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Monterey Bay Whale Watch - School Field Trips


School Field Trips
Led by Marine Biologists/ Marine Naturalists
Winter & Spring
Gray Whales
Sea Lions, Seals, Sea Otters, Dolphins
(831) 375-4658

(Summer & fall trips also for Humpback & Blue Whales)

Education Trips
We are unique in that we are the ONLY
educationally oriented whale watch group in Monterey.

We have expanded our program, adding lots more activities and hands-on displays. We are participating in WhaleNet full-time, a National Science Foundation program. When you reserve your trip with deposit, we will send you a confirmation along with internet access to a packet of information you can use to prepare for your trip. This will include activities, data sheets, questions, etc. some from us and some from WhaleNet. You may also choose just the whale watch with no extra activities.

Monterey Bay

The Monterey Submarine Canyon is the largest and deepest canyon on the west coast and the only one approaching shore. Monterey Bay is the best place along the west coast to observe Gray Whales. The Submarine Canyon approaches nearshore, causing migrating Gray Whales to concentrate within a few miles of shore here. Also the endangered Humpback Whales and Blue Whales feed here during the summer and fall. Dolphins and Killer Whales are possible year-round.

Boat Trip Information

Times: Two, three and four hour trips (check in 30 min prior to trip for full educational orientation). Trips depart in morning (10:00 am or earlier) and afternoon (1:30 or later). Departure times can be flexible to an extent. Discount for trips leaving at 7:00 a.m. Please remember it is IMPORTANT to arrive ON TIME.


2-hour trip $25 per student, $35 per teacher/adult
3-hour trip $30 per student, $35 per teacher/adult

Middle & High Schools
3-hour trip $35 per student, $40 per teacher/adult
4-hour trip $40 per student, $45 per teacher/adult

3-hour trip $40 per student
4-hour trip $45 per student

Group Size: Minimum group size of 35 for weekdays, 45 minimum for weekends.
Large groups of 200+ can be arranged.
If you have a small group you can come on our regular whale watch for same price.
If you are planning an overnight trip our staff can suggest local accommodations and activities in addition to your whale watch.


Please call us at 831-375-4658 to make your reservation.

To reserve your date, we need a deposit of $200 at least 2 weeks in advance of trip or a credit card to hold spot. Cancellations must occur 7 days in advance for weekdays and 14 days in advance for weekends. We may cancel a trip due to weather at ANY time, best to call us morning of trip to check on weather.

Boats: Our main vessels are the Sea Wolf II (70' - 69 passengers, minimum 65 passengers for bookings), Pt. Sur Clipper (55' - 48 passengers, minimum 35 passengers for booking) and Blackfin (65' twin hull catamaran, upper and lower deck as well as an indoor cabin - 149 passengers). All boats are fully insured and coast guard inspected passenger carrying vessels, with restrooms and inside cabins. We also use several other boats for large groups.

About Us

Monterey Bay Whale Watch is owned and operated by Nancy Black, who has a M.S. degree in marine science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. She is currently a National Geographic Society funded scientist, and has conducted research and led whale watch trips in Monterey Bay for 15 years. Nancy is involved in long-term research projects on the endangered Humpback and Blue Whales, as well as a project with Killer Whales in Monterey Bay. Other marine naturalists work on the trips as well, and all have extensive experience and training in this field.

Gray Whales

The entire Gray Whale population migrates past the Monterey coastline every winter. These whales have one of the longest migrations known, traveling over 12,000 miles roundtrip from their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to their winter breeding grounds in Baja California. Gray Whales are easily observed as they travel nearshore on migration.

Dolphins and Other Marine Life

During our trip, we will also look for dolphins. Several species are frequently sighted: Long-Beaked Common Dolphins, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Risso's Dolphins, Northern Right Whale Dolphins, and Dall's Porpoise. Occasionally we see Killer Whales, and if they are in the area we always make an effort to see them! We see California Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, and Sea Otters on all trips.

Educational Whale Watch

Marine Education:

We are dedicated to marine education. Not only will students learn about marine life while on board our trip, we also provide teachers with educational materials for the trip. We have curriculum customized for all age levels elementary through university. We can also direct teachers to other resources available online.

Boat Trip Highlights Include:

  • Observing and learning about whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, seals, otters & conservation.
  • Additional information with visuals and hands on (baleen, krill, skulls) about whales, the Monterey Submarine Canyon and the National Marine Sanctuary, basic oceanography & marine mammal ecology.
  • Information about how marine mammal research is conducted (whale photo ID, tagging and tracking, population distribution and abundance, genetics & effects of pollution) and how to be marine biologist.
  • Collection of plankton and kelp, learn about water sampling and navigation.

We will provide you with educational packets through our website geared to the student age level with questions and activities relating to Monterey Bay marine life that can be completed after or during the boat trip. We can also provide you with reference lists and other educational handouts and web sites related to marine mammal biology and conservation.

Charter whale watching cruiseCommon Dolphin Humpback Whale


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Monterey Bay Whale Watch logo (2K)
Monterey Bay Whale Watch, LLC
84 Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone 831-375-4658  
Copyright © 1997-2023 Monterey Bay Whale Watch, LLC. All rights reserved.

Photos by Nancy Black.

Last updated August 8, 2023