Whale Watching On Lake Michigan

Watch for news about the restarting of our Whale Watching Trips in July 2021.

For the first time ever, Midwestern audiences will have an opportunity to see whales in the wild.

As part of a special partnership between the Sea Watch Conservatory and Great Lakes Awareness Foundation along with a special grant from the Foundation for Oceanographic Awareness, we are pleased to announce the successful importation of a small but thriving whale population in Lake Michigan between Grand Haven and Holland, Michigan.  See red circle on the chart below for information about the general area of the whale barrier and whale location.

For the protection of both the whales and boaters, unauthorized vessels are not allowed in this area as per regulations of the US Corp of Nautical Engineers.

During the summer of 2021 you will have a  once-in-a-generation opportunity to see these beautiful creatures up close thanks to the efforts of Grand Haven Whale Watching.

Your support during our first year will help us expand.  Watch for opportunities to Ride the Whales in September 2021.

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Lem Frazzle
Lem Frazzle
10 months ago

It is encouraging to see the progress you are making in your whaling ventures. I am concerned that scarce resources may be diverted from my efforts to increase and sustain unicorn habitat.

Jacob Miller
Jacob Miller
4 months ago
Reply to  Lem Frazzle

Hello Lem,

Thanks for your efforts to build the unicorn population in Michigan. I have been very concerned about the future of our state’s Unicorn population. The good news is that there appears to be about 5.5 million on COVID recovery dollars available to this cause as part of the Biden administration’s effort to help us recover from the disastrous Trump reign of terror over our efforts.

kyra
1 year ago

That is cool that whales are in Grand haven , if I wanted to I could go see a whale because its closer to home.

kyra
1 year ago
Reply to  kyra

Michigan Governor Provides Support for Grand Haven Whale Watching

She
She
1 year ago

Amazing 10/10 I’ve gone on 20000 tours and saw 6 whales every time.

Mr. KRESKE
Mr. KRESKE
7 months ago
Reply to  She

Wow! I love this site, except natural lake whales don’t need salt water because it makes their skin dry and they don’t like that because it makes them have white heads. I highly recommend feeding the whales uranium because it makes their coat shiny. Also, my dog ate a whale one time when we were at the dog beach in Chicago. I was like “WHOAH A WHALE”.
P.S. my friend molly got eaten by a whale when we stole your boat one night and did a rogue tour. HAS ANYONE SEEN MOLLY? I AM LOOKING FOR MOLLY.

Mr. kreske but it’s a secret
Mr. kreske but it’s a secret
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr. KRESKE

Wow, great comment.Proud of you. I want to caress your blow hole

A strong believer
A strong believer
1 year ago

I searched up an artical about it and found the truth. There is a small but thriving whale population! They have found a way to do it!
As part of a special partnership between the Sea Watch Conservatory and Great Lakes,
Awareness Foundation along with a special grant from the Foundation for Oceanographic Awareness, we are pleased to announce the successful importation of a small but thriving whale population in Lake Michigan between Grand Haven
Search it up if you don’t believe me.

jamie
jamie
1 year ago

u think i am a fool

NAME HERE
1 year ago

This is so FAKE no whale could survive in fresh water. This is just dumb and you are dumb to think wales could live in fresh water.

I'm_from_california
I'm_from_california
1 year ago

When does the narwhal bacon?

Maddie
Maddie
2 years ago

They could die

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Maddie

We have put a lot of thought into this so our whales (coming soon sharks and dolphins) can be as healthy as possible. Every day we add a bit more salt and work for the proper pH. It takes a lot of chemicals but this is the age of better living through chemistry. It is an amazing time we live in. Thanks for your concern. Please come out to see the whales on one of our excursions or safely from shore. Please do NOT attempt to take your own boat out to see the whales. It is simply too risky.

