Sanctuary Cruises

Zerve Seller: SanctuaryWW

Sanctuary Cruises is both owned and operated by life-long Monterey Bay residents and seafarers Captain Mike Sack and Marine Biologist Dorris Welch. When you come aboard a Sanctuary Cruise you are entering the bay on the animal's terms and with the owners actually operating the boat and leading the cruise. Mike pilots Sanctuary and Dorris shares her considerable knowledge and enthusiasm about our local marine life and her years spent working with these marvelous animals. During busy summer months we also have a team of marine biologist naturalists aboard providing personal attention to passengers.
Mike and Dorris took over the business in January 2011 to spend their lives on the waters of Monterey Bay that they love. They are all about the ocean and marine life and its conservation. They share their lifetime of experience both on and in the bay (yes, they surf, sail, kayak and scuba dive). 

At Sanctuary Cruises, we strive to provide our passengers with the experience of a lifetime observing whales, dolphins and other marine life in their natural environment. Caring for the environment and the safety, comfort and enjoyment of our passengers is key.
Sanctuary is a Coast Guard certified, 39 passengers plus crew vessel, but we generally limit passengers to about 85% of her capacity to provide an even better experience. She is a 43-foot Delta Marine twin-engine and runs pure biodiesel. She has a comfortable cabin with upholstered seating, outside seating both covered and uncovered, and one restroom. Sanctuary has a more intimate setting which allows guests to be closer to the water when dolphins dance on her bow. She is especially clean-running and fuel efficient, which means a lot to us as conservationists.
344 Reviews Rating: 4.8 4.8 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
Always from real, paying customers
# of Reviews Positive
= Overall
% Positive Average
Last 3 months 112 305 1 = 304 99% 4.8
Last 6 months 162 448 2 = 446 99% 4.9
Last 12 months 344 934 8 = 926 99% 4.8
All 344 934 8 = 926 99% 4.8
Most Recent Customer Reviews
  Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 5
TheyI really knew where the whales were
Thu, May 28  10:30 AM Male 70+ Local Other
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (3-3.5 hours)
Rating: 5
so much fun
Thu, May 28  10:30 AM Female 30-39 Combination Couple on a Date
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (3-3.5 hours)
we saw the whales after only 20-30 minutes, and we got pretty close to them. later, we saw more whales, dolphins, seals...the guide was a very nice lady who was making sure that we all have a good time throughout the activity.
Rating: 5
Great company with great people
Mon, May 25  10:30 AM Female 30-39 Domestic Tourist(s) Family With Children
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (3-3.5 hours)
While doing research, Sanctuary was highly rated but we were sold on them allowing small children most importantly (at a reduced price) since the other companies didn't. Hey - we want to share this cool experience with the youngins too! Being prone to motion sickness, I was nervous about the boat ride but Dorris was super awesome to take care of us big babies. In between looking out for whales and sharing al her knowledge, he walked around and asked people how they were doing and had remedies for the sickly. I really appreciate her taking care of us - and I didn't get sick! We saw lots of whales and that was really exciting. I expected to just see half a dozen - maybe less - but we saw a good 3 dozen if not more. And Dorris and Mike were good about taking their time to go around and see if we could spot more whales - you definitely got your money's worth. A few days later, the owner of a rental we were staying at suggested them to us for whale watching as the best company, so it sounds like we made the right choice. I highly recommend Sanctuary, and if we're ever in the area again for some whale watching, there'd be no question about who we'd go with. Thanks for a great time!
Rating: 5
Absolutely amazing!
Sun, May 24  10:30 AM Male 30-39 Local Family Without Children
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (3-3.5 hours)
such an amazing trip! While the Whales were a little shy (not much breaching) we lost count after I think the 10th or 11th whale, including 1 BLUE WHALE!!! We came upon pod of dolphins and there were HUNDREDS! We thought a couple of them were going to hop in the boat and party with us!

The biologist was so personable and knew her stuff. The captain tried to act all business but you could tell these two were still in such awe of these animals they probably see over and over hundreds of times each week. For us that totally made the difference, feeding off the crews excitement and energy is what blew the top off an already amazing first whale watching experience. We can't wait to go again!
Rating: 4
Highly recommended
Sat, May 23  10:30 AM Unspecified Unspecified International Tourist(s) Family With Children
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (3-3.5 hours)
Very friendly staff, lots of whales, small boat (great), no dolphins, rough sea (take pills)