Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 1, 2013 6:41 PM Last Post By: marlajfish
Oct 1, 2012 4:11 AM
I'm looking to go whale-watching in Monterey Bay next year, then travelling up to San Francisco for a few days. I was thinking of going around January/February, as I've read this is quite a good time for sightings. Has anyone been and have advice on when to visit or companies to use?
Additionally, I am flying from London, and prices to the West coast are, as ever, significantly more than East. Is there any way around this or to reduce costs - does anyone have experience of flying to the East coast, then connecting flights to West, or the like? I'm planning to do this trip over a week-10 days. I'm aiming to head to the nearest airport, which is San Jose.
Oct 1, 2012 4:33 AM
1does anyone have experience of flying to the East coast, then connecting flights to West, or the like?
This is not a good idea imho. Because:
- I doubt you will find 2 (separate) tickets for which the combined cost is significantly lower than the price of a single ticket to the west coast.
- When flying on 2 separate tickets, there is always a risk that you miss the second leg because of delays + you'll have to recheck your luggage etc...
Have fun !
Oct 1, 2012 4:45 AM
Oct 1, 2012 5:19 AM
3I posted this on another recent thread, so I'll just compy it here:
There are a few ways you can book this trip:
1) Multi-city - Buy a ticket xLondon - xDenver, xDenver - xNYC, xNYC - xLondon
2) Open jaw - Buy a ticket xLondon - xDenver, with a return xNYC - xLondon, then pick up a cheap domestic (we say domestic, btw) flight.
3) Two round-trips - Buy a ticket xLondon - xNYC - xLondon, and another xNYC - xDenver - xNYC.
4) All one ways - Buy a ticket xLondon - xDenver, a ticket xDenver - xNYC, and one xNYC - xLondon
(Because you are flying to the xbay area, substitute xSFO, xOAK and xSJC for xDenver. Most consolidator sites will allow you to pick one, then choose "nearby airports" to get the rest.)
You will have to search each of these to determine which is cheapest.
My standard answer:
There is no set "cheapest airline." We don't have "low cost" airlines like in Europe or Asia--any airline may be the cheapest at any time, dependent on dates, routes, etc.
kayak.com, cheapoair, farecompare, mobissimo, vayama, priceline, expedia, travelocity, orbitz, hotwire, the individual airlines (including Southwest, which is not on the third-party sites), etc., etc., etc.
Make sure you compare prices like for like (some show subtotals, others totals).
It will take a lot of effort on your part.
And don't expect cheap last minute fares. Prices go up as you get close to departure.
And don't get suckered into the "Southwest is cheapest" myth that is repeatedly pushed here. They aren't any cheaper or more expensive on a regular basis than any other airline.
Oct 1, 2012 6:48 AM
4Out of curiosity I did a quick Orbitz search for flights, New York (JFK) to San Francisco in mid-week in February and found round trip, non-stop direct flights on US Airways for $325 with other carriers close to that as well. Now that's pretty cheap.
Oct 1, 2012 6:59 AM
5SFO and Oakland Int'l Airports are only 50 miles from Norm Mineta (SJ airport) . Think of it this way. SJ would be Gatwick. SFO Or Oakland would be Heathrow. More direct flight options to and from SFO and Oakland than San Jose. Where exactly are you staying San Jose or the City by The Bay? As far as best Whale Watching tours, any of them are fine. Use Orbitz or Kayak to check fares.
Oct 1, 2012 7:16 AM
6January/February is a good time to see grey whales during their migration. You will probably also see dolphins and perhaps orcas. Late summer is the best time for blue whales and humpbacks.
The downside of January is the possibility of rain or even a nasty storm which means that boats won't go out.
Oct 1, 2012 7:34 AM
7try 1st..........SKYSCANNER.NET /
then try UNITED.COM / or BA.COM / or VIRGINATLANTIC.COM /
above airlines have direct flights to San Francisco (closest to Monterey peninsula)
P.S. U.S. summer time begins Sunday March 10 2013
Edited by: yofletch
Oct 1, 2012 11:44 AM
Oct 1, 2012 4:50 PM
9Keep one eye on the weather see......ACCUWEATHER.COM /
January / February, the temperatures can drop when the sun goes
down so take layered clothing with you.
You should go to the nearest "TRAILFINDERS" travel shop
and get their input for free, there very good
another flight option flying to MRY or SJC via PHX (Phoenix w/ BA / AA)
Oct 12, 2012 10:59 AM
10To see whales in January or February in the Bay Area, I suggest going to Point Reyes National Park which is a beautiful natural area an hour's drive north of the city of San Francisco. Plan in advance as you have to take a shuttle bus when you get there as it's a very popular activity.
If you already know you're going to Monterey Bay, well, the whales are all up and down the coast so you can see them there, too, though you're not out on a point like at Point Reyes.
Also check out the HI Hostel in Marin, because you are just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco and I believe they even have shuttles back and forth with their Fisherman's Wharf hostel, where I've stayed and I like very much. I haven't been to the hostel in Marin but it might also be out on a point and give you a good whale watching vantage point they might also have advice about whale watching.
The weather is very iffy that time of year so give yourself extra time in case it's raining and you can't see antyhing one day.
Personally, I would pay the extra money and fly nonstop from London to San Francisco, not worth it to try to change planes and all that. You should be able to find lower priced flights between Jan. 15 and March 15, that's the low season.
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