Join us for a whale watching cruise to see Blue Whales, Humpback Whales and more on the beautiful Monterey Bay!
Travel aboard the 65’ Team O’Neill Catamaran; the O’Cat, as we like to call her, is open and spacious, with plenty of room to stretch out and take in the fresh air! You can walk the deck, roll on the trampoline or simply sit back and enjoy the ride. Our experienced captain and crew will make this a trip to remember and open your eyes to the remarkable marine wildlife you will see on this thrilling bay sanctuary cruise.
A SEASON OF WHALES
SPRING: Humpback Whales throughout the spring, with a few Gray Whales in the beginning of the season.
SUMMER: Humpback Whales,Blue Whales and Fin Whales.
FALL: Humpback Whales and Blue Whales.
WINTER: MigratingGray Whales.
ALL YEAR-ROUND: Dolphins , Sea Lions, Sea Otters and local and migratory birds, looking for food or just playing in the ocean!
Come join O’Neill Yacht Charters today for a breath of fresh air out on the Monterey Bay.
What Is Not Included?
- What have you been seeing recently?
- Stay tuned for an updated whale watching report!
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- We highly recommend you purchase tickets in advance, as sails do sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day you prefer, please book well in advance! You can purchase your tickets with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.
- If the trip is sold out, can I get on a waiting list?
- No, we do not keep a waiting list for our sails. Sails often sell out and typically well in advance, so please make sure to purchase your tickets far in advance - especially if you have limited time availability.
- Is there parking and how much is it?
- There is parking in and around the Santa Cruz Harbor. Metered spots cost $1.00 per hour, so bring your quarters! Permit parking is offered on the street - all daily permits cost $7.00 and can be purchased at East Cliff Drive and 9th Ave. Lot parking next to the Crows Nest begins at $1.00 and goes up from there. We suggest that you plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled start time so you have time to park and check in before boarding.
- What time do we board?
- Guest boarding begins approximately 15 minutes before departure. A typical sail begins with a safety briefing after all passengers are boarded. This includes location of life jackets, where to walk on the boat, and location of the bathroom. The boat leaves the dock promptly at the scheduled time.
- Are children allowed?
- Children ages 5 and up are welcome, and those under 12 are required to wear life jackets at all times during the sail. O’Neill Yacht Charters will provide Coast Guard approved life jackets. We ask that your children are supervised at all times while on the boat, as well as on the dock. Unfortunately children ages 4 and under are not allowed on these trips. All attendees must have a regular priced ticket in order to attend.
- Is the sail suitable for pregnant women?
- For safety reasons, this cruise is not suitable for pregnant women. If you are pregnant and would like to attend anyway, you must first consult with your doctor.
- Are drinks or food served on the sail?
- Food and drinks are not included. You're welcome to bring your own snacks and beverages (non-alcoholic), and there will be hot and cold beverages available for sale on board, including beer and wine. The on board bar is cash only.
- Can I bring alcohol on the cruise?
- There is a beverage bar on board that sells, beer, soda and water. Bring extra cash with you! (We recommend around $10). You are always welcome to bring any food or drinks (non-alcoholic) of your own that you would like to enjoy along the way, too! You can bring beer or wine but hard alcohol is not allowed.
- How should I dress?
- Keep in mind that it is often windy and cooler on the water. Dressing in layers is recommended - we always suggest bringing an extra jacket, sweater or sweatshirt. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also very important. The sun can be intense on a sailboat as it is magnified by being reflected off the water. You may wish to bring binoculars or a camera along.
- What type of shoes should I wear?
- We kindly request that you do not wear black soled shoes or high heels on board – soft non-scuffing white or light rubber soled shoes or barefoot would be preferred. If appropriate shoes are not worn on board, we will ask you to place them in a basket and go boating barefoot.
- How far do we have to travel to view whales?
- Depending on their migration route or where their food is located, we may have to travel between 6 and 10 miles from the Santa Cruz harbor.
- How close do we get to the whales?
- We follow the federal whale watching guidelines; stopping the boat at least 300 ft away from the whales and allowing the whales to approach us.
- What happens if I don't see a whale or any dolphins during my trip?
