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“No Whales But Still Great Fun. Fantastic Experience.”

Adventure R.I.B. Rides
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Want a fast & fun whale watching experience, without the crowds, and with a much less likely chance of getting motion sickness? Here at Adventure RIB Rides, we seat 6 people per boat so you are never fighting for that seat leaning over the rail like many larger boats. We are the only YEAR ROUND whale watching company! Our ocean excursion on the Authentic NAVY SEAL R.I.B. (Rigid Inflatable Boat) provides an adventure to remember as we race through the ocean finding all types of marine wildlife there is to be seen with captains whom are extremely experienced and passionate about marine life and the history of Sunny San Diego. Our boats are all authentic Navy Seal Team R.I.B.s purchased from Navy Seal Team 1 here in San Diego. Explore the marine life on some of San Diego's historic boats with us! For videos that explain more about the experience, check us out on Facebook!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Mason City, Iowa
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“No Whales But Still Great Fun. Fantastic Experience.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2014

We are from Iowa, so being on the ocean was a real treat. We did not see whales, but saw the sealions and a pod of dolphins. This was a fun experience for us (2 adult women 53 and 42 and 2 girls 13 and 14.) We all enjoyed it. Yes it would have been great to see some whales, but the dolphins were absolutely wonderful so much fun to watch. they are right there beside you diving in and out of the water, doing flips and having great play time. The captain made the rest of our ride really interesting. He explained about the sea animals so showed us other important sites on the ride. I had recently had a spinal fusion and he showed me how to straddle the little seat and stand when the waves came so that my knees took the brunt of the jars. My back felt good and the ride itself was fun. Hitting those waves and leaving the seat was fun and exciting. They made it a lot of fun and it was a great time even though we saw no whales. Thanks Guys

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Kristie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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389 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
1 review
“Definitely not "wowed"”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2014

Only saw 2 dolphins and it was at the end of the trip so we didnt' even spend any time with them. Instead spent time with 1 whale for about 15 minutes. The rest of the 3 hours was spent speeding through choppy water to go 8 miles from shore to where the captain thought there would be some whales. There weren't any. So we spent the rest of the time speeding back through choppy cold water to find the 2 dolphins right at the mouth of the harbor and only had about 5 minutes with them.

No offer of a discount or coupon for future visit.

Horrible. Twice the price of Captain Dave's in Dana Point and not nearly as good.

Visited June 2014
Thank Christan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Littleton, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best thing to do in San Diego!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2014

Book this trip NOW! It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced, and was the highlight of our trip. The RIB boat itself is a thrill - we were almost 20 miles off the coast of San Diego, and cruising fast over the water. Prior to going on the trip, I was a bit nervous about the size of the boat and worried it would go too fast. Trust me, it was 100% safe, not scary and an absolute thrill. Our captain was excellent, ensuring safety and fun at all times, and providing info for all the sites that we passed.

After about an hour, we came across a mega-pod of dolphins and it was INCREDIBLE! Easily over 2,000 dolphins swimming and leaping into the air all around our boat - it was like something out of movie, and something you can only imagine if you see it in person. So amazing. The dolphins followed us for quite a while, allowing us to take amazing video and pictures. We then decided to head to a different area to try to see a whale, and just as we were about to call it a day, we saw a huge gray whale, about 40 feet long!

Definitely do this adventure when you are in San Diego, no matter your age or adventure level, you will love it. Remember to be patient...seeing wildlife is no guarantee, but the boat ride across the ocean is worth the trip alone.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank Jsimp12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Great way to see sea life”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2014

Despite focusing on the horizon for the entire time, we were unlucky enough to see very little sealife -- 2 different types of dolphins, sea lions. We thought we saw a couple of whales in the distance, but they went down and didn't come back up. Disappointing, but the risk you take.

The captain (Klint) was very informative and made the trip fun.

They don't offer a "redo" option like some other whale watching outfits (opportunity to go on another trip if you don't see whales); possibly because their boats hold only a few people.

Of course, that's the great part of these trips. Instead of a boat full of people, fighting for ability to see sealife once spotted, you are already sitting at the best seat in the house (er, boat).

They offer a protection suit -- definitely not fashion forward, but don't be so proud (read: stupid) as to turn it down. It may be warm at the harbor but once you are out on the water with the wind and ocean spray blowing on you, you will definitely wish you had it! It's also useful to protect your camera equipment (wear around your neck and tuck it under the suit). And when you walk off the boat completely dry, you'll be really glad!

We had a problem with getting our reservation initially, and then we had to cancel 2 of our initial 4-people reservation under the 48 hour window. We offered to change to another day when they didn't have a full boat so they weren't sending out 2 partial boats. With all of our coordination issues, they were very accommodating, which we appreciated.

P.S. Don't forget your sunscreen!!

Visited May 2014
1 Thank k-ro99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“No Whale-Sightings, Still a Good Time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2014 via mobile

Saw plenty of dolphins & sea lions. The boat itself is very fast and agile, it made for a fun ride. The captain, Steve, was great. We had a good view of Mexico, Navy ships, submarines, and even a Navy-operated dolphin training facility from the raft. Very very cool. Easily the highlight of my San Diego stay, even without seeing any whales.

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

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