Gray Whale Watching: Half Moon Bay

Gray Whale Watching (December - May)
Departing from Half Moon Bay

Our 2015 gray whale watching season has ended. From May - November we will be offering Farallon Islands whale watching trips from San Francisco and Sausalito. Click here for details


The annual gray whale migration is one of the world's most magnificent and accessible wildlife spectacles. Each Fall, thousands of gray whales migrate from their summer feeding grounds around Alaska down to the waters of Baja California where they breed and calf. In the Spring, the whales and their calves migrate back up North for the Summer.

Their migration pathway follows closely along the California coast, providing us with outstanding opportunities for coastal whale watching.

Oceanic Society offers gray whale watching from December through May out of Half Moon Bay (and sometimes San Francisco). Trips from Half Moon Bay last for 3-hours, with departures on Saturdays and Sundays. Sign up now!

About the Gray Whale Migration
The annual gray whale migration, one of the world's most magnificent and accessible wildlife spectacles, is underway. Each year approximately 15,000 of an estimated total population of 17,500 gray whales swim south from Arctic feeding grounds, en route to their Baja California breeding and calving grounds.

About Our Gray Whale Watching Tours
From December through May, gray whales can be observed a few miles off California's shore, and whale watchers aboard Oceanic Society's naturalist-led whale watch boats have a unique vantage from which to view this incredible "parade."

During each whale watching cruise our expert naturalists give talks on gray whales and the conservation efforts which brought them back from near extinction. These exciting and educational whale watching cruises are held on board motorized diesel vessels, from Half Moon Bay (3 1/2 hours) every Saturday and Sunday from December through mid-May.

Read an article about our trips by Tom Stienstra in the San Francisco Chronicle.


Our boat departs from Pillar Point Yacht Harbor in Half Moon Bay (approx. 1 hour south of San Francisco). There is one departure per day (Saturdays and Sundays only), at 9:00 AM, returning at approximately 12:00 PM.

Our itinerary will be flexible, and we generally travel 1-12 miles offshore depending upon the location of the gray whale migration pathway.

Our Coast Guard certified vessel, the 56' Salty Lady, has an observation deck, limited indoor seating and gender-specific bathrooms. Our captains are experienced in nature cruises and committed to marine conservation.

Passenger maximum: 48

Parking: Free off-street parking at the harbor.

Food & Refreshments: Bring snacks and beverages.

Age Restrictions: Age minimum 8; an adult must accompany children under 15.



Since 1969, Oceanic Society has organized expert-guided, educational natural history and wildlife encounters for over 150,000 people. Programs benefit environmental education and research.

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San Francisco Chronicle review by Tom Stienstra

Weekend Sherpa review

Farallon Islands Whale Watching tours (May-Nov)

Facts about our whale watching programs

Gray whale watching in Baja California

2015 Rates:

  •      $54 Adults
  •      $49 Kids and Seniors

2015 Group Rates:

  •      $48/person (6-9 people)
  •      $47/person (10+ people)

2015 Charter Rates:

  •      Call 415-256-9941 for a quote.

Trips depart from Half Moon Bay.

Sign Up Now  

Or call our office for availability at

(415) 256-9941


Upcoming Trip Dates
One trip per day: 9:00AM - 12:00PM

MAY 2015

Our 2015 gray whale watching season has ended


Whale Watching Gift Vouchers Also Available

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