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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).
• Our boat will be limited to 50% capacity.
• 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

Come aboard and enjoy the best of Broadway on a smooth Saturday evening cruise aboard the Condor Express. 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!

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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
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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

Lisa Marshall Torres
Lisa Marshall Torres
04:11 15 Jun 21
Great for whale watching, we saw mama whales and baby calves, thousands of dolphins, sea lions tons of birds. Feeding frenzy! The breakfast burrito is so good! Lots of food and drink options as well and you can order as soon as you get onboard so don’t worry about breakfast before your trip.
Friendly staff. They mostly stay out looking for sealife so if you are looking to go to the Channel Islands this isn’t the boat trip for you. Bet definitely a good day on the water! Seasick advice! You can’t fix it once you have it while still onboard! Trust me!! Please take seasick meds!! So many people get sick. We took the meds and no problem at all! Have to take it an hour before you get on and if you are super sensitive take another after 2 hours, also drink coffee not too much water until after you have been out on the water for awhile. Then add in sparkling water.
Roxanne N.
Roxanne N.
00:58 07 Jun 21
I always thought that it would be hit or miss in whale watching. We did see several humpbacks and dozens of sea lions. The sight of wildlife always excites...
Prasenjit Das
Prasenjit Das
22:48 05 Jun 21
June 5th 2021 : We are so happy to watch fantastic view of Whales.
J S.
J S.
20:40 02 Jun 21
We've done this twice now and no signs of stopping. A wonderful experience. Pro tip - don't eat breakfast til you get your sea legs - sea sickness is real...
Eric Ryanen
Eric Ryanen
22:38 30 May 21
Memorial day weekend saw all the humpback whales one could wish to see plus two meg-pods of common dolphin and first finback of the season. I'll be back later to see blue whales. Food and liquor for purchase on board, staff including naturalist were aces.
Tamera Cox
Tamera Cox
00:24 24 May 21
The cruise is about 2 and a half hoursThere is a bar aboard along with hot/cold foodsWe seen a pod of dolphins, a few jellyfish, sea lions, and 2 male humpback whales along with a mother and its young.
Laura Kaspar
Laura Kaspar
20:37 17 May 21
Awesome trip. Lots of activity. The most I’ve ever seen!!
Abdelfattah Omar
Abdelfattah Omar
21:37 11 May 21
Really great experience. We actually got to see some Humpback Whales and also Dolphins and Seals.
Lorenzo Warfel
Lorenzo Warfel
03:28 11 May 21
My mom and I took a trip on the Condor for whale watching and the experience was great! It was supposed to be a 90 min trip on the Condor catamaran but it ended up being a little over two hours! The crew was super professional and was so intent in finding the whales for us to see that they decided to extend the trip! We found over 6+ whales! The catamaran was surrounded by whales, sea lions and birds! It was fantastic! I definitely would recommend this whale watching company!!

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

Knoweldgeable 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