San Diego Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise in San Diego, CA

City Cruises San Diego Whale and Dolphin Watching970 North Harbor DriveSan Diego, CA 92101
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Total Price: $65.32 (USD)
TripAdvisor user rating 4.00 out of 5 Based on 1403 reviews


Cruise the open ocean alongside whales, dolphins, sea lions, and much more! This professionally-narrated San Diego whale watching cruise provides spectacular views of the city skyline, local landmarks and marine wildlife. Enjoy comfortable indoor and outdoor seating as you experience the magic of migrating whales aboard this thrilling oceanic adventure.

up to 3.5 hrs 1 or more people

Good To Know

  • Tour duration is approximately 3.5 to 4 hours.
  • Comfortable indoor and outdoor seating available onboard.
  • The yacht boasts snack bars featuring hot food, a full bar, and souvenirs.
  • No outside food or beverage is permitted onboard.
  • Please arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.
  • Parking is limited as the waterfront is under construction. Please allow plenty of time to find parking prior to your boarding time.
  • Nearest parking is at Ace Parking, located at the USS Midway.


from San Diego Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
Enjoy the best sightseeing on the San Diego Bay—with a professionally narrated tour of San Diego's whale-watching hot spots. Join City Experiences by Hornblower on the water in search of Gray Whales (winter), Blue Whales (Summer), Minke Whales, Fin Whales, dolphins, sea lions, marine birds and much more!

See up-close views of the bay's wildlife as well as iconic landmarks from a new perspective. Onboard staff will provide live narration and details about the aquatic life and landmarks we pass for a truly memorable experience. Have a plenty of opportunities to capture all the sights in photos and video.

Stay cozy and comfortable with both indoor and outdoor seating and a snack bar with food and beverages for purchase onboard.

NOTE: The whale watching vessel cruises in the open ocean. This 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 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.
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San Diego Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise is located at City Cruises San Diego Whale and Dolphin Watching970 North Harbor DriveSan Diego, CA 92101
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Frequently Asked Questions about San Diego Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

How long is the San Diego Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise?

San Diego whale watching cruises are approximately 3.5 to 4 hours. This includes time for boarding, the cruise itself, and disembarking.

What will I see on this San Diego whale watching cruise?

In addition to dolphins and whales, you might see California sea lions, seals, pelicans, birds 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 Harbor Cruise from City Cruises San Diego.

What should I wear whale watching in San Diego?

Casual attire is appropriate. Be sure to dress in layers as the weather can change quickly out on the water. It is also a good idea to bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, binoculars and cameras. Be sure to double check the weather forecast to direct your clothing choices for the day.

What time do I check-in?

Please arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to your cruise departure time to check-in. Boarding will begin approximately 15 minutes prior to departure.

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.

When is whale watching season in San Diego?

The whale watching season in San Diego runs from mid-December to early April. This is when the gray whales migrate from Alaska to Baja California. The blue whale season runs from June to September, when they migrate from Central America to California.

Will I see dolphins on the cruise in San Diego?

It is very likely! San Diego is home to a large population of common dolphins. They often swim alongside the whales, so you may get to see them up close.

Is the cruise wheelchair accessible?

This cruise is not wheelchair accessible.

Are life preservers onboard?

Each vessel is 100% Coast Guard certified with life preservers and all required lifesaving equipment, including child life vests. You do not need to wear a life vest or the provided PFDs during the course of this cruise. However, if you would prefer to have children wear the PFDs during the cruise, please advise so at time of booking in the "Have Special Needs" box.

Will I get seasick?

Most guests experience no discomfort. If you tend to have a problem with motion sickness, you may experience seasickness. The whale watching cruise goes out into the open ocean and as a result, the chance of getting seasick increases. If you are prone to motion sickness, City Experiences by Hornblower recommends that you take advantage of preventative measures that are available to you.

Is smoking permitted on the whale watching cruises?