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A whale tail out of the water

Nantucket Cruises and Whale Watching Tours with Nantucket by Water

The Nantucket whaling history tour with Nantucket by Water tops the list of fantastic cruises and whale watching tours to experience on your next visit to our island paradise. Formerly known as Shearwater Excursions, this locally owned and family-operated eco-tour company provides fun and educational trips around Nantucket Harbor and more adventurous outings to explore the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge.

Exciting Adventures for All Ages

Nantucket by Water provides exciting, adventurous, and safe outings for people of any age. The whaling history tour, however, is one of their most popular choices and offers an experience you won’t forget!

Nantucket’s long reign as the world’s whaling capital in the late 18th and early 19th centuries left its mark on the island. This tour reveals the remaining landmarks of that historic period and shares insight into what life was like aboard a whaling ship.

Adults Only

With public and private charters, Nantucket by Water’s line-up of tours includes something for everyone. Grouped by category for adults, families, and adventurers, the outfitter captures the imagination of all ages.

Adults might opt for the 1.5-hour cocktail cruise around Nantucket Harbor. BYOB and sit back for a leisurely sightseeing trip accompanied by on-board music. Hop aboard at the golden hour for a relaxing sunset cruise to experience some of the most glorious sunsets found anywhere.

Fun for the Whole Family

  • Trips include an up-harbor eco-cruise exploring Polpis and Wauwinet, with a swim or picnic stop on Coatue.
  • Bring the kids along for a kids’ fishing trip. The trip will include a hands-on introduction to catch-and-release fishing and a primer on basic fishing techniques.
  • The ultimate excursion for adults and children requires booking the Harbor and Ice Cream Cruise. Listen to a narrated harbor tour while relishing a frozen treat and gazing upon mega-yachts.

Oyster Farm Tours

In addition to their regular tour schedule, a trip to an authentic oyster farm to learn how to farm and harvest these succulent bivalves thrills most adventurers. Visit the Fifth Bend Oyster Farm to witness oyster farmers at work. Offered Wednesdays and Saturdays from mid-June through late September, this 2-hour, up-harbor tour delights all oyster lovers.

After touring an oyster farm, treat yourself to a seafood dinner at the top seafood restaurants in Nantucket!

Meet the Fleet

The fleet of Nantucket by Water includes the Minke, a 26-foot Classic Crosby Launch with a full canopy top that carries 23 passengers and departs from Straight Wharf, and a 24-foot Carolina Skiff that carries 11 passengers and departs from Children’s Beach Public Pier. Both vessels are United States Coast Guard-inspected and offer a safe and worry-free environment.

The Nantucket whaling history tour with Nantucket by Water ranks among the top things to do on Nantucket in summer and early fall. But the island itself is an adventure in any season.

See our list of other top-rated water activities. Book a room in the main house or guest house at the Seven Sea Street Inn, and let us show you our genuine island hospitality.

Photo Credit: © Andrea Holien via

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