Mercedes
Mercedes
1 year ago

Wouldn’t adding salt and the proper PH to the water mess with the fresh water fish? Cause mutations? Because adding chemicals in the water to have whales thrive in an environment that’s not salt water will kill off any grease water fish. It’s like letting a cat lick the hell out of a salt lick and DIE from salt poisoning.

James Prince CBR
James Prince CBR
4 months ago
Reply to  Mercedes

Mercedes
Salinating the water in small areas may result in some immediate loses of our little fresh water friends, but they will be consumed by the new whale population.
Here is a little experiment you can do at home, mix a half cup of salt in a small Mason jar, pour it into a larger jar containing fresh water, you will see how it stratifies, The is how we in Wyoming maintain our ocean fish population, the salt water fish use the top layer, the fresh water fish swim beneath.
I hope this explains your question.

mason
mason
2 years ago

fake

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  mason

Hate is not welcome here. Try to open your mind. Just because you have not seen something with your own eyes does not mean it is not true. Let’s have more love and more open minds.

Malu Trevejo
Malu Trevejo
2 years ago

follow me on insta, i love whales,

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Malu Trevejo

What is your Insta handle Malu? We always want to support Whale lovers.

Anthony M Bond
Anthony M Bond
2 years ago
Reply to  mason

i agree

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Anthony M Bond

It is great to see people supporting our efforts to bring whales (and soon sharks, dolphins and jellyfish) to the Great Lakes. Please support our efforts by getting a free Grand Haven Whale Watching sticker. Write me at mary@grandhavenwhalewatching.com for details. Please be careful. If you are not going to take one of our excursions, only look for the whales from shore. We highly, highly discourage private boats, swimming, surfing or kiteboarding in the whale areas.

Mauricio H
Mauricio H
2 years ago

fake

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Mauricio H

What do you mean by fake? Please tone down the hate. Fake is often used as a trigger word by those who are not willing to explore things that are uncomfortable to them. Love the whales and hate the hate. Please be part of the solution. Whales are cool.

Malu
Malu
2 years ago

this is adorable

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Malu

You are pretty cute yourself Malu.

Freddie and Deloris
Freddie and Deloris
2 years ago

Hi Mary!

I hope that all is well. We are very excited to come up and see you all again this year.

We are having a tough time the returning this year, as our BlueBird Motorhome Wanderlodge has had a several challenges in the migration back up from Florida. First out air horn broke and would only play our arrival song (Yellow Rose of Texas). Now it is stuck on playing the La Cucaracha and then automatically plays the full length version of Free Bird and we can’t get the air brakes to pressure up. That slick salesman at Holland Motorhomes got me on that upgrade!

While we are stuck in Jacksonville, we did find what appears to be one of Lyle’s old boats from the water ski show. With a little paint,might be a good addition to your fleet! If you wan to wire me the money I can pick it up on te way.

https://jacksonville.craigslist.org/boa/d/jacksonville-1979-mastercraft-stars-and/6895680042.html

Looking Forward to seeing you soon!

Freddie and Deloris

Joey VanDoosenburg
Admin
Joey VanDoosenburg
2 years ago

Hello Freddie and Deloris,

It is good to hear from you. I am sorry that Mary is not available. She is at helping to reinstall the catwalk on the Grand Haven pier today. I look forward to hearing that horn once you make it up this way. We are looking for a musical horn for the S.S. Guppy. If you are interested in selling the horn, let us know. We could set up a trade for two tickets for our test cruise at 2:00 a.m. on June 1. We are making the early morning run to avoid getting stopped by the Ottawa County Marine Patrol. They seem to have it out for us ever since they heard that some of our guests end up having to bail during some of our cruises.

Joey VanDoosenburg
Admin
Joey VanDoosenburg
2 years ago

By the way, if you ever find this beauty, please let us know. We would like to put our guests up in the air on the Ski Cat.
comment image

Aiden Schinkel
2 years ago

You cant salt a lake and you shouldn’t eat whales . . . that’s abuse.

