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JOIN US FOR A SPECIAL

ALL-DAY WHALE WATCH TRIP

Join us on Saturday, September 26th as we explore the bountiful Santa Barbara channel in search of marine life of all sorts. Multiple species of both baleen and toothed whales frequent the channel this time of year. Blue, humpback, fin, and minke whales show us the great diversity found in the rorqual family. Oceanic dolphins like bottlenose, Risso's, and common dolphin are frequent visitors on our tours. Even their larger orca cousins can be seen this time of year! (Although still exceedingly rare) - this rounds out our target species for this special trip. We have no particular destination in mind. We will go wherever the marine life takes us!

This trip departs at 8 am sharp. Please show up 30 minutes early to allow time to check in, board the boat, and grab some breakfast at our on board Condor Cafe. Keep in mind we plan on returning around 4 pm, but these longer trips may be extended if something extra special is found.

After the success and happiness expressed by our passengers on our last 8 hour trip, we couldn't help but put another one in the books! Reserve your spot today.

When: Saturday, September 26, 2020, departs at 8am, returns approximately 4pm.
Departure: Sea Landing dock at the Santa Barbara Harbor.
Cost: $199 all passengers.
Reservations: Call 805-882-0088 or 1-888-779-4253 or online using the Book Now button.

Book Now
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Condor Express
Year Round Whale Watching

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.

COVID-19 GUIDELINES

We've Been Certified By Santa Barbara County Public Health To Reopen OUR BUSINESS.

PLEASE BE ADVISED YOUR HEALTH IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY

Whale Watching Safely Open

We are taking the following steps to ensure a safe and healthy experience for all our passengers and crew.
• Check in at Sea Landing will begin 30 minutes before cruise begins.
• Boarding will begin 15 minutes before departure.
• Congregating at the dock is not allowed. Please enjoy our beautiful beach while waiting to board.
• Masks are required to be worn by all guests during cruise.
• Our boat will be sanitized prior to, during, and between cruises.
• If you are not feeling well or do not feel comfortable riding our boat, please avoid this activity.
• We will do our best to practice and encourage social distancing between individuals and groups (does not apply to families).
• The cruise schedule is subject to change based on minimum fare, weather, and social distancing requirements.

WE APPRECIATE YOUR COOPERATION DURING THIS TIME

notice: BOAT MAINTENANCE CONTINUES

whale watching TRIPS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON

On November 30, 2020 our incredible boat, the Condor Express, began a period of extended maintenance. To make our spectacular whale watching boat even more eco-friendly, we are upgrading the engines. Our new motors will be more fuel efficient and will significantly reduce emissions into the atmosphere.  As much as we want to be with you and share the wonder and beauty of ocean wildlife, it's important to make this upgrade. We appreciate your understanding as we make our magnificent whale watching boat even better. 

BROADWAY MUSICAL Cruise

Join Us For A Smooth Saturday Evening Cruise

Our on deck performers Deborah Bertling and Zach Mendez will be performing duets and solos while accompanied by pianist Renee Hamaty. Broadway musical selections may include the best of Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, My Fair Lady, Chess, Carousel and many more!

This classic cruise includes complimentary appetizers, with a no host bar - don’t miss it!

Saturday, September 18, 2021, 5:00 - 7:00 pm.

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SPRING/ Summer
Islands Cruise

Dolphin, Humpback, Blue, AND MINKE Whale Watching

4.5 HOUR ISLAND WHALE WATCH

May 10 to September 30
7 days a week
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Fall Islands Cruise

Dolphin, Humpback, Blue,  Gray, and minke Whale Watching

4.5 HOUR ISLAND WHALE WATCH

October 1 to December 31
No Cruises Monday or Tuesday
(except Dec 31)
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EARLY Spring 
Coastal Cruise

Gray Whale, possible Humpback, and Dolphin Watching

2.5 HOUR COASTAL WHALE WATCH

February 15 to May 9 
7 days a week
Book Now
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Winter Islands Cruise

Gray Whale
and Dolphin Watching

4.5 HOUR ISLAND WHALE WATCH
SOUTHBOUND GRAY WHALE MIGRATION

January 1 to January 30
No Cruises Mondays or Tuesdays
Book Now
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WINTER
Coastal Cruise

Gray Whale, possible Humpback, and Dolphin Watching

4.5 HOUR COASTAL WHALE WATCH
SOUTHBOUND GRAY WHALE MIGRATION

January 31 to February 14 
No Cruises Mondays or Tuesdays
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Gift Cards

Give the unforgettable gift of an adventure on the sea to family and friends.

