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Top San Diego Whale Watching

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The coastal city of San Diego is a main stop on the migratory patterns of gray, blue, and humpback whales as they make their way from Alaska to Baja California and Mexico each year. Here’s how to witness some of the 25,000+ whales that make the trip annually.

When to Go
Whale-watching tours run from January to April during the peak season for sightings, although enormous blue whales can be seen throughout the year and into summer. San Diego may be famous for its warm weather, but it’s best to wear layers to protect from wind and water while out on the boat.

What You’ll See
Gray whales and humpbacks can often be seen with their small calves in tow, while the enormity of the blue whale’s spout alone is worth seeing. Whale-watching cruises often also encounter dolphins, sea lions, seals, and other marine life off the San Diego coast.

How to Go
Tours typically depart from San Diego Harbor, one of the best places to take a whale-watching excursion in Southern California. It’s best to avoid caffeine in advance of your outing and take precautions to prevent sea sickness. Customize your trip by choosing a whale-watching tour by sailboat, a kayaking adventure from La Jolla Cove, or a wildlife boat tour guided by a marine biologist from the Birch Aquarium.
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San Diego Whale Watching Cruise

San Diego Whale Watching Cruise

star-5
389
Go whale watching from San Diego aboard a replica of a historic sailing schooner that won the world’s first America’s Cup sailing competition in 1851. Throughout your cruise, your expert guide shares informative commentary about gray whales, dolphins, and other marine animals, along with details about the US Navy sites you pass as you head out on the Pacific Ocean.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.00
From
$85.00
Taking safety measures

San Diego Whale Watching Cruise

San Diego Whale Watching Cruise

star-4.5
98
Go on a whale-watching expedition in San Diego on this 3-hour cruise. Get the scoop from a guide who studies the migratory patterns of grey whales as you keep a lookout for whales in the water. Board a 2-story yacht that gives you 360-degree views of the ocean. Plus, you're guaranteed to see whales or you get to ride again for free.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
From
$45.00
Taking safety measures

Luxury Catamaran Sailing Charter of San Diego

Luxury Catamaran Sailing Charter of San Diego

star-5
52
Set sail from San Diego on your own private sailboat cruise that can accommodate up to 12 people. Depart from the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay and glide out to the Pacific Ocean, passing landmarks like Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, and Ocean Beach Pier. Get great views of southern California’s landscape and wildlife, and feel free to bring your own refreshments and music to customize your cruise.
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  • 2 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$1,173.34
per group
From
$1,173.34
per group

Private Family Whale & Dolphin Adventure

Private Family Whale & Dolphin Adventure

star-5
30
Get the best chance of seeing whales and dolphins on a private boat tour. Your party will have the run of the boat, including an enclosed cabin, an observation tower, and a restroom. Your experienced USCG-certified captain knows the best places to spot wildlife and will provide engaging commentary on the local marine ecosystem.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$135.00
From
$135.00

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