A humpback whale's fluke is photographed on Chase Dekker's whale watching photo tour.

WHEN: April 9, 17, 23, 29 and May 3 & 14, 2021 ALL SOLD OUT! 

TIME: All departures at 6:30AM returning around 1:30PM (~7 hours)

COST: $195 per person 


GROUP SIZE: 8-9 people (down from 15 people)


Due to the ongoing pandemic, we have decided to cut the passenger in load by almost half from 15 participants to 8-9 to ensure everyone gets plenty of space while photographing the wildlife. Because of this, we have had to raise the price of the workshop to compensate for the loss of half of the passengers. Certain protocols from the requirement of face masks and social distancing will be enforced throughout the entirety of the trip. Anyone that does not feel comfortable with wearing a face mask while onboard will be denied boarding. Any passenger that also feels sick or has recently been in close proximity with someone they know to have COVID-19 will be asked to not come on the workshop. By registering for this workshop, you are acknowledging the safety protocol that is being implemented to make sure we keep this as safe and healthy an environment as we can. 

Come aboard the Sanctuary for a 6-7 hour sunrise or sunset tour of Monterey Bay in search of whales, dolphins, and more! On this extended tour, you will be joined by biologist and photographer, Chase Dekker. Chase holds degrees in Organismal Biology and Zoology and is also a certified naturalist and interpretive guide.


He has spent the last few years working in the field behind a camera, creating imagery that promotes conservation and environmental awareness. These tours have a heavy focus on marine photography as we try to place ourselves out in the bay during optimal times for light and sea conditions. We limit the passenger load to only 8 people (down from 15 people) to ensure you have plenty of room to photograph the whales while receiving a lot of one-on-one time with your guide. The Sanctuary is the perfect vessel for whale photography as the stern rises no more than 3 feet above the sea. This gives you a spectacular low vantage point to photograph the wildlife from an intimate level that few other vessels offer. The Sanctuary is also equipped with an indoor cabin that has snacks, drinks, and a restroom.


Whether you are a beginner or expert photographer, you are bound to pick up some new skills and tips on capturing stunning marine life imagery. For those who are not into photography, this is still an excellent trip to be out on the water during a beautiful time of day. You can sit back, relax, and watch the whales swim and breach under the setting Pacific sun while the photographers let their shutters fly! The sunrise photography tours running between April - May will be a good time to look for killer whales as they come into the bay to hunt migrating gray whales. We might also encounter humpback whales, blue whales, and multiple species of dolphins. From July - November, expect to see humpbacks, blues, and dolphins with the occasional killer whale sighting. There will also be opportunities to photograph sea otters, sea lions, and many bird species.


So whatever your interests may be, we look forward to welcoming you aboard for an amazing whale watching experience!


  • Born and raised in the Monterey Peninsula giving me years to explore the region

  • 16+ years of experience out in the wild with a wide-variety of wildlife

  • Small group size to make sure you get a lot of one-on-one instruction and information

  • Degrees in both Organismal Biology and Zoology to give up to date information about the wildlife we encounter

  • Deep knowledge and experience with guiding and photographing along the California coastline

  • Thorough understanding of the biology, geology, history, and ecology of the California coastline

  • Extensive knowledge of cameras and how to further your photography skills in the field

  • Joined by a licensed captain who knows the Bay and where the wildlife is


  • Gray Whale

  • Humpback Whale

  • Killer Whale

  • Blue Whale

  • Fin Whale

  • Risso's Dolphin

  • Pacific White-

     Sided Dolphins


  • Bottlenose Dolphin

  • Right Whale Dolphin

  • Long-Beaked Common Dolphin

  • Sea Otter

  • Sea Lion

  • Harbor Seal

  • Blue Shark

  • Great White Shark

  • Brown Pelican

  • Brandt's Cormorant

  • Great Blue Heron

  • Great Egret

  • Snowy Egret

  • Common Murre

  • Tufted Puffin

  • Rhinoceros Auklet

  • Northern Fulmar

  • Common Loon

  • Black-footed

  • Albatross

Photos taken on these workshops


  • $195 per passenger 

  • Parking is not included ($8 in cash for all day parking)

  • Seasickness relief bands can be rented on booking site for $7 each


  • DSLR camera body

  • Wide angle lens (e.g. 16-35,mm 24-70mm, etc. Mostly used for close-ups)

  • Mid range lens (70-300mm)

  • Polarizing filter

  • UV filter

  • Camera bag capable of carrying gear and daily necessities

  • Telephoto (300mm-400mm+)

  • Warm jacket

  • Sunscreen

  • Hat 

  • Non-slip shoes

  • Sunglasses 

  • Dramamine for seasickness


The Sanctuary Cruises boat sits in the harbor before heading out for Chase Dekker's whale watching photo tour.
  • 43-feet in length

  • Biodiesel Engine

  • Comfortable Indoor Cabin

  • Snacks & Drinks Onboard

  • Bathroom

  • Low to the water 

  • Coast Guard certified

  • Life Vests

  • Can hold up to 40 passengers, so with 8 people aboard you will have plenty of room!


To register for a whale watching trip (with Chase as your guide), visit, where you can sign up and rent motion sickness wrist bands, if needed. 


To locate photography workshops on the Sanctuary Cruises website, use their online booking calendar and you'll find the tours on these dates listed below. They are titled "Photography Workshop/Wildlife Cruise"

If you require further assistance, please call the phone numbers below:

Chase: (425) 301-1757

Sanctuary Cruises Office: (831) 917-1042

Friday, April 9th, 2021 at 6:30AM SOLD OUT!

Saturday April 17th, 2021 at 6:30AM SOLD OUT!

Friday, April 23rd, 2021 at 6:30AM SOLD OUT!

Thursday, April 29rd, 2021 at 6:30AM SOLD OUT!

Monday, May 3rd, 2021 at 6:30AM SOLD OUT!

Friday, May 14th, 2021 at 6:30AM SOLD OUT!

Summer and Autumn whale workshops will be announced in June!