Sri Lanka is a paradise when it comes to whales and the east coast is no different! Here we look at Trincomalee whale watching plus loads more information!

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Whales & Dolphins 4 Hour

This is the best current Trincomalee whale watching experience as it is a decent amount of time on the boat, provides breakfast, and includes pick-up and drop-off to your Trincomalee hotel. Check it out right here!

The blue whale fin that you should expect on a trincomalee whale watching tour

The Best Trincomalee Whale Watching Tours

Whale watching anywhere in the world usually means that you have to book yourself onto a scheduled activity and this is the same for Trincomalee whale watching.

If you are looking for more general information about Trincomalee whale watching then scroll past our top recommendations which is where I go into much more detail about this gorgeous spot!

Read More: Whale Watching In Mirissa – The Best Place To See The Whales In Sri Lanka


Whales & Dolphins

This is a short 2-3 hour Trincomalee whale watching experience that has a maximum of 8 people on each boat. It’s a small boat that is nice and close to the water so you will be as close to the whales and dolphins as you are allowed to be!

Of course, only having 2-3 hours means that you have less time to see the whales but it also means that it is the cheapest Trincomalee whale watching tour available. Check out prices and availability here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2-3 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Need To Take: Camera
  • Start Time: 6 am
  • Tour Pace: Medium

Read More: 5 Day Sri Lanka Itinerary – JAM PACKED!


Whale Watching Boat

This is another very short Trincomalee whale watching activity which is around 2 hours long. If you are pressed for time then this may be the best option in this list. They will attempt to find the whales and get there as fast as possible.

At 2 hours long, you’ll be back at the harbour around 8 am with the entire day ahead of you. There really isn’t a better option to maximise your available time for other activities. Click here to see more information!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Need To Take: Camera!
  • Start Time: 6 am
  • Tour Pace Fast

Whales & Dolphins

This 4-hour Trincomalee whale watching activity offers hotel pick-up and a decent amount of time on the water! It is also one of the only tours on this list that offers complimentary food on board.

I think that 4 hours is a better amount of time to be on the water to maximise your chances of seeing whales in Trincomalee. It is also less expensive than some of the 2-hour tours on this list so for me this is a no-brainer!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 4 Hours
  • Pickup Included: Yes
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Need To Take: Camera
  • Start Time: 6 am
  • Breakfast Included: Yes

Read More: The Best Elephant Safaris In Sri Lanka!


Whale Watching Catamaran

This is a very different type of experience than any of the previous Traincomalee whale watching tours on this list. It is 7 hours long but you only spend around 3 hours looking for whales and the rest of the time is spent swimming in a beautiful bay and eating freshly prepared breakfast and lunch.

Three hours is still a similar amount of time to the other tours for whale watching so you will have the same chance of spotting the whales but additional activities are also included. This comes with a slightly higher cost but if you are looking for a whale watching tour as well as a cool chill day on the waves then this is a fantastic option! Check it out in more detail here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 7 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Need To Take: Swimwear
  • Start Time: 6:30 am
  • Lunch Included: Yes

Whale Watching Yacht

This is essentially the exact same tour as the one above. It is a 7-hour luxury Trincomalee whale watching tour with both breakfast and lunch served on board with stops to swim and snorkel as well as whale watching in the morning.

Both this and the Catamaran tour above are great options for anyone looking for a complete experience. Click here to see if this amazing yacht is available for your dates!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 7 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Need To Take: Swimwear
  • Start Time: 6:30 am
  • Lunch Included: Yes

Read More: The Complete Guide To Yala Safaris – MUST READ


What Can You See Trincomalee Whale Watching

Blue Whale

This is the most common whale whilst whale watching in Trincomalee and anywhere else in Sri Lanka for that matter. That doesn’t mean that you’re definitely going to see one but you have a really good chance! They spend most of the year down off the south coast but make their way up to the east coast as the year progresses.

Definetley one of the best things to do in Galle
You will almost certainly see this glorious sight

Sperm Whale

Sperm whales also like to make an appearance in Trincomalee and they may actually look even more spectacular than the bigger blue whale. This is because you can see more of a sperm whale whilst they are on the surface whilst a blue whale, even though they are much bigger, hide most of its body underwater.

Read More: The Definitive 7-Day Sri Lanka Itinerary


Brydes Whale

These smaller whales are quite a common sight in Sri Lanka but no less spectacular when you see one. They spend most of their life quite close to the surface so that is going to maxmise your chances of seeing one even more!


Dolphins

Trincomalee whale watching tours often agree that the chance of spotting a whale is around 50%, however, that shoots up rapidly to a 90% chance to see dolphins. This means that even if you are not lucky with the whales you should still see some dolphins up close!


Orca

Everyone knows the famous killer whale but these are exceptionally rare sightings for Trincomalee whale watching tours. If you see one of these then let me know in the comments section below!


