Condor Express - SEA Landing
301 W. Cabrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA  93101

(805) 882-0088 (Phone)   |   (888) 779-4253 (Toll Free)   |   (805) 965-0942 (Fax)
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Year Founded:
    1973
Description:
   This all-new, 75 foot, high-speed catamaran is the most comfortable & advanced vessel on the west coast, in the premier Whale Watching & Party/Dinner Cruise venue in California. Crew members are experienced naturalists. Come ride with the experts.
    The Santa Barbara Channel is home to over 30 different species of whales, dolphins, and seals and sealions that visit throughout the year, making these waters some of the most consistent locations found anywhere to view a variety of marine mammals. The Discovery Channel's "Wonders of our National Parks" highlighted the outstanding abundance of marine life in the Santa Barbara Channel and named it "One of the 10 Best Places in the WORLD to View Wildlife."
    From May through November (summer season) our cruising grounds include the nutrient rich waters around Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands. It's this area that is generally considered to contain one of the world's highest concentration of feeding blue whales and humpback whales in the world! In the winter and spring months we visit with the California gray whale herd as it passes by on both their Southern and Northern migration.
    The CONDOR EXPRESS is available for private charters for those who wish to book the entire vessel for any type of function or event, including birthdays, weddings, fundraisers, anniversaries, or a sunset cruise. Groups can be as small as 10 people or up to 149 persons. The CONDOR EXPRESS is just what your group needs for that perfect experience on the water. Its large, luxuriously teak paneled, walk through cabin offers comfortable booth seating for up to 68 people! A complete galley, cocktail bar, buffet hot table and salad bar. And catering is always available from light snacks and hors d'oeuvres to full dinners. We also offer regularly-scheduled Open Party Cocktail/Sunset Cruises along the coast, as well as Adventure Cruises such as Pelagic Bird Trips, Island Kayaking, and much more throughout the year. The CONDOR EXPRESS is also the perfect platform for educational and research trips, as well as marine-oriented film work. It has the speed and stability to work comfortably anywhere your research needs take you, and is well equipped with state of the art navigational equipment, a large working deck, and the ability to work underwater equipment.
Activities Available:
    Birding,  Cruises,  Kayaking,  Tours,  Whale Watching,  Wildlife Tours,  


 
Business Hours:
    Summer: 24/7 -- Winter: 6 am - 7 pm
Location Type:
    Boat
Payment Accepted:
    Cash,   MasterCard,   Visa,  Debit Card,  
Languages Spoken:
    English,  
General Business Classification:
    Leisure & Recreation
    Categories:
    Bird Watching
    Boat Charters
    Boat Charters
    Deep-Sea Fishing
    Kayaking & Canoeing
    Tours
    Whale Watching
    Whale Watching
    Whale Watching
    Wildlife Tours

Admittance:
    During normal business hours.
Indoor/Outdoor:
    Outdoor Location
Handicapped Accessible?
    Yes
Smoking?
    Some restrictions
Cell Phones & Pagers?
    Permitted
Cameras/Recording Equip.?
    Permitted
Pets Allowed?
    No
Gift Certificates?
    Available for Sale
Classes Offered?
    Yes.
 Recent Buzzes!!
9/22/14 - Lots of Humpbacks and Dolphins
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Captain Eric ran east, as has been our custom these past few weeks. The day started off calm with overcast skies and ended up calm with sun. At least 1,500 long beaked common dolphins were closely watched throughout the trip and pods were everywhere we went. The first of 7 humpback whales was "Top Notch" who was quite friendly today and breached close to the boat. A bit further to the east, Captain Eric located 6 more humpback #whales and there was evidence of some surface lunge feeding going on. One whale swam directly under the boat. Once again the Fall conditions were spectacular and the cetaceans were both abundant and exciting.
9/20/14 - Another Flat, Calm, Sunny Day in Paradise !
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Ideal sea and weather conditions again permeated the Santa Barbara Channel, eastern region. Most of this trip was spent around Henry. There were long beaked common dolphins around the neighborhood all day long. The first humpback #whale of the four we watched closely (there were at least 2 additional spouts in the distance), was Top Notch. TN came alongside and showed off in the clear water again for a full body view....rostrum to tail flukes.
Another small whale was next on the sightings report. Lots of dolphins, sea birds and sea lions in and around the hot spots. About a mile east of Henry we went over to visit with the calf "with-white-on-both-sides" of its pectorals, and its mother. These two are always fun to see, and the calf did get pestered by some California sea lions and reacted a few times by rolling, waving its white pectorals, and other things that would send chills down the furry brown backs of the pinnipeds.
All in all it was another flat, calm, and sunny day in paradise.
9/10/14 - This Sunday ... Santa Barbara Waterfront History Cruise -- Make your reservations now!
