fbpx

Whale Watching & Wildlife Island Cruise

Naturalist-led Whale Watching Adventure!

Book Now

Starts at $55

$65 for Adults

$55 for Children & Seniors

Group Discounts
6-10:
5% off total booking price
11-20: 10% off total booking price
21+: 15% off total booking price

Trip Details

See Whales, Dolphins & Other Amazing Wildlife in the Santa Barbara Channel!

Experience the Grey Whale migration as these amazing animals make their way back to Alaska with their calves in tow. Visit the picturesque Anacapa Arch & cruise the coastline of Anacapa Island!

Pod of dolphins at the Channel Islands

Location Information

  • Departure Harbor: Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard CA (Marine Emporium Landing)
  • Destination: Anacapa Island & the Santa Barbara Channel

Trip Specific Information

  • Season: February to April
  • Minimum Number of Guests: 6
  • Maximum Number of Guests: 45
whale-watching

Important Times

  • Morning Trip Check-In: 8:25 AM
  • Departure: 8:30 AM
  • Return to Channel Islands Harbor: 11:30 AM
  • Trip Duration: two hours
  • Afternoon Trip Check-In: 12:25 PM
  • Afternoon Trip Departure: 12:30 PM
  • Return to Channel Islands Harbor: 2:30 PM
  • Trip Duration: two hours
Humpback whale, Santa Barbara Channel, California

What’s Included

  • Captain, Crew and Naturalist
  • Wildlife Tour & Whale Watching
  • Anacapa Coastline Cruise

How do we calculate ticket prices?

Ticket Costs

Itinerary

The Santa Barbara Channel is one of the best places to view marine mammals on the planet. During our 14 mile crossing, we’ll have our eyes peeled in search of whales and dolphins. When we see some, we’ll slow down and enjoy their company for a short while before continuing our journey to Anacapa Island.

Enjoy the 1-hour return trip back to the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard.  Keep your eyes peeled for sea life along the way.  You can bring adult drinks but they are only to be enjoyed on the return trip home.

Estimated arrival time in Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard is 4:00pm

Destination

Every year, Pacific Grey Whales embark on an epic migration from northernmost Alaska all the way to Baja California Sur. Mothers bring their young calves back with them on the journey north to Alaska. We are lucky enough to have them visit Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary starting in February.

The Santa Barbara Channel is a global hotspot for biodiversity and marine life. Dolphins, Whales, Sea Lions, and other marine mammals thrive in the abundant waters off our shore.

Anacapa is a small volcanic island located 14 miles off the coast of Ventura County. The smallest of the northern Channel Islands, Anacapa was used intermittently by the indigenous Chumash people for thousands of years. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was the first European to discover Ancapa in 1542, calling it “Vela Falsa” or false sail. In 1793, Captain George Vancouver christened the island Anacapa, a name derived from the Chumash word, “’Anyapax,” which translates to ‘illusion’ or ‘mirage.’ Anacapa is the only Channel Island to maintain its original Chumash name.  Anacapa’s dramatic sea cliffs are often shrouded by marine haze or fog, giving the island an air of mystery.

Anacapa is composed of three islets: East, Middle, and West. Altogether, the islets make up a narrow island that is 5 miles long and only a ¼ mile wide. Ocean waves have eroded the perimeter of the island, creating steep sea cliffs towering hundreds of feet in height and exposing the volcanic air pockets, lava tubes, and sea caves. At the east end of the island a natural bridge has formed in the ocean. This forty-foot -high arch is a trademark of Anacapa and is the symbol of Channel Islands National Park. The highest peak is on West Anacapa, rising to 930 feet.

Anacapa is composed of three islets: East Island, Middle Island and West Island. Altogether, the islets make up a narrow island that is 5 miles long and only a ¼ mile wide. Ocean waves have eroded the perimeter of the island, creating steep sea cliffs towering hundreds of feet in height and exposing the volcanic origins of air pockets, lava tubes, and sea caves. At the east end of the island a natural bridge has formed in the ocean. The forty-foot-high Cabrillo Arch is a trademark of Anacapa and the Channel Islands National Park. The highest peak is Summit Peak 2 on West Island at 930 feet.

Pre Trip Planning

What to bring with you?

  • Food – a small cooler is a good idea for storage.
  • Water – reusable water bottles can be filled onboard.
  • Boat clothing – street clothes are fine, dress in layers. Long pants are recommended. Warm layers are also recommended for the crossing as it can get chilly.
  • Motion sickness medicine and personal medications.
  • Gratuity for guides and crew.

Local Restaurants & Lodging

Stay for a seafood dinner or drinks at the Marine Emporium after your trip. There are many restaurants right where the Sunfish picks you up and drops you off, some with harbor views.

Book a weekend visit! Stay at the Hilton Mandalay Beach Resort-only a few minutes drive to the harbor. Right on the beach, this is an excellent place to relax after an adventurous day at Anacapa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need boat transportation?

No. All CIEx trips are vessel supported and include boat transportation to and from your island destination. 

Do we offer private trips to Anacapa?

Yes, prices vary based on day of week and season. Please call or email with the dates you are interested in and we’ll get you a quote.

Testimonials

go blue icon

Great Family Day Adventure

We had the BEST first time kayaking experience with Blue Ocean. Garret and his crew are great! The Anacapa tour is something special... we all loved it! It was a perfect day for our family. We highly recommend!

-Allyson Arons | TripAdvisor

go blue icon

Another great day kayaking with Blue Ocean

We had a great day at Anacapa with Garrett, Jordan and the rest of the crew. We paddled for about 3 hours but it is not too strenuous, so if you are wondering if you can do it, you probably can! Thank you, Blue Ocean Crew!

-Tad | TripAdvisor

go blue icon

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

LOVED IT! Truly an amazing experience that I will never forget. Awesome crew, wonderful day, all around great time. I hope to do it again some day!

-Alicia | TripAdvisor

go blue icon

A great time!

Even though it was a foggy day, we had a great time. The boat crew was great and friendly. Garrett the guide was knowledgeable and friendly. He even saved a pelican-"Birdie Sanders" .

-Denise W | TripAdvisor