The waters near Seattle are often called “the American Serengeti,” with some of the highest concentration of whales, dolphins and sea life anywhere in the world.
Enjoy the experience of a lifetime with Puget Sound Express’ Half-Day Whale Watching Tour—Seattle’s most popular and well-reviewed whale watching tour. See whales and wildlife in the Salish Sea on daily tours departing from Edmonds, just north of downtown Seattle. Three generations of family have helped visitors have life-changing experiences with some of the most majestic creatures on the planet. They guarantee you’ll see whales or your next trip is free!
Whales We See
Bigg’s (or transient) orcas are mammal-eating orcas that feed on a variety of prey—from harbor seals to minke whales and even gray whale calves. Bigg’s orcas can range from Southern California up to the Arctic circle, but due to the abundance of prey in our area there are generally multiple families in the Salish Sea year-round.
Until commercial whaling was banned in 1996, humpbacks were nearly hunted to extinction. Their population has rebounded, however, and they are back in the Salish Sea in significant numbers. One of the larger whale species, adult humpbacks range in length from 40-50 feet and weigh nearly 40 tons!
Each spring, gray whales migrate from the southern waters near Baja, north to Alaska. A small group of gray whales nicknamed “Sounders” have begun to stop over in the Salish Sea to feed on our area’s large amount of ghost shrimp.
The minke whale is among the smallest of the baleen whales. Previously known as a “piked whale” or “lesser finback,” the minke has a dark gray back and white undersides. Their pectoral fins have a distinctive white patch or band. Minkes range in length from 23-33 feet and weigh up to 10 tons.
In addition to whales, guests often spot a variety of other species of wildlife on the tours, including harbor porpoises, Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, elephant seals, harbor seals, California sea lions and many species of seabirds.
The half-day tour features spacious, comfortable indoor seating and large windows, restrooms, outside viewing decks and a great galley/cafe, which serves up their signature, freshly baked “blueberry buckle” on every trip.