Early Spring – Coastal Cruise
Gray Whale Watching and Dolphin Watching

February 18 to May 14 (7 days a week)
Three 2.5 hour coastal cruises daily – departing 9 am, 12 noon, & 3 pm.

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Spring/Summer – Islands Cruise
Dolphin, Humpback and early Blue Whale Watching

May 15 to Oct 1 (7 days a week)
One 4.5 hour trip per day – departing at 10 am – returning 2:30 pm.

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Condor Express Private Charter Kit

Create a Personal Whale Watching Excursion, Channel Island Kayaking Trip, Private Party or Corporate Event

The Condor Express is available for private charter. Download our handy guide to creating a special and very memorable experience for your group or business.

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Welcome to Condor Express Whale Watching

Voted best whale watching in Santa Barbara every year since 1979!

There is no better way to see marine wildlife in Southern California than to see it in the ocean from our spectacular boat! The eco-friendly Condor Express gives you a unique opportunity to see Southern California marine wildlife from a completely different angle. Since 1973 the Condor and more recently the Condor Express has been a part of the Santa Barbara waterfront cruising the Santa Barbara Channel. We offer a rare opportunity to have an experience you will never forget. We offer:

  • Whale Watching
  • Sunset Cruise
  • Dinner Cruise
  • Wedding Parties
  • Private Corporate Charters

All aboard the Condor Express! Our experienced captains know just where to go to view all the sea life in their natural habitat. Whales, seals, a variety of birds and other marine animals are always around for viewing. Our crew and captain are ready and able to provide you with an exceptional whale watching experience.

The Boat

The Condor Express is a nicely appointed vessel that offers plenty of elbow room for all our guests. The beautiful teak cabin has room for 68 seated guests for dinner. The ample sun deck and raised bow provide great viewing stations for getting up close and personal with marine life.

We are US Coast Guard certified to carry up to 127 passengers. Our low emissions, 740 horsepower engines (4 in all) gives us the power to cruise at 28 knots. Our specially crafted hull allows a nice stable ride and cuts through the waves with ease.

Take a Ride

Get to the Channel Islands up to 3 times faster than you can on other charter and see the wonderful marine wildlife in their natural habitat on the Condor Express. Let our experienced crew help you have the experience of a lifetime. We offer a unique combination of safety, speed and an exceptional experienced crew. Contact us to learn more about excursions!

Whale Watching

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Humpback Whale Watching

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Private Party Charters

Whale Watching California, Santa BarbaraLearn More

The Santa Barbara Channel

Our nutrient-rich cruising grounds.

The Santa Barbara Channel is home to over 27 different species of whales and dolphins that visit throughout the year. It is the prime northern feeding grounds for blue whales and humpback whales from May through November. The California gray whale herd passes by on both their southern and northern migration. Come out to enjoy and see these wonderful whales any time of the year. Our guests come from all over the world to enjoy whale watching California style year round and the wonder and beauty of the Santa Barbara Channel — come join the excitement!

Santa Barbara Weather
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

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Our Experienced Condor Express Crew

Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Captain Dave



Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Captain Eric



Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Tasha Cafe Manager



Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Auggie Deckhand



Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Steve Deckhand



Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Bob Perry Photographer



In addition to the expert crew on the Condor Express, Channel Islands Naturalist Corps volunteers and representatives from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park are usually on board and available to answer your questions.

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Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Condor Express

Condor Express Whale Watching Boat – Specially designed for safety around wildlife.

The Condor Express is an eco-friendly, 75’, quad-jet catamaran that has an extremely stable and comfortable ride. This state-of-the-art vessel uses water jet propulsion and was specially designed for allowing ocean mammals to visit the boat up close without endangering them with a spinning propeller. Because of it’s design and speed, we get to the wildlife quickly, sit quietly, allowing whales and other sea life to get as close as they like.

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Condor Express Whale Watching Seasons

Welcome to whale watching California style in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. Condor Express Whale Watching is the premier Whale Watching and Charter Cruise venue along the coast of Southern California. We are one of the few whale watching companies to offer year round whale watching and a whale watch guarantee. Condor Express Whale Watching offers a variety of spectacular excursions in the Santa Barbara Channel including whale watching, pelagic birding, wedding cruises, dinner cruises, private parties and corporate events.

Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Winter Island Cruise

Islands Cruise

Gray Whale Watching
Dolphin Watching

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Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Early Spring Coastal Cruise

Early Spring
Coastal Cruise

Gray Whales, possible Humpback Whales and Dolphin Watching

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Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Spring/Summer Island Cruise

Islands Cruise

Dolphin, Humpback Whale Watching and Early Blue Whale Watching

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Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara Fall Islands Cruise

Islands Cruise

Dolphin, Humpbacks, Blue Whales, Southbound Gray Whale Watching

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Photos Courtesy of Bob Perry at condorexpressphotos.com

Go to Condor Express Photos