Ever since my mom found out that there is a New England Aquarium Whale Watch Cruise, she has been asking for us to take her. Since my husband and I get discounts as members of the New England Aquarium, we decided to take her since we are in the season for whale watching. And it was a CRAZY experience and why you should do a whale watch cruise in Boston.
From what the tour guides said on the cruise, what we experienced was a rare occurrence. Even if we only saw whales from afar, I was still a fan of this whale watch cruise.
Why This Whale Watch
We chose to do the whale watch from Boston because last year, we did a city harbor tour with them and had a blast. The tour guides were informative and fun, making the experience much more enjoyable. By choosing CityExpereinces, who also partnered with the New England Aquarium for this cruise, we would leave with much more whale knowledge than we wanted. And we were correct.
Because of the popularity of the experience, I HIGHLY recommend you buy the tickets ahead of time. The cruise starts at Long Wharf, next to the New England aquarium. Boarding begins around 30 minutes prior, but people always want the best seats and will get in line early. We got in line around 11:30 a.m. (we had the noon ticket), and there were already like 20-30 people in line for the whale watch.
The boat fits around 400 people, and many want to be on the ship’s top. I don’t blame them because the views are immaculate. But from my experience, the best spot is at the bottom where you enter. There are tables and plenty of chairs. You are also out of the sun and have easy access to the bar and the bathrooms. Not to mention that you still get access to the outside to the front of the boat, and the windows are large so that you won’t miss anything.
Now, I am going to be transparent with you. I did get seasick and had to throw up in the bathroom. Thankfully the bar had ginger ale and crackers, which helped me feel so much better. I did take Dramamine before boarding, but I guess I needed something much more substantial. So if you are like me, ensure you are prepared ahead of time.
The cruise takes us to the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, a feeding ground for whales, dolphins, sea birds, and other marine creatures. From what I remember, humpbacks, finbacks and minkes, and right whales call this area home. It takes around an hour and a half to get to this sanctuary. The good thing is that you are taught about whales during that time. Professional and knowledgeable naturalists are on the boat, so you know what they say is true. Some will even walk around to ask people if they have questions regarding whales or where we are going.
What made our whale-watching experience unique was that whales surrounded our boat. Even the staff were in awe from how close we saw them feeding and diving because apparently, that doesn’t happen often. The experience of seeing these gorgeous animals in their natural habitat was AMAZING! We saw a group of four humpbacks and maybe 1-2 minkes. But at one point, we were surrounded by four humpbacks feeding. Everyone on each side got to see them doing their thing. And with how close they went to our boat, people were scrambling to the first floor of the ship and going side-to-side to get better views.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend all day out there and had to return. The trip was around 4 hours, so we had a while to get photos and videos. Something cool I did find out, though, was that the whale cruise in Boston is a member of Whale SENSE, an organization committed to responsible whale watching practices.
Photos of the Whale Watch in Boston Experience
Let me share some incredible photos my husband took.
- Adult: $65
- Senior (65+): $57
- Child (3-11): $45
- Child (Under 3): Free
You can click here to purchase your tickets. They will also give you free tickets that don’t expire if you don’t see a whale.
This whale-watching experience is one for the books, and I hope this helps you decide to do it. Every experience is unique, so you will have an incredible story to tell once you are back in the Boston harbor.