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Whale Watching Trips Aloft

Whale Watching Trips Aloft: A Completely Different Perspective!

What will you see from a plane, a helicopter, or a zeppelin? Perhaps it will be the whole length of a single whale - or maybe even a whole pod of whales! It's called a bird's-eye view for a reason...

An Insider Tip: Where ever you're visiting in Northern California, check with your hotel concierge or the local Visitor's Bureau to see if there are any local pilots who offer whale watching trips aloft - you may be pleasantly surprised!

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Whale Watching Trips Aloft: Monterey

Sightseeing flights, or flightseeing in the jargon, are extremely popular in some parts of the world, like Alaska and New Zealand, but there aren't many providers in Northern California.

And finding one that will take you on a flightseeing seafari to find whales and other forms of sealife is even more difficult!

But don't despair, I have some ideas.

Monterey Bay Aviation operates out of the Monterey Peninsula Airport and offers several scenic flights.

Specialized Aviation provides both helicopter and airplane flights, both scenic and wildlife specific.

And Monterey Bay Scenic Tours  offers scenic flights over the Big Sur Coastline or Monterey Bay; both include spotting marine life.

All tours include a personalized narration from experienced local pilots who are very knowledgeable about the area, the coastline, and the wildlife.

Whale Watching Trips Aloft: San Francisco

There are several outfits in the Bay Area who offer scenic tours via helicopter or seaplane and, while none of them are specifically designed for whale watching trips aloft, the companies are amenable to change.

San Francisco Night Out offers both seaplane tours ("Fly Around San Francisco City In A Seaplane!") and helicopter tours  ("Tour The Bay Area From The Sky - See It All From A Helicopter!!")

Golden Gate Helicopters gives you the opportunity to opt for one of their own-designed tours (SF City Landmarks, Half Moon Bay and Pacific Coast, etc.) or to create your own tour.

At San Francisco Helicopters, LLC, you can take the Vista Tour (SF and the Bay), the Vista Grande (SF, the Bay, and the Marin Headlands/Pacific Coast), or create your own custom charter tour.

And Seaplane Adventures, out of Sausalito, offers several options, but your best best for whale watching aloft would probably be the Greater Bay Area Tour or the Norcal Coastal Tour.

Whale Watching Trips Aloft: Crescent City

St. George Reef Lighthouse Tours have been active since November 2009. What does that have to do with whale watching trips aloft, you ask? Lots, as it turns out!

St. George Reef Lighthouse was built between 1882 and 1892 on a small rocky outcrop that's only 17 feet above sea level and sits six miles out to sea!

The only realistic way to get there is by helicopter and that's where the whale watching comes in...

S.G.R.L.P.S. - St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society - has just been granted permission to offer helicopter tours of the island and the work they are doing to preserve this historic lighthouse. These are the parameters:

  • They operate once a month on a Sunday
  • The helicopter leaves the Crescent City Airport several times a day, starting at 9 a.m.
  • Whale watching can occur as opportunities arise on the way out and on the way back
  • It's also quite likely you'll see whales from the island
  • The tour of the lighthouse and the renovation work that's being done will take about 1 1/2 hours

A rare opportunity to get a little lighthouse history and do some whale watching at the same time!

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal -

Looking for more whale watching options? Check here for starters:

Wondering how to go about a whale watching trip?

  • Whale Watching Tips
    What you need to know before you go whale watching
  • Whale Watching Trips Ashore
    That's right! You can actually whale watch from Northern California's coastline, and you'll sometimes get to see the whales up close and personal!
  • Whale Watching Trips Asea
    But - if you want to be as close to assured as possible of getting up-close and personal with the whales, you'll take a whale watching boat tour!

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