Whale watching season officially began off the coast of Oxnard on Dec. 26, and will continue through April with trips departing from Channel Islands Harbor.
Island Packers, Ventura County’s official concessionaire to the Channel Islands National Park, provides 3 1/2-hour, non-landing narrated trips with morning and afternoon departures. The fare is $38 for adults, $34 for seniors (ages 55 and up), $28 for children and free for ages 3 and under. Trips run through mid-April.
Channel Islands Sportfishing Center provides half-day morning whale watching excursions during the week and on the weekend with morning and afternoon departures available. The rate is $58 for adults, $48 for seniors (ages 62 and up), $48 for active military and $38 for children ages 12 and under. Trips run through April 30.
For a personalized whale watching experience, visitors can charter a boat accommodating up to six people with Doug’s Channel Islands Tours. Charter boat rates are $200 per hour with a two-hour minimum. Wild Blue Adventures also offers 2 1/2 hour whale watching trips aboard the Sunfish, a 53-foot vessel. The fares are $34 for adults and $15 for children.
Every year, an estimated 20,000-25,000 Pacific Gray whales migrate through the Santa Barbara Channel on their way to and from the warm lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. A journey through the Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary provides visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty of this migration. Additionally, visitors can encounter dolphins, seals, sea lions and a rich variety of birdlife.
For information, call (805)382-1779, or visit visitoxnard.com/listing/island-packers.
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