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We Love What We Do, and So Will You!
Whale watching on the Monterey Bay is a year-round adventure!
- Sanctuary Cruises offers marine biologist-led whale watching, marine wildlife learning adventures and special event private charters on the Monterey Bay.
- With over thirteen years in operation and owner-led trips, we are especially suited for the serious wildlife enthusiast seeking the highest quality experience.
- Sanctuary Cruises is the only sustainable charter boat on the Monterey Bay.
Sanctuary Cruises is different - In a good way
• We run trips with smaller groups, usually around 25 passengers, sometimes less, sometimes more, but never more than 30 people. It's a much more pleasant experience than being jammed on a boat with 40-100+ people. Our vessel Sanctuary is U.S. Coast Certified to carry up to 39 passengers.
• Owners Captain Mike and Marine Biologist Dorris run the trips as a team to ensure you have the best possible experience with the Monterey Bay Wildlife.
• We share our vast lifetime experience in seamanship, marine science and education here on the Monterey Bay with you.
• We run longer trips which means more time to find and spend with the animals.
• We make sure everyone gets a great view of the animals or your next trip is free.
• We are family and disability friendly-Kids may even get a turn at the helm.
• No age limits and pregnant moms are welcome.
• You also get closer to the water from our sea-level viewing decks to experience close-up marine wildlife encounters. Have you ever been blown in the face by a whale spout?
• Our 72-hour cancellation policy gives you more flexibility - in case "life happens".
• We also offer personalized Ash Scattering Cermonies with warmth, a song and a mariner's prayer.
• We offer the best marine wildlife experience on The Bay. We guarantee it or your next trip is free.
• We're the boat the locals prefer.
• Recommended by The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Sustainable Living Sanctuary Cruises is the only sustainable charter boat on the Monterey Bay.
We use 99% clean-burning biodiesel instead of dirty, smelly petroleum diesel in our brand new John Deere engines. Our biodiesel is made in Central California entirely from recycled waste vegetable oil collected from Central California restaurants. No oil is imported and no fossil fuels are burned when you go whale watching with us. It’s better for the economy, the ocean creatures, the air, our engines & you. We also have the most fuel efficient boat on The Bay. We burn less fuel than any other boat. If you want to have less impact on energy consumption and the world ecology while your enjoying, living and learning, Sanctuary Cruises is the clear choice for marine wildlife tours on the Monterey Bay.
Adult tickets: $50.00
Children 12 and under: $40.00
Daily Cruises depart at 10 AM from Moss Landing Harbor Dock A Duration: 4-5 hours (sometimes even longer!) Explore Monterey Bay with our Marine Biologist
Whale watching on the Monterey Bay is a year-round adventure. We see whales and/or dolphins on well over 95% of our trips, plus pulsating jellies, foraging sea otters, playful California sea lions, harbor seals, local and migratory birds and a lot more. So bring your sense of wonder, awe and anticipation for what may well be the adventure of a lifetime.
Whale Seasons in Monterey Bay
Spring: Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Orcas and Dolphins
Fall: Humpback Whales, Orcas and Dolphins
Winter: Gray Whales, Orcas and Dolphins
Moss Landing is THE Gateway to Monterey Bay! Moss Landing Harbor is centrally located midway between Santa Cruz and Monterey right on Highway One. Our harbor mouth opens directly to the head of the massive Monterey Submarine Canyon which means we are able to enter the deep water immediately. The slopes of this canyon provide very productive waters and feeding grounds for marine mammals, so we are in the perfect position to find whales quickly.
Moss Landing is also the easiest access from the SF Bay Area and has quick, easy parking right by the boat dock. The Village and harbor offer great eateries, wildlife viewing and walks, so that you can make a full day of your whale watching excursion.
Whale Watching Through the Seasons
Spring: Baby Grays lure in Orcas View the northbound migration of the California gray whale and their calves, as well as the arrival of the humpbacks, and frequent visitations by killer whales. April is the best time to experience orcas on the hunt, as they attack gray whales, sea lions and other marine mammals in the bay. Risso's dolphins are seen year-round. Expect windy afternoons in the spring, but lots of sunshine.
Summer: Krill Blooms Bring Large Whales A great time for whale watching here, with every month of the season providing excellent Photo Blog. Monterey Bay is the summer feeding grounds for the great baleen whales, which swarm into the bay to feed on the abundant krill blooms. Humpbacks, blues whales, fin whales, and minke whales can be found in our waters feeding on the seasonal krill blooms. We also often see large pods of Pacific white-sided dolphins, Risso's dolphins, and northern right whale dolphins. Orcas come and go to feast on marine mammals. Pelagic birds are absolutely awesome in the summer with hundreds of thousands of sooty shearwaters and daily Photo Blog of black-footed albatross. Enormous ocean sunfish (Mola mola) and huge leatherback sea turtles come to feed on the prolific pulsating jellies. Expect a high marine layer (fog), although the occasional sunny day is a treat.
Fall: Sunshine and Calm Seas Some of our best weather is in the fall, when we have many calm, sunny, beautiful days and marine life galore. Some blue whales visit the bay in fall and many humpback whales come to feed on the bait fish which can be very abundant this time of year. Risso's dolphins are seen year-round as well as our diminutive shy harbor porpoise and the coastal Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Orcas come and go.
Winter: A Parade of Gray Whales All winter, we see gray whales, with orcas showing up every so often. First, the grays are southbound. Then in February we see them going both ways. By March they are all heading north along with a few calves. Common dolphins show up in the winter and can be seen by the hundreds riding the bow and making graceful synchronous leaps out of the water. The very entertaining Risso's dolphins are seen year-round. Year-round Surprises Seabirds vary seasonally. Summertime brings albatross, fulmars and shearwaters in abundance. Winter hosts auklets, murres and pelicans. Some whales don't follow the pack and show up at any time of the year! There are often surprises such as: basking sharks, rare whales (beaked, minke, fins) and mesmerizing swarms of jellies.
Visit us for whale watching monterey, monterey bay whale watch, monterey bay whale watching tours, whale watching cruises monterey bay, sanctuary cruises.
- 7881 Sandholdt Rd, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA
- Contact: (831) 917-1042
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