SEATTLE (April 25, 2018) –  Each year, thousands of Seattleites and visitors from across the world set out from downtown Seattle to observe and learn about the “real locals” – our region’s treasured orca whales. Starting April 28, the San Juan Clipper will depart from Seattle’s Pier 69 on weekend whale watching day trips to the San Juan Islands. Daily whale watching trips will begin May 18 and last until September 9 before returning to weekend trips through mid- October.

The San Juan Clipper is a high-speed catamaran that travels at speeds up to 25 knots and can carry up to 200 passengers. As part of the whale watching day trip, the vessel makes a brief stop in Friday Harbor to drop off ferry-only passengers before departing on the optional 2.5-hour whale-watching excursion. During the excursion, passengers enjoy three indoor and outdoor viewing decks to observe orcas, humpback and minke whales as well as other sealife. Clipper’s expert onboard naturalists educate passengers throughout the trip providing narration, education and important insights into ongoing whale conservation efforts.

“This year, we’re extremely excited to see that our resident orca pods have returned with a much more consistent presence in the Salish Sea,” said Justine Buckmaster, a veteran San Juan Clipper naturalist. “We’ve also experienced a resurgence of humpback activity in the Northwest meaning it should be a very active whale watching season.”

Following the whale watching excursion, San Juan Clipper passengers have the opportunity to explore Friday Harbor during a two-hour stop on picturesque San Juan Island. The stunning harbor town features a whale museum, a vast array of boutique shops and galleries as well as great waterfront restaurants.

In addition, the San Juan Clipper offers a great alternative mode of direct transportation to Friday Harbor for those looking to skip driving or ferry lines wait in Anacortes. Passengers wishing to see more of the island should consider booking a Clipper hotel overnight package.

Clipper’s whale watching day trip starts from just $99 for adults and $25 for children 11 and under when booked at least one day in advance. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 800-888-2535 or visit

Media Contact
Scott Meis
VP of Marketing, Clipper
T 206-443-2560 x3307
C 773-308-4526

About Clipper
Clipper, operator of Clipper Vacations, is well known as the travel experts for the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Since 1986, Clipper has provided transportation, tours and accommodation packages for more than eight million customers. Clipper offers opportunities to experience picturesque and popular destinations, such as: cosmopolitan Seattle or Vancouver, walkable Victoria, the peaceful San Juan Islands, vibrant Portland, and the beauty of Vancouver Island.

Whale Watching Trip Itinerary:

  • 8:15 am – Depart Seattle, Pier 69
  • 11:45 am – Arrive Friday Harbor
  • 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Whale and Sealife Search
  • 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm Free time in Friday Harbor
  • 5:00 pm Depart Friday Harbor
  • 7:45 pm Arrive Seattle, Pier 69

Broll and Photos available upon request.

Tour Overview: