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Deer Harbor Charters

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Orcas Island, WA
Phone Number:
+1 360-376-5989
07:00 - 21:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 07:00 - 21:00

Deer Harbor Charters on Orcas Island was established in 1988 by well known...

Deer Harbor Charters on Orcas Island was established in 1988 by well known local captain and naturalist Tom Averna, making it the longest operating whale watching company in the San Juan Islands. We are the exclusive whale watch company operating from Rosario Resort and Deer Harbor Marina on Orcas Island. Our boats provide and excellent viewing platform for an experience you will never forget. Our captains and naturalists are island residents and trained at what they do.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 163 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 148
  • 10
    Very good
  • 3
  • 0
  • 2
First Rate!

We took the off-season mid May tour and as a result, we had mixed expectations of whale sightings. We were very pleasantly surprised! Besides finding humpbacks, elephant seals... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Bernadette Z
Colorado Springs
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163 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 163: English reviews
Colorado Springs
Level Contributor
63 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We took the off-season mid May tour and as a result, we had mixed expectations of whale sightings. We were very pleasantly surprised! Besides finding humpbacks, elephant seals, harbor seals and several bald eagles fishing for their lunch, our crew went above and beyond to ensure that we all had a fantastic trip! The naturalist on board was excellent, so... More 

Thank Bernadette Z
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 April 2017

Extraordinary experience. We were lucky the Orcas were very nearby and thus we had several hours to watch them and then go find other wildlife (rather than having to travel great distances looking for whales). The crew was exceptionally welcoming, e.g., they didn't make us feel awful for holding up the show when our 4 yr old got car sick... More 

1 Thank Gabriel G
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 April 2017 via mobile

Tom and Trey worked hard to make sure everyone on our boat had a great experience watching orcas. They communicated with other boats to find a pod, and Trey kept things moving with fascinating commentary. Trey clearly knows an immense amount about the ocean and did a wonderful job engaging adults with interesting facts and details about the whales, and... More 

1 Thank Melissa S
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 30 March 2017 via mobile

Very informative! It was cold out but they provided a warm blanket and binoculars to make the trip more comfortable. We got to see a eagle carry a seagull to land to feast with his little buddies. It got about 10 feet close to the boat. Definitely once in a lifetime opportunity and we got it! Unfortunately we didn't see... More 

Thank Claudia C
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2017 via mobile

First of all it goes with out saying I was disappointed we didn't see any Orca pods- especially as the tour a few days before saw the K pod and some transient Whales. With that being said it was still a beautiful, relaxing day spent learning about the islands and the wildlife. Trey is very informative and knows his stuff,... More 

1 Thank Katie L
Missoula, Montana
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 March 2017

We scheduled an off-season whale watching tour with Deer Harbor. Apparently I can't read because we went the day before we were scheduled. Natalie was very kind and was able to put us on that tour anyways. While we didn't see any whales that day, my partner and I had a blast on the tour anyways. Both Tom and Natalie... More 

1 Thank mt3dogday
Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 October 2016

My sister-in-law and I take a girls trip to Orcas Island every other year in September. We go whale watching with Deer Harbor Charters every time because they are the very best. The guys make the trip fun and informative. We have never been disappointed, the Orca sightings, the wild life... Amazing to see!! These guys make sure you have... More 

1 Thank Diane226
Clemson, South Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 October 2016

We had a great trip! Be mindful that laws prevent boats from getting closer than 200 yards to the orcas, so you will not be very near the orcas. Good binoculars are supplied at no cost to everyone on the boat. Blankets are supplied as well, and these came in handy. The naturalist was very friendly, VERY informative, and funny.... More 

Thank _whmorrison
Layton, UT
Level Contributor
95 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2016

We booked the tour from the Rosario marina since it was closest to our Bed and Breakfast. Because of the location of the whales (and probably because they didn't have enough people, but didn't say that), they asked us to come to the main location at Deer Harbour. They had been tracking the whale pod and they were quite a... More 

1 Thank StaceyM
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2016

We enjoyed our whale watching trip today with Nate and Trey of Deer Harbor Charters. Both are knowledgeable and entertaining. The boat ride was comfortable and casual. We saw many whales as well as other wildlife. It was a great way to see more of these beautiful islands. We highly recommend this trip.

Thank Janet B

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Boise, Idaho, United States
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?