Moss Landing has a population of about 200 and isn’t even a town, yet it has two companies, Sanctuary Cruises and Blue Ocean Whale Watch, that offer whale watching cruises. The situation in the census-designated place, as Moss Landing is formally classified, is indicative of the flourishing whale watching scene of Monterey Bay, which is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. We have already written a general overview of cruises in Monterey Bay, so we decided to focus in on one hub of whale watching cruises in this area. Below is a guide that covers everything you need to know about whale watching in Moss Landing.
Before detailing the exact offerings of each whale watching company based in Moss Landing, it is worth mentioning that both companies offer more or less the same service. Both companies offer a four-hour cruise that costs $50, and both companies sail on the same waters of Monterey Bay. For this reason, you can expect to see the same types of whales and marine wildlife. During the massive gray whale migration that takes place every winter, from about December to April, both companies will focus on seeing gray whales. During other parts of the season, you can expect to see humpback and blue whales. Of course, you can see much more than this – a variety of dolphins are often spotted on whale watching cruises, as are seals, sea lions, and other wildlife – but the point is that what you see won’t really depend on what company you book with. Going into the cruise, your odds of seeing any given creature, and the basic experience you have at sea, will be comparable.
That said, Sanctuary Cruises and Blue Ocean Whale Watch are of course distinct companies. They use different boats that are sailed by different captains, and both companies will of course claim they are the best whale watching outfit in Moss Landing. (In fact, both companies are highly rated – customers come away satisfied regardless of who they sail with – so you don’t need to fret over discerning which company is “the best,” which is obviously a relative concept in any case.) The companies also have different cruise offerings. As noted, they both have four-hour cruises that cost $50, but Sanctuary Cruises also offers a two-hour cruise for $40. Blue Ocean Whale Watch goes in the other direction, offering a full-day, eight-hour cruise that costs $100. So, if you want a shorter or longer cruise, this will impact which company you sail with.
If you find yourself in Moss Landing, there are two good whale watching outfits that you can book a cruise with. It doesn’t really matter which company you sail with, unless you want a longer or shorter cruise, and in which case you’ll have to go with Blue Ocean Whale Watch or Sanctuary Cruises, respectively. For more general information, check out our article on whale watching cruises in Monterey Bay, and for even more general information, you might want to read our article about whale watching cruises in California.