Cruises are a luxurious way to relax and see the sights, unlike boarding dolphins equipped with saddles, which usually results in whiplash and water-filled lungs. Cruise the blue in comfort with this Groupon.
Choose Between Two Options
- $79 for a bird-watching cruise for one (a $129 value)
- $149 for a bird-watching cruise for two (a $258 value)
The cruise covers Bellingham Bay, the Northern Skagit Flats, La Conner Slough, Rainbow Bridge, Southern Skagit Flats, past Hope Island, Cornet Bay, under Deception Pass Bridge, to Northern Whidbey Island, Burrows Bay, and Bellingham Channel, before returning to port. One of the leading seabird authorities on the west coast, Dick McNeely, narrates the trip, pointing out the northern bird species that are arriving now, and sharing engaging information. Tours are currently scheduled for October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27.
Since 1962, owner and U.S. Coast Guard–licensed captain Terry Buzzard has gotten to know the San Juan Islands and surrounding miles of water pretty well. Having hauled mail for the Post Office, salvaged wrecks, assisted in oil spill cleanups, and ferried passengers throughout the San Juan Islands, he has built quite a resumé of seafaring. This relationship with water isn't so surprising considering he began boating at the age of 3 when he was allowed to pilot a single-horsepower boat by himself with his trained rescue dog, Rusty.
Regardless of the actual job he's performing, Terry is always drawn to whales. By 1978, this fascination lead him to chartering trips specifically for whale watching, especially toward the schools of orca that made the region their home. Looking back, he's pretty certain his boat was the only one in the area at the time dedicated to the thrill of witnessing some of the world's largest and most beautiful animals. Today, the waters are spotted with various boats filled with passengers snapping pictures of the great aquatic beasts and shouting ululations whenever one smacks its enormous tail against the water, takes a playful leap, or belts a Mariah Carey song.
Terry's boat, the 110-foot Island Caper, provides generous sightlines to all passengers via its spacious outdoor deck and ample indoor viewing areas, and is decked out with a 34-speaker sound system. In business for 52 years, Island Mariner Whale Watching's unparalleled time and experience on the water offers cruise-goers an ideal experience, and also employs a seaplane to help spot whales and guide tours. With his chief navigator––a 7-year-old airedale terrier also named Rusty––Terry is right out there amid the excitement, ferrying whale watchers and sharing his life-long passion.