Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island

Local Whale Watching 2020

With Viking Fleet of Montauk, NY

By: A. H. Kopelman, Ph.D.

Local Whale Watching 2020

2020 CRESLI/Viking Fleet whale watching

Our trips began July 18, 2020 -  on Saturdays through July. Begining August 1, we sail Wednesdays and Saturdays through September 5, 2020.

Read CRESLI Naturalist's Sightings Reports


  • 2020 - 100% SUCCESS (3 OUT OF 3 TRIPS);

  • 97.82% SUCCESS SINCE JULY 2017 (45 OUT OF 46 TRIPS)!


Purchase tickets here

  • Whether our trips take place are dependent upon weather and sea conditions. The marine forecast for the waters around Montauk are available here.

Join the crew with over 30 years of whale watching experience. Come away with great memories, great photos and videos, and an education about whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and marine life that is second-to-none.

  • The Viking Fleet and CRESLI are offering special family friendly marine cruises focusing on the sights of the ocean! Enjoy a day on the water with your family looking for whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sea birds and sunfish. Along the way you can view the Montauk lighthouse and all the landmarks of the east end.
  • A qualified naturalist / marine biologist will narrate the tour and answer all of your questions!
  • The Viking boats are equipped with clean restrooms, comfortable seating and full galleys onboard. We recommend reservations. You can either do so by phone (631-668-5700) or
  • The trips will depart the dock at 2:00 PM and return at 7:00 PM Saturdays from July 18, 2020 
  • The fare for these trips is $75 for adults, $49 for children 5-12y/o, FREE for Children under 5y/o
    • Please note that we expect whale watching to start in Phase 4 of the NYS Covid19 Recovery System.
    • CRESLI and the Viking Fleet will be abiding by all required guidelines, limited capacity, etc.
    • You must wear an acceptable face covering at all times on the whale watch vessel, except when eating or drinking 
    • If you have been in contact with someone who is sick, please wait the 14 day period at home before coming into contact with others. Please Stay Home!
  • Please note that the Viking Fleet supports CRESLI's work through in-kind donations of providing the vessel and vessel crew, and some funds per trip. We are eternally grateful to the Viking Fleet for our decades of collaboration.

Purchase tickets here

 CRESLI 2020 Whale Watch Sighting Report Blog


Saturday July 18, 2020

4 humpback whales and massive schools of Atlantic menhaden (bunker).

Great way to start the season!

The Viking Fleet and CRESLI began our 24th consecutive season of whale watching trips just where we left off, i.e., finding whales. We had reports of whales that morning (seen from shore by our naturalist, Dr. Artie Kopelman, and heard in the fog aboard the Viking Starship that morning by the intrepid Viking Fleet mate, Joey Ferguson). We also had reports of dolphins west of town. Out we headed and within a short while we were past Montauk Light looking for cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises). Shortly thereafter a fog bank rolled in and we continued on and listened for blows. Eventually the fog lifted and we found ourselves in the midst of many massive schools of bunker. Here we encountered feeding humpback whales. Two juveniles were photographed and we had brief glimpses of 2 others.

A wonderful start to the 2020 season.

  • 4 Humpback whales
  • 1 unidentified sea turtle
  • 4 Wilson's storm petrels
  • 16 Sanderlings
  • 20 Great Black-backed gulls
  • 2 Double-crested Cormorants

PHOTOS from 7/18/2020 trip

Saturday July 25, 2020

3 humpback whales, 1 minke whale and more

Our 2nd trip of the 2020 season didn't let us down. We had reports of whales from several places and began our trip with a great plan. With excellent visibility and conditions, we found our first whale within 40 minutes from passing Montauk Light, a humpback. This whale was busy searching for food 100' down and would rise to the surface after a few minutes, blow 5-6 times and dive. We stayed with the whale until it tail slapped and we decided to head further. We headed ENE towards and found our 2nd whale about 1 hour later.  We'd seen it from ~1.5 miles away and when we got near the area,  it popped up just under our bowsprit. Luckily we were almost at idle speed. A minke and a thrird humpback joined us shortly thereafter.  This last whale had significant Orca raking scars on its dorsal fin and flukes. We encountered other species duringour travels including 3 Ocean Sunfish, 1 jumping White Marlin, about 40 Wilson's Storm Peterels, and about 40 Great Shearwaters

  • 3 Humpback whales
  • 1 Minke whale
  • 3 Ocean sunfish
  • 1 white marlin
  • 40 Wilson's storm petrels
  • 40 Great shearwaters

PHOTOS from 7/25/2020 trip

Saturday August 01, 2020

4 humpback whales - 18 and 10 consecutive breaches at the end of our trip! Nice way to end the afternoon.

Our 3rd trip of the 2020 season was one for the books. Again, we had reports of whales from several places and began our trip with a great plan to survey an area not far from Gurney's. Excellent visibility and conditions allowed us to see blows from really far. Our first stop was ~6nm (nautical miles) south of the Lighthouse, where we had seen blows from about 1.5 nm away.  Those whales were gone, so we headed west (2 nm) and found the first of 2 whales, one seen on the 7/18/2020 trip (MTK.2020.07.18-01). Our 2nd whale was one we had seen on the 7/25/2020 trip (MTK.2020.07.25-02). We also encountered an aggregation of about 100 Western North Atlantic Northern Migratory Coastal Stock (AKA inshore) bottlenose dolphins.

We had the priviledge of staying with these whales for over 2 hours, watching them dive for food at the sea floor, rising up 3-7 minutes later and resuming their dives.  Both whales we juveniles and both had signs of previous entanglements. One whale had a tuna lure hooked into the left splashguard region (side of the blow hole). We were ready to leave and the whales began breaching simultaneously, each one on each side of the vessel.  We stayed with MTK.2020.07.25-02 and it breached 18 times in 8 minutes, while MTK.2020.07.18-01 breached 10 times. Wow! The tubercles on the leading edge of a humpback's long pectoral flippers provide hydrodynamic lift and allow these whales to rise through the water column at steep angles without stalling, hence reducing the energy needed to breach. 

  • 4 Humpback whales
  • 100 Western North Atlantic Northern Migratory Coastal Stock (AKA inshore) bottlenose dolphins 

PHOTOS from 8/01/2020 trip


CRESLI /Viking Fleet Montauk Sighting reports from 2013-2019  

Best CRESLI /Viking Fleet Montauk Whale Watch photos and videos from 2012-2019 

All CRESLI /Viking Fleet Montauk photos and videos from 2012-2020.

Humpback whale  - Unknown 2018-01












CRESLI is a non-profit organization as defined in section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All Contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law. A copy of the last financial report filed with the Department of State may be obtained by writing to NYS Dept. of State, Office of Charities Registration, Albany, NY 12231