Newport Beach

Whale-Watching Cruise from Newport Beach

Badge of ExcellenceNewport Beach, USA
Whale Watching Cruise from Newport Beach
Likely to Sell Out

From $36.00

Select Date and Travelers

up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)

  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Offered in: English


Cruise off the coast of Orange County in search of whales on this excursion from Newport Beach. Watch the rugged, beautiful scenery of the Pacific Coast glide by as you listen to interesting commentary from your crew about the native California marine life. Watch for blows and tail slaps; these signal that humpback, minke, grey, finback or giant blue whales are near. Dolphins and other marine life are also in abundance during this family-friendly, year-round whale watching tour.
  • Whale watching tour from Newport Beach
  • Keep your eyes open for blue, grey, minke, finback, and humpback whales
  • Knowledgeable captain and crew
  • Multiple departure times available
  • Spot other marine life such as dolphins, seals and more

What's Included

  • 2.5-hour whale-watching cruise
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities
  • 2.50 fuel surcharge per infant age 3 years and younger due on date of travel. The fuel surcharge and wharfage fees is required by our local supplier and is not within our control.

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 400 Main St
    400 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661, USA

    Our location is inside the historic Balboa Pavilion located in the beautiful Newport Beach, CA. Our vessels depart from these docks as well. Parking is located roughly 100 yards from our location. Best place to park is next to the Balboa Pier. Please arrive 45 min before the start time.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Make your way to Newport Harbor for the departure of your whale watching cruise down the coast of Orange County. 

Board the 65-foot (20-meter) boat and meet your experienced captain and crew, all of whom have extensive backgrounds in marine biology. As the boat leaves the harbor, learn about the different types of marine life that frequent the area and what to look for. 

This year-round tour allows the opportunity to see different animals during different seasons. During the winter and spring months, watch for minke whales; one of the world's smallest, they only grow to about 23 feet (7 meters). Winter also brings the humpback whale, which can grow to an impressive 52 feet (16 meters). Both of these whales eat krill and are known to slap their tails on the surface of the water, or 'fluke'. 

Blue whales, the largest mammals in existence today, usually grow to approximately 200 tons (180 metric tons) and 98 feet (30 meters) in length. Watch for these giants during the summer and fall months, in addition to grey whales and finback whales (the second-largest type of whale). 

There are also possibilities to see dolphins, sea lions, and seals on your trip. Feel free to ask any questions of your knowledgeable captain and crew regarding any of the animal life you encounter.

After your time on the Pacific, return to Newport Harbor.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Outside alcohol, ice chests, coolers or glass containers are strictly prohibited.
  • Vessel may change depending on availability.
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 115 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
This cruise will always be memorable for me, watching dolphins swim in their natural habitat was just awesome!! I would highly recommend if you haven’t visited, this trip is worth going for and create some great experience for you and your family! Also the staff are very accommodating, I missed my 1st session and they put me in the next session the same day! Thanks to the awesome team!!


