Island Packers Announces New Summer Whale Watching


Island Packers is expanding its non-landing schedule to include Summer Whale Watching excursions June through mid-September 2024 to view some truly extraordinary magnificent mammals.

Passengers on Summer Whale Watching trips, departing Ventura Harbor Village, have an excellent chance to view several whale species in the Santa Barbara Channel, who migrate here to feed on the abundant shoals of baitfish and krill. Summer species that can be seen include blue whales, fin whales, and humpbacks, as well as marine life such as common dolphin, seals, and sea lions.

Historically, more than 28 species of whales and dolphins have been identified within the waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. A day spent on the ocean in the company of these creatures can be an awe-inspiring and truly a memorable experience. The whale watching boat departs at 10:00 a.m. from Island Packers deck and returns at approximately 4:00 p.m. at which time guests can enjoy more time by the shore at Ventura Harbor Village.  Fare:  Adults $79.00; Seniors $74; and Children age 3-12 $64.00.

The whales are now traversing the newly designated Santa Barbara Channel Whale Heritage Area (SBCWHA). 

View daily marine sightings from Island Packers excursions:  Marine Mammal Sightings | Island Packers Cruises

The World Cetacean Alliance and the World Animal Protection announced the designation of the 9th Whale Heritage (Site) Area in the world, the Santa Barbara Channel Whale Heritage Area (SBCWHA) in 2023. This designation highlights the region’s commitment to promoting responsible ecotourism, providing more ocean educational opportunities, supporting on-going research and conservation efforts, and honoring the timeless cultural connection we have to whales.  This prestigious designation is a testament to the region’s commitment to marine conservation and ocean education through whale watching and wildlife cruising opportunities.

In addition to Summer whale watching, Anacapa Island Half-Day Shoreline Cruises to the north shore of the island offer views of the historic lighthouse, the highly photographed arch rock, and allows a closer look at California sea lions, spotted harbor seals and occasionally dolphins or whales.  Trips are offered on various dates from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and depart from Ventura Harbor on various dates.  Fare: Adults $45; Seniors $41; and Children $32. 

Visit to make reservations and more information.