San Diego Whale Watching Blog

Stay up to date with our whales in San Diego. From our daily whale watching reports to photos and video, this is the spot for our favorite marine mammals. Gray Whale Watching Season begins December 14, 2019!

2020-2021 Winter Whale Watching Report

DateMorning CruiseAfternoon CruiseNotes
4/18/21Massive Dolphin pod-Today we were in for a treat! Common dolphins covered a 2x3 MILE area of water! Accompanying this massive pod were thousands of sea birds , all feeding on huge schools of bait fish.
4/17/211,000+ Common Dolphins
Mother-Calf pair of Grey Whales
-Another great day on the water - today we were surrounded by a large pod of Common Dolphins and saw a mother-calf pairing of Grey Whales emerge right beside the boat!
4/16/21300+ Common Dolphins-No big whale sightings today, but plenty of dolphins came to greet us and engulf the boat with a friendly hello!
4/11/21- 2 Juvenile Grey WhalesNot much to view on our morning trip today, but our afternoon trip brought us to a pair of North-bound Juvenile Grey Whales, which were a delight to witness.
4/10/211,000+ Common Dolphins1,000+ Common Dolphin
Grey Whale
Today was a fantastic day with dolphins flanking us for both trips, and our afternoon tour guide of a Grey Whale that spent about an hour with us!
4/8/21--Bit of a "dry" day on the waves today. No big sightings to report, but we'll try again next time!
4/6/21Humpback Whale200+ Common Dolphin
30+ Bottlenose Dolphin
Today we had some big seas and big views!In the morning, the adult Humpback whale gave us some great spout and tail fluke views for over an hour. During the afternoon trip had 200+ common dolphin all around the boat as well as 30+ Bottlenose dolphin.
4/5/21300+ DolphinsWhales, in distance
A bit of a choppy day on the water, with no close whale sightings. The morning trip had a large pod of dolphins and the afternoon two whales spouting in the distance.
4/4/212 Grey Whales
Handful of Dolphins
1 Grey Whale
500+ Dolphins
Today saw some smaller dolphin groupings than the last few days, but definitely nothing to scoff at! We also saw a whale or two on each trip, so another great day on the water!
4/3/21Juvenile Humpback Whale
300+ Common Dolphins
20+ Whiteside Dolphins
-Today we had an elusive juvenile Humpback whale eventually came up right behind the boat five times. That, coupled with two large of pods of different dolphin species made for a truly great excursion!
4/2/217 Grey Whales
1,000+ Common Dolphins
1 Juvenile Grey Whale
Trio of Adult Grey Whales
1,000+ Common Dolphins
Today we were surrounded by dolphins on both trips and witnessed some north-bound whales throughout the day. Beautiful views and exciting movement in the waves by the wildlife!
4/1/217 Grey Whales
2 Juvenile Grey Whales
1,000+ Common Dolphins
What a great day of whale activity! Today, all of our whales were headed north, and our morning trip saw some great breaching from the two groups of whales, and our afternoon juveniles came very close to the boat!
3/23/21- - Due to poor weather conditions, both trips were unable to go whale-watching.
3/21/212 Grey Whales
500+ Common Dolphins
500+ Common DolphinsWhat a day for dolphins! On both trips we saw over 500 dolphins for a fun-filled sight. On our morning trip, the dolphins were right next to the boat, and so were two large Grey Whales, so we had a phenomenal view!
3/20/212 Grey Whales30+ Common DolphinsOn our morning trip, we had two Grey Whales breach right next to the boat! What a thrilling view! For our afternoon trip, we saw a pod of common dolphins.
3/19/215 Grey Whales
50+ Common Dolphin
- Despite poor conditions, our morning excursion was able to catch a glimpse of 5 Grey Whales and over 50 Common Dolphins.
3/18/214 Grey Whales
200 Bottlenose Dolphins
With flat seas, we were able to spot over 200 Bottlenose Dolphins as well as 4 Grey Whales!
3/17/213 Grey Whales
50 Common Dolphins
-Despite some clouds, another great day on the water with 3 Grey Whale spottings and a pod of 50 common dolphins!
3/14/216 Grey Whales
10-20 Bottlenose Dolphins
