What Whales You Should See In New England | Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours – Plymouth, Massachusetts

While whaling has long been illegal in the waters off of the coast of New England, the region’s extensive and once thriving whaling industry is a testament to the variety and volume of whales that spends its summers there. If you are preparing to go whale watching off the coast of Plymouth, you are likely to see some whales than others—but if you’re lucky, you may see a rare species.


Right Whale

A right whale is a large baleen whale, averaging some fifty feet in length. These whales are slow-moving, making them great for whale watching because they can often be seen for several minutes consecutively once spotted. Cape Cod Bay is a favorite feeding ground for the North Atlantic Right Whale, making your chances of spotting them fairly high—especially considering that only an estimated 400 are alive today. Part of the reason why this whale is so rare is that it was one of the most hunted whales in the North Atlantic .

Humpback Whale Mum and Calf

Fin Whale

Fin whales—long, slender, and smooth—are the sixth largest living animal species in the world. Sightings by whale watchers are not uncommon, but they are often brief, as the fin whale can swim up to 25 miles per hour.

Fin whale

Minke Whale

One of the smaller species of baleen whale, the minke whale is abundant. Close to one million of these whales are estimated to roam the world’s oceans today, but all but 100,000 live and feed in Antarctic waters. Still, minke whale sightings are fairly commonplace for whale watching tours off the coast of New England.


Are you an avid whale watcher or interested in whale watching for the first time? Captain John Whale Watching & Fishing Tours operates exciting and educational whale watching tours and flounder fishing excursions all summer long. Contact our Plymouth office at (508) 746-2646 to find out more or book your tour today!

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