San Diego Dolphin & Gray Whale Watching Tours in San Diego, CA

Hornblower Cruises & Events970 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
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$50.00 $41.25
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INSTANT CONFIRMATION

Overview

Head out into open water on a massive yacht in search for the infamous gray whale. As you embark on your ocean expedition, you’ll pass by sea lions, dolphins, seals, and other playful sea creatures. While onboard this 3.5-hour yacht tour, you can relax with indoor and outdoor seating, a snack bar and full bar, and hear from the on-site naturalist and yacht captain. Be on the lookout for gray whales!

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our San Diego Travel Experts
  • The tour is approximately 3.5 hours long.
  • Indoor and outdoor seating and viewing is available onboard the yacht.
  • The yacht boasts snack bars featuring hot food, a full bar, and souvenirs.
  • No outside food or beverage is allowed onboard the yacht.
  • Please arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.

Description

from San Diego Whale & Dolphin Watching Tours
If you love whales, dolphins, sea lions, and seabirds, hop on board for a breathtaking experience on the open ocean. We’ll speed out to sea on one of our large, comfortable yachts and pass barking sea lions and pods of leaping dolphins as we search for the legendary gray whales-known for making one of the longest migrations on Earth. As we make our way on a 3.5-hour tour, we’ll be treated to a live narration by our experienced captain and our onboard naturalist (from the San Diego Natural History Museum). You’ll stay cozy and comfortable with both indoor and outdoor seating and a snack bar featuring hot food, a full bar, and souvenirs.

WHAT YOU GET:
• 3.5-hour Whale Watching excursion in San Diego.
• Opportunity to spot whales, sea lions, dolphins and more.
• An exclusive look at local environmental efforts.
• Professional live narration on marine life from our expert captains and volunteer naturalists from the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT).
• Snack bars featuring hot food, full bar, and souvenirs.
• Climate-controlled indoor seating.
• Spacious sun deck seating with tons of rail space all around the ship for great viewing.
• Views of famous San Diego landmarks.

If some type of whale is not sighted on your whale watching cruise, you will receive a pass good to return for a Whale Watching Cruise or 1 or 2 Hour Harbor Cruise from Hornblower San Diego.

NOTE: The whale watching vessel cruises in the open ocean. Our yacht is the most comfortable yacht in San Diego, due to stabilizers that greatly reduce the yacht's motion. Still, if seasickness is a concern, getting fresh air on the sun deck or taking over-the-counter anti-seasickness medicine prior to your cruise might help.

No outside food or beverage is allowed onboard the yacht. For your convenience, we have a fully stocked snack bar and full beverage bar available to purchase on board.

9:30 am Tour: Boards at 9:15 am
1:30 pm Tour: Boards at 1:15 pm
Departs from Navy Float 970 N. Harbor Drive.

