Island Packers has Resumed Transportation
to the Channel Islands and for Wildlife & Whale Watching
Island Packers Cruises is the Official Boat Concessionaire for the Channel Islands National Park. We offer year round transportation to the “local islands” Santa Cruz and Anacapa. We offer trips to the “outer islands”, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara from March through November on a limited schedule.
Island Packers Cruises also offer trips that get close to the islands without going ashore which are designed so you can to view the abundant wildlife found in the waters of the Channel Islands National Park and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Seasonally, in summer and winter we offer Whale Watching trips.
Other special trips for birding and trips to special areas of Santa Cruz island that are property of The Nature Conservancy are available as scheduled. We also have Harbor Cruises with dinner and live music during the Summer months.
During the current pandemic, some trips like harbor cruises have had to be cancelled due to social distancing considerations. We hope to return to these trip in 2021.
Island Packers will continue to provide service to our passengers as long as it is permitted.
We will meet all government guidelines as we provide safe travel to the Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary.
Click the button below for complete Covid -19 guidelines and requirements.
Island Trips and Wildlife Viewing Options
Seasons Ends April 15, 2021
Book Now – Don’t Miss the Boat!
Winter Whale Watching
Island Packers’ Gray Whale Watching departs from both the Channel Islands and Ventura Harbors. This 3-3.5 hour cruise takes you to the Southern California waters of the Santa Barbara Channel. READ MORE
Anacapa Island – AI
Anacapa Island is the second smallest island in Channel Islands National Park, only slightly larger than Santa Barbara Island. Although approximately 4 miles tip to tip, Anacapa includes just under a square mile of land. Anacapa is the closest island to the mainland. From either harbor of departure, it lies 12 to14 miles offshore. Due to its close location, READ MORE…
Available – Limited Year-Round
Prisoners Harbor, SCI
w/ Painted Cave Excursion
Departing the Ventura Harbor this 1.5 hour trip to Prisoners Harbor will drop off day and campers passengers before heading out to view Painted Cave. You will return to Prisoners Harbor for a READ MORE
Available – Year-Round
This 3.5 hour cruise will take you through the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the Channel Islands National Park.in, Pacific White Sided Dolphin and Dall’s Porpoise. READ MORE…
Available – February
Santa Rosa Island – SRI
At 84 square miles, 53,000 acres, Santa Rosa is the second largest of the eight Channel Islands. There are two relatively high mountains on the island; Black Mountain, 1298 ft (396 m); and Soledad Peak 1574 ft (480 m). READ MORE…
Available Mid July – September
Summer Whale Watching
Locating these majestic mammals often requires a longer boat ride. Concentrations of feeding whales tend to occur near the western end of the Channel. These trips are 5-6 hours in length with no island landing. READ MORE
News & Announcements | Things You’ll Want to Know
Get the App!
The Official Channel Islands National Park Mobile App (Free)
Enrich your visit to Channel Islands National Park with the official, free app from the National Park Service (NPS). Digitally explore the park—by map or by topic of interest. Discover the natural and cultural stories in context with their locations. Find the information you need about visitor centers, events, services, and self-guided tours and trails throughout the park
The app is free and available on the App Store and on Google Play.
Get the Latest Weather in our Area
Weather is important. It can cause cancellations, a rough boat ride or a truly beautiful day. Have the latest information to help plan your trip.
Click the Buttons Below to View the latest Marine Weather Forecast from the National Weather Service.
This map is a representation of the map you see when you click the Marine Forecast button below. The small green oval is the area we travel to in the winter months. The actual map on the NWS site is interactive and you can click in the general area of the green circle and get the marine weather forecast for the area you will be traveling in today.
The button below will give you the forecast temperatures on the mainland coast. Temperatures can be 10 degrees less on the water.
Island Day Trip
Discover All There is to Know
For a complete list of the wildlife of the islands, trail maps, points of interest, activities, highlights and more, we strongly recommend passengers download the Channel Islands National Park app so you can access the information while visiting the islands. This app is a fantastic resource for both return visitors and first-timers. Cell reception on the islands is limited.
Get the App!