Trincomalee Whale Watching Season

Best – July

The best months to jump on a Trincomalee whale watching tour are from June – September, This is when the whales are starting to come up from the south to the east coast.

It is generally agreed that the best month is July as this is when the whales are here in their greatest numbers.


General Information About Trincomalee Whale Watching

Mirissa has always been the place in Sri Lanka to see whales and for good reason; you’re almost guaranteed to see the whales down there. You can see from our guide and video how good it is.

Because Mirissa had such a monopoly on whale watching, nowhere else really pushed it that hard as they could not compete with such high chances.

However, Trincomalee is trying to be the exception and push whale watching as one of its main activities. It may be slightly harder to see the whales here but if you’re in Trincomalee, it’s the only choice you have.

Sea Sickness

The Indian Ocean is NOT a calm ocean, there is always going to be a medium swell at the least. If you get even mildly seasick then get yourself some sea sickness medication and take it 2 hours before you get on the boat.

You are able to buy seasickness from any pharmacy in Trincomalee.

Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief

This 36-box of Dramamine motion sickness tablets should significantly help with any forms of nausea caused by motion sickness. If you are planning boating adventures or long trips on public transport then these are ideal. They also do a non-drowsy tablet if you want to be completely awake during your experience. You can check out all the options by clicking through.

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Photography Advice

I know the shot that you’re looking to get, the tail high up in the water as it dives deep into the water. Well, luckily this is very easy to prepare for!

Basically, whales do this epic tail swoop as they dive vertically down to find their prey. You can tell when a whale is about to dive deep as their backs will come up and down 2-3 times before they commit to the dive. Your guide will be able to tell you exactly when they are going to do this.

Then, simply, get your camera ready and snap as the tail comes up high out of the water!

You will need to have a decent amount of zoom as you are not allowed to get super close to the whales due to the law.

Panasonic LUMIX LX10

The perfect travel companion! The Panasonic Lumix LX10 fits easily into your pocket, captures beautiful 20.1MP images, records gorgeous 4K footage, and does this all through the brilliant 24-72mm Leica lens. Level up your travel photography today!

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Where To Stay In Trincomalee

Hotel

Angles

Hotel

Pearl

Guest House

Pleasant Park

Booking.com

Other Things To Do In Trincomalee

Snorkel Pigeon Island

Jump on this 4-hour activity up to Pigeon Island where all of your equipment will be provided and you will get to snorkel the best spot in all of Trincomalee. Check out prices and availability here!


Dutch Bay Beach

Trincomalee has some of the nicest beaches in all of Sri Lanka and, as Trincomalee is less visited than the south coast, the vibe is much more chill and relaxed. Remember to check the beach out and maybe catch up on some sunbathing!


Diving

There are plenty of diving companies in Trincomalee that will take you to some of the best spots in Sri Lanka. You can learn to dive here or experienced divers can hire equipment and a guide for a good price.


Even More Things To Do

There are loads of things to do in Trincomalee so check out this blog for even more great suggestions.


What To Take On Your Trincomalee Whale Watching Experience

Here is a list of all the things that I think you should be taking on a Trincomalee whale watching experience. In the end, I have also added some essential travel accessories that I think all travellers should have!

Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen

We all know what sunscreen is and we all know how important it is but why go with Sun Bum? They are cruelty-free and are compliant with the Hawaii 104 Reef Act meaning that you will be helping decrease the amount of damage sunscreens have to the environment that you are swimming in. If that hasn't convinced you then click through to find out even more.

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Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief

This 36-box of Dramamine motion sickness tablets should significantly help with any forms of nausea caused by motion sickness. If you are planning boating adventures or long trips on public transport then these are ideal. They also do a non-drowsy tablet if you want to be completely awake during your experience. You can check out all the options by clicking through.

Buy Now
FDA Cleared Relieve Nausea Electrode Stimulator

If you don't like the side effects many nausea-reducing medications create then you could try one of these electrode stimulator wristbands. This particular one is FDA-approved, is waterproof, and has up to 30 hours of battery life.

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WOWSUN Polarized Sunglasses

A decent pair of polarised sunglasses is difficult to get at a decent price, especially if you want them to look good. These from WOWSUN have lots of different styles (male/female) and colours to choose from and they are very affordable. Click through to see all of your options.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Trincomalee Whale Watching Worth It?

The chances of seeing whales in Trincomalee are around 50% per tour. If you will be going to Mirissa during your trip then definitely go whale watching there. If not, then Trincomalee is still very worth it.

When Should I Go Trincomalee Whale Watching?

The best month is July however you can go from June – September.

How Long Is A Trincomalee Whale Watching Tour?

They range from 2-7 hours although the whales are not that far away from the harbour so you shouldn’t be on the boat for too long.


That’s our entire guide to Trincomalee whale watching! Let us know if this was helpful or if there is anything else we can add to make this article even better!