Delaware is a relatively small state, and only a small section of it borders open ocean, so you might not think there are many opportunities for whale watching in Delaware, and in thinking this you would be right: there isn’t much whale watching activity in the state. However, it is nevertheless possible to whale watch, and there are even whale watching cruises that depart from Delaware. Below we detail what is and is not possible in terms of whale watching in Delaware.
If you are on the shore of any state along the East Coast, it is technically possible to see a whale. You have visual access to the Atlantic Ocean, and whales live in the Atlantic, and so they can theoretically be seen. Every year, a variety of whales are spotted by people standing on East Coast shores, or boats right by these shores, and this is true of Delaware as well. However, as our articles covering whale watching in various East Coast states have shown, whale watching in the Atlantic Ocean is fairly limited, at least from about the middle of the East Coast down. In the states south of Delaware, there are almost no whale watching cruises at all. When you get further north on the East Coast, there are more whale watching cruises, but the situation is nothing like, say, the Pacific Coast. Whale watching in Delaware, which is near the center of the East Coast, latitudinally speaking, reflects its location. It is far enough north to have whale watching cruises, but far enough south to not have very many.
More specifically, there appears to be only one company that offers whale watching cruises in Delaware, Fisherman’s Wharf Cruises & Fishing Center, and these operate on a seasonal basis, from June 15th through Labor Day, according to Fisherman’s Wharf website. (A barely literate article in USA Today claims that the tours begin in May, but this appears to be incorrect.) During this time, the whale watching cruises are offered daily at 1:30 PM and last about three hours. Apart from the whales, which are in the area feeding for the summer, you can also see dolphins, which are much easier to spot than whales, and in fact the Fisherman’s Wharf’s cruises are billed as “dolphin/whale watching cruises.”
So, there are whale watching cruises to be taken in Delaware, and in general there are whales to be seen off the state’s coast (regardless of whether you are taking a cruise to this end), but there aren’t many. In this way, whale watching in Delaware is a lot like whale watching in Virginia Beach, which is only about 125 miles to the south of Delaware. The middle of the East Coast certainly isn’t ideal for whale watching, but if you want to go, it is possible, at least during part of the year.