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Aiden Schinkel

We would love to have you join us on one of our salting expeditions. During these special tours we allow guests to be part of the salting process. Please contact our office to reserve your spot.

Pablo Arickson
Pablo Arickson
2 years ago

Today in the Wall Street Journal, “Is that Whale a Russian Agent? The Beluga Isn’t Saying” describes the real world threat of Russian’s attaching devices to whales to spy on other countries.

What actions are you taking to make sure that your whales are not covert Russian operatives?

Is it just Beluga’s that fall prey to these practices?

Can any whales be trusted!??!!

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Pablo Arickson

Thanks for your question. We are watching this story carefully. While we do not feel there is a real threat from Russia, we are concerned that Wisconsin may try to infiltrate our herd in an effort to better understand what is happening on the happy side of the lake. We can not fully disclose our counter efforts, but we do take the threat from Wisconsin very seriously. If you have any direct questions about how we are fighting off this misuse of marine life, feel free to email our newly hired director of marine counter intelligence Vladimir Горбунков Brezhnev. He is leading our efforts and has assured us there is nothing to worry about related to Russia. He says just keep your attention on Wisconsin.

Seymour De Lac
Seymour De Lac
2 years ago

Hi Mary and Joey!

The T-CCCA (Tri-Cities Chamber of Concierge Association) would like to thank you for the Friday Night mixer and sample tour last weekend. While I did pick up a little rash (not sure if it was a flare up from our younger days at the Lucky 7 Bay Beach Club, or from petting the whale), it was truly a thrill and worth the shot at the Not-So Urgent Care Center at NOCK.

Can you sign me up for your referal program? As a member of the T-CCCA, I would love to refer all of my guests to this wonderful attraction! My plan would be to replace the Saw Mill locations of Grand Haven, The Water Tank Hill Climb and Ghost Tours of Central Park excursion with yours as it really has something for everyone.

It was exciting to hear about your plans for your entry in the Coast Guard Festivities Parade. Your ideas of a retired Macy’s Ballon floating a whale down Washington St…..WOW!! I hope you get that permit from the FAA!

Also,please send me some more brosures!!

Sal Spitch - Marketing Director of GHWW
Admin
Sal Spitch - Marketing Director of GHWW
2 years ago
Reply to  Seymour De Lac

Mary and Joey are not available this week, so I am answering your post on their behalf.

While we would love to send you some brochures, you forgot to include your email address. It sounds like you are just the type of person we would love to work with.

munashe
2 years ago

i am a whale hear me roar

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  munashe

Please join our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/Grand-Haven-Whale-Watching-928209533856332 and roar all you want. Thanks for your support.

Liam Jones
2 years ago

bruh this site is fake

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Liam Jones

Hello Liam,

Thanks for taking time to write. Let me start off by saying I don’t think I am your bruh.

Why do you think this site is fake? Please don’t be a hater. It is better to have an open mind and understand that not everything you learned in school is always correct. Keep your mind and heart open and find your way to understanding that whales have a real place in our society and in our precious Lake Michigan. I hope you will find it in your hear to believe.

Samantha Jowett
Samantha Jowett
2 years ago
Reply to  Liam Jones

Really? That’s unfortunate.

jonah
2 years ago

lol this website is fake

Julie McAnnoy, Cruise Director
Admin
Julie McAnnoy, Cruise Director
2 years ago
Reply to  jonah

Please don’t be so closed minded. I assume you also think the Village of Spring Lake’s Facebook page is fake as well?

ccsExposer
2 years ago

We did this in our library class and this website isa hoax

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  ccsExposer

You rode the whales in your library class? We would love to see pictures. Please send them along and we will try to post our favorites here. Thanks for taking time to ride the whales with your library class.

therealninja54875855
2 years ago

i love whales their so cool, i eat them!!!

