Responsible Tour Provider

Respectful & Responsible policy's

As Orcas Island's first Whale Watch tour company and one of the first in the region, we at Deer Harbor Charters are committed to responsible wildlife viewing. Since 1988, we have educated tens of thousands of guests about our local ecosystem, marine species and natural history.  

Today, as  industry leaders,
we continually try to improve our guest experience while using current science to reduce our impact towards wildlife and our community.  Unlike conventional whale watching, we recognize that the simple act of using a vessel to view wildlife has an impact to our wildlife & our community.  That's why we take simple, science based steps to reduce our impact.

  • Know when to leave. Lot of boats around a single group of whales.. it's time to leave. We can always come back when things quiet down. 
  • Your presence has an impact. Let's move on when we have had a great experience. Time to see what else we can find! 
  • With multiple company boats, we try to stagger our approach to the same group of whales. Spread the love.
  • Slow & steady maneuvering. Steady maneuvering & slow speed (7 knots or less) is more predictable and less startling for marine wildlife. 

We are responsible to our customers.. Full Transparency. We always give our guests a “whale report” before they board the vessel so they know what to expect. Plus, if you can't make your trip within 48 hours of booking, we try to fill your seats so you can receive a refund.

We are responsible to our employee’s.
We hire local employee’s and pay them a real livable wage. Many of whom have been with us and viewing our local wildlife for 10-20 years. That means you get some of the most knowledgeable wildlife experts in the area as well as local Orcas Island experts. Have a question; you’ll find the answer.

We are responsible to our community. Each year we donate free trips to island residents, researchers, Orcas Island schools and Orcas Senior Center. We want our community to be involved and have access to view our local wildlife.

That's the DEER HARBOR CHARTERS difference.