February 23, 2022 • News Announcements
We are delighted to announce that our 2022 Farallon Islands whale watching season will begin on Saturday, April 2nd and run through Sunday, November 27th, 2022. These adventurous, day-long outings will be offered every Saturday and Sunday through November, departing from conveniently located San Francisco Yacht Harbor.
Humpback whales and seabirds feed near the Farallon Islands.
In 2021, we averaged more than 20 whales per trip, and we are anticipating another excellent year for whale sightings. Based on 40 years of Oceanic Society sightings data, there is a 98% chance of seeing whales aboard our trips. Humpback whales are most commonly found, and we also see gray whales and blue whales throughout the season, plus harbor porpoises and several dolphin species.
The possibility of rarer wildlife sightings, such as killer whales, makes every trip unique and exciting. © Allison Payne
As the largest seabird colony in the continental United States, sightings of abundant seabirds at the Farallon Islands are guaranteed, and we see seals and sea lions on every trip. Rarer wildlife sightings, such as killer whales, great white sharks, and leatherback turtles are also possible and make each trip unique and exciting.
The Tufted Puffin is one of the most iconic birds we see around the Farallon Islands. © Chris Biertuempfel
In 2022 we are continuing to operate our Farallon Islands trips at less than half of our ship’s legal capacity of 48, offering just 20 spaces aboard each departure. On every trip we provide a whale expert, a seabird expert, a professional photographer (who shares photos with you for free – see sample photos here), and a wildlife sightings recorder. Our expert tour leaders will help locate and identify wildlife, as well as provide a wealth of knowledge about the natural and cultural history of the San Francisco Bay, the Farallon Islands, and the many species we encounter.
Wildlife experts aboard each trip help locate, identify, and provide background about the wildlife we encounter. © Chris Biertuempfel
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, you can be assured that every trip that we lead supports ocean conservation through our unique travel model. Our Farallon Islands whale watching trips provide a platform from which we generate whale fluke identification data, bird data, and more, which are provided to open source databases used by researchers and conservationists worldwide.
The revenue that we earn through our whale watching tours also helps to support our Critter Scholars Program, a program that provides life-changing, first-hand ocean experiences for underserved student groups in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Reserve your spot on one of our upcoming Farallon Islands trips today, while space is available. Trips often sell out in advance, so be sure to plan ahead! Find trips details and make your reservation here: Farallon Islands Whale Watching.
For more information about the incredible Farallon Islands, watch our recent webinar, ‘The Ecological Importance of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary: A Virtual Tour of the Farallon Islands and Beyond’ with Oceanic Society naturalist and education specialist Peter Winch.