2023 - 2024 Winter Whale Watching Report

Date Morning Cruise Afternoon Cruise Notes
3/23/24 2 Adult Gray Whales Morning: We had a beautiful day on the water and spent roughly 20 minuets with two adult gray whales. The whales were approximately nine miles southwest of Point Loma and snorkeled and fluked for several cycles.
3/17/24 305 Dolphins Morning: We saw a Navy unit training with a Bottlenose Dolphin near Point Loma Naval Station. We then encountered 4 Pacific White Sided Dolphin that stayed on the bow wake for at least 15 minutes. Then we came across about 300 Common Dolphin. Captain Rick stayed with this pod for a while.
3/10/24 2 Fin whales
1 juvenile Gray whale
Whales: 4 gray
Common Dolphins: 100
Morning:
Shortly after leaving the dock, we were able to get a brief look at a juvenile Gray whale in the bay. Thereafter, it was a quiet day until we traveled to deeper waters at the 9-Mile Bank where we saw two Fin whales. To the delight of the passengers, one Fin whale approached our stationary boat and gave passengers a good opportunity to appreciate the beauty and size of this majestic animal. Soon after, we spotted a second Fin whale. Captain Dave allowed everyone some extra time to observe these beautiful whales before heading back to the dock.

Afternoon: About 10-11 miles out, Captain Dave spotted a group - turned out it was 4 gray whales going North to their feeding grounds. You could see their speckled bodies at the surface. Then, a group of about 100 common dolphins rode the bow wake near the boat! Lots of fun seeing the dolphins jumping out of the water.
3/9/24 1 cow/calf grey whale pair
3 bottlenose dolphins
One cow/calf grey whale pair was seen and observed for several minutes. Additionally, there were a few whale blows in the distance. This cruise saw a very large flock of cormorants fly across the ocean. Three bottlenose dolphins greeted the ship upon returning to the San Diego harbor.
3/2/24 White caps made it more challenging to spot anything, but those calmed down about halfway through the trip. Unfortunately, only one lone sea lion was spotted out in the ocean, but the Captain took us by the bait barge so we could see birds and sea lions hanging out.
3/1/24 5 gray whales
1 cow/calf pair
10 common dolphin
We encountered a solitary gray whale heading north about 8 miles offshore. Upon our return toward the bay, we came across four more gray whales closer to shore, including a mother and calf, also headed north.
2/25/24 1 Juvenile Grey Whale
150 Common Dolphins
We found a northbound juvenile grey whale a few miles north of the harbour. This grey whale was spectacular, breaching completely out of the water! It was very calm, snorkeling and fluking multiple times for us. We also encountered a pod of common dolphins, frolicking and jumping at the bow of the boat.
2/24/24 1 Humpback Whale

