Water activity

San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

4.4 / 5

90 reviews

Activity provider: City Cruises CA

San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

Activity provider: City Cruises CA
Likely to sell out

From US$ 55 per person

Likely to sell out

San Diego is one of the best locations to watch whales year-round. Gray Whales migrate winter-spring from Alaskan waters to calving lagoons in Baja California. In summer, the legendary Blue Whales commonly feed off-shore of the San Diego coast.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Duration 3.5 - 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English
Small group
Limited to 10 participants

Experience

Highlights
  • Go on a 3.5- or 4-hour whale watching cruise and enjoy views of famous San Diego landmarks
  • Take the opportunity to spot sea lions, dolphins, and harbor seals
  • Enjoy year-round whale watching as Gray Whales migrate during the winter months and Blue Whales migrate in the summer
  • Learn about marine life from expert captains and whalers and get an exclusive look at local environmental efforts
Full description

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!

Includes
  • 3.5- or 4-hour whale watching cruise
  • Outdoor and indoor seating
  • Narration and video documentary
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks (available for purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
Traveler requirements
  • Masks are required while indoors

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Meeting point

Your cruise departs from the San Diego Harbor. Please check in at Pier 2, 970 North Harbor Drive.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Jacket

Know before you go

  • Coast Guard regulations require a photo ID upon boarding
  • Note that the access to outer decks is via stairs only, this cruise is temporarily not wheelchair accessible due to outdoor seating restrictions
  • Food and drinks can be purchased on board and are not included in the price of the tour
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 /5

based on 90 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    4.7/5
  • Transportation
    4.6/5
  • Value for money
    4.5/5
  • Safety
    4.8/5

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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!!!

July 16, 2022

I experienced amazing service from the details of everything San Diego to the mammals and our service men and women to whales and sea lions. I experienced nausea and they showed so much compassion and kept checking in on me. I would highly recommend this experience for all who choose to travel.

March 16, 2022

I am very glad I opted to take this tour. I come to SD multiple times a year for years and finally decided to go. Convenient parking, easy to find, boat crew and captain very friendly. The tour i was on had local naturalists on board who were super friendly. 4 hours of just peacefulness and all of the details the Captain provides of the area. We saw hundreds of common dolphins in a feeding frenzy, a maco shark, sunfish, a fin whale AND we were fortunate enough to have caught a fast moving blue whale. These are things you cant capture on film or video but the experience stays with you forever. Absolutely recommend.

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August 16, 2020

Product ID: 6635