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“OK for the price, Not the best...”

Newport Landing Whale Watching
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Newport Landing provides multiple whale watching trips daily departing from Newport Beach. Whale watching trips are also referred to as whale watching tours or whale watching cruises. Newport Landing offers whale watching tours from December 17th through April 30th. Along with viewing Grey Whales you can expect to see dolphins, sea lions, and marine birds. Join Newport Landing on one of our open to the general public cruises or privately charter a whale watching boat.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We had purchased vouchers from a website for $15 ea, which included a free drink. Regular price is $32 weekdays. We needed to use them before they expired on May 25th. I didn't expect to see any whales this late in the season and we didn't. We did have to pay a $3.50/pp fuel surcharge as well.

The company offering the vouchers was Davy's Locker. I made our reservation at Davy's Locker, But, when we showed up at Davy's, we were sent to Newport Landing. As we were checking in at Newport, fisherman started showing up for a fishing excursion. They were sent to Davy's. I hate it when people operate this way but what can you do. They had our money.

Anyway, as we were waiting, about 20-25 school kids showed up with their teachers. The kids were well behaved and they weren't any problem on the boat, but, once again, this would have been something nice to know up front. Bad staff, in my opinion, who just don't care. We would have probably booked another time or day had we known.

I've taken one other whale watching cruise, out of San Diego, and it was much more professionally done. The narration was performed by real grad students who know everything you may need to know about whales, dolphins, etc. On Newport's tours, the narration is done by the crew; one who drives the boat and narrates while the other mans the snack bar. The information given was adequate but not up to snuff compared to the other company I sailed with a few years ago. (side note: the kids drove Mr. Snackbar crazy-fun to watch : ) I don't blame the crew for anything. They were doing the best they could but, as a rule, seamen aren't usually the most people-friendly types. These were, once again, adequate. As it was, there wasn't much info needed. All we saw were one pod of common dolphins and some sea lions sleeping on a buoy.

Overall, a nice time out on the water but if you're serious student of marine mammals, look elsewhere. This is a more bare bones and bargain priced operation.

The snack bar had coffee, water, sodas and beer. Menu items were breakfast and lunch type for $4-$7 each.

Also, more seating would have been nice. The boat is rated for 45 people but seating for less than half. We were full and most people had to stand up the whole time or sit on the deck.

We parked at the state beach parking for 6 hrs, $9, Short walk, 2-3 blocks.

4  Thank Jeff42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 11, 2013

I enjoy short sea excurtions and take a few every year whenever I travel. So I saw an ad in the paper in my hotel and called the day before to make reservations. "Do you have parking?" "Yes". Turned out they do not and the parking they recommended to me was full, the second one was also full, so I had to find a spot on the street. "You have to be here 30 minutes before the tour." No you do not, you can check in right before the tour and we did not board the ship until 10 minutes after. The girls that check you in are increadibly rude and charged me 3.50 more than advertised price--I double checked the ad after coming to the car--no mention of any "fuel charge."The crew on the boat gives you safety info and a reminder to tip, that's their interactions with you. We saw no whales, but did see dolphins for about 5 minutes and sea lions for about three minutes.

4  Thank siberiany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

My 6 yr old son and I have gone over 7 times with this company and on the boat! They are always great about giving free or discounted passes when you don't see anything (that happened to us 5 times) but this last time we saw SOOO many different whales, dolphins, boats etc. It was AWESOME!! I've come to learn that we have to go in the right time of season to see anything. Always a great, fun and relaxing time! Thanks!

1  Thank 838trishad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

I have gone twice to this company and always had a good time. The first time we didn't see any whales, which I was disappointed, but we did see a large pod of dolphins with all their babies! The second time we went we saw a fin whale, and we saw a few gray whales that were breaching up out of the water! It was amazing! We couldn't get very close to the gray whales, but it was still a worthwhile trip. I've never had problems with this company. The only thing I don't like is you pay for the trip, and then they ask you for tips again at the end. The second time we were running late because we hit traffic, and they even pushed our reservation back. This is pretty much the only company that does this in Newport as far as I know. You can usually get a Groupon or Living Social deal for this that makes it really cheap, and if you don't see any whales they give you a half off coupon for next time. It's great and affordable if you live in the LA area!

1  Thank Courtney P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

It was a fun trip with an early spotting of the humpback whale very near the beach. The captain actually guided the boat to be with the Whale for more than an hour. It was fun! But sadly we went afar from the usual trail where we could have seen some Dolphins too ! But hopefully next time ! They actually have discount offers on their site sometimes ! Worth checking (http://www.newportwhales.com/newport_beach_whale_watch_offer.html )

Thank yKapadia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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