Fast Raft Private Charters give you a flexible schedule and the ease of having the boat to yourselves, for up to six people, ages 8 and up.
What would you most like to see?
How is a Private Charter different?
For the premium of a private charter, our staff can tailor the tour start and finish times to your preference within a half-day window, coordinate arrival with your tour planner or driver, advise on privacy when needed, and give you extra time at start and finish. You are welcome to purchase all six tickets on a regularly scheduled public tour instead if the timing works for you and you do not need additional coordination. We enjoy providing the very best wildlife tour on Monterey Bay to all of our guests on every tour, and understand that some clients appreciate the additional logistical support and convenience of a private charter.
Spring-Summer-Fall feeding season species:
Killer whales (year-round, esp. mid-April to mid-May)
Six species of dolphins
Harbor seals, California sea lions, and sea otters
Seabirds like albatrosses, shearwaters, auklets
Winter-Spring Migration Season Species:
Seabirds like fulmars, shearwaters, auklets, loons, and phalaropes
Harbor seals, California sea lions, and sea otters (year-round)
Gray whales following the coast from the Bering Sea to breed in Baja
Overwintering humpback whales
Killer whales hunting gray whale calves in April and May
Six species of dolphins
A Fast Raft Ocean Safari is an exhilarating way to explore the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Your knowledgeable naturalist and captain will not only make sure you get the best sightings and photographic angles, we’ll teach you about the lives of the marvelous animals that call our ocean home.
What makes us so unique and different from other boats is our vessel. Our Ranger provides a low to the water, open platform that is ideal for wildlife viewing and photography. We can easily travel faster than other boats, allowing us to reach spectacular destinations and wildlife in a shorter time, though we are careful to moderate our speed in respect for the wildlife. Once we stop to enjoy a sighting, our engines are nearly silent at idle, and we often turn them off to soak in the natural sounds.
We operate most of the year out of Moss Landing Harbor, half an hour north of Monterey, and in Winter out of Monterey Harbor. We select our locations for the best wildlife viewing and seasonal experience. Your charter will start from the port we are currently using for scheduled tours, and we’ll make sure you know where to meet us. The default location is Moss Landing North Harbor Boat Ramp (see Directions page on our website).
Three to four hours is a standard half-day tour.
All-day tours (priced as two half-days) are favorites of seasoned wildlife watchers and photographers.
We divide the day into Morning, Afternoon, and Evening segments, varying seasonally.
Please let us know which part of the day you would like, and if possible a start time and length.
We will work with you to designate the timing for your tour.
Your captain and naturalist for the day
Use of waterproof jackets and pants, and dry-bags for cameras
Comfortable Mustang self-inflating life vests
What’s Not Included
Food and drinks are not included. Feel free to bring your own.
Gratuities are always appreciated for a job well done.
Day of Your Tour
Be ready to board for our safety briefing 15 minutes before departure time.
Arrive half an hour early to pay for parking, use the restroom, and gather your gear for boarding.
Dress for the Weather
Have you heard of chilly San Francisco fog? It’s here too, especially in summer.
Summer mornings are usually foggy and calm, then sunshine and wind chop come in the afternoon.
The hotter it is on land, the colder out on the ocean — so pack warm layers.
Dress for cold weather hiking, any time of year.
Fine leathers, heels, and delicate fabrics are not appropriate on an open boat.
Skirts don’t work well with our straddle seats
It’s your responsibility to come prepared. If you’re sensitive, or have never been on the open ocean, please start medication the day before. In the U.S. both Dramamine and Bonine are available at any drug or convenience store. There are more tips on our website. Thank you!
Meeting Location: MOSS LANDING (default)
Moss Landing Public Boat Ramp (north harbor) (Moss Landing, CA), near Elkhorn Yacht Club
Note: Moss Landing is 25 miles north of Monterey, halfway to Santa Cruz.
Also, our wildlife-rich location is away from the main harbor where all other boats load.
Please read the driving directions and don’t rely on Google.
Be sure to pay for parking
Meeting Location: MONTEREY (if specified)
Fast Raft office in Breakwater Cove Marina, across the harbor from Fisherman’s Wharf
Our quiet location is a great place to watch sea otters and sea lions