Portland, the largest city in the state of Maine, is one of the four main locations to take a whale watching cruise in Maine. Like the other towns from which you can take a whale watching cruise in Maine, there is only one main whale watching company in Portland, Odyssey Whale Watch. However, given the population density in Portland and the surrounding area, Odyssey Whale Watch is perhaps tasked with serving more whale watchers than the other companies in the state. (Nearly 70,000 people live in Portland alone, whereas a mere 5,000 live in Bar Harbor, another departure point for whale watching cruises in Maine.) Below we explain what whale watching cruises are available in Portland, Maine through Odyssey Whale Watch.
As we have explained in articles about whale watching cruises in Maine and whale watching in specific locations within the state (e.g., Boothbay Harbor), Maine is one of the three states where the East Coast whale watching industry is based. (The other two states are, not surprisingly, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.) The coastline of these three states lines the same cold region of the North Atlantic, where whales – mostly humpback, finback and minke whales – can be spotted with relative ease because they feed in the area over the summer. Besides whales, you can also expect to see a range of other marine animals on a cruise, including dolphins, sharks, and a variety of different seabirds.
As mentioned, Odyssey Whale Watch is the only company that offers whale watching in Portland, or at least it is the only major provider. (We hesitate to claim that one company is the only provider because there are a number of small operators, which could potentially just be people who charter their boat for any given purpose, that might in one sense or another provide whale watching cruises.) Odyssey’s season begins in mid-May, when cruises are offered every day at noon. The same schedule holds (with the exception of Memorial Day, when two cruises are offered) till the start of July, at which point cruises are offered twice daily, at 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM, except on Sunday, when only one cruise is offered at 2:00 PM. From the end of August through mid-October, cruises are again offered only once a day at noon. Each cruise is four hours long and costs $49 for adults and $39 for children 12 and under. Infants up to 18 months old ride for free.
If you are interested in taking a whale watching cruise from Portland, we should note that you can’t buy tickets online, so you have to call Odyssey or write them an email to book a reservation. If you are in Maine, but not in Portland, check out our more general article on whale watching in Maine to see where else you can whale watch in the state. If you found this page by looking for whale watching in Oregon, where the other, larger Portland can be found, you can read our article about whale watching on Oregon.