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Puget Sound Express debuts new boat


The M/V Saratoga departs from the Port of Edmonds marina.

Puget Sound Express, the family-run whale watching company that has been running whale and wildlife cruises for more 33 years in Port Townsend and Edmonds, has launched a high-speed catamaran whale watching vessel, the 149-seat M/V Saratoga.

Designed by New Zealand catamaran specialists Teknicraft Design and built in Bellingham by All American Marine, the Saratoga joins three other whale watching vessels for Puget Sound Express.

The Saratoga began operation at the end of April, joining the 60-seat catamaran Chilkat Express, operating in Edmonds.

“This is a very special event for Puget Sound Express,” said co-owner Peter Hanke.”

“The Saratoga is the first boat that we have had the opportunity to build, and we designed and built it with customers, whales, and the environment in mind,” he said.

“Since launching our half-day Seattle Whale Watching tours in Edmonds, we’ve seen tremendous interest in the metro area for whale watching, and the Saratoga will help us safely and comfortably meet that need.”

The Saratoga is a catamaran with two asymmetrical semi-planing hulls, and an articulated hydrofoil that allows the boat to efficiently travel at 35 knots (40mph). This design, coupled with finely-tuned, wave-piercing bows, allows the boat to travel through both calm and rough water at speed, while keeping underwater noise to a minimum.

All four Scania D16 engines have waterlift mufflers, and carbon fiber driveshafts to save weight. The engine room is equipped with state of the art sound proofing to make the passenger cabin quiet and comfortable.

Passengers look for whales on the M/V Saratoga.

In addition to a wrap-around viewing deck, restrooms, and galley, the Saratoga is equipped with seven HDTVs and a premium sound system with speakers inside and out, for whale watching naturalist presentations.

Key facts

  • Vessel Horsepower: 3800hp
  • Main Engines: Scania D16
  • Jets: Hamilton Jet 364
  • Hull Length: 72'-11"
  • Beam Width: 29'-6"

For more information, go to or call 360-385-5288.


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