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Farallon Islands Wildlife Expedition

We're back!! Starting April 3rd, 2021 join us for a 7.5 hour naturalist-led expedition under the Golden Gate Bridge all the way out to the wonderful & wild Farallon Islands! Every Saturday & Sunday | April-November | 9:30am-5:00pm. Book now!
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Update: We’re back starting April 3rd, 2021!! Due to duration & capacity restrictions on open-air boat activities based out of San Francisco, all Farallon trips will depart from Clipper Harbor in Sausalito. Read below for departure location details.

Departure Schedule: 9:30am-5:00pm | Every Saturday & Sunday | April-November 2021 | Click Here to See Our Schedule & Book Now!

Whale Sighting Likelihood: April-November 98% | Based on Past 10 Years OS Sightings Data

COVID-19: Transmission reduction measures in place including county approved Site-Specific Protection Plan, limited capacity, employee trainings, face coverings, routine deep-cleanings and socially distant spacing at all times during the trip.

Trip Duration: 7.5 hours

Our Capacity: 20 passengers

Trip Details: Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge led by expert naturalists to the wild Farallon Islands: one of the most biodiverse marine environments in the world!

Price: $450 per person

Age Limit: 10 years or older

Departure Location: Clipper Yacht Harbor (310 Harbor Dr. Sausalito CA 94965 | Check-in is on the right side of the main parking lot.)

Parking: Free on site | For Parking Diagram & Additional Trip Details Click Here!

Any Questions?: Email whales@oceanicsociety.org and get a fast response!

The Whales Are Coming!

Humpback whales arrive back in the Bay Area as early as March each year! Our 7.5-hour tours provide ample opportunity to circumnavigate the Farallon Islands with expert interpretation coming from our staff of top-notch naturalists. Oceanic Society is a conservation non-profit that pioneered whale watching in San Francisco in 1972. We measure our naturalists’ experience in decades, not years. They are simply the best available!

We Are COVID Prepared

This trip is designed with COVID safety in mind. We've taken measures that go above and beyond state and local regulations. Social distancing is present at every stage of the trip. All naturalists & boat crew have undergone COVID transmission reduction training and certification. Regular sanitization of common surfaces is ongoing during each trip and a full sanitization process occurs before every new batch of passengers.

Your Trip Supports Ocean Conservation

As we mentioned before, Oceanic Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation. Your participation in our whale watch helps fund conservation efforts, such as our Critters Scholars Program, which delivers life-changing ocean experiences free of charge to underserved student groups & communities around the San Francisco Bay Area. Also, we use our whale watching cruises as an opportunity to collect photographic identification data on marine mammals, which we share with a network of researchers throughout the eastern Pacific. You can see our recently photographed whales on Happywhale. Learn more about Oceanic Society here.

Photos & Videos


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

Face covering is required. Warm, layered clothing with a waterproof outer layer is strongly recommended. Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also advised.

Bring your own food and beverages; there are no concessions on board. Alcohol is discouraged, but not prohibited. Backpacks are fine, but please, no coolers due to space limitations.

No smoking is allowed on Oceanic Society cruises.

Age minimum 10; an adult must accompany children under 16. Children must wear a life jacket at all times while aboard the vessel.

Trips go rain or shine, but may be cancelled due to high winds and/or high seas. All passengers will be notified via email and text should we need to cancel.

For cancellation policy, refund and reschedule policy, and other important terms, read our detailed Terms and Conditions.


A Life Experience, a must do for real nature lovers!
TripAdvisor Member

Unforgettable Experience ... I can definitely recommend this trip

TripAdvisor Member

Best bargain in S.F! Wow - what a wonderful experience!!

TripAdvisor Member

Lived in the Bay Area for 10 years, boy have I missed a great experience before.

TripAdvisor Member

For an up close experience with the islands, consider spending a full-day with the Oceanic Society ... You will get to spend eight hours with guides who know the best places to spot whales, especially humpback and blue whales that are common in the area.
SF Gate

The Farallon Islands are just 27 miles from San Francisco and the ticket to this classic adventure is aboard the nonprofit Oceanic Society's Salty Lady, a 56-foot-long whale-watching boat equipped with friendly staff and a naturalist who's a virtual water-borne Wikipedia.
Weekend Sherpa

The Oceanic Society runs top-notch, naturalist-led, ocean-going weekend boat trips – sometimes to the Farallon Islands – during both whale-migration seasons.
Lonely Planet

Recent Sightings

2019 Farallon Islands Whale Watching Season RecapIt started with a splash: May 5, 2019 On just the second trip of our 2019 Farallon Islands whale watching season, we had one of the best whale spectacles in recent memory. Oceanic Society naturalist Chris Pincetich recorded over a dozen humpbacks that day, but one whale stole the show, breaching repeatedly with a backdrop of Southeast Farallon Island. Fortunately for us,…Read More →Farallon Islands Whale Watch Sightings: August 26, 2017On this foggy August morning, our boat full of ocean enthusiasts headed out under the Golden Gate. The fog was so dense, there were times we couldn’t see the shoreline as we motored along. On the way out to the Farallon Islands, we spotted numerous ocean sunfish (Mola mola) of all sizes basking in what little sunlight there was this…Read More →Farallon Islands Whale Watch Sightings: August 13th, 2017 Our Farallon Islands whale watching trip on August 13 trip kicked off just around the corner from our Crissy field pickup with a unique view of some of San Francisco’s most beloved marine mammals, the Pier 39 California sea lions. Many locals and tourists alike have gotten the chance to see these…Read More →Farallon Islands Whale Watch Sightings: July 2017In July, our Farallon Islands whale watchers spotted 177 individual humpback whales, 14 blue whales and 8 gray whales over the course of 9 trips. This comes out to be around 20 humpback whales seen on average per trip! Other exciting sightings included Pacific white-sided dolphins, Mola mola (ocean sunfish), northern fur seals, Blue-footed Booby (very rare for our area), Northern…Read More →Farallon Islands Whale Watch Sightings: July 2, 2017We began our 8 a.m. trip by circumnavigating Alcatraz Island before passing under the Golden Gate Bridge. Shortly thereafter, we noticed blows off Point Bonita and continued toward this area. Passengers at the front of the boat were fortunate to see a humpback whale breach completely out of the water. It happened so quickly and unexpectedly that photographers missed the…Read More →

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