I have taken several whale watch cruises out of Plymouth, Bourne and Provincetown, MA. Although the cruises tend to go to the same area (Stellwagen Bank), regardless of departure, I have found the ones that depart from Provincetown to be the most enjoyable.
I especially enjoy the moonlight cruise as I seemed to get luckiest at seeing whales at that time of day. On one moonlight cruise out of P-Town I saw several pods of right whales, dolphins and birds. At other times of day I have had the misfortune of not seeing anything… but the cruise was always enjoyable.
If you do plan to go on a whale watch, do bring a sweatshirt or jacket regardless of how hot it is outside! The cruises go pretty far out on the water and the wind can become quite cold, you must trust me on this! If you do find yourself wanting to take a cruise at the last minute there are a couple of shops not far from the wharf that sell sweat shirts really cheap. They may not all be fashionable but the best views are on the deck outside where the ocean breeze is located.
A camera is OK to bring but frankly it is really easy to miss out on a great tail flip or other impressive sight while trying to get the perfect shot… Unless you have been on one before, I suggest you enjoy the experience and forego using your camera… or if you have one of those handy dandy little video cameras just let it run and let it catch what it does as you watch with your eyes. Your choice… just a suggestion.
Some people like to bring binoculars too. I feel a similar way about binoculars as I do with cameras. These mammals can move so quickly that while looking into the narrow scope of a pair of binoculars, you can easily miss something else that you would have seen had you used your natural vision. It really is a matter of preference. Take them if you want, but just be aware that they can be both a gift and a curse.
When in Provincetown there are 2 choices that you have to go with, either the Portuguese Princess Excursions or the Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with either and both are priced the same… however I have found that sometimes you can get deals on the tickets when you purchase them directly on the wharf or online.
For the most part you can expect to pay $35 for adults, $27 for children aged 5 - 12 and children aged 4 and under can cruise for free.
I have not added any pictures of my own, however you can visit the following links below to find out more information on the whale watches, which includes lots of pictures and at least one video.
Portuguese Princess Excursions:
Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown: