For the past two decades, Gloucester has been in the forefront of New England's most exciting coastal phenomenon, watching the great whales. Gloucester Harbor became America's first seaport because of its close proximity to the fishing grounds of George's Bank. Today, Gloucester and Cape Ann's proximity to the summer whale feeding grounds of Stellwagen Bank make the area one of the preeminent whale watching ports on the East Coast.
A number of local whale watches take approximately 100,000 people annually to see one of nature's most exciting spectacles, the humpback whales of Stellwagen Bank. Because Cape Ann is so close to the feeding grounds, the whale watch boats reach the whales faster than from other ports, allowing you more time to view these gentle giants.
The whale watching season begins around April and ends in October, and here are a few hints on how to enjoy your trip:
- Even on a hot day, bring a sweater or light jacket. It can be 10-20 degrees cooler offshore.
- Bring sunscreen and sunglasses, a camera with lots of film and consider binoculars and a video recorder.
- Wear sensible shoes or sneakers.
- Seasickness is generally not a problem, but if you suffer from motion sickness, carsickness or think you might be unusually sensitive to seasickness, take Bonine or some other motion sickness medication before the trip begins. These medications are generally not helpful when taken after you become seasick.
- During July and August and during weekends in June and September, make advance reservations.
As exciting as whale watching is, there are other ways to enjoy the surrounding waterways. A number of narrated sailing and tour boats go around the Cape, around the Harbor up the Annisquam River, and out the Essex River. Deep sea fishing is another fun activity. You can catch any number of day boats heading out, or charter a fishing captain to take you or a small group out on your own day trip.
You can find all of these in our