There is nothing like seeing, and feeling, nature on the ocean. The smell of fresh sea air combined with the beauty of nature all around you are a perfect backdrop for an ocean adventure. Birds fly past while you view the channel islands and the Santa Barbara coast from a whole different perspective. Large pods of dolphins and groups of sea lions frolic and swim within a few hundred feet of the boat. Whales swim up to the boat on their journey through the Santa Barbara Channel. Magic happens when they come up to the boat and greet another part of nature from their perspective. Give an experience of a lifetime to someone you care about and appreciate.

Gift cards are available to purchase for all our whale watching trips.

Purchase Gift Card

No Need To Pack Lunch

Offering Breakfast, Lunch, Beverages, & Full Bar
Condor, our on board galley (kitchen) offers hot or cold breakfasts, a variety of lunch selections and a full bar. Our galley staff aims to please, so don’t bother packing a lunch, we have it covered!
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Your Own Personal Adventure

The Condor Express is Available For Private Charter

Create a Personal Whale Watching Excursion, Channel Island Kayaking Trip, Private Dinner 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.

Download Private Charter Guide
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Welcome to
Condor Express
Whale Watching

Best Whale Watching Santa Barbara
Whale Watch Guarantee

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

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

There is no better way to see marine wildlife in Southern California than to see it on the ocean in 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:
  • Whale Watching
  • Sunset Cruises
  • Dinner Cruise Charters
  • Specialty Cruises
  • Wedding Parties
  • Private Corporate Charters

We offer a rare opportunity to have an experience you will never forget.

The 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 is specially designed to allow ocean mammals to get close to the boat without endangering them with a spinning propeller. Because of it’s design and speed, we get to the wildlife quickly, sit quietly, and allow whales and other sea life to get as close to the boat as they like.

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.

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Take A Ride

Get to the Channel Islands up to 3 times faster than you can on other charter boats 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.

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.

We offer a unique combination of safety, speed and an exceptional experienced crew. Contact us to learn more about excursions!

Get In Touch

People Love The Condor Express

Check Out These Reviews

Kelly Mceachern
Kelly Mceachern
04:49 29 Nov 21
Phenomenal experience. Bucket list type of stuff. Humpback season is spring to early winter. Still saw a few sightings early winter. Staff was great,friendly. Volunteers were informative. Saw literally thousands of dolphins. Insane, incredible experience I can't put into words! All those ripples are dolphins. They played by the boat for a solid thirty minutes. N woulda been worth it even if there were no whales but the whales are worth seeing too
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Ibrahim G Abubakar
00:28 06 Nov 21
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djevan 41598
djevan 41598
04:54 18 Oct 21
Planet Fitness is a great place for people who work overtime. Staff is very friendly. My friend Colin Allen is the GOAT of Planet Fitness.
Shay McWain
Shay McWain
20:45 17 Oct 21
This was an AMAZING experience! Highly recommend! They came so close we got sprayed today! The captain was so knowledgeable & did a fantastic job!
Jose Olvera
Jose Olvera
11:01 12 Oct 21
Twice out in two weeks time! Met scarlet, a humpback whale with ship propeller scars on her back. So sad to see, yet she came over close to our vessel. Thank you Condor Express, no propellers on CE!
The best experience ever,we love it.
the service from Condor express was amazing.
we we're lucky to see 7 whales.
we highly recommend to do the whale tour.
Mike Mogo
Mike Mogo
20:58 24 Sep 21
Great boat and crew. They put us right on top of the whales.
Samantha Balch
Samantha Balch
05:23 20 Sep 21
Had such a great time and experience!! The crew was fantastic and so helpful! They were on it and made sure all of us had an experience!
Scott Borden
Scott Borden
22:12 16 Sep 21
Really marvelous. Dolphins, sea lions, and whales. And sea birds galore. The crew is knowledgeable and helpful. Food service was pretty good, but not the star of the show. I'd recommend the experience to anyone.
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Whale Watching

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Humpback Whale Watching

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Whale Watching California, Santa Barbara

Boat Phototour®

Photo Tour

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!
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Our Experienced Condor Express Crew

Knowledgeable and Well-trained

Dave

Captain
Colton

Colton

Captain
Devin

Devin

Deckhand
Tasha

Kelly

Crew
Jill

Adam

Crew
Jill

Austin

Crew
Bob

Bob

Crew
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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Sea Landing Check-In