The Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean are both unique ecosystems with a wide array of marine life, plants and habitats. Every year, humpback and fin whales pass by the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay at Virginia Beach on their migration to northern states and Canada.
The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach gives marine mammal enthusiasts the chance to see these magnificent creatures make their way northward. The trip is narrated by a trained educator from the Virginia Aquarium, with experienced volunteers on hand to help and answer questions.
This excursion takes place aboard the Rudee Flipper, a 65-foot catamaran. There is a heated cabin and outdoor seating along the upper and lower decks of the catamaran.
Depending on the weather, historic landmarks such as the Cape Henry lighthouse and the Old Coast Guard Station may be seen, as well as U.S. Navy maneuvers. Brown pelicans, northern gannets and other sea birds may be seen feeding on schools of fish.
Whale-watching tours run January through March 20, 2011. Thursday and Friday tours are at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holiday Monday tours take place at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Adult tickets are $28.00, kids ages 4-11 are $24.00. Ages three and under are free.
Tickets may be purchased at the Virginia Aquarium or at the dock. Whale watching tours leave from the Virginia Beach Fishing Center at Rudee Inlet (200 Winston Salem Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA). The number for the Virginia Aquarium is (757) 385-0317.
Reservations are not necessary, but are recommended.
Please keep in mind:
- Dress warmly (scarves, gloves, hats or water-proof jackets). Coastal weather can be cold and windy.
- Remember to bring binoculars or a camera
- Whales move about in their natural habitat. There is no guarantee that whales will be seen.
- Check weather conditions. Tours can sometimes be cancelled due to bad weather.
Please call (757)-385-FISH (3474) for more information
For group or school trip information, please call (757) 385-0332.
Rudee Tours also offers dolphin watching, sunset cruises and creek cruises at various times throughout the year.
Approximately 110 miles from Richmond, Virginia Beach is perfect for a day-trip. Or, why not make a weekend out of it? Many local hotels have indoor pools, hot tubs and even indoor lazy rivers, perfect to unwind after a wintry day of whale watching.
Purchase a package deal which includes hotel, whale-watching tour and admission to the Virginia Aquarium and IMAX shows, as well as various add-ons such as observing and learning about the conservation and care of seals and sea turtles. For more information on packages, please click here.