664 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 664 reviews
Nice boat ride and dolphin sights, but NO whales :(
Stefano_P, Feb 2024
Some dolphins, but where are the whales? Dont advertise what you cannot promise! For the rest nice trip with 30 people, far from luxury but enjoyable...there is also a kind of VIP upper deck we poor luxury holders cannot access to...they did not offer free water even but they offered payable pictures from the "captain"
Awesome Nature
Terry_S, Feb 2024
It was awesome to spot the whales and follow one that swam under our boat! The guide was very informative about the migration patterns of the whales. Highly recommended!
Amazing experience.
susan_a, Feb 2024
Very clean boat. Very family friendly - many children onboard who seemed totally immersed in the experience. In fact is SO family friendly that a school class trip was exiting just before I boarded. Staff is very professional. There appeared to be a full bar and snack options but I did not take advantage of these amenities. The place where the boat is boarded is in a quaint, upscale wharf area with many reasonably-priced gift shops and food options. Amazing experience.
It was fun
James_J, Jan 2024
We loved seeing the sea lions and dolphins. We had two children get sea sick, but that didn't change how cool the ride was. Thx for everything. I especially liked the naturalist on board you could talk to and ask questions.
Fun excursion
Mindy_Z, Dec 2023
Great trip to take while in California. Tour guides are knowledgeable and friendly. The one with the microphone sang cute little songs while looking for dolphins and other marine animals. They gave us the usual talk about safety. Which I appreciated. We actually did not see the whale that was seen on the previous tour but we saw THOUSANDS of dolphins. I suggest if the weather is in the 60’s wear something warm. Price is right!
Morgan_B, Dec 2023
I brought my daughter and we were sooo excited to see whales and we did not see a single thing! My friend had saw my story and said she went on it also before and saw nothing! You’re ripping people off and it is bad for business, you know that you should not be operating at certain times of the year when you know whales are not active or they’re far and few in between but instead you still run business as usual and that is very deceptive. Many other people were complaining on the boat also and said they will never return and I’m right there with them.
Newport Beach Boat ride
Nicola_M, Nov 2023
Really nice ride in beautiful weather and saw some dolphins and sea lions so overall just a nice time.
Experience of a lifetime!!
Alvin_L, Nov 2023
This cruise will always be memorable for me, watching dolphins swim in their natural habitat was just awesome!! I would highly recommend if you haven’t visited, this trip is worth going for and create some great experience for you and your family! Also the staff are very accommodating, I missed my 1st session and they put me in the next session the same day! Thanks to the awesome team!!
It was a perfect trip!
Keith_R, Nov 2023
The captain was informative and the weather and ocean were perfect. We got to see one or two whales and that was a first for us. We preferred a larger boat for this excursion at a lesser price than the smaller boats with less people aboard. It would have been upsetting to pay the MUCH HIGHER FEE to have a rougher ride only to see no whales, which can happen even on the most expensive excursion. Looking forward to doing it again.
Fun boat trip
Nancy_H, Oct 2023
Mike, the Skipper, was adept in stirring the boat and looking for the dolphins. We even had a short sighting of a blue whale.
Family vacay from a small reserve in Utah
Nicole_W, Sep 2023
My boys and I vacationed there in Newport and they absolutely loved it! What an exciting trip for them to experience siting ocean life. Especially with the beautiful sunset. Thank you so much. My boys will for sure remember this for a lifetime.
Happy customer
Norma_S, Aug 2023
Loved it definitely going back again! Even though we had to head back 2 Mike's put because of the wind the ride was very nice. Crew is amazing and very friendly! They allowed my son take a seat on Captaina chair because he was celebrating his 6th birthday 🎂
Whales and Dolphins
SUZANNE_D, Jul 2023
What a beautiful ride! We saw pods of dolphins that swam alongside and in front of the boat. We also got to see three blue whales one of which show us it’s tail as it dove into the ocean!
Amazing experience
Charles_R, Jul 2023
What an amazing experience, well worth the early start. Sadly no 🐋 but thousands of 🐬 and 🦭 plus a sun fish!
An amazing experience!
RheaAnne_C, Jul 2023
This was a really fun trip. I really enjoyed spending time with my family. It’s a wholesome and relaxing activity. The weather was warm and toasty and the ocean breeze was nice. It was cool to see all the sea animals and the captain and crew seem like good people. I told my other family about this so hopefully I get to do this again soon!
Splash splash
Breah_W, Jun 2023
Overall this was an awesome experience. Informative, but not boring for a great price. I would definitely come back.
Whale/dolphin tour
Jackie_R, Jun 2023
Although we saw no whales, the dolphins were everywhere! We really enjoyed visiting with the naturalist on board as well. The sea lions were very fun to see on the tour. We thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the tour! We will be back next time we are in California.
We are one of the unlucky...
Siyi_W, Jun 2023
We are one of the unlucky cruise that didn’t see any whales or dolphins due to the weather. However the captain and cruise attendants are very kindly that give everyone a free ticket for next trip.
Dolphin soup
Mary_B, Jun 2023
Whales and whales OF Dolphins only. Nice outing lots of sunshine, unfortunately no whales!!! Lots of dolphins however it was not a total waste of time.
Elias_V, Jun 2023
The crew was so nice and helpful, not to mention filled with information! Though we didn't get to see any whales, our experience was 10000% still worth it, getting to see dolphins and sea lions! The crew was very kind and gave 50% off the next trip since we didn't see any whales. I would recommend this place to anyone!

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