Southern Resident Orcas spotted during San Juan Outfitters Whale Watch Tour
Humpback Whale tail in the Salish Sea - San Juan Outfitters Whale Watch Tour

The waterways surrounding the San Juan Islands are considered the best place in the world to observe Orca (Killer) Whales in the wild. The best location in the islands to access those waters is San Juan Outfitter’s exclusive marine adventure center at Roche Harbor. This location allows us to access all the major waterways the whales travel, and we often view whales within the Haro Strait, just a few miles from Roche Harbor. During the peak season, we see whales on 90% of our tours, in addition to a variety of marine wildlife.

San Juan Outfitters is best known for its high quality whale watch and wildlife tours, focusing not only on showing our guests Orca (Killer) Whales, but a wider variety of wildlife as well. Other highlights include Dalls Porpoise, Harbor Porpoise, Minke Whales, Humpback Whales, Bald Eagles, and more. Our engaging and educated naturalists and captains are considered experts in their field and work with our guests one-on-one to share their knowledge and experience. Join us for a cruise on the 55' M/V Sea Lion.

With a heated cabin, inside and outside seating, and a full wrap around viewing deck, there is lots of room to move around and stretch your legs throughout the tour. The Sea Lion has a comfortable marine restroom on board for your convenience. There are ample hand rails, a non-skid deck, and lots of bench seating at the bow and stern of the boat. With a field guide library and children’s books on board, the Sea Lion is perfect for families and those traveling with young children. The Sea Lion is the best vessel for those looking for a more relaxed ride where one can pack lunch aboard and sit back and relax while traveling through the San Juans in search of whales and wildlife.

Owner and Captain Brian Goodremont has over 15 years of experience operating vessels safely and respectfully around wildlife. “Patience is the key to getting good views of wildlife. If you take your time, and are respectful of the wildlife you’re viewing, you’ll be rewarded with excellent views without impacting the critter you’re observing”.


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During the summer months, the nutrient rich waters surrounding the San Juan Islands become a foraging area for a small population of Orca (Killer) Whales known as the Southern Residents. For thousands of years, these groups of Orca (Killer) Whales have likely come to these waters to forage on a variety of salmon, which gather and pass through these waters as they make their way to spawning grounds in the major fresh water river systems on the Washington and British Colombia coast.

US Coast Guard Certified Vessel - MV Sea Lion 40 Passenger

Why Choose San Juan Outfitters?

  • US Coast Guard Certified Vessel - MV Sea Lion 40 Passenger - Inspected Annually - great for families and groups
  • Best location in the San Juan Islands for whale watch departures; exclusive operator from Roche Harbor, San Juan Island.
  • Owner Operated, 25 years of experience performing whale watch tours in the San Juan Islands
  • Low guide-to-client ratio means your naturalist and captain are on deck with you in person. Our naturalists are considered the best in the industry, and one of the reasons we know you’ll join us for future tours.
  • San Juan Outfitters is part of a professional spotting network, which is a way for us to share information on the location of whales. If the whales are in the area, we’ll know about it, and have the equipment and experience to get you there.
  • 90% sighting rate during peak season (June through September) April, May, and October can be good months as well, with transient (mammal-hunting) orca and humpback whale sightings. 

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What our customers are saying:

If you’re looking for a high quality experience, safe and well maintained equipment, and a well trained and engaging staff, we invite you to join San Juan Outfitters for a whale and wildlife adventure.

What to Bring

A handy list so you can have a great tour

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Private Charters

Customized itineraries for your group or event

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Whale Watching FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions about our tours

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