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OUR STORY

SANTA BARBARA'S ORIGINAL WHALE WATCH COMPANY

THE BIGGEST, FASTEST WHALE WATCH BOAT IN CALIFORNIA!

Since 1973,THE CONDOR, and more recently THE CONDOR EXPRESS have offered premiere whale watching experiences on the U.S. west coast. Founder

FRED BENKO, a fisherman by craft, paid close attention to whale migrations along the Santa Barbara coastline in the 1970s and 1980s. At the time, whales were rebounding from the whaling era and were considered a rare sight. As populations of whales grew, so did Fred's ambition to take people to see these incredible animals. Thus Southern California whale watching was born!

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THE CONDOR EXPRESS

35 YEARS OF OCEAN ADVENTURES

The new Condor Express is one of Santa Barbara’s most modern whale watching, dinner cruise, party cruise, and private charter boats. Built and launched by All American Marine in March, 2002, this high speed catamaran was designed to replace the original 88-foot all-steel vessel, the Condor. With a specially built wave-piercing hull, the Condor Express provides an exceptionally smooth, stable ride. The vessel features a modified hydrofoil “wing” mounted between the hulls that provides lift to raise the boat at high speed and produce the smooth ride that this design is noted for. Powered by four BRAND NEW 700 hp SCANIA Diesel engines that power high performance HamiltonJet waterjets, the Condor Express is environmentally friendly and safe around marine animals. With an average cruising speed of 28+ knots, the Condor Express is capable of reaching the islands in just a third of the time (45 minutes) of other charter boats.

OUR MISSION

We take immense pride in offering one of California's most reputable whale watching experiences. Our goal is to connect as many people as we can to the power and beauty of the oceans in hopes of further protecting them.