500+ Common Dolphins

1 Pacific Whiteside Dolphin

2 Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins
Captain Eric took us west where we enjoyed a pod of common dolphins. We spotted a spout and went to check it out, discovering it was a Humpback Whale! We spent a good amount of time with the whale getting many close up views and nice tail flukes. Multiple groups of dolphins joined us around the whale, along with a fairly good sized group of sea lions also out feeding! A pair of friendly bottlenose dolphins welcomed us back into the bay.
2/18/24 1 juvenile gray
2500 common dolphins
Guests got to see sea lions rafting in the water to cool themselves off and three different large pods of common dolphins. Altogether, we saw 2,500 common dolphins, including some tiny calves. They were leaping through the air and playing in the waves, with some even bow riding next to the boat! That would have been a great day by itself but Captain Rick continued along the kelp bed line to bring the guests what they had come out to see - our beautiful gray whales. The search paid off and we were able to spend some time with a juvenile gray whale who was lazily logging at the surface, giving guests some great views of his barnacles, sea lice and dorsal ridge. After a few breath sequences with our gray, we headed back to port to enjoy more sea lions at the bait dock and the rest of the sunny day.
2/16/24 2 Gray Whales
200 Common Dolphins
150 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins
The cruise began with gray skies that turned sunny with a relatively calm sea, Spotted and followed a lone gray whale for more than 30 minutes that spent most of its time in shallow dives. We could often see it through the water as it moved leisurely south, often surrounded by Pacific white-wided dolphins. At one point, the whale turned on its side. Speculation is that this may have been a pregnant female. It never fluked, but did dive for more than 5 minutes a few times.
2/12/24 1 juvenile gray, 1 adult gray
20 Pacific white-sided dolphins
Raft of 15 sea lions
We saw the juvenile gray whale that's been seen for the past few weeks by Ballast Point on our way out of the Bay. While heading south, we saw a pod of about 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins, and a bit later, a raft of about 15 sea lions, splashing and swimming together. After traveling north for a while, we turned back and got a great view of an adult gray whale a couple of miles off Pt Loma. We stayed with the whale for several rounds of breathing and diving, with great fluke shots.
2/11/24 5 Adult Gray Whale
Large Pod of Common Dolphins
As we departed the bay, we all saw the sub-adult gray whale near Ballast Point. The young whale came up a few times with a short spout and did show its flukes on some deeper dives between breaths. After we got out beyond the kelp forest, we were lucky enough to see a large pod of common dolphin that included about 750 different ages and sizes actively feeding and many joining in along with the boat. As we observed the dolphins, there was a single gray whale spout that ended up joining three other adult gray whales headed in the southern direction. There was interesting behavior that included rolling and close contact between the adult whales hinting at possible mating behaviors.
2/10/24 15 bottlenose dolphin
3 gray whales
50 Risso's dolphin
Beautiful clear blue skies this morning! We encountered a pod of 15 bottlenose dolphins right in the harbor as well as a juvenile gray whale hanging out at Ballast Point. We then saw 2 adult gray whales with some fluking, but they were a bit shy. The highlight was a large pod of active, rambunctious Risso's dolphins. We saw the group tail slapping and jumping.
2/9/24 2 Gray Whales
2 Bottlenose Dolphins
We were treated to 3 gray whales, including 2 juveniles -- one of which swam alongside the boat for a good 20 minutes. On the way back to the Bay, two bottlenose dolphins played in our wake.
2/3/24 Small Pod of Bottlenose Dolphins
20 - 30 False Killer Whales
2 Gray Whales
Afternoon:
We strarted the journey with a small pod of bottlenose dolphins that joined in with the boat’s wake. After that, we headed a little further offshore and were lucky enough to find a pod of 20-30 false killer whales. There were different ages as we could clearly see small ones along side larger ones. While observing the false killer whales, Captain Rick and the crew spotted 2 Grays whale spouts near the kelp forest off Point Loma. Most of the passengers got good looks at both whales for a few dives with flukes.
1/28/24 5 Adult Gray Whales
2 Juvenile Gray Whales
Sunny skies and calm seas made for an excellent morning of whale watching. Not far out of the harbour we found a group of 4 adult grey whales and 1 juvenile travelling southbound. They were travelling very close together and put on an amazing show by rolling over and fluking multiple times. We followed them for a while, then set off and found a lone adult grey. On the way back, right in the mouth of the harbour we were lucky to see a juvenile grey whale. We could not have asked for a better day!
1/27/24 6 gray whales
1 cow/calf pair
500 common dolphin
3 adult Gray Whales
750 Common Dolphins

Morning:
We had just set sail on a glorious, sunny morning when we spotted a juvenile gray whale right in the harbor at Ballast Point! We were able to see the youngster up close for several passes. Further out we witnessed quite a feedy frenzy with pelicans diving mixed in with a delightful pod of common dolphins, all feeding on a bait ball. We saw 5 more adult gray whales, 3 travelling together. But the highlight was a gray whale cow/young calf pair that came up close and stayed near the surface for several passes!

