Whale Watch FAQs
How long does the trip last?
Our normal trip is between 4 and 4.5 hours. Occasionally, we arrive a little later if the whales are further offshore.
How far out do you go?
Our most productive areas are on Jeffrey’s Ledge and at the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary. The distance from Rye Harbor varies from approximately 15 to 40 miles.
How often do you see whales?
Every trip is different, but our sighting record since 1981 is 99%!
Is there a naturalist on board?
All of our trips are expertly narrated by research scientists from the Blue Ocean Society of Portsmouth NH. In fact, most of our trips have additional Blue Ocean researchers on board to answer your questions during the trip.
Are sightings guaranteed? What happens if we don’t see whales?
If no whales or dolphins are sighted on your trip, you will be given a Whale Check good for free passage on another trip.
What kind of whales do you see?
The most frequent sightings are of Finback, Minke and Humpback whales as well as Atlantic White-sided Dolphins. Occasionally, we encounter Sei whales as well as Pilot and Right whales.
Do you still go out in the rain?
The Atlantic Queen II is equipped with a large, comfortable cabin which enables our passengers to escape the weather. Generally, only rough seas (for safety reasons) would keep us in port. The whales are wet all the time, anyway!
Do you require reservations?
While not absolutely mandatory, reservations are strongly recommended in order to prevent disappointment in the event of a sellout. Keep in mind that although we are licensed for 150 passengers, we limit our whale watches to 100 passengers to ensure plenty of room for all. Also, in the event of very bad weather, we can call you and avoid an unnecessary drive.
What is available on board?
Our galley serves hot dogs, burgers, hot soup, candy, chips, soft hot pretzels, popcorn, cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, beer, soda, and bottled water.
What can I bring aboard?
You are welcome to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Small strollers are allowed so long as they do not block passenger movement in the aisles.
What can’t I bring aboard?
The Atlantic Queen II holds a NH liquor license, therefore, you may not bring any alcoholic beverages on board. Beer is for sale in moderate quantities in our galley. Also, any glass containers (juice, soda, etc.) are prohibited for obvious safety reasons in the event of accidental breakage.
What else do I need to know to prepare for my trip?
Generally, it is 10 to 15 degrees cooler on the ocean so a jacket or sweatshirt may be in order. Sneakers or soft soled shoes are best for traction on a moving deck. For those who are susceptible to sea sickness, motion pills should be taken before departure. On those sunny days, sunglasses and sunscreen are always a good idea.