MacMillan Wharf and Fisherman's Wharf, Provincetown, MA 2657
AVERAGE USER RATING
Contact:+1 508 759 3814
Open Hours: Three trips daily
Whale watching is among the most popular and exciting adventures available on the Cape. Spring and fall are said to be the ... More
Whale watching is among the most popular and exciting adventures available on the Cape. Spring and fall are said to be the best to observe these marvelous creatures, but in summer three trips leave daily from the Provincetown wharf. Leave late in the day and you may experience both whales and a sunset. Bring warm clothes, even in summer.
Our family of 5 went on Alpha whale watch today and we had an absolutely superb time. This is WELL worth the extra money to experience whales close in and without the crowds and crowds of people. The crew are impressively knowledgeable and my family declared it the best part of our entire vacation. I highly recommend it!!
My family and I went out on a whale watch with this "new" company on july 15th 08. This is a new company with a crew that have all been at this a long time. They used to all work for one of big names in Ptown whale watching. This was an amazing experience for my kids and us adults as well. We did see many whales and did get very close ( even had one go under our boat a few times ) We were also lucky enough to see a whale breach many times. This company makes a whale watch fun for everyone and not a like a 3 hour lecture. Also, they do not stuff you on their boat to the point of not being able to move like the other boats we passed on the water. We were free to walk all around the boat and didn't feel cramped or confined. If you are heading to P'town and want to go on a whale watch look for Alpha Whale Watch company. I'm so glad we found them !
We had a very good time. This was a family outing with Crisi and I, and our two boys (10 and 4 at the time), last year, June 2005.
Provincetown is probably the best place to leave from, if you have that option, because it is the closest harbor to the Stellwagon Bank, the rich whale feeding ground which pretty much always produces good whale sightings.
We went out on the Dolphin Fleet. Dolphin XII to be exact. These are modern, twin engine musclebound and pretty stable boats, gleaming white and clean. Obviously a well maintained and run operation. A tip, you can usually find coupons in most of the Cape Cod visitors guides available. I think we had one for $2-3 off per ticket. Our 4 year old was free. On board there was a limited menu, hot dogs and hamburgers and that sort of thing, but we had brought our own picnic with us.
Great photo opps are rare, I got a lot of pictures of slivers of the whales back, and parts of their tales. So basically I concentrated on amazed kid pics. There were no spectacular breaches, but there were whales all around us once we got out there and situated amidst several other whale boats from P-town and a cat from New England Aquarium. They would have to have a catamaran for speed as they traveled much farther.
If I recall correctly, we had sightings of minke, right, and humpback whales. At points, they were swimming right under our boat, despite efforts by the captain to keep us positioned to see them moving around.
The real joy of the trip though was seeing the expressions of sheer excitement and joy on the faces of the children. Our 4 year old was worn from the Pilgrim Monument and he fell asleep inside on one of the benches. Michael, our 11 year old, was CAMPED out on the bow of the boat the whole trip and never moved from his �choice� spot, until the way back.
The boat is stable and comfortable, but it was choppy with swells on the way back causing water to spray up all around the boat, which Spencer, well rested from his nap, was really enjoying as if he were running through sprinklers in the yard. The view of the tip of the cape going into and out of Provincetown is nice too. Bring binoculars if you can.
All in all, whale watching trips are fun for all. We were probably out a total of 4 hours. If you have older kids, they should enjoy the whole ride. Younger kids, prepare for a nap or bring a book they like.
Be prepared though. You might get wet, at least somewhat. You don't have to, you can stay inside, but what fun is that? It tends to get chilly too, so bring some layered clothing, and maybe even a blanket, as we did, in case your toddler wants to take a nap.
Remember, that while you are almost certain to see whales, they may be pretty far and may not breach. Don't expect a spectacle because you may be very disappointed.
You don't need perfect weather to enjoy whale watching.
My well behaved 3 year old did just fine but it was an effort to keep him engaged. Five or even four is probably a better age to start.
Have your older children do some research in advance of the trip. It will invovle them more and allow them to talk with the marine scientists on board.
Bring a lunch! The refreshments on board are very basic and a picnic is a good way to pass the time.
Bring a blanket. It can get chilly and the seats are kind of hard.
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