Cape Ann Whale Watch in Gloucester MA is the best spot in New England for whale watching.

Cape Ann Whale Watch Gloucester MA: 2023 Guide

Planning to visit Cape Ann Whale Watch in Gloucester, Massachusetts?

Cape Ann Whale Watch is a highly-reviewed tour company operating for over 35 years!

Cape Ann Whale Watch has provided Massachusetts residents and visitors with an unforgettable whale viewing experience since 1979. With their extensive knowledge of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Ann Whale Watching captain and crew will guide you on a close tour of many local species of whales. Located in Gloucester, MA, the Cape Ann Whale Watch is located in one of the oldest seaports in New England dating back to 1623.

I’m a Massachusetts native and would highly recommend a trip to Cape Ann Whale Watch! Grab your binoculars and get ready for some world-class views of whales!

About Cape Ann Whale Watch

While there are many options to choose from for whale watching in Massachusetts, Cape Ann Whale Watch stands above the rest due to its fast boat, educational guides, and longstanding commitment to whale conservation.

Quick Facts

  • Tour Company: Cape Ann Whale Watch
  • Location and Parking: Free parking at 415 Main St., Gloucester, MA 01930, just 1/2 mile off Route 128N.
  • Tour Length: 3-4 hours roundtrip
  • Tour Cost: Adult (age 17-59) $60; a senior (age 60+) $55; a junior (age 4-16) $45 and a child (age 3 or younger) $10.
  • April-June Hours: From April 22nd through June 30th, trips leave on Saturday and Sunday at 8:30am and 1:30pm and Monday thru Friday at 10:00am only.
  • July-September Hours: During July 1st through September 4th (Labor Day), trips leave every day at 8:30am and 1:30pm. Late summer trips (September 5th through 30th) depart on Saturday & Sunday at 8:30am and 1:30pm, with Monday thru Friday featuring one trip only at 1:00pm.
  • October Hours: Lastly, during the fall season (October 1st through 29th), trips leave Saturday and Sunday at 8:30am and 1:30pm, with one trip only at 10:00am on Monday thru Friday.
Cape Ann Whale Watch has some of the best whale watches in New England.

What’s Included in the Cape Ann Whale Watch Tour

Cape Ann Whale Watch takes guests out to Stellwagen Bank, a marine preserve that is rated one of the Top 5 Whale Watching Destinations in the World.

Travel 12 miles off the shore to see Humpback Whales, Finbacks, Minke Whales, or dolphins. The captain and crew are highly experienced in marine biology and guarantee that you will see whales- or you will get to go again free until you do see whales!

Included in the tour ticket:

  • 3-4 Hour Guided Boatride, on Hurricane II, the fastest whale-watching vessel north of Boston
  • Educational guides
  • Spacious sundeck for 117, inside cabin area for 85
  • 4 on-boat bathrooms
  • Fully stocked cash-only galley with snacks and beverages (feel free to bring your own snacks)
  • Guarantee to see whales, or your next trip is free until you do see whales!

Not included:

  • $3 fuel surcharge that will be paid at the time of check-in
  • Transportation to/from Cape Ann Whale Watch

Click here and book your tour on the Cape Ann Whale Watch in Gloucester Massachusetts! Tickets will sell out quickly!

What to expect at Cape Ann Whale Watch?

Cape Ann Whale Watch company also has the fastest boats around that allow for the majority of the visit to be spent with the whales instead of in transit.

The tours commonly spot at least 85 species of cetaceans in the waters off Cape Ann, including humpback whales, minke whales, northern right whales, pilot whales, sperm whales, sei whales, blue whales (the largest whale in the world), fin whales, Atlantic white-sided dolphins and harbor porpoises.

With polarized sunglasses and other gear like binoculars, you can get a great view of the many fascinating marine creatures. Occasional visitors include orcas, dolphins and even belugas.

Humpback Whale jumps out of water near Gloucester Massachusetts

Why you should choose Cape Ann Whale Watch?

Cape Ann Whale Watch also offers an educational experience that truly stands out among other whale-watching tours. Educational naturalist guides accompany passengers on their journey and provide information about the whales.

With 3-D models of the Stellwagen Bank, where whales commonly feed, and samples of whale baleen and teeth to demonstrate how different animals use these to feed, guests can deepen their understanding of the ocean’s wildlife. Additionally, passengers will be able to hear recordings of humpback whale songs.

Conservation and education are at the heart of Cape Ann Whale Watch. The dedicated team hopes that after the tours, passengers will understand the importance of protecting marine life. Cape Ann Whale Watch believes in making a difference and encourages everyone to make small changes in their lives to help protect these majestic creatures.

Click here and book your tour on the Cape Ann Whale Watch in Gloucester Massachusetts! Tickets will sell out quickly!

Tour Reviews and Feedback

Guests rave about their experiences with the Cape Ann Whale Watch! It is rated 5 stars on Viator and consistently reviews awards from Trip Advisor.

