Dana Point

Dana Point Dolphin and Whale Watching Eco-Safari

Dana Point, USA
Dana Point Whale Watching and Dolphin Watching Eco Safari
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Ride along the open water in a catamaran as you keep your eyes peeled for whales, dolphins, and other sea creatures on this whale and dolphin watching eco-safari. From Dana Point, cruise as your captain takes you to some of the area’s best places to spot out different kinds of whales and dolphins. An on-board naturalist also provides on-going commentary the whole way to keep you educated and in the know about these sea creatures and their natural habitat.
  • Whale and dolphin watching eco-safari from Dana Point
  • Hop aboard a catamaran, and keep a lookout for whales, dolphins, and other sea creatures
  • Enjoy on-going commentary along your safari from naturalists
  • Check out the underwater viewing pods for a closer look at ocean life without disturbing the habitat
  • Get sent off with a complimentary triple-fudge brownie
  • Bring home souvenir photos and a DVD of your trip (own expense)

What's Included

  • U.S. Coast Guard inspected and certified vessel
  • Licensed Captain and professional crew
  • Live commentary on board
  • Cetacean Declaration - Join us again for free within one calendar year if you don't see any dolphins or whales
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • DVD (available to purchase)
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)

Meeting and Pickup

Meeting point

  • 24440 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629, USA

    Please arrive 45 minutes in advance. Check-in upstairs at our waterfront Dolphin Deck building. We're located next to Baby Beach and OC Sailing & Events Center.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Meet your group at Dana Point Harbor. For your convenience, there’s free parking by your meeting spot on the harbor. Your departure time may vary by the date you choose, so please take note the service provider contacts you after booking to confirm available times for the date you’ve picked. Meet at the Dolphin Deck before the departure time of your whale and dolphin watching eco-safari.

Board one of three catamarans—either Manute’a, DolphinSafari, or Lily. Keep your eyes open for sea lions, marine birds, and other creatures, as this is a great place to spot them.

As your captain takes you further out, your group spots dolphins, whales, and sometimes sharks. Some whales you might see on your journey include Blue Whales, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, and occasionally Orcas (Killer Whales). Also, keep in mind, there are various species of wild dolphins that might cross your path, too.

As you cruise, enjoy commentary from a naturalist who fills you in on the sea creatures, their lifestyles, their natural habitats, and what’s being done to protect them. If you’d like, you can head down to the underwater viewing pods on your catamaran to catch sight of the ocean life from an underwater vantage point.

After your adventure, your boat docks back at the harbor, and you’re sent on your way with a complimentary triple-fudge brownie.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Entry into the Underwater Viewing Pods requires the use of ladder-like steps. Persons with a disability or limited mobility may have difficulty.
  • Trip times may vary by date.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 49 travelers

Cancellation Policy

This experience is non-refundable and cannot be changed for any reason. If you cancel or ask for an amendment, the amount you paid will not be refunded.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
We had such a fun trip! The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. We even saw a whale! I definitely recommend checking out this tour.


538 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 538 reviews
Easy fun experience on the water
Emily_B, Feb 2024
We were able to see hundreds of dolphins and Captain Dave drove the boat around them so they rode our wake. We weren't able to see any whales this time, but it happens. The small catamaran was very fun and we only had about 12 other people on the boat with us so we were all able to take a spot on the front of the boat to see the dolphins, sea lions and beautiful scenery.
Wrong time of year
Aileen_P, Oct 2023
Unfortunately only one minke whale at a distance and very fleeting. Disappointed because the advertising makes it seem like there are always whales seen. And despite knowing that it’s not peak season I do think my expectations were higher. Lots of dolphins and lovely day for cruise. Would recommend at height of season otherwise just expect a pleasant couple of hours on the water with bonus if whales seen!
SueAllison_S, Oct 2023
The 2 different types of dolphins were beyond amazing as were our hots onboard our boat! The sea lions and lobster traps were amazing too! I’ll definitely be back!
Great crew
Jill_L, Sep 2023
Great crew! I got rally nauseated halfway through the tour and they moved me to the back of the boat and brought me a ginger chew to ease the nausea. I loved the information they provided and some fun facts they shared. If I ever make it back to California, I will happily do this again.
We missed seeing a...
Catherine_T, Jun 2023
We missed seeing a breaching humpback whale by about 30 minutes but we had a great time seeing three different species of dolphins!
Wendy_D, May 2023
We loved watching the bottlenose dolphins under water. Knowledgeable, helpful, friendly crew. They found the fin whales and gave plenty of time to watch.
All we could have asked for!
Heather_R, Jan 2023
Beautiful day! Great crew and we saw hundreds of Dolphins and a gray whale! Excellent experience! Captain Marie was great!
Awesome adventure!
Zelinn_G, Aug 2022
The whole experience was great, from beginning to end. The crew are all experienced and very knowledgeable. Our family were all impressed with the level of education of the staff and their love of marine life! We felt very lucky to have had some staff members share their “rescue” experiences and to learn how they help keep the ocean safe by removing trash or debris that falls onto the water from various sources. I had never been on any of these excursions so I was very impressed - and got to see many dolphins! Definitely worth it!
Watching my son marvel at...
Jason_C, Apr 2022
Watching my son marvel at the wildlife! Staff was excellent, and the brownie at the end was a nice touch!
A must in Dana Point!
Kristina_E, Apr 2022
We had such a fun trip! The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. We even saw a whale! I definitely recommend checking out this tour.
Great Fun!
Jack_M, Mar 2022
Crew was familiar with marine life and had an impressive network to find the whales. The boat was comfortable and provided a great viewing platform
Amazing Trip
Megan_S, Aug 2021
Captain and Crew were friendly and helpful. The dolphins were beautiful. The kids said it was the best day ever!
Syeda_E, Jul 2020
Enjoyed lot ... great service and nice atmosphere. It would be my life time memory. Thanks capt Dave’s and his team.
Journey07966615781, Mar 2019
The ocean is pretty big, wish we would have seen a couple more whales, the trip was worth it, and the underwater viewing capsule is pretty neat...
Likely to Sell Out

From $115.50

-You will not receive a refund if you cancel.

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