Whales and seals on Cape Cod

Why Cape Cod is the absolute best place to see whales up close

Humpback Whale's Tail
Whale watching on Cape Cod

The Best Place to see Whales

Guest’s frequently ask us – “will we see whales during our whale-watching adventure?” In our 17 years of being innkeepers, we have helped 100’s of  guests set up their tours and have never had one comment that they did not see whales during their adventure. The big question is how many did you see and what other marine life did you encounter?
Outlined below are all the reasons why Cape Cod is the perfect place to get a a glimpse of one of the largest mammals in the world:

1. Perfect Feeding Grounds

We like to recommend the Dolphin Fleet out of Provincetown, and they are located in the closest port to access the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, a protected marine habitat with an amazing diversity of aquatic life- including tons of whales! Cape Cod is well-known around the world for our high population of whales, especially through the months of April-October when the whales migrate here to feed on the plentiful schools of fish.
Old picture of a whale being brought into the harbor
Old whaling picture

2. Whaling Heritage on Cape Cod and the Islands

The whaling history on Cape Cod is rich, deep, and had a significant impact on the local communities.  This history is documented well by Whaling Museums in Nantucket and New Bedford, bringing to life the stories told by Melville.  In Provincetown alone over 900 whaling voyages sailed out between 1820 to 1920. It’s interesting to note that the first recreational whale-watching trip in Cape Cod dates back to 1975. Forty years later, thousands of tourists still travel to Massachusetts every year to get a glimpse of one of the largest mammals in the world. Although the hunting of whales is also a large part of Cape Cod’s history, it was banned by the International Whaling Commission in 1986 to protect whales from going extinct.

Whales and seals on Cape Cod
Whale watching on Cape Cod

3. You’ll see a wide variety of different whale species

We love hearing from our guests the different species they see and learn about during their tour- the most common are finbacks, humpbacks, orcas, pilot whales, and right whales.

Harbor seal popping it's head above water
Cape Cod seal

4. You’ll learn about many different species on Cape Cod

Cape Cod is brimming with a vast assortment of marine life-including  seals, turtles, waterfowl, dolphins, and crabs, so you’re likely to see seals sunbathing, gulls dipping down into the water for a bite to eat, and dolphins leaping through the waves.

Cape Cod whale with seagulls
Seagulls joining in on the fun

5. You’ll get some fantastic photos.

Our resident photographer caught this shot during our first whale-watching adventure on Cape Cod. You will be amazed at the close up shots you will be able to take during your tour. It’s an up close and personal kinda tour:)

6. You’ll learn so much

Each trip is guided by a trained and experienced naturalist who brings to life the wonders of the deep, explaining the behaviors of each creature you encounter. Scientific data is collected each trip and is shared with many other scientists and educational institutions.

Passenger taking pictures of a whale close to the boat
Cape Cod whale watching


7. Sometimes the tour gets pretty personal.

While your guide will share a lot of general information about all kinds of whales, sometimes you will encounter a whale that has specific markings on the underside of its tail that identifies them. Since many of these whales are followed by scientists, you might hear some personal information about where they have traveled and about their offspring.

8. Cape Cod encourages responsible whale watching that doesn’t harm the whales or their natural habitat.

We like to recommend the Dolphin Fleet Whale-watching tours out of P’Town and they have a brand new vessel, the Dolphin XI, built exclusively for eco-friendly whale watching. The Dolphin XI is built with the newest eco-friendly technology and electronic equipment that can pass on scientific information that is gathered with each tour.

Come Stay with us

Breakwater beach with a boat in the background
Breakwater Beach

The Captain Freeman Inn is the perfect place to stay for your whale-watching adventure. We are central to everything on Cape Cod with our quiet bay side location with Breakwater Beach being a  short stroll from the inn. We can book your whale-watching adventure when you arrive and love to plan which day is the best weather for a comfortable boat ride. We also have a fun whale-watching package which includes lunch at the popular Lobster Pot in P’Town and a care package that includes water, sunscreen and snacks for your outing.

For our Expert Guide Guide on Whale-watching,  check out a previous blog that outlines everything you need to know about your tour. Our concierge page is also filled with great ideas to do during your stay with us.

King Brewster room with a metal canopy in a light filled room with grey walls
Enjoy our King Brewster room

Come enjoy magical Cape Cod and book your stay today as our summer bookings are almost full.

the front of our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, the Captain Freeman Inn
The front of our magnificent Sea Captain’s Mansion


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