeing jet. They can be identified by their unique spouts, about 30 feet in the air! These animals can eat up to 6 tons of food per day.
- The Finback Whale. This whale can be identified by their dark features and the fact that while most of the whale will surface, they rarely bring their tail above water. Finback whales are the fastest whale out there – they are able to reach up to 35 mph under water.
- The Killer Whale. While this is a rare sight, you might be lucky enough to spot a killer whale. These whales are known for their ferocious attitude and distinctive black and white pattern. They are known to breach out of the water when hunting for food, providing a spectacular sight.
Best Whale Watching Destinations
There are definitely certain places to go over others if you specifically want to go whale watching. Here is Boatsetter’s top five in North America.
- Provincetown, Massachusetts. All different types of species can be seen off of this New England Coast. Until October, you can see humpback whales, fin whales, and even the right whale before it makes its trip down to Florida for the winter.
- Coastal Florida. The coast of Florida can be spotty with whales, but between November and April, you may get lucky and spot something. Whale watching tours aren’t as frequent, but go on any sort of charter boat and you may get a pleasant surprise!
- Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Whales live super close to land here, so it won’t take much to see them! Also, there is a large population of killer whales, so you are likely to see one of the legendary magnificent creatures.
- Kodiak Island, Alaska. From June to November, a plethora of whales gather in Alaska. If you happen to be there in April, make sure to check out the Whale Fest Kodiak, a ten-day long festival honoring these beautiful mammals.
- Santa Barbara, California. Throughout the year, more than 27 different types of whales inhabit the waters off of the coast of Santa Barbara. The best time to spot them is February to September.
Happy whale watching! Always remember, you are in the animal’s territory. Keep a safe distance, and have respect for both them and the ocean so that generations can continue to whale watch for years to come.
To find the ultimate boat rental for your whale watching adventure, boat sharing is a great option. Boatsetter is the leading boat rental company and offers a privately-owned fleet worldwide! Just choose your boat with or without a captain and set sail. It’s that easy!