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Come aboard the Condor Express this Sunday afternoon and learn about the intriguing waterfront and coastline landmarks that have contributed to Santa Barbara's color and historical past. Erin Graffy, historian and author of numerous books on Santa Barbara history (including the coffee table book "Santa Barbara Yacht Club: The Waterfront history") will entertain and delight us with a fascinating history of our coast from Hope ranch to Summerland.
As the Condor Express takes you on a comfortable and leisurely late-afternoon cruise along our picturesque waterfront and historical landmarks, you will learn: ..... Where is Santa Barbara's Great White Way, and why does it look that way? ..... When was Stearn's Wharf built and how did it transform Santa Barbara? ..... How did Santa Barbara become the center for Rum Runners during Prohibition, and where did bootleggers land that liquor? ..... Who was Hughette Clark -- the mysterious heiress who recently died at the age of 104? Where is her waterfront estate, and what were her special connections with Santa Barbara?
Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a full-service no-host bar will add to your cruise enjoyment.
Tickets are just $40 and are available by calling 963-3564 or go to www.condorexpress.com / for reservations or for more information.
Presented by ... Condor Express - SEA Landing
Venue ... Condor Express - SEA Landing  Website
9/4/14 - Humpbacks Sounding Off
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Captain Eric ran to the far east-central portion of the Santa Barbara Channel with flat calm conditions. The faithful Condor Express wildlife fans watched 4 humpback whales very closely, but there were easily another 3 or 4 in the near distance. There were several very close and friendly approaches to the boat as well as some rolling around, high tail fluking, and mixing with the #dolphins. Eric estimates roughly 750 or more common dolphins throughout the grounds, as well as a lone Minke whale.
The unique quality of today's encounter with the knobby headed whales was the continual sound of trumpet blows or calls from these beasts. Most every surface interval was accompanied by a trumpet solo as if we were watching Miles Davis or Freddie Hubbard on stage. Capt E also spotted a blue shark and followed it a while, although the fish kept swimming ahead at 5 or 6 knots and made it a challenge for everyone to get great looks other than seeing the dorsal fin. The adventure also took a run over to the east end of Santa Cruz Island and took a little tour along the majestic sea cliffs. At one point we went inside beautiful Potato Harbor for some sight seeing.  Website
9/3/14 - 4 Humpback Whales Surface Feed & More
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The glassy and windless conditions we had as we departed Santa Barbara Harbor did not last long. By 11 am a moderate breeze and light chop prevailed. Luckily we found our first of many long-beaked common dolphins right away. Later in the day one of the pods was a nursery pod and some of the youngsters were tan/brown color with no stripes yet, and fetal folds were visible. Our sharp-eyed Captain Eric located our first of 5 humpback whale spouts as he steered the Condor Express into the northeastern Santa Barbara Channel and a region affectionately called "The Flats." Soon his one spout became an adult and small juvenile, and then another adult with a juvenile. A 5th whale breached twice in the distance but we could not leave the #whale show with our 4 amazing beasts and were content in knowing there were a lot of humpback whales around the zone.
The big show began when one adult-juvenile humpback pair kicked into high speed and headed directly at the second adult-juvenile humpback pair who were aimed directly at them. It was like a 1950's teen movie with whales instead o f hot rods "playing chicken." Everyone held their breath and trained their eyeballs at the potential impact point. Would the breach? throw their tails? slap their pectorals? or just ignore each other? Answer: As hundreds of shearwaters, cormorants, dolphins and sea lions magically showed up, the whales lunge fed on the surface. Soon their ballooned-out bellies were floating in plain view. The whales repeated their lunges several times. At one point Captain Eric hit the throttle lever and put the Condor Express in reverse. Whaaa? I was thinking. Instantly two fully distended adult humpbacks were on the surface directly in front of our bow with an up close look at the ventral groove blubber. I've said it before, but I'll stand by it: it was a Nat Geo kind of day.
Minke whales were in the area but we did not get great looks. And just outside the Harbor we had about a dozen large inshore bottlenose common dolphins. I'll post the photos sometime tomorrow.  Website
9/3/14 - This Saturday .... have fun!! ..... Hawaiian Cruise Party on the Condor Express
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Saturday September 6 Board the Condor Express for their annual Hawaiian Aloha Cruise Joanie Collins returns from the Islands with special guests including Eric Rozet Tickets are $30 advanced $35 day of cruise Tickets available at Sea Landing 805 963-3564 or visit condorexpress.com/Specialty Cruises  Website
8/29/14 - Humpbacks and Dolphins on a Fine Day
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We ran southeast riding the swells from the wind blowing way out to the west end of the Santa Barbara Channel. Before long Captains Dave and Eric had located a big whale and a smaller whale. I know this sounds like yesterday's report, but these were two different and seemingly unrelated humpbacks. They had fairly long to medium down times and came up next to the boat a couple of times and thrilled the whale watchers on the Condor Express. What a magnificent sight...sunny, warm breezes, clear water and a whale a few dozen yards away. Great stuff. Long beaked common dolphins were, again, all around, all day....perhaps as many as 2,000 or more total. And there was another humpback a few miles to the northeast of our location but we did not get that far. California sea lions cavorted here and there, and there were several very large flocks of black vented shearwaters sitting on the water en masse. This is certainly a prime ticket for escaping the mainland and any woes you may have.  Website
8/28/14 - Juvenile humpback whale is Energizer Bunny in disguise !