Kate Tering - Head of Food and Beverage Services at GHWW
Admin
Kate Tering - Head of Food and Beverage Services at GHWW
2 years ago

It is great to hear from you. We also love our whales. While we raise our Lake Michigan Whales primarily for educational purposes, we plan to increase our herd to a size where we can start supplying whale nuggets and whale steaks for sale at the new Norm’s Ice Cream stand on the east side of town. If you know of anyone at Butch’s, we are trying to reach them to talk about offering a Whale Burrito. Unfortunately, they won’t return our calls.

bob
bob
2 years ago

FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE NO WHALES IN THE GREAT LAKES

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  bob

That was true until we came along. Please open your mind and heart to the lovely Lake Michigan whales. Take time to learn more by visiting us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Grand-Haven-Whale-Watching-928209533856332

Your Dad
Your Dad
2 years ago

I slapped a whale

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Your Dad

Please don’t. Watch them, pet them, love them … but don’t slap them.

Dan Dooper
Dan Dooper
2 years ago

Just wondering about the bucket seats. Do they come with popcorn and root beer?

Kate Tering - Head of Food and Beverage Services at GHWW
Admin
Kate Tering - Head of Food and Beverage Services at GHWW
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Dooper

We are pleased to offer a wide selection of root beer. Options include: DAD’s, Fanta, Hires and Town Club.

As for popcorn, we had to eliminate popcorn from tour. Unfortunately, we found the butter was an irritant to whale skin. We have decided to replace popcorn with chocolate covered pretzels from the new Miss Lisa’s ice cream stand in Ferrysburg.

Robin Lewis
Robin Lewis
2 years ago

While I have yet to take a tour, I find the site interesting. Do you think that global warming has helped the whales settle in Lake Michigan?

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lewis

I am sorry, we are not familiar with the phrase “global warming”. However, we can tell you that GHWW is actively asking parents to not let their kids pee in the lake while they are swimming. We are concerned the number of swimmers at the Grand Haven State Park beach last year caused a slight increase in the water temperature resulting in additional moodiness among the male whales.

We are glad you find our site interesting and hope you will join one of our tours soon. We hope to have all of our excursion vessels patched and ready to go by June. The biggest problem is finding enough unemployed welders. We are hoping for an economic downturn that will result in more available skilled laborers.

Brent Dodson
Brent Dodson
2 years ago

Your last name is bigger than your brain.

Kevin Chung
2 years ago

is this fake or sum

Mrs Jackson
Mrs Jackson
2 years ago

We were able to join a tour last minute and it did not disappoint! The tour guide was very knowledgeable and made the whole trip enjoyable. I was a little put off by the boat patch work and glad that we did not sit in the back (the “bucket” seats… Where you’re in charge of a bucket to drain water from the boat). Regardless of what anyone says, the good outweighs the bad – how many other chances will you get to see whales in lake Michigan?! My husband and I were able to row the boat both in lake and out, I didn’t have to do arm work outs for a month! The kids especially liked the tubes for riding in that were tied to the back of the boat!

Mary
Admin
Mary
2 years ago
Reply to  Mrs Jackson

It was a pleasure having you on board. Nice comments like your message here makes it all worth it.

We hope you will be able to join us again later this year. We are thinking about adding alligators and tuna to the tour.

Dab Nibler
Dab Nibler
2 years ago

As a chemist I am more than aware of the differences in densities between ocean water (1.02g/mL) and fresh water (1.00g/mL). Whales in fresh water are heavier in comparison to whales in salt water. This difference requires whales to hold more air in their lungs to maintain neutral buoyancy which has numerous health benefits for them. I imagine this is why Moby is as long lived as he his. Could someone remind me of his birthday and age?

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Dab Nibler

Hello Dab,

You sound like just the sort of person we are looking to for. We have been trying to get our whales to hold more air in their lungs without much success. We would like to start a respiratory therapy program for our fresh water whales in partnership with the Michigan State University vet program.

Fernyt
Fernyt
2 years ago

Awesome idea Mary! I might even consider coming out of retirement to teach in this program!

