Like many fish, whales surface only to pose for human photography and high-five low-flying seagulls. Snap interspecies salutations with today's Groupon: for $19, you get a 3- to 4-hour whale-watching cruise from Boothbay Whale Watch (a $38 value).
Boothbay's captain and highly trained crew steer passengers to the favorite haunts of whales, sharks, dolphins, and a variety of ocean birds. After launching from Boothbay Harbor, the expedition tours the inlet, inspecting landmarks such as historic lighthouses and a rock outcrop resembling a scowling Ralph Waldo Emerson. Upon reaching the whales' feeding ground, seafaring eyes can scour the water for roving finbacks, curious minkes, and ridiculous-looking humpbacks. Captain Wodan Vanderlaan, a 23-year Gulf of Maine veteran, maneuvers his ship to follow the first cetacean spotted, granting passengers firsthand appreciation of playful sea mammals, as resident expert Mechele Vanderlaan identifies each species and reels off facts about them.
Boothbay Whale Watch's 100-foot-long ship, the Harbor Princess, accommodates up to 149 passengers and contains marine-life-spotting equipment such as radars, GPS navigators, and a squad of elite scuba-diving nature-documentary narrators. Alcohol is banned from the ship, but the Harbor Princess's full-service galley ferries a range of light fare and beverages to echoing stomachs. Tour reservations must be made at least two to three days in advance.
Boothbay Whale Watch
With a seasoned captain and crew at the helm, Boothbay Whale Watch's 100-foot Harbor Princess ferries up to 149 passengers into the glistening Atlantic in search of exotic marine life. Voyages meander from scenic Boothbay Harbor into the feeding grounds of whales, dolphins, sharks, and seals, with each marvelous sight indicated and explained by the boat's naturalist, Mechele Vanderlaan. Equipped with an open-air top deck and heated cabin, the boat grants sightseers the ability to watch for marine life year-round without baking in the sun or warming up next to a sympathetic harbor seal. Though alcohol is banned from the boat, the Harbor Princess houses a full-service galley that slings light meals and soft drinks throughout each cruise.
22 Commercial St.
Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04538