Q: My family wants to go whale spotting this summer. Can you direct me to places along the Atlantic coast offering trips?
A: Some of the most popular ports for whale-watching trips are Lewes, Del.; Cape May, N.J.; Montauk, N.Y.; Hyannis, Provincetown, Plymouth, Boston and Gloucester, Mass., and Bar Harbor, Maine.
The season is April to November. The following are some companies operating this year . Departures may vary depending on weather and reservations, which are advised.
* Fisherman's Wharf, P.O. Box 150, Lewes, Del. 19958; (302) 645-8862. Before Memorial Day, trips run Sunday only and cost $30, $15 for children 12 and younger. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, daily trips cost $20.
* Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center, 1286 Wilson Drive, Cape May, N.J. 08204; (609) 898-0055. Trips depart daily until Oct. 30; weekends in November. Price is $25, $22.50 for people 62 and older, $12 for children 7 to 14.
* Okeanos Ocean Research Foundation, P.O. Box 776, Hampton Bays, N.Y. 11946; (516) 728-4522. Trips depart from the Viking Dock in Montauk, N.Y., daily at 10 a.m. until July 4; 11 a.m. until Labor Day; reverting to 10 a.m. through September. Prices: $20, $15 for children 12 and younger.
* Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises, P.O. Box 254, Barnstable Harbor, Mass. 02630; (508) 362-6088. Daily trips depart at 11 a.m. in May and the last two weeks of September. From June through mid-September the trips run at 8:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Prices: $22, $18 for passengers 62 and older, $10 for children 4 to 12.
* Dolphin Fleet, P.O. Box 243, Provincetown, Mass. 02657; (508) 349-1900 or (800) 826-9300. Daily trips run through the end of October. Prices: $15.50 until June 21 and after Sept. 21; $16.50 until Sept. 21; discounts for seniors and youngsters.
* Captain John Boats, 117 Standish Ave., Plymouth, Mass. 02360; (508) 746-2643. Daily trips on weekends until June 12, then twice daily until Labor Day, with sunset cruises from June 26 to Aug. 22. From Sept. 11 to Oct. 11, the schedule reverts to daily on weekends. Prices: $21, $18 for those 62 and older, $14 for children 11 and younger.
* New England Aquarium Whale Watch, Central Wharf, Boston, Mass. 02110; (617) 973-5281. Daily departures weekdays through June 30; twice daily weekends.From July 1 to Aug. 31 departures are twice daily. Prices: $23, $18.50 for college students and those 60 and older, $17 for those 12 to 18.
* Cape Ann Whale Watch, P.O. Box 345, Gloucester, Mass. 01930; (508) 283-5110. Trips run twice daily weekends until Oct. 31, and daily weekdays until June 20. From June 21 to Labor Day, trips are twice daily; Labor Day through October, daily weekday departures. Prices: $20, $14 for those 60 and older, $12 for those 16 and younger.
* Frenchman Bay Co., P.O. Box 153, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609; (207) 288-3322. Trips run daily in June and from mid-September to mid-October, and at twice daily from July through the first half of September. Prices: $30, $25 for people 62 and older, $18 for those 12 and younger.