Tours and Tickets
Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point
5

Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point

By Dana Wharf Whale Watching & Sportfishing
Recommended by 96% of travelers
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
A scenic harbor in Southern California known as the “Whale Capital of the West,” Dana Point makes an ideal spot for spotting majestic marine animals. On a boat designed specifically for whale watching, come face-to-face with the gentle giants on this exciting cruise off the coast. Listen to fascinating commentary from your captain, and keep an eye out for sea lions and dolphins.
from
$42.00
per adult
from
$42.00
per adult

Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99, max of 35 per group
Duration:2h
Start time: Check availability
Ticket type:Mobile
English

Highlights
  • A scenic whale watching tour off the Orange County coast
  • Observe whales, dolphins, and sea lions
  • Year-round wildlife sightings
  • Comfortable ship with salon and viewing deck
  • Snacks and drinks for purchase 
  • Hear commentary from a real-life sea captain
  • Learn about the California coast’s unique ocean life

  • Narration by captain
What's not included
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
  • Drinks

Climb aboard the Dana Pride to begin your wildlife tour of the Californian coast. Built exclusively for whale watchers, the sleek vessel features a viewing deck, a large salon, and a snack bar, so you are able to observe the action in high style. Head to the open-air deck to listen to the calls of seabirds while you keep an eye out for cresting whales. Or settle in below deck, where you can enjoy the view from a window as you sip a drink. Listen to the captain’s commentary about the variety of underwater wildlife you encounter during the tour. Thousands of dolphins, whales, sea lions, and sharks can be found year-round off the scenic coast of Orange County, so you are guaranteed plenty of exciting sightings. Lean back and enjoy the abundant ocean life without leaving the comfort of the ship.

Departure details
  • 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629, USA Please CHECK IN for your boarding passes AT LEAST 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO BOAT DEPARTURE TIME and 45 MINUTES ON WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS.
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 8707P2

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Most travelers can participate
  • If you are lost please call 949-496-5794. There are no refunds or rescheduling for no shows.
  • 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 tour/activity will have a maximum of 35 travelers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

What you can expect during your visit
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

How much is Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point?
Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point price starts from $42.00. Discover and book Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point on Tripadvisor
What is the Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point cancellation policy?
Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point on Tripadvisor
Which company provides Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point?
Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point is hosted by Dana Wharf Whale Watching & Sportfishing. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Dana Wharf Whale Watching & Sportfishing on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point on Tripadvisor
How much time do I need for Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point?
On average, this experience will take approximately 2h. Discover and book Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point on Tripadvisor

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 8707P2

About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

VGKFan61
VGKFan61
00
We are watching 2hr trip
Was an enjoyable day. We were able to see many dolphins. Will definitely go again. Staff was friendly and knowledge
briemorris
briemorris
00
Great Experience Whale Watching!
Highly recommend this for whale watching! Our whole family enjoyed this and we found the staff so friendly and enga
namsonoh
namsonoh
00
Enjoyable wine outing
Wine cruise around the was very well planned event. Wine selections for tasting was exceptional only thing that was
dmbelnap
dmbelnap
00
Nice to see dolphins!
My wife and I did a whale watching excursion from 12-2 in mid-September. We were able to see common dolphins. Sev
hannabroker
hannabroker
00
Review
the experience was great but we were not told no whale seeing only dolphins better to advise earlier so expectati
abretske
abretske
00
Lovely day at sea
While we did not see any whales, we enjoyed watching dolphins feed and play on both sides of the boat. This is a r
decouxdort
decouxdort
00
Whale watching and Dolphin tour
We have been on many whale & dolphin watching trips with other companies and Dana has been the best.
wallyworld2017
wallyworld2017
00
Underwhelming
The 2 hour tour was actually 1 hour and 35 minutes. It seemed like the captain made a lukewarm effort to find blue
jimnR5329YY
jimnR5329YY
00
Whale watching
Really superb and great value. Saw both blue whales and dolphins. The perfect experience run by professionals. Will
Gullliver123
Gullliver123
00
Wonderful
I gave my son & daughter-in-law the trip. They were in town from Missouri & we wanted to give them a treat. They we
nehadesaishah
nehadesaishah
00
Amazing experience
This was the best experience of our trip to Laguna Beach and Dana Point. We saw several Fin whales and nearly 100
oneil1106
oneil1106
00
Perfect outing
My wife, 5 year old son and I were in So Cal (Huntington Beach) and want a little outing for a Tuesday. It was a gr
carolinegrabo
carolinegrabo
00
great experience
The crew was very friendly. We saw one or two blue whales and followed a big school of dolphins! we went at the end
LenaG1969
LenaG1969
00
Great Trip
The boat & crew were all great. We found a spot where the whales were feeding & saw 1 whale make 5 appearances in
E9443ALjoes
E9443ALjoes
00
Ocean Breeze on a Heat Wave Labor Day Weekend
So I received an email and didn’t have plans for Saturday. Booked a 5-7 pm Whale Watch at Dana Point first Time. Un
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
300 reviews
Excellent
258
Very good
30
Average
6
Poor
3
Terrible
3

Hope Love
13 contributions
May 2022 • Friends
When you make reservations to go whale watching and dolphin sightseeing you never know what excitement the day will hold.

