Blue Whale Watching Season Begins

Island Packers’ summer schedule to include special trips and summer whale watching

Ventura, CA – With summer upon us, Island Packers has announced the addition of specialty trips on selective dates to their already full schedule of summer excursions. Visitors to Ventura and locals alike can now explore select, seldom-visited destinations. In addition to these landing excursions, Island Packers is also expanding its summer whale watching excursions for the viewing of some extraordinary summertime visitors.

Summer Whale Watching

Passengers aboard non-landing whale watch trips can view several seasonal species currently being sighted in the Santa Barbara Channel. Summer species include blue whales, fin whales and humpbacks, as well as year-round residents such as common dolphin, seals and sea lions.

Historically, over 28 species of whales and dolphins have been identified within the waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. A day spent on the ocean in the company of these creatures can be awe-inspiring and truly memorable.

While whale watching trips do not offer time ashore, they include a brief, narrated cruise along the shoreline of one of the Channel Islands. The boat departs at 10 a.m. and returns approximately 4 p.m. This trip provides further opportunities to view and photograph sea birds, seals and sea lions along with other characteristics unique to the islands.

Specialty Trips

On designated trips this summer, visitors to Prisoner’s Harbor will have an option to take advantage of direct service to this popular destination. On designated days, visitors may disembark for a naturalist-led hike and maximum time ashore or, for a nominal fee, remain on the boat for a coastal tour of the island culminating with an “in the island experience” at Painted Cave. Following their visit to Painted Cave, passengers will go ashore at Prisoner’s for a brief opportunity to picnic, hike, snorkel or lounge.

On the Pelagic Birding trips, visitors spend several hours offshore, well beyond the reach of most day trips. Routes and destinations are determined after reviewing oceanographic conditions at the time of the trip, offering a chance to search for sought after species like red-billed tropicbird, least storm petrel, Leach’s storm-petrel, Townsend storm-petrel, Guadalupe murrelet and Craveri’s murrelet.

As the official concessionaire to Channel Islands National Park, Island Packers has been providing island transportation and wildlife viewing in the Santa Barbara Channel for over 50 years. Captains and crews aboard all trips have many years of experience finding and viewing wildlife. Their thoughtful narration informs guests about the history, human impact, and unique characteristics of the channel and wildlife encountered.

Summer whale watching fees : adults: $68, seniors $ 62 and children age 3-12 $55. Day trip to Prisoner’s Harbor and the Painted Cave: adults $ 72, seniors $66 and children age 3-12 $ 52.

For more information and a complete schedule of these excursions, contact Island Packers online or by phone (805) 642-1393.

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