SEATTLE (May 17, 2021) –  Seattle area residents and summer visitors will once again be able to leave downtown Seattle for a day trip to enjoy whale watching or direct round-trip transportation to the town of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Trips will operate Friday through Monday, May 28 to September 6, and Friday through Sunday, September 7 to October 10.

The San Juan Clipper is a high-speed catamaran that travels at speeds up to 25 knots and can carry up to 200 guests. Due to COVID, Clipper is currently restricting vessel capacity to 150 guests and has instituted seat selection when booking travel to help space guests onboard the vessel. As a matter of safety and precaution, Clipper has instituted a safe travel policy to address topics ranging from required guest masks to social distancing and sanitation guidance as well as cleaning protocol.

“While safety is always Clipper’s number one priority, we have spent the last year further adapting our safety protocols due to COVID to ensure that our guests can enjoy a safe and enjoyable summer whale watching tour or visit to San Juan Island,” said David Gudgel, CEO of Clipper. “As vaccinations across WA state rapidly increase, we’re all looking forward to discovering a new slice of normal this summer. We couldn’t be more excited to provide this service once again for short scenic getaways that all can enjoy.”

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.

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 avoid ferry line wait times in Anacortes. The vessel’s route north to Friday Harbor cuts under historic Deception Pass bridge for a rare and unique look at one of Washington’s iconic bridges.

New this year, Clipper is also now offering the only half-day whale watching tour that departs directly from downtown Seattle. Also departing from Pier 69, the tour will last 5-6 hours aboard the San Juan Clipper, searching and observing whales and sealife across the Salish Sea. The half-day tour affords flexibility for those limited on time or looking for a shorter trip and will operate Tuesday through Thursday from June 1 to October 7.

For more information or to make a reservation, please visit

About Clipper

Clipper Vacations, a subsidiary of FRS, is well known as the travel experts for the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Since 1986, Clipper Vacations has provided transportation, tours and accommodation packages for more than eight million customers. Clipper Vacations offers opportunities to experience picturesque and popular destinations, such as: Victoria, Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, San Juan Island, Portland, and Vancouver Island. Learn more at

Seattle to San Juan Island Whale Watching Trip Itinerary:

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

Seattle Whale Watching Tour (Half-Day) Trip Itinerary:

  • 10:30 AM: Depart Pier 69 in Seattle
  • 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM: Whale & Sealife Search
  • 4:30 PM: Arrive Seattle

Broll and Photos available upon request.