- We will try our best to make sure you have a great experience on board with us, but we cannot control where the whales are at any given time. There is no official guarantee that you will see whales, but it's been a great year, and we have high hopes that the success rate will be fantastic!
- Can I stow anything like my backpack during the sail?
- There is an area inside the cabin where you can store your belongings; however, we cannot take responsibility for any broken, lost or missing items.
- Are pets allowed?
- We do love pets, but pets of any kind are unfortunately not allowed on the boat.
- Is the Catamaran safe?
- Absolutely. The Team O’Neill catamaran is a stable, gentle vessel. Because it has two hulls, instead of one as in a regular sailboat, the sail is smoother and steadier. Along with your captain, there is a minimum of two crew members on every sail to make sure you feel comfortable and at home on the water. We also have life jackets for every passenger on board.
- How many passengers can you accommodate?
- The maximum capacity is 49 passengers (including infants), plus captain and crew.
- Will I get wet?
- Aside from the occasional misty breeze, you should stay dry during most of the sail. You may feel some spray when you venture onto the trampoline on the bow of the boat.
- Do I need to know how to swim?
- No, you will board and disembark straight from the dock to the deck of the Team O’Neill Catamaran. The boat is also fully equipped with life jackets for anyone who would like one. Children 5-11 years of age must wear a life jacket at all times while on the boat.
- Are life jackets available?
- We do carry a sufficient number of jackets for all passengers. We only require that children under 12 wear one during the sail.
- Am I likely to get seasick?
- We sure hope not. Unfortunately, this is not something we can predict. Our catamaran is a comfortable, stable vessel with a lot of space to move around. While we can't recommend you take any medications, prevention might be a good idea if you are susceptible to motion sickness
- Is there a bathroom on the boat?
- Yes, bathrooms aboard boats are called heads, and there is a fully functional one complete with running water, toilet paper and soap.
- Do you ever cancel sails due to bad weather?
- The only time we cancel a trip is in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. Our captains monitor the weather. Cancellations are made on the day of the sail, by the captain, up to 1 hour prior to sail time. If you have purchased tickets for a sail that is canceled, you will have the opportunity to reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit towards a future sail. Keep in mind that a little fog or cool weather won't keep us from sailing.
- Can I get a refund or reschedule my tickets after buying them?
- Because we are guaranteeing your space on the sail, tickets cannot be refunded or rescheduled once purchased.
- Is the Catamaran handicap accessible? Can I bring a wheelchair?
- Unfortunately the boat is not wheelchair accessible. If you have limited mobility and can leave your wheelchair behind and be helped onto the boat, you are more than welcome to attend. Remember that the restrooms on board are not handicapped accessible so you will need assistance to visit the restroom. If you have more questions, please click on the “Contact SailONeill” link to see if you can be accommodated.
- Is there seating onboard?
- Yes. The inside cabin can seat up to 15 people comfortably, and there is bench seating for 10-12 in the back of the boat, as well as ample trampoline seating.
- Is smoking allowed on board?
- No, smoking is not allowed on board.
- Is a gratuity included in the ticket price?
- Gratuities for your Team O’Neill crew are not included in your ticket price. If you have a great time and wish to recognize the contributions of your crew, you're welcome to give any one of them a tip to be shared by all. We are occasionally asked what a typical tip is - ultimately the decision is yours, but 15% is common.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- We do not offer gift certificates at this time, but hope to do so in the future! If you're interested, let us know by clicking on the "Contact SailONeill" link and we will let you know once they are available.
- Can I book a corporate or private charter?
- Yes, private sails aboard the Team O’Neill Catamaran are unique and elegant events for corporate gatherings, weddings, or other special events. To book a private charter, please click on the "Contact SailONeill" link and let us know what you'd like! Someone from O’Neill Yacht Charters will contact you shortly.
- Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.
- Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- Not suitable for pregnant women.
- For safety reasons, pregnant women are not allowed on the trip.
- Children under 12 must wear a life jacket during the sail.
- All participating children who are under the age of 12 years old must wear a life jacket at all times during the sail. Adults must supervise their children at all times.
O'Neill Yacht Charters
O'Neill has been serving the sailing community since 1965. All of our skippers have extensive sailing backgrounds and are all licensed by the United States Coast Guard. Our skippers also have trans-Pacific sailing experience and an extensive knowledge of the local waters.