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It was a bright and sunny day. There was a breeze near Santa Barbara Harbor and it got fresher as we made our way out into the Santa Barbara Channel. Long beaked common dolphins were all around, mostly in small pods. A group of high school students were among the many passengers from all over the world, and some of the students cheered every time we saw another #dolphin. It was shaping up to be a high energy day. We even spotted a nice sized sunfish or Mola mola, even though the Velella seem to be in decline. After passing through several common dolphin pods not far off the beach, Captain Dave steered a course offshore and before long his keen eyesight had located two spouts in the distance. There was on tall spout and one short spout. Upon arriving on the scene it was soon obvious that we were watching a mother humpback whale and her calf. The little calf said hello and greeted the Condor Express with a nice tail throw. I don't know if this humpback calf got a hold of some extremely rich mother's milk, or a school of high sugar content anchovies, or if it was simply joie de vivre, but it proceeded to breach non stop for about an hour an a half. After that, it moved on to slapping its white-on-both-sides pectoral fins and rolling around for another 45 minutes. Another possibility for all this activity might have been the wind. The crew and I have noticed humpbacks getting active when the wind picks up as it often does in the afternoon. The more wind, the higher they leap...in our limited non-scientific survey based on personal observations. For all we know the feeling of the strong breeze all over their airborne massive bodies might get them excited. I was excited watching this and so was everyone on the boat. One high school student actually did a NASA-style countdown "5-4-3-2-1" and the whale leaped. That's how regular and predictable the calf's behavior was there for a while.   Website
8/27/14 - Make your reservations ..... Santa Barbara Waterfront History Cruise -- Sunday, September 14
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Join the Condor Express on a Sunday afternoon and learn abou the intriguing waterfront and coastline landmarks that have contributed to Santa Barbara's color and historical past. Erin Graffy, historian and author of numerous books on Santa Barbara history (including the coffee table book "Santa Barbara Yacht Club: The Waterfront history") will entertain and delight us with a fascinating history of our coast from Hope ranch to Summerland.
As the Condor Express takes you on a comfortable and leisurely late-afternoon cruise along our picturesque waterfront and historical landmarks, you will learn: ..... Where is Santa Barbara's Great White Way, and why does it look that way? ..... When was Stearn's Wharf built and how did it transform Santa Barbara? ..... How did Santa Barbara become the center for Rum Runners during Prohibition, and where did bootleggers land that liquor? ..... Who was Hughette Clark -- the mysterious heiress who recently died at the age of 104? Where is her waterfront estate, and what were her special connections with Santa Barbara?
Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a full-service no-host bar will add to your cruise enjoyment.
Tickets are just $40 and are available by calling 963-3564 or go to www.condorexpress.com / for reservations or for more information.
Presented by ... Condor Express - SEA Landing
Venue ... Condor Express - SEA Landing  Website
8/27/14 - Bait ball on the surface !
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A trip to the northeastern Santa Barbara Channel under clear sunny skies, clear blue water, and very flat sea conditions, results in a great abundance of marine mammals. Long beaked common dolphins were everywhere, perhaps 2,500 total. The clear water gave great looks at the agility and socializing of this marvelous species. Perhaps someday there will be a technology that enables us to identify individual common dolphins and their pods. Now THAT would be a game changer! Way out to nearly mid-Channel we located a large bait ball on the surface. California sea lions were attacking from below and sent waves of northern anchovies leaping out of the surface. Black vented shearwaters made continuous dives into the massive school, and elegant terns squawk and then dove into the caldron. Not far from the bait ball we found tall spouts. It turned out to be one large and one even larger humpback whale. The two were separated by more than a half mile before they came together and quickly got on the same breathing cycle. It was not long before the two, working side by side, found the bait ball and lunged dramatically straight up and down....surface lunge feeding ! Both whales showed their flukes regularly and their down times averaged only 5 minutes. The Velella velella population continues to be large, for those of you who have been following it. It was a "national geographic" kind of day. I'll post up today's photographs asap.  Website
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