The crew and staff showed their kindness and their help in getting a 90-year-old woman on the ship.

For my mom and I, it was a great birthday celebration. The word got around, and the captain and crew got us all to sing Happy Birthday to my Mom 🎉.

We got out to sea and we were surrounded, absolutely surrounded by dolphins.

I believe they were Common Dolphins but nevertheless it was not a common day for us.

We were able to see the thousands of dolphins next to the boat out at least a quarter mile all around us swimming having a great time and enjoying their life, which in turn caused our life to be blessed.

The boat captain was not able to find the whale congregation but he did his best to try and I am so thankful to be out on the sea.

The parking: Free free free.
The cost to whale watch was half price Tuesdays, it would normally would be about just under $60 each, and I believe it's well worth the price.

The weather: We have no control over the weather so it's good to be prepared: check the weather in the area. For our outing it was to be 64° and cloudy with 10 mile an hour wind.

On the ocean that still can create a wind chill so I recommend layers and also some sort of a windbreaker that can double as a rain jacket if necessary.

The ocean can be rough or it can be relatively smooth with some swaying and if your prone to seasickness or car sickness get some ginger candy, you can get that at your local TJ's.

All in all it was definitely a 5 out of 5 for this mom and daughter team that went out on the ocean.

The only thing I regret is that I didn't do this once a month or yearly my whole life.
Written May 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Wow, thank you for sharing your experience with all of us and we couldn't be happier you enjoyed the cruise! Great tip and advice too and we greatly appreciate your recommendation! Hope to see you aboard again soon.
Written May 11, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Susan8467
West Chester, OH33 contributions
Jan 2022
We had some complications during our travels so had to re-schedule this trip a few times (not to mention we missed seeing the request to arrive 45 minutes before departure to check in and got there only 15 minutes ahead of time) and they were always so nice and accommodating! We ended up on the 10am trip on a Wednesday with bright sunshine, beautiful blue skies and fairly calm seas. We did see up to 4 whales from a far which was exciting! There were 2 women crew on board who provided good information on the whales and other wildlife and were highly knowledgeable on a wide variety of topics to answer guests' questions and the Captain provided some information during the stops. The Captain and crew don't have much control over what wildlife is seen, but wish we would have seen more up close (first time they said they have never seen dolphins). For us, there was a 6-8 minute wait between sightings while the whale(s) were diving. We are boaters so enjoyed the ride either way and do recommend this tour group if you are in the area. We live far away or would go with them again in the hopes of catching more whales up close.
Also of note, the galley served a wide arrange of food and drinks which was a welcome bonus (hot dogs, quesadillas, sodas & sports drinks, bagged chips & nuts, full bar, grilled cheese and more!) and again, the person who was working the galley (after assisting with the lines coming and going) was super-friendly.
Note: there was a 50% pp discount on Tuesdays during this time (Jan 2021)
Written January 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to provide fellow consumers with your rich perspective. We appreciate the feedback and look forward to seeing you again soon!
Written January 10, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

EdnaLu
Laguna Niguel, CA11 contributions
May 2021 • Family
My son picked whale watching for our Memorial Day outing. So of course I searched for a local place in South OC. I cam across all the reviews for Dana Wharf Whale Watching. So glad we choose them. Since we were still under COVID-19, our boat capacity limited the amount of people we had to share the boat and crew with. We still had to wear masks but small price to pay to go out on a beautiful morning on the water. Our crew told us that we just missed the grey whale migration but they had seen dolphins, sunfish and a minke whale. We were so lucky within the first hour of the trip we were in the middle of a dolphin stampede. It was truly breathtaking. For 15 minutes our catamaran was surrounded by a huge pod of acrobatic dolphins. After the high of that, we came across a couple of sunfish and a pair of minke whales and another smaller pod of playful dolphins. Our trip was well worth the cost. We'll try next year to come back during the migration to see if we can catch a glimpse those magnificent creatures. If your on the fence, do it. The catamaran was well maintained and roomy. My son said it was like driving in a car over water (he did get sleepy after all of the excitement). The crew was knowledgeable, personable and very professional. Do layer up. Although it was warm onshore, once you got out on the water it got very breezy. Take a chance and experience SoCal from a different perspective.
Written June 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Red
2 contributions
May 2022
I had a great time on the two-hour Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventure Tour. We saw lots of dolphins, and the captain even steered the boat in a way that made the dolphins leap and twirl out of the water. I think it had something to do with the boat’s wake and drafting, maybe? I especially appreciated the crew’s knowledge about the animals. There was a naturalist on board who educated the passengers about whales and dolphins and answered all my questions.

