Local Montauk Whale Watching 2022
Our 27th year with Viking Fleet of Montauk, NY
By: A. H. Kopelman, Ph.D.
see our 2022 Naturalist Blog below)
Join the crew with over 34 years of whale watching experience. Come away with great memories, great photos and videos, and an education about whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and marine life that is second-to-none.
Please note that the Viking Fleet supports CRESLI's work through in-kind donations of providing the vessel and vessel crew, and some funds per trip. We are eternally grateful to the Viking Fleet for our decades of collaboration
- The Viking Fleet and CRESLI are offering special family friendly marine cruises focusing on the sights of the ocean! Enjoy a day on the water with your family looking for whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sea birds and sunfish. Along the way you can view the Montauk lighthouse and all the landmarks of the east end.
- A qualified naturalist / marine biologist will narrate the tour and answer all of your questions!
- The Viking boats are equipped with clean restrooms, comfortable seating and full galleys onboard. We recommend reservations. You can either do so by phone (631-668-5700) or https://vikingfleet.com/activities/whale-watching/
- The trips will departF the dock at 2:00 PM and return at 7:00 PM
The fare for these trips is $80 for adults, $50 for children 5-12y/o, FREE for Children 4 and under
Whether our trips take place are dependent upon weather and sea conditions. Be sure to check the Marine Forecast for the waters around Montauk
View trips photos "Best of the 2021 CRESLI Whale Watch Season" photos.
All photo purchases help support our work.
Sunday July 3, 2022
One of the best trips in 10 years
The Viking Fleet and CRESLI began our 27th consecutive season of whale watching trips with amazing encounters with 8 fin whales, 1 humpback (back for its 3rd time in the past 4 years), 2 groups of about 30 short-beaked common dolphins, and a large and diverse array of pelagic birds. The whales, dolphins, and birds were feeding on dense prey patches at 125-150 feet down. What a way to start!!
Sunday, July 10, 2022
Another excellent day on the Viking Starship.
We started off with repoprts of dolphins, and we did find them, and kept finding them over the course of our trip, approximately 300 in total, including some newborn calves. We also found a loggerhead sea turtle and had a brief encounter with a minke whale
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Another excellent day on the water with 120 short-beaked common dolphins and loads of pelagic birds.
It was a beautiful afternoon on the Viking Starship. We had reports of whales nearshore and searched without success, we headed offshore and while we encountered pelagic birds, Portuguese Man-o-Wars, and too many balloons. It wasn't until we got back to the area we'd searched last Wednesday and found about 120 short-beaked common dolphins and hundreds of shearwaters, a handful of Wilson's storm petrels, and an immature Northern gannet. The dolphins, came over and swam alongside, we were barely moving and had amazing views.
Sunday, July 17, 2022
This was one of our best local whale watch trips of the past 10 years!!
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the trip. Suffice it to say that for most, it was the trip of a lifetime! We were surrounded by whales for a radius of several miles and we often saw the classic “picket fence” of whales blows that we would see on our offshore trips to the Great South Channel. Let’s let the number do the “talking.”
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Another multi-species trip!
No better way to beat the heat than with a whale watch! Comfortable breezes at sea were joined by dozens of small pods of short-beaked common dolphins throughout the voyage (200-250 total), including several mother/calf pairs and juveniles. Passengers listening closely at the bow could hear their clicks and whistles as the dolphins swam alongside the vessel. A mako shark sighting preceded that of a hammerhead to the delight of those aboard. One minke whale with a fishy-smelling exhalation gave new meaning to the term "stinky minke" (normally referring to their lack of a visible spray/blow and subsequent difficulty in spotting) as it surfaced close by. Two more minkes and a pair of finback whales were also observed. Pelagic bird sightings included (approximately) 120 Great Shearwaters, 40-50 Cory's Shearwaters, 4 Manx Shearwaters, 1 immature Northern Gannet, and 120-150 Wilson's Storm Petrels, half of which occurred in one large, beautiful flock. Escape the heat with us this Sunday as we sail along cool waters and explore more of this amazing coastal ecosystem
Sunday, July 24, 2022
Dolphins, pelagic birds, sharks, and a heartbreaking sight: a very ill humpback whale
It's a heat wave, but you can keep the heat and I'll take the wave. There are few better ways to beat the heat than with a whale watch! The high heat and humidity on land gave way to cool offshore breezes. We were treated to early views of pelagic shearwaters, which continued throughout the trip. The waters were choppy, so we decided to change direction to minimize wind and maximize sightings. As if on cue, we immediately stumbled upon a hammerhead drifting next to our vessel. Shortly after, a small group of short-beaked common dolphins spent time near our bow before we headed off in search of larger residents. Although the wind quickly dissipates the blow from whales, a spout was sighted and investigated. Upon arrival, we found a humpback whale very different from ones typically sighted. This individual was reddish/brown in appearance and was drifting slowly at and just beneath the surface. Upon further inspection using zoomed-in photographs taken of the individual, the humpback appears to be infested with cyamids, tiny crustaceans found only on the bodies of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). Since this is an indication of distress, the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) was immediately notified. AMCS reported the whale and its location to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the agency responsible for protecting whales under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. Although humpback whales in the northwest Atlantic are no longer considered endangered thanks to decades of conservation efforts, they are subject to entanglement with fishing line and gear which can severely weaken and/or drown the individual. NOAA and AMCS will continue to monitor this situation. As we returned home, a small group of bottlenose dolphins were spotted close to shore, wrapping up another successful trip. We sail every Wed and Sun until Labor Day; book your trip today!
