Monterey Bay Wildlife Encounters: Private Tours
6 Ratings
Santa Cruz
Embark on a private wildlife encounter in Monterey Bay. Get up close and personal with whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and more. Book your intimate experience today!
Duration: 3 hours
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
  • Monterey Bay - Join us for a fantastic day on the waters of Monterey Bay spending time Whale watching and seeing amazing animals like seals, otters, whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks and the coastal scenery of Monterey Bay. With intimate wildlife encounters, Animals are so close you can almost touch!

groups are small (1 to 6 people), we travel quietly, and the focus is on the wildlife with plenty of free time for us to explore. We draw on our experience and expertise to teach, educate and provide amazing experiences. A licensed and experienced Captain and naturalist.

  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary - Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary! One of our nation’s most spectacular marine protected areas, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world! This “Serengeti of the Sea”
  • Santa Cruz Wharf - Your gateway to the Monterey Bay!
What's Included
  • Inflatable life jackets provided for safety
  • 19 years of experience ensuring a fun and reliable tour
  • Vessel equipped with modern, up-to-date electronics
  • All required safety gear available onboard
What's Not Included
  • Snacks
Additional Information

We provide exclusive, small-group wildlife interactions focusing on personalized experiences. Once you’re aboard our vessel in Monterey, you’ll find yourself uniquely placed to observe a diverse range of fauna. Every day brings something new; you can look forward to witnessing an array of marine life. Our journey typically brings us face to face with whales, porpoises, dolphins, seals, sea lions, otters, and a host of other marine mammals and seabirds. Our most frequent whale sightings include the humpback, gray, blue, and occasionally even the orca. If you’re travelling solo, feel free to contact us for individual trip options

  • Our boat is equipped with comfortable seats with backrest but even so, if you are pregnant, have a weak back or neck, or if you don’t like going fast over the water, you should not go. If you have concerns please consider booking with one of the the large capacity vessels in Monterey bay
  • Not recommended for travelers with neck problems
  • Not recommended for travelers that do not like to go fast over the water
Monterey Bay Marine
Brommer Street
Please meet us at 555 Brommer St, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Come down to the lower parking lot. We are at Dock J, in the parking lot is a bathroom and the place to pay for parking.
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
(6 Ratings)
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Oct 18, 2023
Excellent tour - My son had an amazing time. I can’t wait to come back and take this tour myself! Lots to see and amazing photos and videos.
Review provided by Viator
Aug 28, 2023
Amazing Adventure! - I absolutely loved the trip. James worked with me extensively to make sure I was able to go out and see the wildlife. I came to the area for work, and my timeframe was hard to work with. James still made sure to text me with any updates and worked with my schedule completely. I showed up to what was supposed to be a full boat, but ended up being the only person that day. He still took me out and I had an amazing time learning about his life and the ocean. I saw tons of whales, sea lions, dolphins, and he even took me to try to catch a peak at the sharks at the end of the trip. James was an amazing guide, and I saw over a dozen different whales just in an hour timeframe. He even gave my ideas for future trips that would be of interest to me that I did not even know about. Add on his funny stories and educational anecdotes, and you’ll have an amazing time no matter what the weather. Rest assured, I’ll be coming back and booking with him again.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Aug 14, 2023
The BEST Whale Watching Tour Around - I had the incredible experience of joining a tour with Wildlife Encounters, and I must say, I absolutely loved it! The feeling of being on a small boat, so close to the whales, was truly breathtaking. The agility of the smaller boat allowed us to swiftly approach whenever whales were spotted. Our tour guide, James, was exceptional. Right from the moment we stepped onto the boat, he ensured our safety. He shared fascinating details about each whale we encountered – their approximate age, length, and other intriguing facts. James' dedication and passion for his clients' experience were unparalleled. Having been on numerous whale watching tours before, I can confidently say that this one was genuinely one-of-a-kind.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
May 15, 2023
Truly spectacular! - This wildlife tour was a fantastic adventure for our family of 3. James is a very knowledgeable and experienced captain, who treated us like family. He was very flexible with our trip, contacting us the morning of our scheduled tour, and postponing so he could take us out on the best weather day. We found Risso and white-sided dolphins, and a number of humpback whales, as well as sealions and various birds. Everything about this trip was top-notch, and highly recommended! We will be taking this tour again when we are out in California.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Sep 8, 2019
Totally unique experience - James was so accommodating when my wife and I booked a private wildlife encounter. He worked with us every step of the way to make sure we had the experience we hoped for. Once we located some humpback whales, we were the only boat as far as you could see. He's very entertaining to talk with, extremely knowledgeable about wildlife, and makes it a very memorable experience.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jul 11, 2019
The highlight of our vacation! - This was absolutely amazing, a bucket list item for our whole family, and it did not disappoint. We got lucky and followed a mom and her very active toddler around the bay, while the “little one” jumped out of the water over and over! We probably saw 5-6 other whales and various birds, otters and sea lions. The small size of the boat allowed us to change direction and move faster than the big boats and definitely allowed us to see way more than we would on one of the larger tours. Thank you James!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Select Date and Tickets
up to 6 guests
July 2024