Stephen c Thiele
Stephen c Thiele
2 years ago

Thanks so much Chris for the tour. It was amazing to see the humpbacks and killer whales. Who knew just a few miles off Grand Haven beach there is so much going on in the whale world?? I will send all my friends and family

Julie McAnnoy, Cruise Director
Admin

We really appreciate your kinds words. Our business depends on satisfied customers like yours.

By the way, we are sorry about that leak in our boat on the day of your tour. More than 48% of the time the tours complete without any leaks or accidents. Thanks for your understanding.

Daniel Vynicus
2 years ago

me too movement

Julie McAnnoy, Cruise Director
Admin
Julie McAnnoy, Cruise Director
2 years ago
Reply to  Daniel Vynicus

What do you mean by the me too movement? Are you trying to imply something here?

jesse
3 years ago

hi people hello everybody

Horatio Steeponwyter, Director of On-water Operations
Admin
Reply to  jesse

Hello Jesse. We are looking forward to having you join us this year watching the majestic whales of Lake Michigan. Please buy your tickets now. If you wait until after we pass our safety inspection, prices will certainly be higher. The savings is worth the risk.

christopher
Admin
christopher
2 years ago

Yes.

Fran Tarkenton
3 years ago

I just want to thank your organization for giving me and my family a truly life changing experience. I never though that I would be able to show my little girl the whales, but thanks to you i was able to for fill her dreams. the price was so reasonable, and everyone was so nice. thank you.

Julie McAnnoy, Cruise Director
Admin
Julie McAnnoy, Cruise Director
3 years ago
Reply to  Fran Tarkenton

Frank,
We loved having your family join us. While we regret the leak during your trip, we appreciate your good attitude as you and your family swam toward shore. It is our hope the experience was even a greater adventure because of this situation.

Stephen Thiele
Stephen Thiele
3 years ago

You are such a dork Mr. VAN

Horatio Steeponwyter, Director of On-water Operations
Admin
Reply to  Stephen Thiele

Miss having you around this semester.

john
john
3 years ago

Nice freakin try, if you guys did your research whales could never live in lake michigan.

christopher
Admin
christopher
3 years ago
Reply to  john

You seem to have a lot of knowledge about the topic. Are you an oceanographer? Please consider joining our team. You can find out more information about available openings by visiting the Staff Directory under the About Us menu item.

GIDKID
3 years ago

FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE

christopher
Admin
christopher
3 years ago
Reply to  GIDKID

What makes you think so? Are you an oceanographer? In any case, thanks for your comments and we look forward to seeing you on one of our future tours. Please join us soon.

Yvette Sample
Yvette Sample
5 years ago

How do I get to see them?

Julie McAnnoy, Cruise Director
Admin
Julie McAnnoy, Cruise Director
3 years ago
Reply to  Yvette Sample

Please join one of our tours. That is the easiest way to see the whales. We look forward to having you join us soon.

nancy tipton
nancy tipton
5 years ago

what kind of joke is this? are you trying to put a sea world in lake michigan…..Don’t even go there!!!!

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  nancy tipton

Sorry for the confusion. This is not Sea World. This is Grand Haven Whale Watching.

Please don’t joke about our whales. They are a bit sensitive.

Kathy Mammel
Kathy Mammel
5 years ago

I would love more information…are these beluga whales, how will they be kept in one area, what will they eat, etc.
thank you.

Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
Admin
Mary VanDoosenburg, Founder and Chief Oceanic Officer
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathy Mammel

Great questions. These whales are big ones. For legal reasons, we can not tell you the exact species. The best way to find out is to come to join us on one of our tours. Once we get all of the holes repaired in our boats we will be ready to start tours again. Be sure to spread the word and be part of this great new adventure.

cheap air max boys
5 years ago

Keep working ,impressive job!

Horatio Steeponwyter, Director of On-water Operations
Admin

Thanks for the encouragement. We are spending the winter repairing holes in our boats and settling lawsuits from a couple of last year’s mishaps. Besides that things are going great.