Ride aboard state-of-the art catamarans with professional and knowledgeable naturalists and crew to see 3 island lighthouses! Spot puffins, razorbills, guillemonts, and common and Arctic terns!
- Adult Ages 15+
- Junior Ages 6-14
- Child Ages 5 & Under
Witness the Whales of Bar Harbor
This trip is sure to be an experience to remember as you head offshore into the Gulf of Maine in search of large baleen whales such as the humpback, finback, and minke as well as other fascinating marine life!
Enjoy a ride out into the open ocean while on the lookout for porpoise, dolphins, seals, sharks, ocean sunfish, and offshore seabirds. While heading out in search of whales, your guide will educate you about the natural and cultural history of the Gulf of Maine! Visit our Gulf of Maine Wildlife page to learn more about the marine species we see on our whale watch trips!
Since 2012, Bar Harbor Whale Watch has been a participant of Whale SENSE, a voluntary program that helps to promote responsible whale watching practices, education, and ocean stewardship. This program is a collaborative effort with Whale and Dolphin Conservation, NOAA Fisheries, and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Research interns with Allied Whale at the College of the Atlantic join us on every trip to collect information about the whales and other marine species!
- Galley has light snacks and bar, including hot and cold beverages. CASH ONLY for galley purchases.
- Restrooms are available onboard the vessel.
- Binoculars are available to rent at the galley for $5/pair. ID required for rental.
- Indoor and outdoor seating available. Seating is first come, first serve.
- Passengers are welcome to move around the boat during the trip to view wildlife and scenery from from different levels.
- Boats are wheelchair accessible.
- Wheelchairs are available at our facility-please contact us prior to your cruise if you would like to use one of our wheelchairs.
- Scripts are available upon request.
- Certified guide dogs are welcome.
- When booking, please make sure to have tickets for all members in your party, including infants, as our vessels are certified to carry a specific number of passengers.
- If you need to cancel or re-book please notify our ticket office no later than 24 hours before trip departure.
- We recommend booking at least a couple of days in advance. Tickets can sell out quickly.
- WARM & WATERPROOF LAYERS! It is much colder out on the open ocean, up to 20 degrees difference, even on a hot summer day. The ride is windy when the boat is underway.
- Passengers over 18 years of age must bring a valid photo ID.
- Cash for galley purchases including renting binoculars.
- Polarized sunglasses.
- Sunscreen and/or hat.
- Binoculars (Also available to rent on the boat).
- Whales are observed in their natural habitat 30-50 miles offshore.
- Whale sightings and weather conditions vary trip-to-trip. Every trip is a unique and exploratory adventure as we are in search of wild animals!
- In the event that no whales are spotted on your trip, your ticket(s) will serve as a voucher to go out on another whale watch or one of our available harbor cruises within three (3) years. Refunds are not issued for this circumstance.
- We recommend arriving up to an hour early for boarding. Please arrive no later than 15 minutes before trip’s scheduled departure.
- Municipal paid parking is available in downtown Bar Harbor and the town pier.
- We would recommend the metered on-street parking or kiosk parking areas (marked in blue on the parking map) because of the length of the whale watch trip.
- Parking is limited in town, and gets very difficult to find later in the day. Please arrive early to find a spot to park!
- Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. is not responsible for any parking fees or tickets due to the duration of trips or cancellations.
- The Island Explorer buses are a free shuttle service and available during most of our season. Our dock is a short walk from their location at the Village Green in Bar Harbor.
- Taxi services are also available for drop-off and pick-up at our location.
- Trips will depart rain or shine, however we will cancel for high sea conditions, severe thunderstorms, and dense fog.
- Cruises can cancel up to 1 hour prior to departure. In the event of a cancellation, you will be notified via email and text.
- To rebook your cruise, please contact our office at 207-288-2386 or email us at [email protected]. Refunds will be processed automatically by the end of the day.
Due to the duration and conditions of the open ocean, seasickness can be an issue for some. Here are some tips:
- Come rested and hydrated.
- Avoid greasy and sugary foods or drinks.
- Ginger chews, ginger ale, or candied ginger can help with nausea.
- Try medication such as Bonine or Non-Drowsy Dramamine. Take 1-2 hours BEFORE the trip departs the dock. Once the trip is underway, it doesn’t tend to work.
- Acupressure wrist bands are a non-medication option.
- Stay outside in the fresh air and looking to the horizon.
- The back of the boat and main level feels less motion. Avoid the higher levels and the front of the boat, which feel more motion.
- Avoid racing to the bathrooms or the cabins if you feel unwell. These places will make you feel worse, so be prepared to be outside in the fresh air.
- The captain and crew will let folks know what the sea conditions are before leaving the dock. If worried about getting seasick, passengers have the chance to step off the boat, prior to trip’s departure, to reschedule for a different trip or get refunded.
- Crew are available to help! Just let us know and we will be happy to help you!
Kids can certainly have fun and learn a great deal while on whale watch trips.Just a few things to keep in mind:
- Duration of trip-the boat can be out for up to 5+ hours. We have many educational activities for kids on the boat, such as coloring pages and crayons. Kids are welcome to ask the naturalist and crew questions as well as explore the boat (under the supervision of a parent/guardian).
- Safety-it is mandatory for parents to ensure their child/children are with them AT ALL TIMES. We are out on the open ocean and kids, being curious, tend to like to wander off, jump, run, climb, and swing on things they shouldn’t and could potentially get seriously injured. We want to make sure children are having fun and being safe.
- Seasickness- kids tend to get seasick more easily. Being aware of the offshore conditions as well as keeping kids hydrated, in the fresh air, and avoiding sugary and greasy foods will help keep them from getting sick.
- Strollers-space is limited on the boats for large strollers. We would recommend a small single stroller as it can be maneuvered easily around the decks and stows away under or between seats.
- At this time, per US Coast Guard and TSA mandates, masks are still required for passengers over 2 years of age, inside the cabins of the boats.
- You still need to wear a mask inside the cabins regardless of vaccination status.
- Masks are not required while passengers are located in open-air/outside areas of the boat. We do recommend wearing a mask outdoors if you happen to be in close proximity to other people outside of your group.