Although people have been marveling at whales for centuries, watching whales on an organized tour originated in California in the 1950s when customers paid $1 to see them up close. Around 10,000 people went on those early tours, and organized tours became increasingly popular during the next couple of decades. Today, whale watching companies operate all over the world, and the industry is estimated to bring in a billion dollars a year. Of course, you’re never actually assured to see a whale, although many companies offer some sort of guarantee that whales or dolphins will be spotted. Most companies also provide a commentary from experienced guides, and boats designed to watch whales are comfortable and safe. And the best places to actually try to see whales in the ocean? Some recommended destinations include Iceland, New Zealand, northern Canada and the Hawaiian islands.