San Diego

San Diego Whale Watching Tour

Badge of ExcellenceSan Diego, USA
3 Hour Whale Watching
  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Encounter some of Earth's most magnificent creatures on a 3-hour whale-watching cruise in San Diego. The voyage departs right from Mission Bay, so you’ll be out into the open ocean and looking for animals in just 10 short minutes. Marine biologists onboard help you spot whales and dolphins and learn about their life in the deep blue sea.
  • Venture out into the open ocean on a San Diego whale-watching cruise
  • See whales, dolphins, and other marine life in their natural environment
  • Boat captain and onboard biologists know the best places to look for wildlife
  • Cruise across scenic Mission Bay with a convenient departure point

What's Included

  • Marine biologists are on the microphone explaining exactly what to expect.

    Meeting And Pickup

    Meeting point

    • 1617 Quivira Rd
      1617 Quivira Rd, San Diego, CA 92109, USA

      Our Ticket / check-in booth is a small grey booth between H2O rentals and the Fish & Chips shop facing the marina. [Click this link for our exact check in location](

    End point

    This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    What To Expect

    Ocean Beach (Pass By)

    Additional Info

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 100 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.
    • 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

    See more
    Featured review
    Seeing the whales was an amazing experience! They move so gracefully. Seeing the school of dolphins was fun to watch, they seemed so playful swimming around the boat. The entire crew was very knowledgeable and helpful. I’d definitely recommend this experience for everyone!


    1,032 reviews
    Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
    Reviews by Viator travelers.
    Showing 1-10 of 1,032 reviews
    Avoid like the plague
    Jeffrey_P, Mar 2024
    Cancelled with little notice, no explanation and so far no refund. Avoid. What more can I say. Found an alternative that were better located and cheaper
    Lovely trip
    Julia_C, Mar 2024
    We were unlucky that there was a huge number of naval ships in the water the day we went and whales were scarce but the crew went above and beyond to go further out than normal to find us some whales. We did eventually see a few and with good weather it was a a great boat trip regardless as the crew pointed out sights and gave us some interesting facts along the way.
    Great Trip
    Susan_N, Feb 2024
    The staff was very nice and competent. They explained everything about the animals we saw we were able to see several whales and a lot of dolphins. It was a very nice trip I would recommend it.
    Gray Whale Highway
    Kathryn_F, Feb 2024
    We thoroughly enjoyed our trip! We got so lucky the seas were quiet and glassy with very little wind. We saw 2 gray whales, spouting, and even breaching several times! We harbor seals, and lots of birds but the highlight of the day was a huge pod of Common Dolphins. Hundreds of dolphins swimming, jumping and showing off for us. Incredible! The guide was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic ~ the experience was memorable and would definitely go again!
    Awesome trip!
    Dora_N, Feb 2024
    2 whales playing around and going back and forth under our boat, then popping up to mug for us! Crew was informative, fun and enthusiastic! Great value for the price!
    Terrible customer service.
    Songdi_Z, Jan 2024
    I’ve booked the boat on 12pm, and I arrived at the check in before 12pm, however, the boat has already left because the boat was full. We asked for refund, but the front desk was very mean, and blaming it’s our fault. She refused to refund us since she thinks it’s our fault. She even said that “ I think that you guys are not stupid”, or something similar. I’m very angry about this, and hopefully no one else will experience similar things like that.
    6 Orcas
    Sylvia_C, Jan 2024
    What an experience! We actually saw 6 orcas and a grey whale!!!!!! The whole crew was responsive and wonderful! I would highly recommend this group!
    Shari_D, Jan 2024
    Too many people on the boat. Difficult to find a spot to sit or stand. To be fair, it was rainy and cold so passengers flooded to the inside. Very good guide/narrator but, in the back of the boat, it was impossible to hear. We saw a few dolphins and a whale's tail. Sweet.
    Awesome experience
    Brienne_S, Jan 2024
    The staff is attentive and knowledgeable. I went with my fiance and my 5 year old son. We saw dolphins and birds going out and finally 2 whales on the way in. It was amazing.
    No whales to be seen :(
    Donna_W, Jan 2024
    Didn’t see any whales which was disappointing. Did see lots of dolphins and still had a great time. Crew was friendly and informative!
    The highlight of our trip
    Susan, Jan 2024
    We had a great time! Vanessa’s (the naturalist) narration of the trip was very informational. We saw nine whales and about 15 dolphins. Highly recommend this tour.
    Amazing Tour!
    Dave_O, Jan 2024
    Wow! This was an incredible tour. We saw a group of 400 dolphins that were swimming and jumping along the boat. Although seeing dolphins is common, we were told this was a unique experience with how many there were and how active they were. Even the crew was blown away. There was one gray whale sighted but we personally never saw it. It went down after surfacing and unfortunately we did not see it come up. Great tour though and I recommend!
    Great Experience!
    Jessica_T, Dec 2023
    My extended family of 14 (ages 75 to 8) all loved it. We saw a gray whale, the ride was beautiful, and the info from the biologist was fascinating. Of all the things we did in San Diego, this was by far a favorite for many of us!
    Lifetime experience
    Suzan_I, Dec 2023
    We were not sure what to expect but it turned out to be the best experience of our life. We saw orcas and a gray whale and the orcas were very rare to see, we were so lucky Great crew and captain
    A Whalesome Family Adventure
    Rajat_S, Dec 2023
    I recently embarked on a whale-watching boat tour with my family, and it was an unforgettable experience. The crew's friendliness and attentiveness were noteworthy. They consistently checked on passengers for seasickness and provided bags when needed. December, the season for orcas whale migration, added an extra layer of excitement. The one-hour sail into the sea was punctuated by the awe-inspiring sighting of a family of whales. The crew skillfully positioned the boat, offering us a front-row seat to the whales' captivating show. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the crew's knowledge of the whales' whereabouts ensured we didn't miss a moment of the magic. In summary, our whale-watching adventure was not just a boat tour but a remarkable journey guided by a friendly and knowledgeable crew, making it a perfect family outing.
    Beyond expectations!
    Lucy_M, Dec 2023
    We had the best experience whale watching: the crew even stretched the trip longer than usual so that we could go out and experience a rare orca sighting! Everyone on board was passionate and knowledgeable. 10/10!
    We saw one whale but what...
    Stacey_K, Dec 2023
    We saw one whale but what stole the show was the 500 or so dolphins what a treat . They can’t guarantee what you will see but definitely worth it
    Dolphin megapod and humpback!!!
    Jill_C, Dec 2023
    We saw a megapod of dolphins! Must have been 30 minutes of dolphins all around our boat. Jumping and interacting with the boat. So exhilarating! Also saw a humpback!!! Super cool
    Great experience
    Christina_T, Nov 2023
    Very organized, knowledgeable, and professional staff. We spent about 2.5 hours on the water and saw multiple dolphin pods. Highly recommend as an activity while visiting San Diego!
    Waste of money and Time.
    Truc_B, Nov 2023
    We wasted of our money and time. There is nothing, no Whale at all. Terrible trip. It’s not worth at all.
    Response from Host, Nov 2023
    I'm sorry to hear that your experience was disappointing, and you didn't get to see any whales during the trip. It's understandable that this would lead to frustration and a feeling that the experience was not worth the money and time spent. Wildlife sightings can be unpredictable, and it's unfortunate when expectations aren't met. Your feedback is important, and I hope that if you consider another similar activity in the future, it proves to be a more satisfying experience.
    Likely to Sell Out

    From $65.00

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

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