For wildlife enthusiasts, taking a boat tour can be an incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most fascinating creatures that live in our oceans. Whether you’re interested in seeing whales, dolphins, seals, or other marine creatures, there are a variety of boat tours available that cater to nature lovers of all kinds. Here are some of the top boat tours for wildlife lovers, and what you can expect to see on each tour.
Whale Watching Tours
Whale watching tours are some of the most popular boat tours for wildlife lovers, and for good reason. There’s nothing quite like seeing these enormous creatures up close and personal, breaching and swimming through the waves. Depending on where you take your tour, you may be able to see a variety of whale species, including humpbacks, orcas, gray whales, and more.
One of the best places to go whale watching is in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. These islands are home to a thriving population of orcas, and there are several tour companies that specialize in taking visitors out to see these magnificent creatures. Many of these tours also offer opportunities to see other marine life, such as seals, sea lions, and dolphins.
Dolphin and Seal Watching Tours
If you’re looking for something a little bit smaller than whales, consider taking a dolphin or seal watching tour. These tours are often a bit shorter than whale watching tours, but they still offer plenty of opportunities to see these fascinating creatures in their natural habitats.
One great place to take a dolphin watching tour is in Sarasota Bay in Florida. This area is home to a large population of bottlenose dolphins, and there are several tour companies that offer guided tours out to see them. These tours also offer opportunities to see other marine life, such as manatees and sea turtles.
Seal watching tours are also popular in many areas, particularly along the coast of California. One of the best places to see seals is in La Jolla, near San Diego. Here, you can take a guided kayak tour out to see the harbor seals that live in the area’s protected coves.
Puffin and Bird Watching Tours
For bird lovers, there are also plenty of boat tours available that cater to your interests. One of the most popular types of bird watching tours is puffin watching tours. Puffins are adorable little birds that live on rocky islands off the coast of places like Maine, Alaska, and Iceland. Taking a puffin watching tour is a great way to see these birds up close and personal, as well as to learn more about their habitats and behaviors.
Another popular type of bird watching tour is general bird watching tours, which take visitors out to see a variety of bird species in their natural habitats. These tours are available in many different areas, but some of the best places to go bird watching include the Everglades in Florida, the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
Tips for Taking a Boat Tour
No matter what type of boat tour you decide to take, there are a few tips that can help you make the most of your experience. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Dress appropriately: Even if it’s warm on land, it can be much cooler out on the water. Make sure to dress in layers and bring a jacket or sweater just in case.
- Bring sunscreen: Even if it’s overcast, you can still get a sunburn out on the water. Make sure to apply sunscreen before your tour, and bring some along to reapply if needed.
- Bring binoculars: While many tours provide binoculars, it’s always a good idea to bring your own if you have them. This will help you get an even closer look at the wildlife you’re seeing.
- Listen to the tour guide: The tour guides are experts in their field and can provide a wealth of information about the wildlife you’re seeing. Make sure to listen to their instructions and ask questions if you’re curious about something.
- Be respectful: Remember that you’re a guest in these animals’ natural habitats. Make sure to keep a safe distance and avoid disturbing the wildlife in any way.
- Be patient: Seeing wildlife in their natural habitats can be unpredictable, so be prepared to wait and be patient. Sometimes you may have to wait a while before you see the animals you’re hoping for, but the wait is often worth it.
In conclusion, taking a boat tour is a fantastic way for wildlife lovers to get up close and personal with marine creatures in their natural habitats. From whale watching tours to puffin watching tours, there are plenty of options available for anyone interested in seeing these fascinating animals. Just remember to dress appropriately, bring sunscreen and binoculars, listen to the tour guide, be respectful, and be patient. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience on your next boat tour.