San Francisco Whale Watching Boat Charters

Oceanic Society is pleased to offer private whale watching boat charters out of San Francisco or Half Moon Bay (seasonally) for special events, employee outings, clubs, groups of friends, and others.

A variety of charter trip options are available depending upon the time of year, your interests, budget, and available time—detailed descriptions of each option are provided below. All trips include a private boat charter aboard the Salty Lady with a dedicated captain and an experienced Oceanic Society naturalist. The Salty Lady is a 56-foot U.S. Coast Guard certified fishing vessel with a maximum capacity of 40 passengers.

Oceanic Society is not only a pioneer in whale watching with nearly 50 years of experience, we are also America’s oldest non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, founded in San Francisco in 1969. Every trip with Oceanic Society supports ocean conservation.

Please contact us to schedule your charter or request additional information.


Gulf of the Farallones Whale Watching Charters

Just outside of San Francisco Bay, the Gulf of the Farallones is one of the most diverse and exciting marine environments on Earth. Our Gulf of the Farallones whale watching charters take you from San Francisco, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and north along the breathtaking coast of Marin County. With the guidance of an expert Oceanic Society naturalist and our seasoned captain, you and your group will enjoy beautiful views and informative presentations as we look for humpback and blue whales, seals and sea lions, dolphins, harbor porpoises, seabirds, and much more. Oceanic Society is not only a pioneer and leader in whale watching, we are also a non-profit organization and your trip will support ocean conservation.

Departure Point: San Francisco Small Craft Harbor
Duration: 4 hours
Available Dates: Most weekdays from May though November
Group size: Maximum of 40
Price: $2,700
>> Download a PDF of detailed trip information


Farallon Islands Whale Watching Charters

This is the trip for serious nature lovers. Our Farallon Islands whale watching charters take you 25 miles offshore to the dramatic and wildlife-rich Farallon Islands, whose surrounding waters are feeding grounds for blue and humpback whales and 8 species of porpoises and dolphins. The islands themselves are home to 13 breeding seabird species as well as 6 species of seals and sea lions. In October, large numbers of great white sharks opportunistically arrive to prey upon young elephant seals making the Farallones one of the premier sites for white shark research in the world. This isn’t your average whale-watch. This is an open ocean expedition, led by marine scientists into one of the truly unique environments in the world: the Farallon Islands.

Departure Point: San Francisco Small Craft Harbor
Duration: 8 hours
Available Dates: Most weekdays from May though November
Price: $4,200
Group size: Maximum of 40
>> Download a PDF of detailed trip information


Half Moon Bay Gray Whale Watching Charters

Each year, thousands of gray whales migrate along the California coast between their winter breeding grounds in Mexico and summer feeding habitats off of Alaska. Our gray whale watching charters are designed to put you in the heart of this spectacular gray whale migration. Departing from Half Moon Bay, we will cruise along the coastline in search of whales and other wildlife including seals and sea lions, porpoises and dolphins, and many species of seabirds.

Departure Point: Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay, CA
Duration: 3 hours
Available Dates: Most weekdays and some weekends from January to May
Group size: Maximum of 40
Price: $2,250
>> Download a PDF of detailed trip information


Looking for something pre-scheduled?

Find out more about our regular whale watching trips!