This summer, (2023) I got the opportunity to go on a Whale watching tour in Bar Harbor sponsored by Fran Haasch (If you need an accident lawyer in Florida, her law firm group is the best around, believe me)
Seeing wild whales is something that has been on my bucket list for a long time so being able to mark this off was so freaking cool!
While on the tour, I picked up a few tips that I think would be really helpful for everyone going on the tour. By the end of this post, you’ll know the best tips to make your tour that much better.
Table of Contents
You can choose from two different tour times, 8:30 or 2:30. I highly recommend the 2:30 time. I noticed that the fog in the mornings can be pretty rough and tends to clear up more in the evening. This will hopefully decrease your chances of the tour being cancelled.
Note: If your tour is cancelled, you can reschedule it and if you don’t see any whales, you can come back within 3 years.
Arrival to your Whale Watching Tour
Plan to arrive at least an hour before the tour starts. The seats are on a first come, first serve basis and believe me, you want a good seat.
Speaking of seats, that leads me to my next tip.
Seating is all a preference. Some people want to be outside, some want to be inside. It gets extremely cold if sitting outside and the boat is moving so if you don’t like the cold, I recommend you sit inside.
We sat inside and I think it was the best option because when we looked outside, people seemed to be so cold when the boat was moving.
The top deck
The top deck had so many seats. I highly recommend you get a seat closest to the rail if you choose the top. It was super packed and seemed difficult to see because of all the people.
Mid deck Inside
We sat inside in the mid deck and I highly recommend this spot. You can switch from standing outside to sitting inside. It was really chill inside. Because the whales are found on either side of the boat, you could go from side to side to see the whales from where we were inside and eating snacks was much more easy and enjoyable which I’ll get to later.
Mid deck outside
If we were to sit anywhere else, I probably would have wanted it to be outside on the mid deck, but ONLY on the sides. People who had seats here didn’t really get their views blocked by others as much as other spots. They were mostly the ones blocking other peoples views.
One place I would NOT recommend sitting at, at all costs is towards the back of the mid deck. The people who got sea sick were hanging out in this area and I would have HATED to have to sit anywhere near a big group of people puking. (By the way, I’ll get to sea sickness soon)
The bottom deck was inside, this seemed more of a social location. They had a concession stand type of place and indoor seating. The views were somewhat blocked here but if you’re a parent who mostly showed up for your kids and want a few drinks, this is the place to hang out at.
Speaking of food, you can bring on as many snacks and drinks as you want, just no glass. The trip is like 5 hours so you will likely want a snack or drink during this trip. Having seats inside was nice because we all just chilled and snacked when we were waiting to see some whales. Several people even took naps in this area.
OK, hear me out because this is my most sacred tip! You NEED the sea sickness medicine. I wanted to experiment and not try it but I decided to take it anyways and I’m glad I did. I was truly fine but there were a couple times that I felt myself feel slightly sick. My dad even took it and almost got sick.
You can purchase the medicine at the little concession stand on the bottom deck for about $2. Get it and take it immediately because it takes about an hour to kick in. When you’re sitting in big swells, and the boat is rocking for a few hours, there is a good chance you won’t feel great.
I guess that’s why there were so many people getting sick. Speaking of, go to the bathroom ASAP because someone even threw up in the sink and having to use the bathroom with throw up nearby is so disgusting. Maybe even bring some hand sanitizer with!
The good news is the crew will walk around and get you crackers or ginger ale if you feel like you need it which I thought was really nice. This leads me into my last “tip”
This crew was really great and clearly they deal with a lot between throw up, finding whales, and the cleanup there after so I highly recommend bringing cash for a tip in the end as a thank you.
With that being said, those are all of my whale watching tips. Do you have any questions about your tour? Leave them down below.