An Expert Guide to Whale Watching on Cape | Captain Freeman Inn

Whale watching on Cape Cod

Guess what? It’s whale watching time on Cape Cod and while our weather may be still a little cold- OK let’s say a lot cold for this time of year,  our whale friends are definitely here and the whale watching tours have opened for the season.

I was tickled to learn from guests who went on a tour yesterday afternoon that they saw the large Humpback whales, some rare Right whales plus lots of dolphins.

whales up close

And so you might ask – what do I need to know about the Whale Watch season on Cape Cod? Look no further- our Expert Guide has all the answers to make for that perfect Cape Cod Whale Watching Adventure while staying at the Captain Freeman Inn.


  • Where is the best place to see whales on Cape Cod? While there are several locations that do tours, we feel the Dolphin Fleet out of P’Town is  the absolute best way to see these magnificent creatures, as they too, summer on Cape Cod. We recommend to our guests that they plan a complete day in P’Town, to not only whale watch, but also take advantage of the many things offered in this quaint seaside town such as great art, biking, delicious food, hiking, lighthouses- just to name a few.
Donna and Harrison looking for whales

Last spring we heard that the whales could be seen from RacePoint beach. We had a wonderful afternoon watching them with our binoculars, and Byron got some great shots with his camera.


  • When is the whale watching season on Cape Cod? The season runs from mid April through October with the best whale watching seen in June, July, August and September. During the summer months, the Humpbacks are here, along with Finbacks, Minkes, and their colorful “cousins” the Atlantic White-sided dolphin. Interesting fact- the whales come to feed on the Stellwagon Bank which is loaded with plankton, their major food. During the winter months they travel south but do not eat anything all winter. It’s no wonder they are leaping for joy when they reach Cape Cod:)
  • What should I bring for my whale watching tour? We always tell our guests to bring layers of clothing since it may be colder on the water, sunscreen, water, sunglasses and snacks if you don’t want to purchase food from the boat snack bar. Sunscreen is very important along with a sun hat. It’s easy to get burned during your 4 + hour trip when you are out in the sun watching the whales- time flies by.
  • Will we always see whale? Sightings are very reliable all season long as there are so many whales to see as they  gather around the Stellwagon Bank to feed. The Dolphin Fleet offers a full refund if you don’t see a whale but during my 14 plus years of inn keeping,  I never heard of a refund.  The question is usually how many different kinds of whales did you see?
  • What is the best weather for whale watching? We like to recommend that guests plan on whale watching when the swells are 2 feet or less. It’s always best to listen to the folks at the Dolphin Fleet. During the summer months we call them frequently, and they always welcome our guests changing their reservations to good weather days. It’s also important to note that weather around the inn could be quite different from the offshore weather forecast. We always listen to the professionals.
  • Will you see whales when it’s raining?  Rainy days can sometimes be the best for whale sightings. They still swim, feed and play, even when it’s raining! Always smart to pack a hooded rain slicker, and you’ll be all set to head out on deck to see the whales up close.
  • What will I learn on the tour? We especially love to recommend the Dolphin Fleet because of the experienced naturalists that are always on board. Dr. Carole Carlson, a naturalist on the Dolphin Fleet since 1979, and a world-authority on humpback whales and whale watching continues to direct the research and education programs. During your tour you will learn  about the marine ecosystem of Cape Cod and Massachusetts Bays and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. You will not only learn about whales and dolphins but also about the birds, fish, and plankton that all make up the intricate web of life we know as the Open Ocean.
Fresh Lobster form the Lobster Pot Restaurant
  • How long will the tour take? Most tours last between 4-5 hours leaving you plenty of time to explore P’Tow and have lunch at our favorite seafood restaurant- the Lobster Pot.
  • Where should we park and how much time should we allow to get there?  We like to recommend that you park in the Pilgrim Monument parking lot. It’s just a short stroll to the pier, and it’s always nice to look up and see where your car is:) It’s normally a 45 minute drive to P’Town- but given summer traffic we recommend allowing 2 hours to drive, park your car and board the boat.
  • Where should we get tickets? We purchase bulk tickets from the Dolphin Fleet and pass on that savings to you. We can also call and make your reservations ahead of time.
Captain Freeman pool

After a fun-filled day of whale watching,  make your way back to the Captain Freeman Inn to relax by the pool and enjoy our delicious complimentary afternoon tea.

Our guests love our Brewster location as we are central to everything Cape Cod has to offer including great beaches, fine dining and whale watching. Consider adding our whale watching package to your stay which includes everything you’ll need for a comfortable and exciting excursion.

The Captain Freeman Inn- voted best inn on Cape Cod is the perfect place to stay for your whale watching adventure. We have so many other things to recommend for your Cape Cod getaway. We look forward to hosting you for that perfect Cape Cod getaway.

For more details about these mammoth creatures check out a previous blog on Cape Cod Whales.






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