Afternoon:
Spectacular San Diego day on the water - sunny, warm, with a very flat ocean making it easy to spot the wildlife. A very tall spout was spotted in the distance, suspected to be a Fin Whale but it disappeared quickly so we couldn't be sure. Two adult Gray Whales were "cavorting" close to the boat, which appeared to be courting or mating behavior. They were rolling onto their sides, raising their pectoral fins, flukes coming straight up, and even poking their heads out of the water in semi-breach positions. A pod of about 750 Common Dolphins then appeared from the distance, swimming around the boat to the delight of the passengers. We saw one more Gray Whale as we headed back toward Pt. Loma.
1/26/24 3 Southbound Gray Whales
1 juvenile Gray Whale (in the Bay)
50 Common Dolphins
Beautiful day on the water! Nice and sunny with some wind and decent swells. Homeschool group on board had 10-15 kids who were well versed on Gray Whales and anxious to learn more! We started the trip with a pod of 50 Common Dolphins. As soon as they peeled off, spotted 3 Gray Whale heart shaped blows. Stayed with them for 45 minutes or so, then spotted possible additional group of 3. These 3 were taking frequent breaths and one rolled over, showing a pectoral fun. Whalers suspect mating activity. Stayed with that group for 45 minutes, then headed back. Once at Ballast Point area, spotted juvenile dubbed “Bubbles” by crew, surfacing.
1/21/24 4 Whales, 4 Dolphins On today's cruise we saw 4 gray whales. The first was a juvenile whale hanging out by ballast point. We later saw another juvenile gray whale not far off Point Loma in the kelp forest. We also separately followed two adult gray whales heading south. On our way back to the harbor we saw two Common and two Pacific White Sided Dolphins.
1/20/24 5 gray whales The first gray spotted was at Ballast Point in the harbor (Bubbles is the name the team gave to this whale). Once in the ocean and only about two miles offshore, the ship/captain followed one gray whale migrating south for a bit of time. Three more grays were seen as this cruise was returning to the dock by the Midway Museum.
1/14/24 1 gray whale cow/calf pair
2 adult gray whales
We hadn't sailed too far off of Point Loma when we received reports of a whale close by. As we neared the location, what had been reported as a single whale we realized was a very small calf and its mother. This had to have been a recently born calf since its size seemed to be no bigger than a dolphin though we didn't see much more of it than its small head. This calf was shiny and black in color in addition to being so small. Mom was being a bit coy and we only had a few glimpses of her barnacle- encircled blowhole and a bit of her back. Rather than hang around them, our captain decided it was in their best interest to let them be and very shortly we had another gray whale sighting to check out. This whale was in no particular hurry and seemed content to swim in one area coming up every 7-8 minutes in such a way that we got great views of this whale. We made one last excursion to the north to check out another sighting and we were rewarded with a southbound adult gray whale. He or she was moving at a nice slow pace with regular surfacing and we were able to watch this beauty for a good 15-20 minutes before heading back to the pier.
1/13/24 6 Gray whales
300 Pacific common dolphins
We saw gray whales very soon after exiting San Diego Bay. Lots of spouts and many tail flukes were seen as we stayed with them on their southbound journey. We left the whales and encountered Pacific common dolphins. Many dolphins were swimming close to the boat, swimming under the boat and playing in the bow wake.
1/6/24 3 Grey Whales
150 Common Dolphins
30 Pacific White Sided Dolphins
Today was sunny with good visibility, making it an excellent morning on the water. A pod of common dolphins was spotted soon after leaving the harbour. They delighted all aboard by bow riding, leaping and frolicking around us. We then set off north and found a small pod of Pacific White Sided dolphins, and just behind them, a gray whale! The majestic giant surfaced a few times and fluked for us. Not far away we found a pair of southbound gray whales, who really put on a show by surfacing and fluking multiple times!
1/5/24 30 Common Dolphins 1 Gray Juvenile Whale
