Whale Watching on Cape Cod
Concierge.com's insider take:
Whales, like tourists, summer here, and they've become a popular draw—a favorable twist of fate, considering that the Cape Cod whale trade almost wiped them out in the 19th century. Most of the whales off Cape Cod are humpbacks, but excursion boats have reported sightings lately of rare right whales. These boats leave from Provincetown and Barnstable harbors and head to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, a plankton-rich area where the whales like to feed. In Provincetown, the Dolphin Fleet operates three whale-watch boats from lively MacMillan Wharf; aboard are naturalists from the highly regarded Center for Coastal Studies (800-826-9300, whalewatch.com). Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises, which leaves from quiet Barnstable Harbor, has a fast, purpose-built, 130-foot cruiser with whale-friendly water-jet propulsion. It, too, carries naturalists, several of them teachers, on its whale expeditions (888-942-5392, whales.net). Whale watches typically last three to four hours and cost from $40 to $45 per person for adults. Food is available on board.