Whale Watching Tours

The whale watching tours at Chatham Bars Inn are some of our guests’ most memorable experiences. While many destinations on Cape Cod offer whale watching tours, the exclusive tours at Chatham Bars Inn offer guests unrivaled close-up access to these incredible creatures. They’re not to be missed by those who want the absolute best whale watching on the Cape.

We offer three distinct tours:

Whale Watching

Imagine being up close and personal with a 50-foot, 66,000 pounds humpback whale as it works with its pod to hunt mackerel and herring in deep blue waters of the Atlantic. That’s likely what you’ll see when you book your whale watching tour with Chatham Bars Inn.

You’ll set out on the Shooting Star, our 38-foot Shelter Island Runabout originally designed by Billy Joel. Our captains will take you the waters east of Chatham, where whales gather from April to October to feed and raise their young. You’ll witness these majestic creatures breaching, diving and bubble feeding in their natural environment. Primarily, our tours spot humpback whales, though it’s not uncommon for guests to also see pilot whales, minke whales, whale sharks and giant mola mola as well.

Cost: $1,400 for up to 6 passengers.

Availability: Usually from April to October, when the whales migrate to the waters near Chatham.

Reservations: Call 508.945.0096 well in advance to book - our whale watching tours are highly in-demand and space is limited.

Shark Shadowing

Our shark shadow expedition isn’t just your best chance to see a great white near Cape Cod - it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

You’ll shadow researchers from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy as they track great whites off the coast of Cape Cod. A spotter plane will radio the locations of sharks in the water and you’ll be off, searching for these apex predators as they hunt for their favorite prey, the grey seal.

Once you catch up to the sharks, you’ll get up close and personal as researchers tag and study these incredible animals. There is absolutely nothing like observing a 15-foot, 2,000 pound great white in the wild, and we can guarantee you’ll never forget this experience.

Proceeds from this expedition are donated to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy to benefit shark research, education and conservation efforts, and yes - they’re tax-deductible.

Learn more about white shark ecotourism at Chatham Bars Inn.

Cost: $2,500 for up to 5 passengers in a private charter.

Reservations: Call 508.945.0096 well in advance to book - space is extremely limited for this exclusive shark expedition.

Shark Beacon Cruise

Spend your morning like a scientist with our exclusive shark beacon cruise!

You’ll depart on the Bar Tender, our 29-foot custom launch, for a tour of the shark beacons in Chatham Harbor. Pulling data from the beacons, volunteer scientists from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy will educate you on the sharks, fish and wildlife in the waters below. Proceeds will be donated to the Conservancy to fund their research and conservation efforts.

Learn more about white shark ecotourism at Chatham Bars Inn.

Cost: $55 per person for up to 16 people.

Reservations: Call 508.945.0096 to book - space is limited

Whale & Shark Expedition FAQs

Are the tours family friendly?

Yes! Kids and adults alike are sure to have a great time on our shark and whale expeditions.

Can I book a tour for my wedding party, bachelor/bachelorette party or other occasion?

Absolutely! These tours are a great way to make memories and bond with those close to you.

How far in advance should I book my tour?

As far as possible. These are exclusive, private tours for small groups of people, and they fill up quick. Call 508.945.0096 to book.

What kinds of wildlife will I see?

Our whale watching tours primarily spot humpback whales, but guests often see pilot whales, minke whales, whale sharks and giant mola mola as well.

Shark expeditions mostly focus on great white sharks, but you might luck out and see thresher and mako sharks as well.

Of course, on any trip out on the water, you’ll see all kinds of animals in their natural habitat, including grey and harbor seals, who we often find basking on sandbars or frolicking in the water, depending on the tide.

What should I bring?

We’ll provide a list of items to bring and tips to make your trip a successful one. At the very least, prepare to be out on the water for a while by packing sunscreen and sunglasses, and make sure you bring a camera.

How else can we get out on the water at CBI?

Our boating and watersports programming is second-to-none. We offer everything from fishing trips to sailing instruction to leisurely cruises to destinations all over Cape Cod. Call today for more info!

View our Boating & Watersports brochure for more info on everything from fishing to charters to kids' programs and more!

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