10 Best Cruise Whale Watching NYC

whale watching nyc

Discover the astonishing world of whale watching near NYC, where marine magic comes alive! A once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you breathless and eager for more. Get ready to set sail on an unforgettable journey, as you witness ginormous marine mammals soaring out of the water, right before your eyes.

Leave behind the iconic blue whale at the museum and embark on a real-life adventure to encounter these majestic creatures up close and personal. Join our NYC Whale Watching Cruise and be prepared to be amazed!

Here are the 10 Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

1. Event Cruises NYC: Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

Address: Pier 36, 299 South St, New York, NY 10002, United States
Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 8 am
Updated by phone call seven weeks ago
Phone: +1 917-671-9710


  • The best whale watching experience in NYC with Event Cruises NYC’s Whale Watching Cruise at South Street Seaport! From April to October, for $85 (adults) and $55 (children 12 and under), set sail on a two-level boat from Pier 36 for an early morning adventure.
  • Enjoy stunning views of the NYC skyline as you head out to the whale watching grounds, where you may spot North Atlantic right whales, fin whales, humpback whales, and more.
  • While sightings aren’t guaranteed, the cruise offers kid-friendly activities, nautical books, and snacks to keep everyone entertained. Get ready for a 4 1/2-hour journey filled with photo opportunities and onboard food options to enhance your unforgettable experience!

2. American Princess Cruises: Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

CONTACT: 718-474-0555
Website: https://americanprincesscruises.com/
Timing: Tuesday – Saturday from 10 AM- 5 PM


  • The best family-friendly whale-watching cruise in NYC is with American Princess Cruises in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Operating from April to November, it offers a high sighting rate of 95-97%, as evidenced by its active social media feeds.
  • Adults can join for $65, children aged 5-12 for $45, and kids aged 4 and younger go for free. It’s advisable to make reservations, but you can also buy tickets on the same day of your excursion.
  • Bring your sandwiches, but note that beverages and coolers are not allowed. However, there’s a concession stand and a full beverage bar available onboard.

3. Viking Fleet (CRESLI – Montauk, New York): Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

Address: 462 W Lake Dr, Montauk, NY 11954, USA
Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 7 am
Updated by this business 4 weeks ago
Phone: +1 631-668-5700


  • The best whale-watching adventure from NYC is with CRESLI in Montauk, New York. Operating from July to September, the trips are sponsored by the Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island.
  • For $80, adults can enjoy a four-hour tour, while children aged 5-12 join for $50, and kids aged 5 and younger go for free. With the guidance of a marine biologist, you’ll search the waters for whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sea birds, and sunfish.
  • These trips boast a 100 percent success rate in spotting whales, dolphins, or porpoises, making it an unforgettable experience for all.

4. Freeport, New York: Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

Address: Freeport, Hempstead, Nassau, County New York state.


  • The best whale-watching cruise in NYC is with Long Island Whale & Seal Watching in Freeport, New York. From May to November, you can climb aboard the Atlantic Pearl to explore the Long Island waters and spot marine life.
  • With a naturalist on board, you’ll learn about the behavior and biology of the animals you encounter. Recent sightings have included bottlenose and short-beaked dolphins, humpback, fin, and North Atlantic right whales, as well as loggerhead sea turtles.
  • For those interested, there are also seal-watching cruises available early in the season.

5. The Cape May, New Jersey: Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

Address: 1218 Wilson Dr, Cape May, NJ 08204, United States
Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 9 am
Phone: +1 609-884-5445


  • The best whale-watching cruise near NYC is with The Cape May Whale Watcher in Cape May, New Jersey. Running from March to December, these daily 3-hour trips take you into the Delaware Bay Estuary, offering close sightings of whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
  • The narrated tours include historical highlights, and the captain guarantees mammal sightings; otherwise, you get a FREE trip on another boat.
  • They also offer dolphin cruises, including a 2-hour sunset cruise with complimentary pizza and hot dogs. You can upgrade to a buffet dinner on select cruises. The Cape May Whale Watcher is a large boat, reducing the likelihood of seasickness.

6. Midtown East: Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

Address: Midtown East, the area between 42nd & 59th Streets, and between 5th Avenue and the East River


  • The best NYC whale-watching cruise departs from Midtown East between May and October. Adults can enjoy the 3-hour cruise for $59, while children aged 12 and under can join for $34.
  • The luxurious Seastreak Ferry provides comfortable airline-style seating with air conditioning inside or outdoor decks.
  • Besides whales, you may also spot dolphins, pelagic birds, and sea turtles while learning about their behaviors.
  • The company is a proud member of Whale Sense, promoting responsible whale-watching practices.
  • Remember that tickets are non-refundable but can be exchanged for a different day before the sailing. For weekday options, consider booking from the Highlands, New Jersey dock.