We had a great time whale watching in Gloucester! We saw several Humpback Mamas with their Calves, most were about 10 – 20 feet out from the boat. We had a total of 8 people and even though when we got on the boat we were a little concerned about seating we quickly realized it was easy to move about and get a great view. It was an experience we won’t forget. Probably our favorite thing we did in the area!“- Brooke C via Cape Ann Whale Watching tours on Viator

“Our group was lucky enough to see 6 humpback whales and several dolphins. It was truly magical to watch. The entire crew of the Hurricane II was amazing. It was a memorable Mother’s Day experience!”– Jeannette via Cape Ann Whale Watching tours on Viator

“Absolutely phenomenal. We spent 3 1/2 hours out on the boat and got to see whales as well as dolphins. Tour guide was fantastic as well as the accommodations on the vessel. Would definitely go back”– Matthew via Cape Ann Whale Watching tours on Viator

We had a wonderful day, the captain did an excellent job of ensuring that we saw whales. The narrator did an excellent job describing what we were seeing and the background of each whale. All in all, it was a perfect day, thank you for hiring such a respectful and efficient crew“.- Catherine via Cape Ann Whale Watching tours on Viator

Whale tail from Cape Ann Whale Watch

What to Bring on a Whale Watch?

  • Camera
  • Sweater or jacket even on a warm day. Temperatures are 10-20 degrees cooler out on the water and winds can make it quite chilly
  • Sneakers or comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses, recommend polarized to reduce glare and to see into the water
  • Hat and Sunscreen

Best time of year for whale watching in Gloucester

The best time to go whale watching in Gloucester is from April to October. These months have the most consistent sightings of North Atlantic right whales, humpback whales, finback whales, and minke whales.

Click here and book your tour on the Cape Ann Whale Watch in Gloucester Massachusetts! Tickets will sell out quickly!

Cape Ann Whale Watch FAQs

What do you wear to Cape Ann Whale Watch?

Wear comfortable shoes and a jacket (it is much cooler and windier out on the water). Remember to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.

What Time Is Best for Whale Watching?

The best time of day to watch whales is during the morning and early evening hours. This is when they’re most active, and you have better visibility due to less wind and fewer boats in the area. However, the team at Cape Ann Whale Watch says that they don’t see a huge difference in activity between their morning and afternoon tours.

While whales will come to the surface rain or shine, the best time is from early May through October. While mornings are generally less crowded, whale sightings do not seem to vary much between morning or afternoon trips. July, August and September tend to be the most consistently nice weather-wise in northeastern Massachusetts which is great for taking a boat out.

Cape Ann Whale Watch offers close up views of a variety of whale species.

How Often Do You See a Whale When Whale Watching?

Peak activity occurs between July and September when there are more opportunities for viewing these magnificent creatures.

Cape Ann Whale Watch is so confident in their ability to spot these gentle giants, they offer a guarantee – come again for free if you do not see a whale on your tour. The high success rate of 98% in the last 35 years is due to their local knowledge and expertise.

Do You Tip on a Whale Watch?

Tips are always appreciated.

Is Whale Watching Better in Gloucester or Boston?

Each location has its own unique features that make it special for whale watching. Gloucester is the closest to Stellwagen Bank, a popular spot for whales in New England waters, so you’re likely to have more luck with sightings there. Cape Cod and Boston also provide excellent opportunities for viewing whales, but they may be further away from the food sources which means longer times transporting to and from the site.

There is a benefit to going whale watching in Cape Ann in Gloucester over Boston or Cape Cod. Because Gloucester is farther north, the waters are much colder which makes them an ideal habitat for whales. This means that there is an abundance of whales and other marine life to be seen near Gloucester and the surrounding areas, making it one of the best places to go whale watching in the US.

Beyond Whale Watching: Gloucester and Boston

Make your trip to Gloucester worthwhile by exploring the historic town and the Massachusetts coast. Gloucester is known for its active harbor, whale watching, fresh-caught seafood, and beautiful beaches. An easy day trip from Boston or Portland Maine, be sure to put Gloucester as a must-stop on your New England itinerary for a boat ride, deep sea fishing, or whale watching.

Best places to stay in Gloucester

Trip to Boston and Salem from Gloucester

If you haven’t been to Boston before, absolutely take a day or so to explore Bean Town and all it has to offer, from cheering on the RedSox at Fenway or take a guided tour of the Freedom Trail and learn about Boston’s role in the Revolutionary War. Explore Boston’s historic cobblestone streets and check out a food tour in the Italian quarter. Lobster rolls anyone!?

Boston harbor

If you’re heading north from Boston, don’t miss the chance to stop by Salem. Here, you’ll find a blend of historical and spooky significance. Explore the haunting history of the 1692 Witch Trials at the Salem Witch Trial Memorial and the Old Burying Point Cemetery, where some of the victims were laid to rest. You can also book a walking tour or browse some of the intriguing shops focused on magic, witches, and monsters along the main walking street.

For more pop-culture activities, visit some of the Hocus Pocus film locations or take a ghost tour. Keep in mind that Salem can get crowded with tourists during Halloween. If witches and magic aren’t your thing, head over to the Peabody Essex Museum for a day of art, including a real ancient Chinese house reconstructed inside the museum.

Book your tours for Boston and Salem here:

Conclusion: Best Whale Watching in Massachusetts

Gloucester is the ideal spot for whale watching, with its vast waters and abundant marine life. It also boasts some of the best views of whales from shore or boat. With a coastline that stretches over 25 miles, Gloucester offers breathtaking ocean vistas and plenty of access to prime whale-watching spots.

The knowledgeable team at Cape Ann Whale Watch provides an unforgettable whale-watching experience, with their extensive expertise and passion for marine conservation. With deep knowledge of the area, they can ensure you have the best possible chance at catching a glimpse of these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. So, come join Cape Ann Whale Watch on your next whale-watching adventure!