Skip to main content

Virginia is for Lovers

  • Winter Wildlife Watching

  • Plan your wildlife watching getaway! 

    Whale at Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach is a good destination to view humpback, fin, and minke whales migrating to warmer waters. Enjoy a winter wildlife boat trip with Rudee Tours and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center's Whales & Wildlife Sea Adventures.

    Whale Fluke

    Virginia Beach’s winter wildlife watching tours offer a rare opportunity to possibly spot these majestic creatures up close, as well as brown pelicans, northern gannets, and double-crested cormorants. Be sure to bring your binoculars, and of course, whale sightings are not guaranteed.

    The two and a half-hour narrated trips travel past the Cape Henry Lighthouses, the Old Coast Guard Station and other historic landmarks, so the photography opportunities are tremendous.

    Tour Schedule

    • The 2.5-hour boat trips aboard Atlantic Explorer for the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center occur Wednesdays and Fridays at 2 p.m., and Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. through mid-March. Note that boating conditions and optimal sighting times may require the schedule to shift.

      Rates are $27 for adults; $23 for children ages 3 to 11, and children younger than age 3 are free.

      The tour departs from the Virginia Aquarium dock.

    • Join the "whale whisperer" Captain Jeff of the Rudee Flipper at Rudee Tours as he navigates the waters in search of whales and other cold water residents. His tours are offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 2:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00am and 2:00pm through March 13th. He GUARANTEES whale sightings through February 15 or you'll get a second tour for free! 

      Rates are $28 for adults; $24 for children ages 4 to 11, and children 3 and younger are free.

      The tour departs from Rudee Tours at Lake Rudee.


    Tour Tips

    • Dress for the cold! The air temperature is colder on the water than on land. Wear a hat, gloves, heavy socks, scarves, and non-skid shoes. Layers are advisable.
    • Don't forget your camera and binoculars!
    • Trips are not cancelled due to rain, but may be cancelled for unsafe conditions.

    Last Updated: 02/03/2016

  • Packages to Experience the Wildlife Watching

Travel Updates

Success! Get ready to start receiving travel updates.

Find out what's going on around Virginia. Subscribe to the Virginia eNewsletter.