Dana Wharf Whale Watching & Sportfishing

Dana Wharf Whale Watching & Sportfishing

Fishing Charters & Tours • Dolphin & Whale Watching
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6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Whale Watching Adventures, Charters , Fishing and more from Dana Point
Dana Point, California
Features animals

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2022

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Tours and Tickets by Dana Wharf Whale Watching & Sportfishing
2 hours
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
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
from
$42.00
per adult
Catamaran Cruises
1–2 hours
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Recommended by 90% 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
from
$59.00
per adult
Travelers talk about
(56 reviews)
(173 reviews)
(194 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
3,875 reviews
Excellent
3,037
Very good
513
Average
179
Poor
75
Terrible
71

bigskymama10
1 contribution
Mar 2022 • Family
We had a great time! We were able to see 5 gray whales during our ride. It was the trip of a lifetime for me. The naturalist was great and very informative. The captain was great about communicating what we were seeing and being respectful of the whales. People were kind of rude with standing when they could see sitting if the front and holding up phones so people behind them had a hard time seeing. Maybe the captain could remind people to be conscious of that. Overall amazing time!
Written March 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Your comments and suggestions on how we can do a better job are appreciated. Please know these suggestions don't go unnoticed and we will be sharing your thoughts with the team to continue our goal of providing every customer with an exceptional experience.
Written March 31, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

rachelmarie33368
Mission Viejo, CA1 contribution
Jul 2022 • Family
The Pacific Ocean is the star and Dana Wharf is the telescope; through which we can look out and marvel at its beauty. Dolphins fill the waters, making it a charming and worthwhile experience.

If you have a history of motion sickness, I'd recommend taking extra strength motion sickness medication since the trip does last 2 hours.The 'Lots of Fun' boat gets carried around easily from the wind and the long duration of the outing can be a struggle past one hour. Also, try to get in line first so you can pick a great lookout spot on the boat!
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We appreciate you taking the time to share your comments with others and happy you had a fun time!
Written July 25, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Imyoung4life
1 contribution
Mar 2022 • Family
From the moment we stepped aboard, the staff was giving information, describing migration patterns, behaviors, travel seasons. We saw a whale within the first 20 minutes and followed it for a while. We saw breaching, deep diving, and for a short time swimming with its head out of the water. We saw dolphins, sea-lions, and then more whales. We had an amazing time and highly recommend Dana Wharf Whale Watching. It was a perfect event for our family.
Written April 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are thrilled to know you had a great time and thank you so much for sharing your experience. We hope to see you again!
Written April 8, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

TMoua
1 contribution
Jun 2021 • Friends
I’d highly recommend against doing a private charter on the San Mateo at Dana Wharf. I booked a 3/4 day with 9 buddies from out of town and had a terrible experience. I didn’t have high expectations based on the recent fish counts and prior experience but even this was a new low for myself.

The captain of the boat didn’t appear to know where he was going for the entirety of the trip. After a 1 1/2 hour ride going deep out to sea, we spent another hour heading back, with less then 30 minutes of fishing up to that point….All my friends were extremely disappointed and many gave up fishing because no one was catching anything.

After over 5 hours from when we departed, we finally landed a fish which was caught fishing so close to shore you could literally swim to the beach. Of course the fish was so small we literally joked it was the size of the bait fish we were using.

The remainder of the trip was literally fishing up and down the beach around Dana point down to Camp Pendleton and around San Clemente before we came back to dock. Being local I joked with my buddies I could see my house from where we were fishing because it was literally that close (see attached photos). The only keeper fish we got were 1 sculpin and 1 sheepshead from the entire day. Extremely lousy odds considering we were out for 3/4 days and had 10 people fishing.

The other part which doesn’t make sense to me is the mandatory gratuity for the private charter. It made me sick to my stomach that I had to pay a gratuity of $220 for such a terrible experience. One of my buddies who had never fished before was asking me to help him because he said the deckhand was too busy fishing….I didn’t mind helping but then why am I paying gratuity on top of the price of the booking?

