Kennebunk is one of the main departure points for whale watching cruises in Maine. It is the southernmost location for whale watching in Maine, and it is only about 20 miles or so from the New Hampshire border. Like all the other towns from which you can take a whale watching cruise in Maine, there is only one cruise provider in Kennebunk, First Chance Whale Watch. Below, we touch briefly on whale watching in Maine, and then discuss the specific whale watching cruises offered in Kennebunk.
Along with New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Maine is a major whale watching location on the East Coast. The three states line the same stretch of the cold North Atlantic, where a variety of whales feed during the summer months. Whale watching cruises in these states focus on humpback, finback, and minke whales, but other whale species are seen on occasion. A wide range of other forms of marine life, ranging from sharks to seabirds, can be seen while whale watching in Maine as well. It is a superb place to whale watch – one of the best places in the world, in fact – and the odds of seeing a whale are extremely high when you depart from a town like Kennebunk.
The one whale watching outfit in Kennebunk is, as mentioned, First Chance Whale Watch. This is, as far as we can tell, the name of the company itself, but the whale watching cruise is technically (and somewhat strangely) called “Nick’s Chance Whale Watch Tour.” This is because the cruise takes place on a boat called “Nick’s Chance,” and the whale watching cruise is to be distinguished from “Kylie’s Chance Scenic Lobster Tour,” which takes place on a boat called, of course, “Kylie’s Chance.” Apart from wanting to note the bizarre grammatical relationships at work in these tour names – “Nick’s Chance,” even though it is the boat’s name, is strange when paired with “Whale Watch Tour” – we point this out because the whale watching cruises can go by a couple of different names. Ultimately, you are sailing with First Chance, but you might be directed to “Nick’s” if you inquire about whale watching in Kennebunk.
Regardless of its name, the whale watching cruises in Kennebunk are much like the whale watching cruises in other parts of Maine. The season begins in late May, but the whale watching cruises are only offered a handful of times until the season picks up on June 20th, when cruises begin to be offered daily at 10:00 AM. These daily cruises last into early September, and then the season winds down, with tours being offered only on weekends till mid-October. The whale watching cruises last about four and a half hours, and they cost $48 for adults and $28 for children (ages 3-12 – those under three ride free). You are very likely to see a whale on your cruise, but if you don’t you can join a future cruise for no additional charge. You can’t buy tickets online, but you can (and should) make a reservation by calling ahead (1-207-967-5507).
If you are in Maine, but not Kennebunk specifically, check out more general article about whale watching in Maine, or look at our specific articles on whale watching cruises in Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor, and Portland, the three other main locations to whale watch in the state.