Adventure set sail under slightly hazy skies that led to eventually more sun shining while we went in search of the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale. Slight swells were observed as we exited the San Diego Bay. Captain Rick headed west for a couple of miles and decided to take the Adventure to the North to see if there were possible southbound Gray Whales. After a few miles of searching with no luck Adventure began the journey to head closer to the coastline near Point Loma. We did come into contact with a small family pod of Common Dolphins that we observe. It was great to see a couple of calves in the mix. Guests on board were excited see the dolphins come close to the vessel. As we continue our journey south we finally came across 1 juvenile Gray Whale that was crossing the shipping lanes close to Point Loma. We observed the beautiful heart shape blows and guests gushed with happiness. The juvenile appeared to be a 2 year old as it had some barnacles on its nostrum which meant that it had been to the Lagoons of Baja California Mexico. The Gray surfaced about 1 dozen times as we observed it's pathway. The Gray did finally surface on the western side of the vessel and we could tell that it was heading to the gateway between the Los Coronados Middle and North Islands which is the gateway to the lagoons for the Grays. At that point we knew that it had 475 miles still to go in order to reach the lagoon areas.
12/31/23 1 Gray Whale The king tides brought some very large swells this morning but we set out to try to see what we could find! Despite the bumpy ride, we were able to find a juvenile gray whale who was headed South. The whale surfaced a few times with it's signature blow before diving deeper and showing off its tail fluke. It was traveling at a quick pace but we were able to locate it once more. Guests were treated to 4 more spouts and another beautiful view of its fluke before it continued on its journey to Mexico.
12/30/23 1 Minke Whale
4 Mola Mola
20 Pacific White Sided Dolphin
500 Common Dolphin
As we made our way through the harbor we were greeted by a few dolphin. Gray skies turned to sunshine and we soon observed a number of Pacific White Sided Dolphin, followed by approximately 500 Common Dolphin. We were thrilled to observe a Minke Whale that surprised us with popping up in different areas around the boat. Throughout our trip, we saw several Mola Mola (Ocean Sunfish) with one that was very close to the boat. We also observed a number of sea birds, including Cormorant, Brown Pelicans and a Red-Footed Booby that flew overhead.
12/29/23 1 Minke Whale A menke whale was briefly spotted, but maintaining contact turned out to be challenging. No other siting occurred during this trip.
12/25/23 1 Gray Whale
300 Common Dolphins
The mood onboard was "merry and bright" today as passengers and crew all received an incredible gift - the first Gray whale of the season. The adult whale stayed with us for several passes and fluked twice. We were also joined by 300 common dolphins, who thrilled the passengers by bow riding along the boat!
12/24/23 50 Common Dolphins After a gray start to the day, the sun came out for a beautiful day on the water. About an hour into the cruise we encountered a pod of common dolphins, some of which came very close to the boat and played in the wake. The dolphins stayed with us for about 20 minutes then went their own way. Unfortunately we did not see much other marine life for the rest of the day, but were still able to enjoy a beautiful day on the ocean.
12/22/23 100 Pacific White Sided Dolphins
40 Common Dolphins
It was a beautiful morning after a big thunderstorm the night before. We saw a pod of approximately 100 Pacific White Sided Dolphins who were swimming close to the boat for several minutes. We also saw a group of approximately 40 Common Dolphins surfing in the bow's wake.
12/17/23 2 Humpback Whales(Mother and Calf Pair)
50 Common Dolphins
30 Bottlenose Dolphins
Today was a clear sky day with calm waters and we could spot the whales and dolphins during our cruise. We saw a pair of mother and calf Humpback whales that swam alongside the boat for around 15 mins. Also we could see the approximately 50 common dolphins that had mom and baby dolphin Nursery pair along with rest dolphins. On our way back we spotted 3 bottlenose dolphins near the San Diego bay.
12/16/23 3 Humpback Whales
80 Dolphins
It was a beautiful morning and the water was calm. We spotted 3 humpback whales and had a great close view of a Humpback Whale blowing and raising the fluke on a deep dive. Additionally, we could see approximately 80 dolphins consisting of mother and baby dolphin pair (Nursery).

