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Outer Island Excursions offers customized private charters throughout the San Juan Islands departing directly from The Willows Inn. We can run private charters for 2 people all the way up to over 100.

Choose from one of our popular private charter packages below, or design your own custom experience. Endless possibilities are available on your custom trip- you can enjoy multiple activities on a single outing. Our knowledgeable captains and naturalists can guide you in any combination of activities that you choose (time permitting) such as: whale watching, salmon fishing, bottom fishing, crabbing, remote island stops for picnics or nature walks, kayaking, fine dining, photography, lighthouse tours, birdwatching, geocaching, and more.

Feel free to call us to make a reservation or to discuss options and we can help you design the ultimate Pacific Northwest experience!

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Whale Watching & Fishing

“The Ultimate San Juan Islands Experience”

Approximately 4-5 hours

Set out on an adventure to search for whales and other wildlife, and take some time to drop some lines to catch fish you can take home for dinner. We start the tour setting out in search for Orcas (Killer Whales), Humpback Whales, Gray Whales, Minke Whales, dolphins, porpoises, eagles, seals, sea lions, and more. After enjoying whales and wildlife we head to target fishing areas in search of Halibut, Lingcod, Flounder, Kelp Greenling, and whatever fish are in season. With groups of 12 or less we can also fish for Salmon on our Salmon certified vessels. This trip our most popular trip, especially for families seeking their first experience fishing or whale watching in the San Juan Islands.

Island Hopping and Lighthouses

“Explore the Outer Islands: The San Juan’s Best Kept Secret”

Approximately 4-5 hours

Explore some of the most scenic and idyllic landscapes of the Pacific Northwest while touring lighthouses, and experience the thrill of discovery while finding fossils, and the awe of hiking in an old growth forest. We set out to the Outer Islands, the Washington Marine State Parks our company is named for. At Patos Lighthouse we can land on the island and delve into the fascinating history of this beautiful landmark. We then head over to Sucia Island to go further back in time to the era of dinosaurs to discover fossils embedded in the sandstone. A bone from a large carnivorous dinosaur like T-Rex was found here just last year! We then can head over to Matia Island to hike the ~1 mile trail through its beautiful intact old growth forest. Then we can go out to explore other lighthouses such as Turn Point Lighthouse, Lime Kiln Lighthouse, and beyond. On all of our tours we are always looking for whales and other wildlife along the way. We often see Orcas, Humpbacks, Minkes, eagles, seals, sea lions, and more.


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Take the helm and develop your own itinerary for what you would like to do on the water. With a custom charter you can decide what you would like to do- if you have ideas about what you would like to do on the water we will do our very best to accommodate your special requests. Our starting rates are for a three hour minimum, and for each activity we recommend adding an additional hour. For example we recommend ~4 hours for whale/wildlife viewing, ~5 hours for whale/wildlife viewing and fishing, ~6 hours for whale/wildlife viewing, fishing, and an island stop, and so on.


Custom charter rates are determined by the vessel and duration of your trip. Rates below reflect the minimum cost for a private charter on any given vessel. If you choose to extend your trip for additional time to include an island stop on your trip there is a lower rate for when the boat is parked (wait time) than the regular running time when the vessel is underway. If you choose to include fishing or crabbing on your private charter we recommend fewer people to compensate for the additional fishing equipment provided.

See more information and photos of each vessel here.

Private Charter Rates

26 ft boat

  • “The Loki” or “The Blackmouth”
  • Up to 6 passengers total
  • Best for 4 to 6 fishermen
  • $800 for the first 3 hours for boat and captain
  • $200 each additional hour running time
  • $100 each additional hour wait time

30 ft Boat

  • “The Triton”
  • Up to 12 passengers total
  • Best for 6 to 8 fishermen
  • $1,200 for the first 3 hours for boat and captain
  • $300 each additional hour running time
  • $200 each additional hour waiting time

34 ft Boat

  • “Blackfish Express
  • Up to 29 passengers total
  • $2,000 for the first 3 hours for boat and captain
  • $550 each additional hour running time
  • $200 each additional hour waiting time

38 ft Boat

    • “Blackfish III”
    • Up to 30 passengers total
    • Best for up to 14 fishermen
    • $2,200 for the first 3 hours for boat and captain
    • $550 each additional hour running time
    • $200 each additional hour waiting time
  • 44 ft Boat

      • “Blackfish IV”
      • Up to 49 passengers total
      • $4500 for the first 3 hours for boat and captain
      • $1000 each additional hour running time
    • $350 each additional hour waiting time


Looking for a shared whale watching tour? We also have daily scheduled afternoon group whale watching tours that are about 5 hours. Our tours depart directly from the Willows Inn beach. Learn more here…

Outer Island Excursions can start your charter from anywhere in the region including Lopez, San Juan, Shaw, Blakely, Lummi Island, Anacortes, Bellingham and most anywhere else you might be in the San Juan Islands. Please check our location pages for more information for your area.


We meet at the Willows Inn at the beach. Walk directly onto the beach and prepare for a thrill as the boat arrives charging up on the sandy shore! Due to the inherent nature of beach landings, tours departing from the Willows must take place in calm weather. We recommend close-toed shoes that you don’t mind if they get a little sandy or wet.

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Orcas, humpbacks, grays, minkes, porpoises, and more amazing wildlife can be found on one of our daily scheduled afternoon group tours. Learn more here…


Bring your kids bottom fishing for crab, lingcod, kelp greenling, halibut, and more or patiently seek Salmon- Kings, Silvers, Pinks, and more await beneath the surface. Learn more here…


Want to explore islands where the State Ferries don’t go? Get off the beaten path anywhere in the San Juans with a water taxi. Even land on a remote beach! Learn more here…