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“Amazing trip whether you see whales or not!”

Central Coast Sailing and Avila Beach Whale Watching
Ranked #1 of 10 Tours in Avila Beach
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: We are a small family run tour company that offers Sailing and Powerboat excursions on the pristine waters of San Luis Obispo Bay, the hidden gem of the Central Coast. Hop aboard any of our tours and you will experience an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities and see for yourself why locals and visitors alike consider our trips their favorite way to share the beauty of this bay with friends and family. Our boats are very comfortable and with only 6 passengers on each tour you are guaranteed a personalized experience and an unobstructed view when we stop to see the sights and animals. We have two boats to take you out for an unforgettable adventure. One is the 44 ft sailboat "SPIRIT" that will introduce you to the magic of sailing, powered by the wind or our new 26 ft Powerboat that is the fastest and most comfortable whale watching boat on the West Coast! All of our adventures are eco friendly and educational with a well trained naturalist as your Captain.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed March 14, 2017

Yet another amazing day sailing with Captain Mark! This is absolutely the greatest way to spend time in Avila. We’ve sailed with him now about 7 times and each trip has been the best! The weather was gorgeous and we saw several grey whales. Even if you’re not staying in Avila, it’s worth the drive just for this. Often we drive from home and back (6 hours) in one day just to spend the afternoon on the sea with Captain Mark. Besides being a very experienced sailor he is a great storyteller that keeps your trip lively and fascinating. Even if you don't see whales, it 's a wonderful way to spend the day, just relaxing on the sea. Highly recommended!

Date of experience: March 2017
1  Thank jwmidwife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark K, Owner at Central Coast Sailing and Avila Beach Whale Watching, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2017

Thank you for the wonderful words about my tours. The Bay here at Port San Luis makes my job easy as there is always so much to see on any given day . What really makes this all worthwhile is seeing the smiles on so many happy people's faces when they experience something new and wonderful in the sailing of our boat upon the sea. You have been sailing with us on some epic trips with whales all around and even out in the rain but no matter what we see or do you are always smiling. Thank you for that for it is what keeps me excited and engaged when going out on these tours. Cheers. Mark

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"captain mark"
in 199 reviews
"whale watching"
in 60 reviews
"central coast"
in 67 reviews
"sailing trip"
in 17 reviews
"sea life"
in 35 reviews
"humpback whales"
in 25 reviews
"local history"
in 19 reviews
"beautiful boat"
in 7 reviews
"snacks and drinks"
in 7 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 13 reviews
"power catamaran"
in 6 reviews
"great captain"
in 6 reviews
"mother and calf"
in 5 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 12 reviews
"great trip"
in 16 reviews
"hour trip"
in 4 reviews
"highly recommend this trip"
in 5 reviews
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149 - 153 of 373 reviews

Reviewed January 31, 2017 via mobile

Captain Mark is knowledgeable and treats his guest like royalty. We had an amazing time on his afternoon trip. With only 6 guest captain mark was able to honor everyone's wishes for the tour. We went by the sea caves and then out to look for whales. We found a large pod of dolphin and sat watching them for @ 30 minutes it was a magical experience. We have been on many trips around the world and have seen many whales and dolphins. This was one of my favorite trips. Thanks, captain Mark!

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank KJR33235
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2017

The whales were to far off shore but we came across 3-400 dolphins. Amazing experience. Mark was great. Will go again!

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank Carl E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2017

My group went on an afternoon whale watch sailing with Captain Mark. Unfortunately at $90 per person and not seeing any wildlife we were naturally disappointed. I recommend a warm day cruise for Grey or Humpback whales. Avoid windy days too. Captain Mark was nice but we only had a windy sail, not a wildlife watch.

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank 1Scooter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark K, Owner at Central Coast Sailing and Avila Beach Whale Watching, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2017

Hi 1Scooter,
I am sorry that you did not have have an amazing experience! I strive to make every sail memorable and wonderful but sometimes the whales just do not show up. I thank you for this review and will take steps to make sure that folks in the future understand that there is always a possibility of not seeing whales. Our focus is really a tour of the entire bay while enjoying the magic of sailing and the animals we find along the way. I apologize for this less than great experience and if you will contact me via e-mail I would appreciate the opportunity to make things right

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Reviewed November 29, 2016

Everyone of us have had the dream of sailing the open sea, spreading her wings, cutting through the the rolls of the salty open ocean.

Captain Mark can make that dream happen for you. You choose, to be passenger or crew, but whichever, you will not forget this adventure. In his beautiful 50' sailboat you can find yourself sitting at stern with you at the helm. If you can wipe the giant grin off your face, you will understand immediately what drives one to be away, at sea, as a sailor. From the motoring away from a moored offshore position to tacking the boom back, views include stationary lighthouse, bluffs and the seasonal enjoyments of ocean life that witnesses the Harbor Porpoise surfing along side, Sea Otters floating on their backs, Seals swimming in pairs, Sea Lions in a lazy lounge on the warm sun drenched shore rocks and docks. Be sure however, to consider booking during their seasonal migrations to become present in the forever memorable California Grey Whale.

Captain Mark isn't just a Captain, he is an adventurer, a gentleman and experienced navigator with all types of sea-fare crafts. Each of the thousands of leagues of seamanship experience behind him; the line, the anchor, the sail, the rudder, the hull are in every aspect his tool of expertise. He can sail with or against the waves and steady course any boat to minimize any potential seasickness. His stories while setting course is memorizing and something every crew will find as the best possible experience in a lifetime.

Date of experience: November 2016
Thank ctyoung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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