This is a seasonal tour operating from mid-December through beginning of April.
San Diego Morning Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventure
San Diego, California, USA
- Gray whales: At 30 to 50 feet long, these mottled mammals seem too big to be coming so far out of the water when they breach about six miles off the coast.
- Sightseeing: On your way out to sea, you'll see the sights of the San Diego waterfront, including Seaport Village, the Coronado Bay Bridge, the U.S.S. Midway, and more.
- Boat cruise: Your captain and an onboard naturalist from the San Diego Natural History Museum will share their knowledge of the creatures you'll encounter and the sights you'll see.
About this San Diego, California tour
The San Diego area gets upwards of 30 million visitors a year, but none are as celebrated as the 28,000 who are basically just passing through on their way to a Mexican honeymoon.
From December through March, some 28,000 gray whales pass San Diego as they migrate from their feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to their breeding grounds off Mexico's Baja peninsula. It's the longest migration of any mammal species, averaging 10,000 to 14,000 miles round-trip. And because these air breathers seem as curious about us as we are about them, there's no telling how many breaching whales you can see in just a few hours.
Of course, this being the Pacific Ocean, there are other sea creatures who might make an appearance. There are three kinds of dolphins (the Pacific White Sided Dolphin, Short Beak Common Dolphin, and Bottlenose Dolphin) who are known to frolic in these waters, as do California sea lions and blue herons. Have your camera ready!
Back where they belong
Humans and orcas are the gray whale's only natural predators, but these majestic mammals face other threats to their survival, including climate change, water toxicity, noise, and entanglements. The good news is that they seem to be finding ways to adapt, repopulating breeding grounds not used for centuries. A gray whale was confirmed in the waters off Israel in 2010, and one was sighted off Namibia in 2013.
Please make your way to 970 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, 92101.
Smoking is allowed on the outside decks only.
Boarding time is 15 minutes prior to departure.
Hornblower does have handicap accessibility on some, but not all, of the yachts and decks. Please contact the GoBe Crew 24 hours in advance to confirm availability.
Adventure, Boat Tour, Family Friendly, Scenic, Wilderness/Wildlife
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages. Children 3 years of age and younger participate free of charge.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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