Summer Whale Watching with Island Packers

whale watching

Island Packers is happy to announce that Summer Whale Watching excursions have been added to their schedule of trips to the Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary.

Passengers aboard non-landing Whale Watching trips may view several seasonal species currently being sighted in the Santa Barbara Channel. Summer species include Blue Whales, Fin Whales and Humpbacks, as well as year-round residents such as Common Dolphin, seals and sea lions.

Historically, over 28 species of whales and dolphins have been identified within the waters of the Marine Sanctuary. A day spent on the ocean in the company of these creatures can be awe-inspiring and truly memorable.

While Whale Watching trips do not offer time ashore, they generally include a brief, narrated cruise along the shoreline of one of the Channel Islands. The boat departs at 10:00 a.m. and returns approximately 4 p.m. This trip provides further opportunities to view and photograph sea birds, seals and sea lions along with the beautiful backdrop of the Channel Islands.

If a 6 hour trip doesn’t fit your schedule, Island Packers also offers 3½ hour non-landing Wildlife Cruises along the shoreline of Anacapa. Passengers on this trip will see the famous Arch Rock that is the landmark for the Park as well as the seals and sea lions that make their home on the shore beneath the high cliffs.  Visitors can also view the working lighthouse atop the island, and see numerous sea bird species that use the island as critical nesting territory. Common Dolphin and the occasional whale sighting may round out a prefect half-day excursion.

As the official concessionaire to Channel Islands National Park, Island Packers has been providing island transportation and wildlife viewing in the Santa Barbara Channel for over 52 years. Captains and crews aboard all trips have many years of experience finding and viewing wildlife. Their thoughtful narration informs guests about the history, human impact, and unique characteristics of the channel and wildlife encountered.  Advance reservations are recommended.  View their website for schedules and rates, book trips online, and view daily marine life sighting counts at or call 805-642.1393.