Private Charter from Monterey
Your private marine sanctuary experience from historic Monterey Harbor
- Private Charter
How is a Private Charter different?
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. Our convenient waterfront office is your starting place for custom Monterey Bay adventures during the winter months.
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.
MONTEREY is our location for Private Charters and daily tour during the Winter.
(During the Spring-Summer-Fall feeding season we depart from Moss Landing, half an hour north of Monterey.)
Winter Migration Season Species:
- 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
- Six species of dolphins
- Seabirds like fulmars, shearwaters, auklets, loons, and phalaropes
A Fast Raft Ocean Safari is the intimate 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, remarkably stable, 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 select our locations for the best wildlife viewing and seasonal experience based on our decades of work on Monterey Bay. Monterey Harbor is exceptionally protected and offers easy access to the rugged scenery and winter wildlife concentrations along the Monterey Peninsula.
- Three to four hours is a standard half-day tour.
- All-day expeditions (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
- Waterproof jackets and trousers, 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.
- All passengers must be eight (8) years or older, no exceptions.
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. If over-the-counter medications have not worked, please talk to your doctor about prescription medications. There are more tips on our website. Thank you!
Meeting Location: MONTEREY
- Fast Raft office in Breakwater Cove Marina, around the harbor from Fisherman’s Wharf
- Our quiet location overlooking the marina is a great place to watch sea otters and sea lions
- There is a delicatessen next door, a fine seafood restaurant upstairs, and a nearby beach and park for picnics
- Be sure to pay for parking plus an extra hour