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Whale Watching Cruises Rhode Island


Rhode Island Whale Watch

General Whale Information

Observe one of the world’s largest living creatures on a New England whale watch.  A 30 ton humpback whale breach clear out of the water will take your breath away.  Observing a 45 ft. finback whale teach her calf how to feed on a body of krill is something you will not soon forget.  

The blue whale is the largest of all whales reaching an amazing maximum length of 100 feet and weight 150 tons.  As we depart on your whale watch from Pt. Judith, Rhode Island, the finback whale will be the largest whale found in New England, growing to a length of 70 feet.  Second in size is the rare right whale at 60 feet followed by the humpback whale at a mere 50 feet. 

Whales, dolphins, and porpoises are aquatic mammals.  They are warm blooded, breathe air, and nurse their young.  They breathe through “blow holes” on the tops of their heads.  A thick layer of blubber insulates them from cold water and stores energy used in migrations.  Whales can consume several tons of krill, plankton, and tiny crustaceans in a single day.

Two types of whales appear in New England waters.  Baleen whales have no teeth and feed on small marine animals by filtering them through baleen plates.  Baleen whales include the right, humpback, finback, and minke whales.  Toothed whales include the Atlantic white-sided dolphin, harbor porpoises, and pilot whales. 

While on a Rhode Island whale watch boat, the offshore local waters may produce some of the most memorable moments in your life.   On one remarkable day we viewed approximately 40 whales within a half mile radius from us, with some coming as close as 50 ft. from the boat.  On other days we have seen pods of porpoises numbering between 50 and 100 in size. 

Whale watching in RI is a great way to gather your family and friends of all ages.  It could be the perfect opportunity to bring a group together for reunion, or a corporate team building event mixing a little work with pleasure. 

Humpback Whale

The humpback whale grows to a length of 50 ft. and can weigh up to 40 tons.  The distinguishing features identifying this whale are its long white flippers with knobby bumps.  When it dives, it will raise its flukes or tail out of the water.  The flukes will have a saw-toothed trailing edge.  The underside is distinctly patterned to identify individual whales.  They feed mostly on sand eels and krill.  Sometimes they form sub-surface bubbles called “bubble clouds” that corral and concentrate the prey.  The whales then rise through the center of these bubbles with their mouths wide open.  It is not unusual to see this majestic whale breach or slap its flippers on the surface.  They leave New England waters by late fall and migrate to the Caribbean Sea to breed.


Finback Whale

This whale can grow to a length of 70 ft. and weigh up to 50 tons.  It is the largest whale to visit New England waters.  When they dive, they show a great length of their back but do not show their flukes.  The mouth is asymmetrically marked with white on the right side of the jaw and dark color on the left side.  It has a v-shaped head and displays a small, backward sloping dorsal fin.

Diving Humpback Whale by Brian Gervelis

Diving Humpback Whale by Brian Gervelis  

Right Whale

The right whale may reach a length of 60 ft. and weigh as much as 60 tons.  Distinctive features of right whales include the lack of a dorsal fin and white crusty growths on the head called callosities.   They have a v-shaped spout due to two separate blow holes, with broad paddle shaped flippers.  Their tails are triangular in shape and deeply notched.    They are the rarest of the New England whales numbering fewer than 350.  This whale was considered the “right” whale to hunt because of their surface feeding habits, coastal distribution, slow swimming speed, and the fact that they float when they are dead.  They are unaware of vessels in close proximity, particularly when engaged in feeding or sexual activity.  They will not move out of the way of approaching vessels which have resulted in many whale strikes.  It takes between between 5 and 9 years of age for the whale to reach sexual maturity.  They give birth to a single calf every 3 to 5 years.  Calves are approximately 14 ft. at birth and weigh about 2000 lbs. 

Feeding Humpback Whale  by Brian Gervelis

Feeding Humpback Whale  by Brian Gervelis

Minke Whale

This is the smallest of the Baleen whales, growing to a length of 30 ft. and weight of up to 10 tons.  They have a sharply pointed snout and white bands on the flippers.  They are black to dark steel gray in color.  Their dorsal fin appears simultaneously with their blow.

Pilot Whales

Nick named Pothead whales, they travel in large pods.  Their size will range between 10 and 25 ft. and weigh up to 2 tons.  They are distinguished by their bulbous heads and sickle shaped flippers that are sharply pointed and long.  Their color is black to dark gray.  They often associate with bottlenose and Atlantic white-sided dolphins..

Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin

The dolphin will range in size from 4 to 9 ft.  It has a black back, top of beak, flippers, and flukes.  A white band below the dorsal fin connects with a yellow band on the tail stock.  The underside of the beak is also white.  They are very fast, acrobatic, and can breach 10 ft. above the water surface.  Riding a bow wave and coming within a foot of the hull is very common. They become sexually mature at 5-8 years and have a single calf every 2-3 years.  

Bow Wave Riding Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins by Todd Kelly 

Bow Wave Riding Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins by Todd Kelly

Marine Life

Many other forms of marine life visit our waters and make themselves available for your viewing pleasure. Pelagic birds from around the world migrate through Rhode Island during the summer months. Ocean sunfish, tuna, sharks, marlin, and sea turtles all come to feed off the rich waters of New England.

Breaching Atlantic White Sided Dolphin by Todd Kelly

Breaching Atlantic White Sided Dolphin by Todd Kelly


Rhode Island Whale Watching Prices
 Group Organizer Receives a Free Fare as the 13th Person
5 Hour Whale Watch Cruise
Private Group Rate Includes 12 Passengers - 5hrs $1150
Private Group Whale Watching, Wind Turbine and Block Island - 7hrs $1400
Private Group with Additional Passengers Add $60/person
Capacity Up to 16  Passengers

The Captain and Mate Will Share a Customary 20% Gratuity

Season and Sailing Schedule

Our Whale Watch tours run from the first week of July through the end of August. 

Private groups reserving the whole boat can choose any date and time. 

Reservations are required.



Snappa Charters

Captain Charlie Donilon

Boat  Location Address: 33 State Street Narragansett, RI 02882

Mailing Address:  2 Congdon Dr Wakefield, RI 02879

Boat/Cell (401) 487-9044

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