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
It just keeps getting better and better! 5 species of cetaceans and 6 species of pelagic girds on this trip
Twenty minutes from the Lighthouse and about 4 miles away we found 80-100 inshore bottlenose dolphins chasing bait at the surface and diving to 75 feet for bait at the sea floor. We headed on our way and found our first whales about an hour later. We saw 7 different humpback whales blow at the same time! WOW! It gets better – there were two mom/calf humpback pairs including Rune and her 2022 calf. No other humpback researchers knew that she had a calf until we found with her! We have yet to ID the 2nd mom. The humpbacks were breaching, bubble feeding, open mouth feeding, flipper slapping! WOW! We also had at least 4 finback whales – 2 mom/calf pairs. Oh, let’s not forget about 60 short-beaked common dolphins. Another spectacular trip and probably the best yet.
Sunday, July 31, 2022
An absolutely majestic day aboard the Viking Starship today.
We set sail under clear skies, calm seas, and unlimited visibility. An encounter with a hammerhead shark commenced our adventure, staying near (and long) enough at the surface for all to get a good look. Soon after, a small group of inshore bottlenose dolphins were spotted and enjoyed. As we searched for whales, several large pods of short-beaked common dolphins charged toward and surrounded the boat. A nursery made up of a dozen mother/calf pairs accompanied the large group which swam near, around, and beneath our vessel. A second hammerhead shark was spotted close by while a blow belonging to a humpback whale was observed in the distance. The whale began a series of tail slaps revealing the unique ‘snow white’ undersides of its flukes, which can be used to identify the individual. No sooner than we decide to move on in search of other cetaceans does the whale breach clear out of the water and demand our attention a bit longer. A third hammerhead is spotted and the large pod of common dolphin returns, encircling our boat (and the whale) with sightings in literally every direction. What a great day!
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Log another successful whale watch in the books; we are 9 for 9!
Yesterday, we sailed under near-perfect conditions and spotted our first of four minke whales. While waiting for the minkes to resurface, we got a very nice look at a hammerhead shark swimming along the surface. This was the first of several sharks, two of which were confirmed as hammerheads. While searching for more whales, we passed a sea turtle and scores of pelagic birds. A breach announced the presence of our first humpback, a juvenile we previously encountered on Sunday’s trip. We then spent time with a second humpback; a curious juvenile who made viewing from the vessel easy and entertaining. We then found two more humpbacks, with blows from other whales observed in the distance. It was another great trip during what has turned out to be an amazing season. We sail every Wednesday and Sunday until Labor Day – come join us!
Sunday, August 7, 2022
Well, we found them again bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, sea turtle, and hammerhead shark
It was a bouncy ride for our first hours, but we enjoyed being away from the heat and being out on the ocean looking for wildlife. Pelagic birds flew around us most of the trip (Cory's, Scopoli's, and Great Shearwaters). We found what was most likely a loggerhead sea turtle, but never had great looks at it. Right after the turtle, we found the first of several small pods of inshore bottlenose dolphins feeding on prey at the surface and continued to search for whales. A beautiful smooth hammerhead shark swam on our starboard side just feet away from us. We had amazing views. Ultimately a humpback breached in the distance ahead of us. It was one of the humpbacks we'd seen on our last trip. We began to see more and more humpbacks around us, and were ready to go to them. Unfortunately, a passenger experienced a serious medical issue and we had to head to the dock and meet EMT's. As much as we wanted to see more whales, the health and safety of people onboard take precedence. As we headed towards the Lighthouse, dolphins came swimming towards us from all over.
We'll be back out there on Wednesday.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
A truly HOLY S***T DAY! 3 species of cetaceans and hundreds of pelagic birds feeding on sand eels!
Breaching, open-mouth feeding, flipper slapping, mom/calf pairs, associated groups – you name the humpback behavior, we saw it. At one point, whales, pelagic birds and large striped bass were feeding together on the abundance of prey. It might be easier to let the photos and videos speak for themselves. Our senior scientist/naturalist/educator, Dr. Artie Kopelman, was on-board, and 2 days later is still reviewing the over 700 photos and videos. They will be posted soon along with the ID’s of the whales.
Sunday, August 14, 2022
It keeps getting better!!
View a slideshow from 8/14/22 below
CRESLI is a non-profit organization as defined in section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All Contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law. A copy of the last financial report filed with the Department of State may be obtained by writing to NYS Dept. of State, Office of Charities Registration, Albany, NY 12231