Best time to travel to New Hampshire

Whale Watching

A great sea adventure along New England's shore


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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New Hampshire offers a solid chance to spot whales off its coast, with Rye and Portsmouth being the top locations to spot giant sea mammals. The whale watching season in New Hampshire usually runs from mid-May through late October. However, since the whales are not migrating, but instead come to New England to feed on fish and krill, it's rather hard to predict their appearance. They may appear before the season or after it is finished. Humpbacks, backfin, and minke whales, as well as Atlantic white-sided dolphins, are usually spotted during whale-watching excursions. Less common are harbor porpoise, sei Whales, pilot hales, blue and right whales.

July and August are the most popular months for whale-watching trips. The biggest operators in New Hampshire include Capt. Bill & Sons Whale Watch, Granite State Whale Watch, and Isles of Shoals Steamship Company. Most companies see whales on an average of 80-99% of their trips depending on weather conditions.

Boats go as far as 20-40 km (12-25 mi) from Rye and Portsmouth Harbors for about three hours. Some boats also go as far as the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts, the best whale feeding area in New England that boasts dozens of marine mammals.

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