Whale Watching and Island Excursions to the Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary

A tour boat is on the ocean with a rocky island in the background. Several people are on the boat's deck, and seagulls are flying nearby.

A winter Whale Watch with Island Packers s a perfect way to gather with family and friends to view Pacific Gray Whales migrating through the Santa Barbara Channel from their feeding grounds in Alaska to their breeding grounds in Baja. Pacific Gray Whales are normally sighted in the SB Channel near Anacapa and Santa Cruz Island now through the middle of April 2024.

 This mammoth migration of over 20,000 whales and 6,000 miles twice a year remains a major attraction in Southern California. 

The exciting news this year is the migrating gray whales are now traversing the newly designated Santa Barbara Channel Whale Heritage Area (SBCWHA). Honored with this designation this past October because of responsible tourism and important conservation initiatives to protect the diversity and abundance of whales, dolphins and porpoises, the SBCWHA is one of only ten whale heritage areas found around the world. This prestigious designation is a testament to the region’s commitment to marine conservation and ocean education through whale watching and wildlife cruising opportunities.

Sightings of the southern migration include Pacific Gray Whales, and at times see Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, and occasionally Orcas. Common Dolphin are enjoyed year-round, delighting passengers as they frolic with the boat, and ride the bow and stern waves.  For our most recent sightings visit www.islandpackers.com or find us on Twitter.

The half-day Winter Whale Watch Cruise provides stunning views of the Ventura coastline or the Channel Islands; depending on where the whales may be sighted. 

Winter Whale Watch excursions are available now thru mid-April from Ventura and/ or Channel Islands Harbor departing at 9:30 a.m. and/or 1:30 p.m.  Rates for half-day trips are $45 for adults, $41 for seniors, and $32 for children 3-12. Children 2 years old and younger ride free.

What makes whale watching a great activity:

  • Affordable family fun – half day excursions start at $45 for adults; $32 for kids
  • Flexible – winter trips depart twice a day, almost daily (weather permitting) until mid-April
  • Educational – crew and volunteers aboard the whale watching cruises have many years of experience sighting whales on the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel and will narrate and inform guests about all the varieties or marine mammals seen on the cruise
  • Get in touch with nature – it is not just whales that make the area so special; you may also see sea birds, sea lions, and the coastline of the offshore islands while onboard

Call for more information 805-642-1393        Book online www.Islandpackers.com