2023 Summer Whale Watching Report

Date Morning Cruise Notes
8/25/23 500 Common Dolphin
1 Brown Booby
Flying Fish
3 Bottlenose Dolphin
On our way out of San Diego Bay, some passengers saw a few Bottlenose Dolphin and as we moved toward the bank, we saw many pockets of floating bird life. We were even greeted by a close up encounter with a Brown Booby that flew over the upper deck, low enough for many to see up close! We also spotted some flying fish around the same time. On our return from scouting out the 9 mile bank, the skies became filled with San Diego sunshine and we saw a large pod of common dolphins exhibiting mating behavior. There were jumps, splashes, and high speed swimming occurring, and you could see the layers of dolphins under the surface.
8/19/23 300 Dolphins The whalers on board all noticed a large amount of sea birds of many types that were flying out to sea as we left the harbor. We were greeted with a small pod of common dolphins not far from a small bait ball as we left the harbor. Going out to the 9 mile bank, we observed a nursery pod of common dolphins that was a thrill for everyone to see. Throughout the cruise, we continued to see multiple short and long beaked common dolphin pods as we navigated in the whale zone.
8/18/23 1000 Common Dolphins The dolphins totalled at least 1000 overall, demonstrating wonderful acrobatics. We continued to see mother dolphins with their young ones and the various pods gave us many close-up views of their synchronized swimming.
8/17/23 1 Fin Whale
800 Common Dolphin
The Adventure headed out of San Diego Bay under foggy conditions that lasted until we reached the 9 Mile Bank area. Once there the sun attempted to peek through the cloud cover whereupon we discovered a small group of 100 Common Dolphins with a few calves in the mix that guests on board were able to observe. We continued our journey further west till a spout was sighted around the 14 Mile Bank area. The Adventure headed in the westerly direction where we were able to see a couple of spouts from a Fin Whale that was a bit illusive to us. We observed the Fin as it has such beautiful markings on its body. Our time ran out and the captain began the journey back to San Diego Bay. Along the way back we were fortunate to come upon a bit of a larger pod of 700 Common Dolphins that included a nursery pod.
8/13/23 1 minke whale
2 mola mola
300 common dolphins
We made our way to the nine mile bank where we got a great view of a friendly minke whale near the boat.
On the way back to the harbor, we encountered a very active nursery pod of common dolphins that entertained guests with their high flying jumps and views of the mom and calf pairs. We also found two huge mola mola near the dolphins.
8/12/23 2 Bottlenosed Dolphins
1200 Common Dolphins
3 Mola Mola
The water was calm, the August skies grey, the bait fish were plentiful, and the dolphins out to play!
They put on a great show. We observed various dolphin antics: jumping straight out of the water, spinning, tail slapping, and swimming at full speed in straight lines.
Large nursery pods with many healthy-looking mom and calf pairs.
8/11/23 500 Common Dolphins
1 Mola Mola
While there were no whales to be found, the dolphins did not disappoint. There were several small pods throughout the trip, and one large nursery pod surrounding the boat. They followed the boat entertaining passengers with bow riding and leaps. A Mola Mola was spotted close to the boat and remained on the surface when the Captain circled giving passengers a great view.
8/7/23 800 Common Dolphins
1 Fin Whale
The Adventure headed out of San Diego Bay under foggy conditions that lasted until we reached the 9 Mile Bank area. Once there the sun attempted to peek through the cloud cover whereupon we discovered a small group of 100 Common Dolphins with a few calves in the mix that guests on board were able to observe. We continued our journey further west till a spout was sighted around the 14 Mile Bank area. The Adventure headed in the westerly direction where we were able to see a couple of spouts from a Fin Whale that was a bit illusive to us. We observed the Fin as it has such beautiful markings on its body. Our time ran out and the captain began the journey back to San Diego Bay. Along the way back we were fortunate to come upon a bit of a larger pod of 700 Common Dolphins that included a nursery pod.
8/5/23 1 Blue Whale
1000 Common Dolphins
Multiple pods of dolphins, including many mother/juvenile pairs kept appearing. First a small pod, then larger and larger, with many of them swimming with the boat for quite awhile. By the time we got out to the deep water, we saw our first spout. The whale took a few more breaths, showed more of his body, and then we spotted the dorsal fin. It was definitely an adult blue whale.We stayed with the whale for at least 3 cycles of breathing and diving before turning back toward the docks.
8/4/23 800 common dolphin
2 mola mola
We saw a large, active pod of approximately 800 common dolphins with baby dolphins about 12 miles out. On our way back to the bay, the pod had broken into two smaller pods, but remained active displaying jumps, tail slaps, and surfing in our wake.
7/31/23 Minke: 1
Mola Mola: 3
Common Dolphins: 3000+
Dolphins galore! One large pod after another leaping & slapping. There were many small babies in one small area. We saw 3 different mola mola, as well as 1 Minke that surfaced near the boat at least 6 times. Also, lots of military action today: an incoming nuclear submarine, 4 fighter jets taking off from the Naval Base, a Seahawk chopper, and a combat ship that can operate in just 14 feet of water.
7/28/23 1 blue whale
2 mola molas
12 Risso's dolphins
30 bottlenose dolphins
550 common dolphins
On our way to the submarine canyon , we encountered a pod of about 50 common dolphins. There were several cow/calf pairs swimming alongside the ship as well as a couple dozen playing in the bow wake putting on a great show. We later sighted the spout of a single blue whale when we were close to the 7 mile mark offshore. We were able to get close enough to see its topline during its shallow dives. However, the ship was getting closer to the Mexican "border" so we had to break off our course and go look for more marine mammals not heading south. We were very fortunate a short time later to see a pod of Risso's dolphins that were quite playful. A few of them leapt out of the water and thrilled all of us! We were able to stay with this group for about 20 minutes. These are always a special sight to see. On our way back into the harbor, there was a very active megapod of more common dolphins. Many of them were leaping completely out of the water, it was as if they were flying.