Tripster Customer Reviews

William Turner
Woodland Park, CO
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Worth The Time...Money? No Worries, Time Is What Counts In Life"
April 2019
Worth The Time...Money? No Worries, Time Is What Counts In Life...Once you spend your time you don't get more. This was time well spent. I loved it, the spousal unit loved it, the twin teenager daughters loved it and they never look up from their smart phones. We would do this again.
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Tip: You are going to have fun and you should bring a coat for the early morning run. I never bring a coat, wear shorts in snow of the Rockies where I live and wish I brought a coat.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Fdrl L
Emory, Texas
"Great"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 18, 2019 NEW
Educational and informative. We took the 2 hour tour, we saw the seals and the monument on the first hour and the second hour the ships and Coronado island highlights. The captain was pleasant and informative
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Michael O
Scottsdale, Arizona
"Nice dinner cruise on the Inspriation, their large newish vessel"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 16, 2019 NEW
San Diego Bay is beautiful and this is a great way to see it at night. Get a window table for your dinner. Go up on the large top deck to enjoy the view. Dance the DJ later in the cruise. Everyone on board was having a good time.
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lejones1785
Pueblo, Colorado
"Great Dinner and Whale Watching Cruise"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 09, 2019 NEW
We did a dinner cruise on Christmas and a whale watching cruise a few days before. The dinner cruise was super fun and the food was delicious. The whale watching cruise would have been a lot funner if the water wasn't so choppy (lots of people got sick), but that was not the companies fault. We even got to see a little whale
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JTR15
Fayetteville, AR
"Two Hour Harbor Cruise afternoon-no Sea Lion Adventure"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 07, 2019 NEW
August 31st, I was in the area visiting and was very excited about this cruise. The cruise itself was wonderful and the captain who was our tour commentator was very engaging and informative. I would recommend the two hour cruise because the first hour you sail up one side of the bay and then return to the dock after 1 hour to release the 1 hour cruise people and board the next 1 hour cruise people. Then the 2nd hour, we went down the other side of the bay under the Coronado Bridge and learned so much history on all the ships there. Pleasant and relaxing and informative. Did not partake of any food, just a couple of sodas. Felt very safe and the staff was friendly and welcoming. Now getting to the cruise was not pleasant. I booked on the phone and was sent an email telling us the address and it said Pier 2. It had a google map which showed the location away from the Midland Ship Museum some distance. That was my focus since the morning was spent at Midway. Even my own google maps on my phone between the address of Midway and the address for Hornblower showed the location away from the Midway. We had seen two large Hornblower ships docked coming down Harbor Drive towards Midway. It is hard to see addresses on Harbor drive on the wharf side and even harder to see Pier numbers. So our mistake, we assumed the two ships we saw was the place to go. So after Midway, we rushed down the crowded sidewalk in the noon heat to that location, only to be told by a crew member that location was the evening cruise location and to go back to Pier 1, a different pier than we were told in the email. Again we rushed back in the heat afraid we were going to miss the cruise because it took 15 minutes to get there. There was something special going on with lots of booths, people, music on the drive. Still not seeing Pier numbers and not trusting Google maps, we finally arrived, literally next door to the Midway parking. Google maps was misleading. It did not show this address was right next to Midway. Their map on their email was misleading. It also did not show this location was right next to Midway. Never did see any Pier numbers so don't know whether we were at Pier 1 or 2. Did see a pier called Broadway. All they had at the street was a small flip board sign about 3 feet tall saying Hornblower. The ticket office was behind either booths that were set up or another building. We would have never seen this little sign from the street as we were focused on finding parking when we first arrived. When we left Midway, we were on the sidewalk and not the street. We did make the cruise and it was wonderful. I would suggest that they need to clarify in their email that they have TWO locations and that this cruise is right next door to the Midway Ship Museum instead of relying on their Google Map attachment. We arrived exhausted, sweat soaked and spent the first hour indoors in air conditioning, but could see out the large windows and could hear the audio just fine. The 2nd hour we spent up on top deck next to the railing and it was also pleasant and relaxing. I would recommend this cruise, just please for out of towners, please clarify your location better in your email. Google Maps cannot be trusted.
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david p
Falkirk, United Kingdom
"Patriot jet boat"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 27, 2019 NEW
This is a $32 35 minute blast around San Diego bay, what a blast, the guys who run this tour make it, they provide ponchos if you don’t want to get wet,but what’s the point of that, the boat is very powerful and does sharp stops and turns, you also get great views around the bay, as well as a good time. Would definitely recommend, and good value for money, you also get the chance to buy a photo they take before you board. Top tip sit nearer the front to stay reasonably dry, good luck.
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San Diego Whale & Dolphin Watching Tours is located at Hornblower Cruises & Events970 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
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Frequently Asked Questions about San Diego Whale & Dolphin Watching Tours

How long is the tour?
The tour is approximately 3.5 hours long.

What animals will I see on the tour?
Guests will see whales, sea lions, dolphins and more. If some type of whale is not sighted on your whale watching cruise, you will receive a pass good to return for a Whale Watching Cruise or 1 or 2 Hour Harbor Cruise from Hornblower San Diego.

What should I wear for the cruise?
Casual attire, such as shorts and t-shirts are appropriate. We recommend bringing along a light jacket or wrap as it may get breezy on board, especially for those cruises that occur out on the open ocean. Be sure to double check the weather forecast to direct your clothing choices for the day.

What time do I board the ship?
Boarding time is usually 30 minutes prior to departure for all cruises. Please check your boarding time when making your reservation.

Is smoking allowed on the ship?
Smoking is not allowed on whale watching cruises.

Is food served onboard? Can I bring food on the cruise?
Outside food and beverages are not allowed onboard. The ship has snack bars featuring hot food, a full bar, and souvenirs for guests’ convenience.

Are life preservers onboard?
Each vessel is 100% Coast Guard certified with life preservers and all required lifesaving equipment, including child life vests.

Is the ship handicap accessible?
Hornblower does have accessible yachts in the fleet. However, not all yachts and decks are accessible. Please call 888-467-6256 to ensure handicap accessibility for the date you are planning to cruise.

Will I get seasick?
If you tend to have a problem with motion sickness, you may experience seasickness. We do go out into the open ocean for whale watching cruises and as a result, the chance of getting seasick increases. For these cruises, we recommend that if you are prone to motion sickness that you take advantage of a number of preventative measures that are available to you.