7. The Starlight Fleet – Wildwood, New Jersey: Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

Address: 6200 Park Blvd, Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260, United States
Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 7 am
Phone: +1 609-729-7776


  • The best family-friendly whale and dolphin-watching cruise near NYC is with The Starlight Fleet in Wildwood, New Jersey. Operating from April to October, the two-hour trips offer an educational adventure for all ages.
  • Led by experienced marine biologists, you’ll get up close to dolphins and other marine life, with hands-on learning through a touch tank.
  • Naturalists will also point out spotted seabirds, turtles, and other wildlife while sharing information about historical sites.
  • Complimentary pastries, coffee, and juice are provided during the 9:30 a.m. sail, and hot dogs are served during the afternoon and evening excursions. If you don’t spot a sea mammal, you’ll get a FREE future cruise.

8. Atlantic City Cruises – Atlantic City, New Jersey: Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

Address: 800 N New Hampshire Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, United States
Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 10 am
Phone: +1 609-347-7600


  • The best whale-watching adventure near NYC is with Atlantic City Cruises in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
  • From April to October, their Dolphin Watching Adventure takes you on a two-hour journey off the Jersey Shore to spot whales and dolphins.
  • With a marine naturalist as your guide, you’ll learn about marine life during the voyage. Onboard, there is a cash bar available for refreshments. It’s an incredible experience suitable for the whole family.

9. Jersey Shore Whale Watching: Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

Address: 905 NJ-35, Belmar, NJ 07719, United States
Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 9 am
Phone: +1 732-592-6400


  • The best whale watching tour near NYC is with the Jersey Shore Whale Watching Tour in Belmar and Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
  • Running from April to December, this three-hour educational tour offers beautiful views of the Jersey Shore coastline and opportunities to spot dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks.
  • You can change your trip date for free with 24 hours’ notice. The tour guarantees mammal sightings, or you can sail again until you spot one.
  • It’s a fantastic experience for both adults and children, providing a chance to see fascinating marine life up close.

10. New England Aquarium – Boston, Massachusetts: Best Cruises Whale Watching NYC

Address: 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, United States
Hours: Closed Opens 9 am • More hours
Phone:+1 617-973-5200


  • The best whale-watching cruise near NYC is with the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts. Operating from May to November, you can board a custom whale-watching catamaran just steps from the New England Aquarium and other Boston landmarks.
  • The trip takes you to the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, known for its rich feeding ground attracting whales, dolphins, sea birds, and other marine creatures.
  • During the 3 1/2-4 hour trip, naturalists from the New England Aquarium share their knowledge and answer questions. The boat offers an outdoor deck, large windows, comfortable seats, and snacks for purchase.
  • If you don’t spot a marine mammal, you can return for another cruise, making it an exceptional and enjoyable experience for all.

Here are some essential tips to consider before going whale watching near NYC:

  1. Dress appropriately: Wear extra clothes and layers as it can get chilly on the water, even if it’s warm onshore.
  2. Prepare for motion sickness: Even if you don’t usually get seasick, consider bringing Dramamine or child-safe “Sea-Bands” to cope with the boat’s movement.
  3. Bring binoculars: Having a couple of pairs of binoculars can help spot whales and dolphins.
  4. No guarantees: Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee of seeing marine mammals, so prepare yourself and your group for the possibility.
  5. Choose the right tour: Look for tours that offer guarantees for another excursion if no sightings occur.
  6. Enjoy the experience: Have fun and appreciate the excitement of being on the water, regardless of whether you spot whales or dolphins.


Whale-watching cruises near NYC offer unforgettable experiences to witness majestic marine life in their natural habitat. From New Jersey to Massachusetts, these tours led by experts promise unique adventures, spotting whales, dolphins, and more. Dress appropriately, and bring motion sickness remedies and binoculars. Although sightings aren’t guaranteed, many tours offer future cruises if no marine mammals are spotted. Embark on this remarkable adventure and create lasting memories of these magnificent creatures.


Whale sightings in NYC are possible from April through November, with the peak season being from June to August. During this time, humpback, minke, fin, blue, and sperm whales can be observed as they feed along the continental shelf or pass through on their migrations. Thousands of whale watchers flock to these waters every year to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.

Yes, humpback whales are frequently spotted in New York, both near the shore during the summer and fall, and further offshore. These magnificent creatures are known for their bubble net feeding and breaching behaviors.

Yes, dolphins have been spotted in New York City, particularly in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, and bottlenose dolphins have become frequent visitors, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The best time for whale watching is during spring, specifically in March, April, and May. This season is ideal for spotting fin whales, and our experienced captains ensure a safe and respectful observation of these magnificent creatures.

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