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Cruises, which run about four hours, are scheduled daily in summer and once or twice weekly at other times. The cost is around $75 per person, and boats hold 20 to 40 people. Wear warm clothing and bring a snack.
Deer Harbor Charters. This eco-friendly tour company (the first in the San Juans to use biodiesel) offers whale-watching cruises around the island straits, with departures from both Deer Harbor Marina and Rosario Resort. Outboards and skiffs are also available, as is fishing gear. Deer Harbor Rd., Deer Harbor, WA, 98243. 360/376–5989 or 800/544–5758. www.deerharborcharters.com.
Eclipse Charters. In addition to tours that search around Orcas Island for whale pods and other sealife, this charter company offers lighthouse tours. Orcas Island Ferry Landing, Eastsound, WA, 98280. 360/376–6566. www.orcasislandwhales.com.