7/23/23 1 Whale
557 Dolphins
Soon after we left the bay we came across around 50 common dolphins. After that we headed west towards the nine mile bank. We saw a lot of fishing boats but no spouts on our way out. Then we were treated to a group of 7 Risso Dolphins who kept swimming under the boat and then turning up on the other side. They were very close and beautiful. Just as we were watching them swim away a Blue Whale came up on our port side quite close as well. We were able to see it come up for a second cycle on the surface before we had to head back to port. On our way back our final treat was a large pod (500) of common dolphin jumping and splashing.
7/22/23 1 Blue Whale
1 Mola Mola
1500+ Common Dolphins
The dolphins were in rare form today, with super-pods coming from various directions, jumping, leaping, and belly-flopping over and through the waves. Many swam with the boat, delighting the passengers and crew. Mothers with new calves were seen along with a nursery full of juveniles. After traveling about 12 miles out, we saw a juvenile blue whale who shared several blows with relatively short intervals. A mola mola also showed up, allowing everyone to see its unique shape and swimming movements.
7/21/23 9 blue whales
250 common dolphins
This cruise saw 9 blue whales with 6 close encounters and another 6 blows in the distance. The 9 whales activities displayed one fluke while other blue whales were surface snorkeling. Also, on this whale watching cruise, one mola Mola was seen and the 250 common dolphins seen were a mix of long and short beak.
7/17/23 500 common dolphin
75 Bottlenose dolphin
We twice came across pods of common dolphin that gave a great show as they skimmed through the water around the boat. It was easy to glimpse them below the surface in the clear, relatively calm seas. We also passed through a pod of bottlenose dolphin that treated guests to leaps and spins in the air all around us.
7/16/23 2 Blue Whales (& Flukes)
150 Common Dolphins
25 Risso’s Dolphins
80 Bottlenose Dolphins
A warm overcast hugged the coast as over 140 excited passengers departed for an eventful summer whale watching cruise. Captain Rick and his crew piloted the Adventurer past Shelter Island while those on-board watched a Bottlenose Dolphin jump near it’s US Navy training vessel. Before leaving the harbor, more Bottlenose Dolphins were seen devouring a bait ball just beyond Ballast Point. Dolphins were the theme of the day as many Common Dolphins, along with multiple pods of large, offshore Bottlenose Dolphins, and rarer Risso’s Dolphins were sighted while heading out to 9-Mile Bank. Near the end of the time at the Bank, multiple spouts were seen. To the passengers’ delight, thirteen minutes later a Blue Whale surfaced near the ship along with another in the distance. Both fluked to wave good-bye as we returned to port.
7/10/23 500 Common Dolphins Captain was able to approach several pods of common dolphin. It was amazing to see their beauty up close as they surrounded the boat leaping out of the water. I saw as many as 3 at at a time synchronize their jumps. Pelicans were diving head first making huge splashes on the surface as they fed. California sea lions were sunning themselves on buoys.
7/8/23 2 Blue Whales
2 Mola Mola
500 Common Dolphins
A large pod with at least 200 hundred common dolphins came stampeding toward us, giving us a close-up experience when they swam with the boat. We observed both an adult and juvenile blue for a while who initially stayed elusive but then came a bit closer for a better view. More dolphins showed up later, first swimming away and then back toward the boat. Our last whale sighting gave us a full-whale view from head to fluke as it stayed just under the water.
7/7/23 3 Blue Whales
250 Common Dolphins
2 Mola Molas
2 Flying Fish
As we entered the ocean side there was quite a lot of bird action on the water with Pelicans, Terns and various Sea Gulls species amongst a pod of Common Dolphins. As we continued our journey towards the 9 mile bank area we came upon a pod of 125 Common Dolphins who came to our vessel and were enjoying the bow riding and surfing the back of the vessel. There were a few calves in the pod that guests were thrilled to see in the mix. We then saw large spouts of 3 Blue Whales along the 9 mile Bank area. They were surfacing,spouting and fluking with their 25 foot tails. Many guests were in awe of seeing the Blue Whale so close to the surface and how "blue" their body appeared in the water. It was especially amazing for guests to observe their spouts that were anywhere from 30' to 40' high and how wide their fluke was when taking a big dive. As our time came to an end we headed back to port and as we came near to Point Loma another pod of Common Dolphins came to greet us and say adieu to all the fabulous guests on board!!
7/2/23 Blues: 7
Fin: 1
Common Dolphins: 100
Mola Mola: 1
In addition to seeing 7 Blues and 1 Fin whale, we saw a behavior that few onboard had ever seen. A Blue at the surface turned on her side and lifted her 8' pectoral fin out of the water to show off the white underside! The other Blues showed off their flukes multiple times, and they were close enough to clearly hear their breathing when they surfaced. We saw 2 pods of Common Dolphins and 1 Mola Mola floating at the surface.
7/1/23 3 Blue whales
800 Common Dolphins
1 Jellyfish
1 Sea Snake
We had many Common Dolphins play in the wake of the boat & bow ride on our way out to sea. We spotted a Blue Whale & while waiting for it to resurface, spotted both a Jellyfish and a Sea Snake. After another round of breaths by that Blue, we spotted another and stayed with it for a few rounds of shallow breathing. On our way back in, we were surrounded by Common Dolphins once more & saw our third Blue Whale off of the port side.
6/26/23 9 Blue Whales
100 Common Dolphins
On the way out to the 5-mile mark, we saw about 100 playful common dolphins. Before we even got to Mile 5, we were seeing blue whales. They were everywhere! Nine blues got close enough to the boat to see their bodies and their outlines while swimming just below the surface. We had good views of their enormous blow holes and a few flukes. We all enjoyed hearing them breathe. We also saw at least 8 more blows in the distance. We didn't have to go past 5 miles, because there were plenty of whales to keep us busy. There were also lots of California brown pelicans, and 3 submarines docked at the Naval Base!

