Whale Watching California Style
Welcome to the Condor Express!
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.
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. Our cruising ground includes the nutrient rich waters around Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands, generally considered to contain one of the world’s greatest variety of marine mammals.
The Santa Barbara Channel is home to over 27 different species of whales and dolphins that visit throughout the year, and it’s 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 & Northern migration. Come out to enjoy & see these wonderful whales any time of the year. Our guests come from all over the world to enjoy whale watching year round and the wonder and beauty of the Santa Barbara Channel — come join the excitement!
The Condor Express is a 72’ state of the art, high-speed catamaran. It can carry over 120 passengers with both in cabin and upper deck seating and offers a 360˚ view of your surroundings. In addition to the expert crew on the Condor Express, Channel Islands Naturalist Corps volunteers, representatives from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park are usually on board and available to answer your questions.
For over 30 years, the Condor, and more recently, the Condor Express have been a part of the Santa Barbara waterfront. Captain Fred Benko started Sea Landing in March of 1973 as a charter service offering sport fishing, diving, harbor cruises, and limited whale watching. At that time the Pacific Gray Whale population was very endangered and estimated to be only 8,300 animals. Fortunately, with time, this number grew and by 1985 the herd was over 15,000 individuals. It was about that time, that the Condor began offering whale watching full time. Cruises aboard the Condor were called Condor Cruises for many years.