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“Really enjoyable whale watching trip”

Santa Barbara Sailing Center
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: We are Santa Barbara’s premier destination for on-the-water fun! Learn to sail, charter a sailboat with a captain, rent a variety of sail and power boats or enroll in a Liveaboard Instructional Vacation to the world-famous Channel Islands National Park. We also offer a wide variety of public sailing cruises in which you'll experience an array of marine life as well as spectacular views of the coastline. If you're looking for a little adventure, rent your own kayak or stand-up paddle board or go on your own private excursion with one of our guides. We will see you on the water!
London
Level 6 Contributor
377 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“Really enjoyable whale watching trip”
Reviewed April 30, 2013

We went out on the Double Dolphin whale watching trip from Santa Barbara Sailing Centre after the Condor Express let us down. We were extremely pleased with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the crew members, Captain Kyle and Quincy. The price was also reasonable at $30 for 2.5 hours. We were well looked after and advised about safety and offered blankets if we got cold. There were also drinks available to purchase on board. There was a naturalist volunteer on board who made the trip was very informative and we saw quite a few whales and even had a close-up encounter. We really enjoyed it and would recommend the Double Dolphin whale watching trip if you are in Santa Barbara.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank SCSLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Hilton Los Angeles Airport
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Highlight of our Santa Barbara trip”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

Planned a weekend getaway for a group of girls (we are all in our 30s) and thought this would be great fun. Man did they far exceed my expectations!

Booked a 2 hour sail around the Santa Barbara harbor area just before sunset, total cost $295. Note that the sailboats cannot exceed 6 people due to Coast Guard regulations. Was nervous about the weather because it's very inconsistent in Santa Barbara this time fo year. We lucked out with 70 degree sunshine!

The six of us arrived 30 minutes prior after following the TERRIFIC step by step directions of the website - pictures and everything. There was a nice little clubhouse there for us to wait in and get organized. The ladies who checked us in were SO friendly and made us feel very welcome. They double as photographers and helped take some great photos of the group dockside. We brought our own snacks and drinks to enjoy aboard and they even brought out a cooler for us to chill our bubbly.

Then the ship arrived, oh baby it's a beauty! The Jenny Lane made us feel like we were royalty. Captain Hendrick Fink was superb and also doubled as a photographer. Extremely knowedgable and taught us a thing or two. Pointed out the Channel Islands, some wildlife, and made us want to come back again next year. 10 out of 10 on all counts.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank ahirschsohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Big Disappointment "whale wishing"”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We were very disappointed with our experience. Not because we didn't see any dolphins or whales, but because of the lack of effort by the crew. Our captain was Kyle and the first mate was Colton. They were polite, but certainly not interested in interacting with the Passengers. Other than the mandatory safety speech, there was nothing. No jokes, no friendly banter, no information about the geography, nothing! There apparently was music playing at the front of the boat, but I didn't hear it from where I was sitting. Basically it was a 2.5 hour boat ride guided by people who really didn't like their job. Boring.....But we did get a "voucher" for a free trip since we didn't see any whales, sounded good until you read the fine print which said you are standby and subject to getting bumped by paying passengers. On the other hand, the boat was clean and left on time.m would not do this again with this crew.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank ReneefromFresno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Relaxing Sunset Cruise to end the day”
Reviewed January 30, 2013

My friend and I thought doing a sunset cruise over the bay would be a good idea to see some beautiful Santa Barbara coastline. RIGHT! A great way to unwind after a busy day.
We booked half an hour before the cruise was due to leave and the lady on the phone was extremely helpful with our reservation.
The cruise itself was great with an upbeat 2 man crew, snacks and drinks available for purchase and the captain was chatty about the surrounding islands and marine life when we asked him.
We were lucky to spot some dolphins early on in the trip and they played and followed us for at least 30mins. What a treat.
As soon as the sun went down it became quite cold, so blankets were handed around freely.
Highly recommend the Santa Barbara Sailing Center :)

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Adelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Osos, California
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Northern Channel Island sailing at its best!!!”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

The Santa Barbara Sailing Center is wonderful! I have been a customer of theirs for over 15 years. Skip and his staff are knowledgeable and very helpful. I have taken sailing lessons, taken advanced coursed and received ASA certifications from their captains, have rented boats for sailing vacations, and have enjoyed sunset cruises aboard the Double Dolphin. Their equipment is up to date, clean and well maintained. The staff makes sure you have what you need. They have kayak excursions and SUPs (Standup Paddle Boards), feature lessons, "Wet Wednesday" racing, corporate team building events and lots of other kinds of private events. I own a boat in Morro Bay, but when I want to sail to the northern Channel Islands, I rent a "bare" boat from the SBSCtr. and plan to do so again, soon.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Califia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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