6/25/23 12 blue whales
400 common dolphins
. As we made our way out from the harbor to the area in the Pacific Ocean known to see the Blue Whales, we came across some bate balls that had lots of pelicans, dolphins, and various other birds. There were several (400) common dolphins seen (some were long beaked) in various mega pods. The captain then maneuvered the boat to where we were in a feeding circle to see lots of blows and was completely surrounded by Blue Whales near and far. This cruise also saw around 12 blue whales and of those Blue Whales we saw two flutes that received applause from the guests. As we came to our final look at these Blue Whales, one came within a few yards of the stern for an excellent guest experience.
6/24/23 3 Blue Whales
200 Common Dolphins
1 Mola Mola
It was an amazing day whale watching with sightings of 3 blue whales in the same area. We could hear their breath and saw a couple of tail flukes. We also saw about 300 common dolphins and a Mola Mola that was exciting to watch as it fed on the surface.
6/23/23 1 Blue Whale
2 Fin Whales
300 Dolphins
We journeyed out about six miles and encountered a Blue Whale and two Fin Whales. All three of passengers I asked told me their favorite part of the cruise was seeing the three hundred or so Common Dolphins. Specifically the ones we saw frollicking adjacent to the ship.
6/19/23 9+ Blue Whales
1 Humpback Whale