Unless you’re wanting to pay for a very expensive ocean/beach tour I’d recommend staying away from this booking. You can also look historically at the fish count for the San Mateo and see it is very abysmal. It was my fault for not doing my due diligence prior so please look at it before booking if you don’t believe me.

Dana wharf has much better boats in their fleet that cost a little more so save your money and look at them before booking the San Mateo.

If I knew this beforehand I would’ve just asked everyone to pitch in a little more and gone outta SD where people were hooking up on yellowtail on their day trips. Or save money and just gone on the daily trip and saved everyone a lot of money and gotten hooked up on fish at least.
Written June 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are sorry to hear about your experience and have passed this on to our team. Please call our office 949-496-5794 and ask for Manny so we can find out more about your trip and what day you were booked on.
Written July 1, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LS247
1 contribution
Jul 2022
My mother and I went on a 1/2 day morning deep sea trip for my birthday. I have been to this fishing place before and had a wonderful time yet that was around 2 or 3 years ago.
There were other reason my trip didn't go as I liked, such as not get many bite of fish, they rig the crew made that kept hooking on the bottom but I am not going to totally blame them for that due to the fact that I not fish in a while.
The reason I gave my experience an average/poor because were when when one of the crewmen went to collect my fish, I found out that some little boys took my fish from my bag and they were started to filet the fish. Thankfully we found out just in time. My suggestion would be to give the crew person, that was going to filet the fishes, the your ticket for the bag the that crew person can get the bag of fish out and filet it.
Written July 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for sharing your experience and for spending part of your birthday with us!
Written July 15, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jacksunier
1 contribution
Apr 2022 • Family
We saw many bottle nosed dolphins. The dolphins were jumping out of the water at high speed and played with the crowd. We were able to have 15 to 20 minutes of quality time with the dolphins and there must have been about 20 dolphins in all "running" along both sides. This was a Noon outing; we did not see any whales that day.
Written April 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your experience!
Written April 27, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lindakan3
Albuquerque, NM1 contribution
Mar 2022
Even though we saw lots of dolphins we did not see any whales. It was my understanding that if whales were not seen we would be given our tickets back to go on another day but tickets we’re not given out. When I went back to ask about the tickets they said it was up to the captain and he felt there were more than enough Dolphins to satisfy not seeing whales. This was very disappointing.
Written March 23, 2022
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 March 27, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Oceans4adventure
1 contribution
Aug 2022 • Family
Love our trips out of Dana Wharf! whether it's sunset sailing on the schooner Curlew or sportfishing up and down the coast on the Dana Pride, Clemente or any of the boats in the fleet. The crew gives a welcome and genuine experience for a great time on the water. thanks guys for over 50 years i've been been coming and you've provided a solid source for ocean adventuring
Written August 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Donna K
Thank you so much it is our pleasure and the greatest compliments we get is from our reviews from customers like you, we read every one and can't thank you enough for taking the time to share your experience.
Written September 4, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Diane92106
San Diego, CA13 contributions
Oct 2022
This company is the best. Went on three whale watches on Saturday, and an 8-hour on Sunday. Each time was better than the last, with breaching humpbacks, fin whales, minke whales, sharks, Mola Mola’s and a swordfish. Terrific crew….terrific time.
Written October 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Aldiamds
1 contribution
Feb 2022
Noon Whale Watching on Superbowl Sunday. 12-2 pm, go grab some beers and apps at Turks, watch the end of the Phoenix Open, check in at the hotel watch the first half in the room, then to Harpoon Henrys downstairs and watch the second half over shrimp/scallops and wine. Naturalist on board is more interested in taking pictures and visiting with friends than what she should be doing. Too bad Nona took a day off!! Nona is awesome. No dolphin, one whale who was being chased by a dozen private boats and we saw glimpses of it. Dana Wharf normally gives you a bounce-back coupon good for 30% off your next visit, but they did give you 100% because of the lowsy 2 hours. Capt Tom is very good too.
Written February 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your feedback! What you think about our business is important to us. We appreciate your patronage and look forward to again providing you a top quality experience during your next visit.
Written February 20, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Dana Wharf Whale Watching & Sportfishing (Dana Point) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go