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San Diego Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended San Diego Dolphin & whale watching

San Diego: Whale Watching Tour

1. San Diego: Whale Watching Tour

Marvel at the amazing views of San Diego Bay as you look out for sightings of marine wildlife including dolphins, sea lions, gray whales, and more. Your tour will be led by ocean experts as you get a deeper understanding of the ocean ecosystem and the sea creatures that live in it. Discover the San Diego coast on a two-story whale watching yacht, featuring 360-degree views from the main level and upper sundeck, multiple restrooms, and free guest WiFi. You will follow the whale migration path to bring you up close for the best sighting spots, which change every day. Early in the season, whales swim closer to the coast, so the maximum distance is about 3-5 miles. On their return trip, northbound whales swim further out, up to 9-12 miles off the coast. Make sure to wear layers as it can get pretty cool on the bay and don't forget to wear your sunscreen and hat while on this excursion. Bring your camera to capture all the memories you'll make on this exciting adventure.

San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

2. San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

Embark on a marine life adventure on a dolphin and whale watching tour off the coast of San Diego. Keep a lookout for gray whales, blue whales, common dolphins, and more as you glide over the Pacific Ocean's dark blue waters. San Diego is one of the best locations to watch whales year-round. Gray Whales migrate winter-spring from feeding grounds in Alaskan waters to calving lagoons in Baja California and back. In summer, the legendary Blue Whales, the largest animals on Earth, commonly feed off-shore of the San Diego coast.  You may also spot Fin, Blue, Humpback, and Minke whales during the summer whale watching season. Additionally, you'll often see pods of Dolphins including Risso’s, Common, Pacific White-Sided, and Bottlenose Dolphins. Your captain will also highlight other wildlife such as Sea Lions, various fish like Mola Mola (Sunfish), and a variety of marine birds such as Herons, Terns, Pelicans, and Gulls.  View these extraordinary mammals in the wild on this spectacular cruise. The expert crew will help you locate these creatures and additional marine wildlife, such as dolphins and sea lions. Learn about marine life and local environmental efforts from professional captains and whalers who work at the San Diego Natural History Museum.  You may even spot a whale calf traveling with its mother as they return from the Arctic. This is a fantastic and exhilarating journey for all age groups. Guaranteed whale or dolphin sighting. If you don't sight some type of whale or dolphin during the cruise, you'll be issued a pass that's good for another San Diego whale watching or harbor cruise. San Diego is quickly becoming one of the world’s best whale watching locations. The city is home to whales, dolphins, and sea birds, and features one of the world's most beautiful coastlines.  Enjoy live educational narration from captains and trained naturalists employed by the Natural History Museum.  Watch blue whales and dolphins in comfort on a large, fast, and stable boat!

La Jolla: Kayak & Whale Watching Tour

3. La Jolla: Kayak & Whale Watching Tour

Experience the gray whale migration from the seat of a kayak. Leaving the waters of the Arctic and heading south to the lagoons of Mexico, gray whales naturally migrate past La Jolla during the winter. This is a non-polluting, non-threatening, and intimate way to experience one of the most majestic mammals on the planet. Your guides will lead the group about two miles out from shore, where you’ll stop at the best spots to view gray whales. Along the way you’ll learn interesting facts and history about the whales, other marine life, and the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. Keep in mind that gray whales are wild animals. While gray whales are abundant during the season, a sighting can't be guaranteed, although groups can often see dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, and other marine life as well.

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What people are saying about San Diego

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 35 reviews

Although we didn’t see any whales, the captain and first mate did there very best to look for them and other signs of life. We did see seals, a huge family of dolphins and a sun fish being cleaned by sea gulls, which was really cool!! I would definitely do this tour again. It was fun and relaxing!!!

Plenty of covered and open air seating, snacks, wine, drink for sale and we saw at least 20 + dolphins and a whale today. They swam with the ship and all around ... we got great videos to last a lifetime.

Fantastic!!!! saw a blue whale up close! staff and museum whalers on board were very nice and knowledgeable! captain was super awesome!

This was amazing!! The captain Rick was very patient and persistent to make sure we got to see Whales and dolphins!!

We were able to see pods of dolphins and 2 different whales. So awesome.