Those who embark on whale-watching expeditions must exercise patience, possess a keen eye, and carve sentient wooden puppets to save the day should they get swallowed. Direct your eyes to crystal waters with today's Groupon: for $39, you get a three-hour whale-watching tour from Island Adventures in Everett (a $69 value).
The panoramic decks of Island Adventures' 101-foot sightseeing vessel, The Island Explorer 3, afford whale watchers a sweeping view of Everett Marina and its itinerant population of gray whales. The tour's 99.5% sighting success rate leaves little chance of not spotting a whale, as the placid and pristine waters make an ideal haven for the colossal mammals to feed, frolic, and pack their suitcases with shrimp before continuing their northward migration. The capacious boat houses two decks, a heated cabin, and a maximum occupancy of 210 people, though Island Adventures makes a point of only booking 149 people per tour so that everyone has enough floor space to repeatedly drop their jaws at the majestic creatures. Adept at ferreting out marine life wherever it lurks, the boat's captain makes a broad sweep of the waters, cruising through the stomping grounds of harbor seals, sea lions, bald eagles, and other local fauna.
On a childhood fishing trip with his dad in the San Juan Islands, Shane Aggergaard noticed a group of orcas swimming toward his boat. Rather than steering clear of human contact, they swam directly under the boat—one even looked Shane right in the eye. It was a moment of whale-human connection he never forgot, and nowadays tries to approximate through Island Adventures. The whale-watching tour company, which Shane founded with his wife, Jennifer, brings passengers into close contact with the aquatic mammals of the Pacific Northwest.
Depending on the season, wilderness-savvy guides—who’ve led more than 6,000 collective wildlife tours during their careers—can introduce passengers to minke whales and the San Juan’s three resident orca pods, migrating gray whales, or humpbacks. Their 101-foot vessel, The Island Explorer 3, boasts a large bow pulpit and a viewing deck with more than 400 feet of railing, ideal for seeing whales in their entirety, from their tails to their trusty sets of water wings. The team backs each tour with a whale-sighting guarantee and strives to ensure future sightings by making sustainable choices, from its ecofriendly cleaning products to the boat's cabin floor made from recycled tires.
1726 W Marine View Dr.
Everett, Washington 98201