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.
306 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 94 259 1 = 258 99% 4.9
Last 6 months 147 407 2 = 405 99% 4.9
Last 12 months 306 832 8 = 824 99% 4.8
All 306 832 8 = 824 99% 4.8
Most Recent Customer Reviews
  Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 2
Sun, Apr 26  2:30 PM Female 20-29 Local Group of Friends
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (2 Hour)
Our trip on the Saturday was cancelled so they called and said that they would send me an email to reschedule our trip. Waited all day for the email and they never sent it so I called them and they said that they just didn't send the emails so I was able to reschedule for Sunday. While out on the boat we were out for less than an hour before the captain decided to go back due to high winds and swells which we understood but we had not seen anything yet, no whales or dolphins. So we thought that we would either get our money back or get another trip for free because they guarantee that you will see something or next trip is free. Instead right before we entered the harbor the captain stopped the boat and just waited for a whale so that he would not have to give out free trips. We ended up seeing two humpbacks for about three seconds and then we went back to the harbor after less than two hours. When asked if we would get our money back he said well you say whales in a very rude tone. I would not come back to this company again as I have had much better experiences with other companies.
Sanctuary Cruises responded:
Thank you for your feedback, but we must clarify that we offered you an "opt out" at the dock prior to boarding, explaining that the conditions were rough and offering a reschedule or refund at that time. You choose to go ahead and give it a try, declining the refund prior to boarding. The captain stopped for the whales outside the harbor, because we want our passengers to see whales! Fortunately, most customers understand the real costs to running a charter boat and accept the chances that sometimes Mother Nature is unpredictable and sightings are not optimal that day.
Rating: 5
Sun, Apr 26  10:30 AM Female Unspecified Combination Couple on a Date
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (3-3.5 hours)
This was my 2nd Sanctuary Cruise. I am very pleased with this experience for a few reasons. There is a marine biologist on board who discusses the area, the wild life , answers questions, etc. The boat is not overcrowded with people. One is able to get a decent view of the activity on the ocean. In the Moss Beach area, the boats don't have to go out very far before you may see some activity. I'm already looking forward to my next cruise!
Rating: 5
Enthusiastic Thumbs Up
Sun, Apr 26  10:30 AM Unspecified Unspecified Domestic Tourist(s) Group of Friends
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (3-3.5 hours)
We left the dock early and came back late.... what more can you say? Sanctuary tries very hard to make each passenger's experience a good one. On this particular trip, the whales were few and far between and the seas were rocky, but the Sanctuary captain did the absolute best he could to position us when we did find whales, and to look hard for them when we didn't.
Rating: 5
Sun, Apr 26  6:00 AM Female 30-39 International Tourist(s) Individual
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (2 Hour)
Really great experience. Highly recommend it.
Rating: 4
Too Rough For Whale-Watching, but Rain Check Offer
Fri, Apr 24  11:30 AM Female 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Family Without Children
Attended: Sanctuary Monterey Bay Whale Watch (3-3.5 hours)
Although my husband & I were nervous about seasickness, the marine biologist explained options and concerns about rough ocean conditions. Although we attempted to go out to sea, after about an hour and only a few distant sightings of whales, the Capt. made the decision to return to port to address safety concerns, and even offered Rain Checks good for 6 months. We plan to return!