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“My 15th adventure on Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Safari...and I'll keep coming back!”

Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari
Ranked #3 of 27 Tours in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Whale watch with Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point on our high-tech sailing catamaran year round, with two Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. For 20 years Captain Dave's has provided daily trips to see dolphins, up to 10,000 strong, leap and play right off our bow, plus Gray Whales (December through April), Blue Whales (May through November), and year round Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, and so much more. Go underwater with whales and dolphins without getting wet during your whale watch in our Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods aboard Manute'a. Listen to dolphins during your whale watching safari with our underwater Hydrophone. Celebrity and certified naturalists make this exciting Dana Point whale watching excursion educational and entertaining too. Mrs. Capt. Dave's famous triple-fudge brownies make this a one-of-a-kind dolphin and whale watching adventure unforgettable. We are a real Eco-tourism company providing only sustainable wildlife viewing. Ask about Fast Cat, our upscale Rigid Hull Inflatable Catamaran and the newest boat in our whale watching fleet.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed September 9, 2011

I moved to CA from Chicago in 09/01. I had my first adventure the following January and saw gray whales. On each trip, I've seen something spectacular. It's true, one time I did not see a lot of dolphins or any whales, but the ocean was gorgeous (as usual) and there were sea lions and seals and other things to enjoy while out.

Over the years, I've seen mega pods of dolphins, a wide variety of dolphins, blue and gray whales, moms and their babies. Since the viewing pdds were put on the boat, I've heard the sounds they make as they play along side ... up close and personal.

I've been to Disneyland, Sea World, Universal Studios - all for much more money. I ALWAYS GET MORE THAN MY MONIES WORTH. I've brought friends, family members, colleagues from work, Rotarians, etc. Each time I knew every would enjoy themselves - and they have. I've seen my stoic girlfriend break out in giggles the first time she saw a dolphin. I've seen my 30+ year old son who is "too cool" to be impressed with anything anymore, grab my hand and point to several blue whales with great excitement.

I could write volumes about my experiences on Capt. Dave's Dolphin Safari. The adjectives I would use are: GREAT, WONDERFUL, SPIRITUAL, INVITING, INFORMATIVE, PEACEFUL, ADVENTUROUS, FUN, FRIENDLY, and who can forget the great brownies at the end of the trip?

I will continue to bring friends and family members to experience the ocean with you! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Capt. Dave for your kindness, great photography, educational DVD, and supporting children of Africa with funds you collect.from sales of your DVD.

Basia Christ

Date of experience: September 2011
Thank Basia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 70 reviews
"underwater viewing pods"
in 23 reviews
"sea lions"
in 74 reviews
"whale watching"
in 101 reviews
"fast cat"
in 10 reviews
"common dolphins"
in 44 reviews
"grey whales"
in 46 reviews
"see whales"
in 42 reviews
"great trip"
in 42 reviews
"large pod of dolphins"
in 19 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 10 reviews
"other companies"
in 9 reviews
"bottle nose dolphins"
in 13 reviews
"an incredible experience"
in 11 reviews
"boat ride"
in 27 reviews
"sea sickness"
in 14 reviews
"saw dolphins"
in 20 reviews

833 - 837 of 923 reviews

Reviewed September 7, 2011

We were on the fence whether to spend the money on this dolphin & whale watching excursion. So glad we did! Our kids could never have this kind of experience in the classroom. We saw hundreds of common dolphin, and they played along right under boat (literally feet from us) for an hour. Mothers and their babies, pairs & groups who would synchronize swim. The boat is equipped with an underwater microphone that amplifies the dolphin squeals & clicks they use to communicate so that we could listen on deck. So cool. My son enjoyed the underwater viewing windows, but my daughters and I get too motion sick to spend time below deck.

We were thrilled just seeing the dolphins, but there was more to come. Up close we got to see 2 different blue whale come to the surface. Hard to comprehend how huge and majestic these creatures are until seeing them in person. We witnessed one whale come up twice, the other once. The crew is very familiar with the patterns of these particular whales, even knowing that we would see a tail wave from one when he took a deep dive. Truly amazing. And it was cool to see the crew get as excited as the tourists when we got to see the blue whales.

The crew was fantastic. 3 knowledgeable gentleman making our outing enjoyable. There is a thorough safety presentation while taxing out to the ocean, and an in-depth educational presentation about whales & dolphins on the way back into harbor. We learned a lot!

The catamaran is extremely safe and comfortable even at almost capacity of passengers. It was a warm day (upper 80s) and our family didn't put on sweatshirts until the end when we headed back to shore. We did pack a light lunch, snacks and drinks, but it seemed we were maybe the ones ones who brought food.

We had a wonderful experience. Thanks, Capt. Dave's!

p.s. I will attempt to add photos at a later time (9/7/11)

Date of experience: September 2011
Thank Ellen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

This was our second time and it did not disappoint. We followed two blue whales for an hour and half and got see a large pod of dolphins up close through the viewing platform. We decided to that we should visit every year at a different time to see a variety of whales.

Date of experience: September 2011
Thank ssparish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2011

The boat was beautiful, the crew was very knowledgeable and fun! I would highly recommend this trip to everyone.

Date of experience: July 2011
Thank DPChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 2, 2011

I have been whale watching all around California - Newport Beach, Long, Beach, Santa Monica, and the Catalina Islands, Monterrey. All I ever say was one or two meinke whales. It's all luck but this trip with Captain Dave I saw two blue whales. The crew was knowledgeable and shared a lot of information with the guests. They were diligent in their pursuit of blue whales and knew what seasons to search for different types of whales. I had my 91-year-old mother with me and they were very helpful assisting her on and off the boat. I would recommend this tour group. They have an underwater viewing area at the front of the boat. Also instead of selling snacks and generating funds they concentrate on the whale-watching experience. I want to see whales, not pleasure cruise and stuff my face. Take the trip, you might bet lucky

Date of experience: August 2011
Thank Diane L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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