While we’re partial to a day relaxing on our beautiful sandy beaches, our more adventurous guests may enjoy a trip out into the Atlantic for a chance to see one of Maine’s most spectacular attractions: whales. Whale watching in Maine is a must for many visitors, and a whale sighting could amaze even the most stubborn teenager. Whales love using Maine’s waters as a summer playground, and some wonderful whale watching cruises in southern Maine.
Maine, like all of New England’s coastal regions, has a long reputation as a fantastic fishery. But people aren’t the only ones trying to catch their dinner in Maine’s waters. During the warmer months many species of whales migrate into the area for a chance to fill their bellies, raise their young and enjoy the warm water. That makes spring and summer the perfect time to go whale watching in Maine, especially in the Ogunquit area.
Some of the more common whales that you can see off the Maine coast include humpback, minke, pilot and the huge finback. Many humpbacks return to the area year after year, making them a kind of local whale celebrities. Occasionally watchers will also spot orcas, right whales and sperm whales moving through the Gulf of Maine.
To see these majestic visitors to the Maine coast, many will arm themselves with binoculars and a bagged lunch, then head out on the seaside trails for a chance to catch a glimpse. Whales often venture close to the shore in an effort to catch fish fleeing to the shallows, so there’s a pretty good chance you’ll see some if you head to the local land-watching hotspots.
However, for a truly amazing experience with whale watching in Maine, you’ll have to head out to sea. Don’t worry – Moby Dick this is not. Whale watching tours are exhilarating, but they aren’t dangerous (unless you are prone to seasickness, in which case it’s a good idea to plan ahead and bring some Dramamine). And luckily for Ogunquit whale enthusiasts, there are a number of excellent whale watching tours near our Ogunquit family hotel.
In nearby Kennebunkport, you’ll find the Nick’s Chance Whale Watch Tour, managed by First Chance Whalewatch. This 4 ½ hour tour will take you right out into the summer feeding grounds for your best chance to see many of the common whale species. Because the tour is run on of one of the newest vessels in the New England fleet, you’ll have modern amenities and comforts — think snack bar — at your disposal through the whole tour. A “colorful” crew promises to entertain and inform with expert knowledge.
Another whale watching option lies In Portland, where you can embark aboard the Odyssey Whale Watch. The tour goes 20 miles out into Casco Bay, and seafarers will have you a chance to see whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and any number of seabirds flying over the feeding grounds. You’ll also get some local history and scenery as you float outside of Portland. Once your feet touch land again, you’ll be in prime position to extend your day with a refreshing tour of Portland’s breweries before heading back to Ogunquit and The Dunes.