Whale Watching Cruise from San Diego

Whale Watching Cruise from San Diego

Enjoy a sightseeing whale watching cruise in San Diego, California. Your whale watching adventure includes a live narration by our professional captains, who are experts at locating the migrating whales. They will help you to spot them as they teach you interesting facts about the whales, other sea life, and local geography. This adventure offers an exhilarting and comfortable ocean experience.

Whale watching tours from San Diego are an educational adventure and visual experience for people who love sea birds, dolphins, sea lions, and whales. Whale migration season is December through March, when Gray whales travel over 6000 miles from the Arctic down to Baja California's warm lagoons. This is also where calves are born and can frequently be seen swimming at their mother's side.

Highlights of the cruise feature pods of hundreds of dolphins plus an informative harbor tour of the Big Bay. Enjoy a memorable 3 1/2 hour whale watching cruise on the most comfortable boats in Southern California.

  • Details
  • Description
  • Cancellation Policy
  • Related Photos

Tour/Activity Details


3.5 hours


9:30 am & 1:30 pm daily (Mid-December through mid-April)

Boarding 15 minutes prior to tour time.

Tour does NOT provide hotel pick-up or drop-off. Please order online or call to order or for more information.



  • Professional Live narration on marine life from our expert captains.
  • Snack bars featuring hot food, full bar and souvenirs.
  • Climate controlled indoor seating.
  • Views of harbor seals plus famous San Diego landmarks.
  • Guaranteed whale sighting!
  • If whales are not sighted, a pass good for another Whale Watching or Harbor Cruise will be issued.

Wildlife sometimes seen on our whale watching cruises include:

Birds: Great Blue Heron, Geene Heron Black Crowned Night Heron, Double Crested Cormorant, Brandt's Cormorant, Common Egret, Brown Pelican, Harrier, Red Tailed Hawk, Least Tern, Caspian Tern, Many types of Gulls, Common Loon, Surf Scooter, Bufflehead, Mallard Duck, and More

Mammals: California Gray Whale, California Sea Lion, Harbor Seal, Pacific White Sided Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Humpback Whale, Pilot Whale, Fin Whale, Blue Whale, Killer Whale, Southern Right Whale, Minke Whale, and More.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you really see whales?
Of course, the answer is yes. However, we also have seen Finback, Blue, Humpback, Minke, Killer, and False Killer whales. Additionally, we do see a lot of Dolphins including: Risso's, Common, and White Sided. Our Captains will also highlight other wildlife such as seals, various fish, and a variety of birds.

Which cruise is better, the morning or the afternoon?
Your chances of seeing whales are the same on the morning or afternoon cruise. However, the afternoon cruise almost always has more passengers aboard. If you want to cruise with less people, choose the morning trip.

What day of the week is better?
Weekends are always busier than weekdays. There are also less whale watching boats out in the ocean on weekdays.

How far will we cruise into the ocean?
In the beginning of the season, the southbound whales swim closer to the coast, so the maximum distance we cruise is about 3 to 5 miles. Toward the end of the season, when the northbound whales swim further out, we can cruise up to 9 to 12 miles off the coast.

How should I dress?
We suggest dressing in layers as the temperature and winds are often unpredictable.

What time should I be there?
Allow enough time for traffic and to find parking. The morning cruise boards at 9:15 am and the afternoon cruise boards at 1:15 pm. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. If you prefer a specific seating area, be early so you can be the first in line.

Can I bring food or drink on board?
No. However, for your convenience, we have a fully stocked snack bar and full beverage bar available on board. Food items include: sandwiches, salads, fruit bowls, crackers & cheese, pizza, hot dogs, corn dogs, churros, pastries, chips, and candy. We also feature a full bar with hot and cold beverages.

How much experience do you have in whale watching?
This is our 14th consecutive year doing whale watch cruises. Our Whale Watching Experts have tons of experience. Captain Rich Goben has 24 years of whale watching experience, Captain Eric Gustafson has 22 years, and Captain Chad Cummings has 7 years! Even our first officers and on board bartenders and stewards have been doing this for years!

What makes your boat better than the competition?
Adventure is 3 stories high with the top deck sitting 25 feet off of the water. This makes it easier to see the whales. Adventure has 3,000 square feet of outdoor space and climate controlled inside seating for your comfort. Adventure is a fast boat equipped with bilge keel stabilizers making your trip more comfortable. Enjoy narration by our highly experience captains. Watch an informative video on the Gray whales that is played several times during the cruise. We also have added a NEW interactive whale exhibit featuring whale artifacts, posters, pictures and information on the gray whales and other marine life.

What happens if I don't see whales on my cruise?
You will be issued a "whale check" that is good for another whale watching cruise. Or, if your prefer, you may use the whale check for a 1 or 2 hour narrated Bay Cruise.

Will I get seasick?
If you tend to have a problem with motion sickness, you may experience seasickness. However, many of our guests experience no discomfort at all. You can pick up over-the-counter medicine at any drug store or you can purchase a Bio Band at the ticket booth or on board. (We sell adult size bio bands for $11.00 and child size bands for $10.00).

Is there anything else I need to know?
The U.S. Coast Guard requires all passengers over 18 years of age to have valid photo identification. Please make sure to have your photo id available at boarding.

Binoculars are available for rent on board for $5.00 (a $50.00 cash or credit card deposit is required;these prices subject to change).

Tour does NOT provide hotel pick-up or drop-off. Please order online or call to order or for more information.

Cancellation Policy

There are no refunds. All sales are final.

Change policy

If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can only be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.

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Use the form below to select the date for your reservation. Calendar defaults to first available date. Please verify your date selection prior to submitting your order.

If you are unable to select a date, it means the tour is unavailable on that date.

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Rates All rates are in US Dollars

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