The food is a bit pricey, which I expected, but I think you can bring your own refreshments. Make sure you bring cash if you do want to purchase food or drinks.
Written May 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are thrilled you enjoyed the playful dolphins and learned new facts too! Thank you for joining us and we hope to see you again!
Written May 31, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pat B
Boston, MA60 contributions
Jul 2021
We sailed on July 13th to take advantage of half-price Tuesday and the trip exceeded our expectations. We did not see any whales but instead hundreds of common and bottlenose dolphins. The crew knew where to take us, the ship was clean, there was plenty of seating and shade.
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We appreciate your positive rating. It’s always appreciated and gratifying when we receive positive marks from our customers.
Written July 18, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cate R
Wellesley, MA3 contributions
Feb 2022
I booked this trip via trip advisor after reading that I could cancel. However, AFTER, I completed my transaction, I found the same exact trip available on the vendors website for more than 25% less. When I tried to cancel my reservation on trip advisor, the cancellation policy in my receipt said that I could not cancel. If you are interested in booking an excursion with this vendor, I would recommend going directly to their website where the pricing is significantly less
Written February 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
If you contact our office directly at 949-496-5794 and we will be able to refund the difference to you. Thank you.
Written February 9, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tony M
Laguna Woods, CA1 contribution
Mar 2021
Wow, what a great escape from the madness of life. I took the 8 am trip on a Tuesday morning because it was the first one of the day. The waters were much calmer due to less boats heading out onto the waters. Also, this was 1/2 off Tuesdays which meant a real bargain as opposed to paying a full adult fare. Be prepared to dress in layers because the wind can get a bit chili and do not forget your gloves. They will keep your hands warm. Remember this is a 2 hour trip. Therefore, be prepared for anything and by all means do NOT forget your camera, iPhone, or Binoculars. Just make sure you hold onto them tightly. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and kept us educated as to what we might see. I can't say enough about this excursion other than it will make you appreciate our underwater creatures.
Ahoy mate.
Written April 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Allhearts00
Fort Sumner, NM6 contributions
Jun 2021
Our family enjoyed a wonderful catamaran trip on the Ocean Adventure with Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching @danawharf.com. (This was my second trip with them in one week. Thanks my brother and his family for introducing us to this outstanding crew) on this trip we traveled a few miles off the shore and watched large pods of common and bottlenose dolphins of thirty plus dolphins with calves, breaching, leaping, and playing all around us, and racing in front of the catamaran. Dad said that this trip is part of his bucket list and it was breathtaking. My niece even spotted "Patches," a rare, bottled nose dolphin with unique white, pale, patchy coloration all over his skin from Leucism, which is a condition that causes a partial loss of pigmentation. We spotted at least two Minke whales. My daughter said it was amazing to watch the Minke whale surface right in front of the catamaran. We also enjoyed delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and grilled hotdogs (which were very reasonably priced). It was a breathtaking day, which the crew enhanced greatly. Thank you so much, Laura Lopez, for making our trip very special. It would not have been the same without you. Thank you, Captains, for stopping to pick up the mylar balloons to help protect wildlife and to especially Captain Chase Moore and Laura for helping my daughter, it made her day!
We highly recommend Dana Wharf Whale Watching, @DanaWharfWhaleWatch.
Photos by Laura Lopez at Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching - Dana Point, CA, United States.
Written June 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are honored by the review you posted about your experience with us. While we are constantly told face to face how much customers enjoy our service, it takes a very special person to proclaim to the online world that they should check us out. You are one of those individuals and we are proud that you do business with us.
Written June 14, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CaliforniaDreaming07
Long Beach, CA223 contributions
We had a great trip with both Dolphins and Whales. We saw many Dolphins and then the Captain received information that there were whales spotted out from NewPort. He immediately sped that direction and we were all rewarded with very good views of whales and surfacing of the whales.
The Dolphin pod was very large and included many young ones.
The crew were very nice and the Naturalist was very knowledgeable.
Written May 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share you experience and we are happy you had a great time!
Written May 21, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RealOC
San Juan Capistrano, CA10 contributions
Feb 2021 • Family
Dana Wharf has always been top notch for all their charter and ferry trips. As always, we had a fabulous time whale watching. The boat was clean and well maintained. The captain and the rest of the crew were great. I've seen Blue Whales, Gray Whales, dolphins, seals, sunfish, and many other creatures. Watching the dolphins play and jump through the wake at the bow is an exhilarating experience that I highly recommend to anyone.
Written February 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Whale Watching Excursion in Dana Point | CA