June 24, 2015
By Amber Nolan
During the spring and summer months, many species of whales make the northern waters in Alaska, the Arctic, Canada, and New England their homes. Several cruise ships schedule dedicated whale-watching voyages that follow this migration. These adventurous itineraries are available on a range of vessels from expedition ships designed to ply icy waters to schooners and small, mainstream cruise ships. Here are some of the best northern, whale-watching summer cruises as well as an option in southern waters during the cooler months.
Sea of Cortez with AdventureSmith Explorations
Set sail on the Westward, an eight-passenger ship built in 1924 and meticulously restored (it is even listed with the U.S. National Register of Historic Places). The cruise expedition includes time in San Ignacio or Bahia Magdalena before embarkation, where there are excellent opportunities for spotting gray whales.
Passengers will then go island hopping in the Sea of Cortez in what is often called the “Blue Triangle,” a popular area for sperm whales. There’s also snorkeling in Bahia San Gabriel, kayaking through the mangrove labyrinths at Isla San Jose, and evenings spent anchoring in quiet coves free from light pollution. Sailing dates range from November through March.