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San Juan Safaris

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: WA 98250-7199
Phone Number:
+1 800-450-6858
06:00 - 22:00
Open now
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Sun - Sat 06:00 - 22:00
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

The waters surrounding San Juan Island are the #1 place in North America to...

The waters surrounding San Juan Island are the #1 place in North America to see wild orca whales. San Juan Safaris, located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, is in the perfect location to provide you with the thrill of seeing orcas in their natural habitat.

For over 20 years, San Juan Safaris has been offering the highest quality whale watching tours with a focus on our guests’ experiences and respectful wildlife viewing.

Experience orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, and more from the comfort of our safe, fast, and US Coast Guard approved vessels. With four vessels and multiple daily departure times, there’s sure to be a tour that’s right for you.

Our seasoned Captains will keep you safe while aboard our vessels and position the boat in prime locations for whale and wildlife viewing. All of our tours are staffed by seasoned Captains and passionate Marine Naturalists who will teach you about the wildlife, ecology, and geology of the Salish Sea. We encourage you to ask questions and love to share stories about orcas and the local area.

Choose from two vessel tours:

M/V Sea Lion: The Sea Lion is our flagship vessel, built specifically for whale watching & wildlife viewing. 55 feet, comfortable, stable, great for passengers of all ages and mobility levels. Restroom on board, 360* viewing deck, heated inside cabin. Great for families and groups.

M/V Kestrel: The Kestrel is our new high-speed adventure vessel-- perfect for anyone looking for an exciting excursion! Fast, safe, and comfortable. 360* viewing deck, all-weather exposure suits keep you warm and dry, plus on board marine bathroom. Fun and fast! This tour is great for passengers 8 years and older.

Our brand new Whale Watch Headquarters is located just feet from the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor, and steps from local restaurants and shops. Stop by and say “hello” to learn more about our tours and the best spots on San Juan Island to explore. Visit our retail and gift shop for the latest in northwest guide style. Don’t forget to stop by our new Ridetide Cafe for coffee, sandwiches, desserts, and more!

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Whale Watching from Friday Harbor
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 338 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 311
  • 14
    Very good
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
Excelente Tour

Just got off the Sea Lion boat where captain Pete made sure we saw as much wildlife as he could find. We saw transient orcas feeding. AMAZING!!! We also saw bald eagles, harbor... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Olga M
Weston, Florida
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338 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 332: English reviews
Weston, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

Just got off the Sea Lion boat where captain Pete made sure we saw as much wildlife as he could find. We saw transient orcas feeding. AMAZING!!! We also saw bald eagles, harbor seals and stellar sea lions!! Naturalists Rachel and Sarah where very knowledgeable about all the animals we saw and about the whole ecosystem of the islands. There... More 

Thank Olga M
Brian G, Owner at San Juan Safaris, responded to this review

Thank you for joining us, Olga! We enjoyed having you and your son on the water with us. Many thanks for your recognition of Naturalist Sarah and Rachel's deep knowledge of the Salish Sea eco-system, and for Captain Pete's respectfulness around the whales and wildlife. Two of our top priorities! Glad you had an excellent experience, and please be sure... More 

Nantucket, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

We were going on this whale watch a little early in the season, so I was nervous that we weren't going to see any Orca whales. Our naturalist guides were so informative and accessible during the four hour journey. We were lucky enough to come across two transient pods of Orcas and followed them for quite a while. And when... More 

Thank Jessica2Islands
Brian G, Owner at San Juan Safaris, responded to this review

Many thanks for your kind words, Jessica! Glad you got to encounter both transient orcas and a humpback whale. What an amazing early spring treat! Thank you especially for the recognition of your naturalists. We have some of the best marine naturalists in the industry, and we are glad it showed. Please come and visit us again in the future!... More 

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We had a great time whale watching with San Juan Safaris. Everyone was super friendly and helpful. Our naturalist did an excellent job of spotting wildlife and was really knowledgeable. It was great to hear about the history of the islands as well. All in all, just a perfect afternoon spent out on the water - we are so grateful... More 

1 Thank Krista_PDX
Seattle, Washington
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This was the most professionally operated and amazing wildlife watching activity I have ever experienced. As a part-time resident of San Juan Island, I have been on many whale watching/wildlife sighting excursions. In my experience, this company shines above others -- from the reservation desk to the biologists, captain, and other staff, everyone is on point, efficient, and friendly. It... More 

1 Thank robinjo98112
Brian G, Owner at San Juan Safaris, responded to this review

Wow! Thank you so much for your kind review, Robin. We take a lot of pride in operating high-quality tours, and it sounds like we exceeded your expectations from start to finish. From customer service, to safety, to knowledgeable staff, and (of course!) to an incredible wildlife encounter. Many thanks for your thoughtful review...we shared it with all the staff... More 

Keizer, Oregon
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

the naturalist was great talked to everyone made you feel very comfortable, they made sure we saw whales and other wildlife

1 Thank bmmcqu
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Skipper and Naturalist Sarah went well beyond expectations to make sure we had an opportunity to the view Orcas as well as other sea life. The Sea Lion is very comfortable and offered good room for the 22 guests. We have experience these waters since 1956 and our experiences March 31 in early season, were excellent and amazing.

1 Thank Stentrav
Brian G, Owner at San Juan Safaris, responded to this review

Many thanks for your kind words, and especially for your recognition of Naturalist Sarah and your Captain. We are happy to hear that we exceeded your tour expectations, particularly from an experienced San Juan Island boater. A compliment we won't soon forget! Please be sure to visit us again here in the San Juans! Brian Goodremont Owner & Operator San... More 

Kennewick, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 18 January 2017

Our family has been out on several adventures with San Juan Safaris and our trip on their new high speed boat, "Kestrel", was another awesome trip. Despite having fairly rough water on our way to the west side of the island, we were kept comfortable in our dry suits and the trip was so much quicker than other vessels. Once... More 

Thank Whitjenn
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed 1 December 2016

My wife and I can't say enough great things about San Juan Safaris! The crew was awesome and the trip was amazing. The views are breath taking and the wildlife sightings were spectacular. We saw so many amazing animals (porpoises, sea lions, humpbacks). So happy to be able to cross this off the bucket list, now we can't wait to... More 

Thank CSetters
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
1 review
Reviewed 26 November 2016

We had an amazing whale watching trip with San Juan Safaris. We saw tons of orcas and a humpback whale. But what really made the trip so great was the naturalist, Sarah C. She knew everything about the whales, gave us tons of information, and was ready to answer every question she was asked. A great trip!

Thank amiegrillo
2 reviews
Reviewed 22 November 2016

Thanks to Captain Brian and his staff who hosted a San Juan Outfitter/Safaris reunion, taking the entire staff out for a memorable whale watching trip. Lots of transients and reminiscing about the good ol' days. It was great to be back on the water, with a company that truly supports its employees and promotes conservation through education. Keep up the... More 

Thank Joe G
Brian G, Owner at San Juan Safaris, responded to this review

Thanks for your kind words Joe. It was a great whale sighting, and fun weekend overall. Hope to see you up in the islands again soon. Brian Goodremont More 

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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?