1000 Common Dolphins

200 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins
It was an amazing day on the water for today’s summer cruise! Captain Rick took us out towards the nine mile bank and we quickly encountered a large pod of 1,000+ common dolphins. We soon began seeing spouts and they did not stop! We were surrounded by Blue Whales and had multiple close encounters with whales right up near the boat with many fluking and showing off their impressive tails. At several points we would have two or three Blue Whales surfacing at the same time all around the boat. We saw at least two calf/cow or juvenile/adult pairs. A true highlight was a very friendly and playful Humpback Whale that breached at least 25 times and put on a spectacular show for everyone. We also had a great look at large pod of about 200 offshore bottlenose dolphins that were very active. After the morning June Gloom burned off we were treated to blue skies and everyone had an incredibly memorable day!
6/18/23 6 Blue Whales (1 cow-calf pair)
200 Common Dolphin
10 Bottlenose Dolphin
Beautiful Day - June Gloom on the way out San Diego sun on the way in. Lots of dolphin activity in the way out. Once we found the Blue Whales there where spouts all around us.
6/10/23 3 Blue Whales
1 Fin Whale
70 Dolphins
What a start of the whale watching season! Whale blows surrounded the boat. Whales so close you could hear them breathing. Another sight not often seen - Rizzo and Bottlenose Dolphins swimming together - about 10 of each. Lots of fish in bait balls attracted pelicans, dolphins, and the whales. Blue whales - the largest mammal on earth; fin whale - Greyhound of the ocean. SD Natural History Museum whalers showed biofacts and answered questions from passengers. A Whale of a day!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you do whale watching tours in San Diego?

You sure can! City Cruises offers some of the best whale watching tours around in 2024. Enjoy a narrated experience by our expert guides and see whales up close and personal. If you are looking to see specific whales, be sure to visit during the appropriate season! 

How much is whale watching in San Diego?

Prices for whale watching tours in San Diego usually range from $60 to $75 per person. It depends on the day, time of year and a few other factors. It is well worth the experience! 

When can you see gray whales in San Diego?

Gray whales can be seen in San Diego from mid-December to early April. This is the time of year when they migrate from Alaska to Baja California. Book your whale watching cruise for the winter season! 

When can you see blue whales in San Diego?

Blue whales are more likely to be seen in the summer months, from June to September. This is the time of year when they migrate from Central America to California. If you want to see blue whales, book your whale watching tour for the summer! 

How long are whale watching cruises in San Diego?

They are usually about three and a half or four hours long. This includes time for boarding, the cruise itself, and disembarking. 

What should you bring on a whale watching cruise?

Be sure to dress in layers as the weather can change quickly out on the water. It is also a good idea to bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, binoculars and cameras. And don’t forget your sense of adventure! 

Will you see dolphins on the cruise in San Diego?

It is very likely!  San Diego is home to a large population of common dolphins. They often swim alongside the whales, so you may get to see them up close. 

What other wildlife will you see on the tour?

In addition to dolphins and whales, you might see California sea lions, seals, pelicans, birds and more. Keep your eyes peeled and your binoculars handy! San Diego is home to some of the best wildlife in the state.  

What is the best time of day for whale watching?

The best time of day for whale watching is usually early morning or late afternoon. This is when the sun is not as harsh and the whales are more active. 

When is whale watching season in San Diego?

The whale watching season in San Diego runs from mid-December to early April. This is when the gray whales migrate from Alaska to Baja California. The blue whale season runs from June to September, when they migrate from Central America to California.