Best Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours in New Jersey

Dolphin and Whale Watching in New Jersey

Your Guide to New Jersey's Best Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours - An exciting and fun experience for the entire family

During the past 7 - 10 years, humpback whales have returned to the waters off New Jersey in large numbers making whale watching tours an exciting and fun experience for the whole family.

New Jersey waters are a home for some number of humpback whales year-round since it doesn't get too cold here. So whales can be spotted in New Jersey at any time. However, due to the arrival of migrational whales and dolphins, the chances to spot cetaceans grow significantly larger during the spring and fall months.

Humpback whales are enormous creatures, reaching a length of up to 60 feet with adult females being larger than adult males. They are known for their haunting and melodic songs and for breaching the water with amazing acrobatic abilities.

According to Conserve Wildlife of NJ, during the winter they migrate to the warm waters closer to the Equator. During the summer, humpback whales will spend most of their time feeding and building-up fat in the colder waters of the North Atlantic. These fat stores will be necessary for the long migration to their winter breeding and calving grounds,where no feeding will take place for the entire winter.

However, litlle is known about their habitat off the coast of New Jersey. It has long been thought that humpbacks may only be using New Jersey waters as a migratory pathway between their summer feeding grounds in the north and their winter breeding grounds in the south.

New Jersey boat tour operators offer several types of dolphin and whale watching trips. Dolphin only tours are shorter and stay closer to shore, while whale tours are typically three hours and go farther out in the ocean up to 20 miles, compared with one mile for the dolphin-only trips.

Whales watching tours have had sightings as close to 100 feet from the boat

When making reservations, please call ahead to make sure space is available. Also check out the extra amenities offered by the tour operators. Many of the operators offer free food during tours and have cash bars on board.

Central Jersey Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruises

The Royal Miss Belmar
905 Route 35
Belmar, NJ
(732) 681-6866
Sails from The Belmar Marina
They offer a a 3 hour exploration adventure in search of whales. There is an experienced naturalist on-board to explain everything that you are seeing.
They usually go along the coast towards Sandy Hook, with New York City in the background. Boat holds 100 people with 2 levels, is air conditioned, and sell soda, water, and snacks.

Ocean Explorer
900 River Road
Belmar, NJ 07719
Tours are conducted aboard the Sea Eagle vessel, the very same boat that was featured in movie 1989 James Bond film, "License to Kill"!
The three-hour whale watching tour will also likely view sightings various marine life including sea turtles and dolphins.

Queen Mary
Docked at Spike's Fishery
415 Broadway
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
(732) 899-3766
Offers 3 hour afternoon whale and dolphin watching cruises departing at 4PM
This trip is geared toward Families, many who have never cruised on the ocean before! It's a wonderful way to introduce young and old to the thrill of the sea.


Seastreak Ferry Terminal at Highlands
326 Shore Drive
Highlands, NJ 
Offers 3 hour whale watching cruises from May 1st to end of November. Their Whale Watching Cruise often spots humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, pelagic birds, sea turtles, and many other species.

South Jersey Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruises

Atlantic City Cruises
Historic Gardner's Basin
800 N. New Hampshire Avenue
Atlantic City, NJ
Dolphins Only
Departs from from may to mid October
A great family activity. Expect to see leaping, frolicking dolphins as we head into the open ocean in search of marine life. A highly educational commentary provided by an on board marine naturalist ensures your trip will indeed be one to remember.

Dolphin Nature Cruise
Miss Avalon
14th & Ocean Drive
Avalon, NJ
(609) 967 7455
Evening cruise from late June to early September
This cruise is timed to coincide with active flight and feeding times. View dolphins and seabirds. Identify osprey, American oystercatchers, great and snowy egrets. Learn the difference between great blue, little blue, tri-colored, green, and black crowned night herons.

The Starlight fleet
Atlantic Star
Wildwood Crest
6200 Park Boulevard (Sweet Briar & Park Boulevard)
Wildwood Crest NJ
(609) 729-7776
Offers Dolphin Watching Tours
A two-hour dolphin watch cruises around the Cape May island.
Led by an experienced marine biologist and educator, this trip gives you access to touch tanks so everyone will experience marine life with hands-on learning.

Big Blue Sightseer Cruiser
4500 Park Boulevard
Wildwood, NJ
(609) 522-291
Whale and Dolphin Cruise Daily
Offer three daily cruises to choose from.
Cruises are narrated by a Marine Biologist.
2 1/2 hour whale watching cruises From May until late September

The Cape May Whale Watcher
1286 Wilson Drive
Cape May, NJ
(609) 898-0055
They offer a three hour cruise
Their trip schedule focuses on the middle part of the day that provides the best conditions for spotting whales.
Junior Rates are for youngsters age 7 - 12, One child (Age 6 and under) with each paid adult.
In the event that no Marine Mammals are sighted, they offer another trip

Cruises take you into the Delaware Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the sightings occur within the Delaware Bay or within ten miles of land. This allows for an awesome offshore experience for the family and something to do with the kids as well as seasoned adventurers and seafarers. The excursion is a fully narrated history and nature cruise by experienced, licensed Captains and Naturalists.
The Cape May Whale Watcher is not a fishing boat. Also, unlike other boats in the area, she is certified to carry up to 405 passengers,

Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center
1121 Rt. 109
Cape May, NJ
They offer two whale & dolphin watching trips leaving at 10 am & 1pm.
The M/V American Star, 100 ft long boat with a maximum limit of 150 passengers, is set up for non-obtrusive, up close viewing of whales and dolphins. They partner with Whale SENSE as well as the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society to continue our research and to promote awareness of protecting whales, dolphins, porpoises, and their environment.
Children under 6 - FREE with paid adult.