5 Grey WhalesToday was a lucky day with some showboating whales! Our morning trip highlighted 6 Grey Whales demonstrating phenomenal rolls amidst a pod of frolicking bottlenose dolphins. The afternoon trip brought us to 5 Grey Whales right next to the boat!
3/13/21--Due to rough sea conditions and poor weather, we were unable to see any marine life on these trips.
3/12/21Marine life viewed from a distance, unfortunately were unable to get closer4 Grey Whales
200+ Common Dolphins
20+ Risso Dolphins
A great afternoon on the water to make up for a slow morning. Unfortunately, on our morning cruise, marine life crossed over the nautical border to Mexico, but our afternoon trip was filled with breach Grey Whales, acrobatic Common Dolphins and a shore escort of Risso Dolphins!
3/7/21Juvenile Grey Whale
2 Grey WhalesToday we had rough seas and overcast conditions, but still saw some excellent whale sightings on both trips! Our morning trip brought us to a juvenile Grey Whale heading south that stayed with us the length of Pt. Loma, and the afternoon trip was an encounter with two lingering Grey Whales right near the surface!
3/6/21150+ Bottlenose and Common Dolphins
4 Grey Whales
No whale or dolphin sightings Despite rough seas, we had a great morning trip filled with dolphins and whales!
3/5/21500+ Common Dolphins
Grey Whale
100+ Common Dolphins
Today we had a massive viewing of common dolphins throughout the day with a Grey Whale sighting on our afternoon trip!
2/28/21Grey Whale
Pod of 200+ Various Dolphins
Juvenile Grey Whale
Humpback Whale
500+ Common Dolphins
What a great day for marine sightseeing! Today we saw a vast spread of dolphins as well as a juvenile Grey Whale and a Humpback Whale.
2/27/21Grey Whale
Humpback Whale
1,000+ Common Dolphins!
3 Grey Whales
Humpback Whale (Same one!)
1,000+ Common Dolphins
What a phenomenal day on the water! Toady we were treated to a lingering Humpback Whale on both cruises as well as roving pod of 1,000+ Common Dolphins.
2/21/21--2 Grey Whales
-12 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins
While our morning trip didn't bring us by any whales, our afternoon trip brought usup close to an adult and juvenile Grey Whale as while as a pod of White-Sided Dolphins!
2/20/21-2 Grey WhalesWhile we didn't see any whales on our morning excursion, our afternoon crew roughed choppy seas to follow a Grey Whale the length of Pt. Loma, with the Whale adventuring close to the vessel.
2/19/215 Grey Whales
-What a great morning on the bay! We encountered a trio of Grey Whales followed by two single whales, all of whom came close to the boat and showed off their fantastic spouts and tail flukes!
2/7/214 Grey Whales
Pod of Common Dolphins
Himback Whales
Within the first mile or two of departure, we found a grey whale pair We watched them for a while and they were great swimming in the gray pattern! Additionally, we found a humpback in the same place as a mega-pod of common dolphins. Here we observed the humpback snorkeling along and fluking and after one fluke sequence the whale breached three times in a row. After leaving the dolphins and humpback, we saw another pair of grey whales on our return to dock.
2/6/213 Grey Whales
35 White-Sided Dolphins
10-14 Grey Whales
Today featured great views of amazing spouts and tail flukes from multiple whale pods in both the afternoon and morning. Another great day on the water!
1/31/218 Grey Whales
12 Common Dolphins
6 Bottlenose Dolphins
-Another great day on the water with 8 whale sightings and two different pods of different dolphin species!
1/30/217 Grey Whales
20 Pacific White Side Dolphins
-Another fantastic day on the water! Today we saw a trio of Grey whales, a pair as well as two single whales. We also encountered a pod of 20 Pacific White Side dolphins on our return back to shore.
1/18/216 Grey Whales
150+ Common Dolphins
-What a great day on the water! Our first whale sighting was a trio of adult Grey Whales who demonstrated some spectacular tail flukes! We then had a mother and newborn come right alongside the boat, followed by a viewing of a single juvenile. The Dolphin pod we encountered included babies (2ft long!), with the pod completely encircling the boat for a truly memorable day on the water!
1/16/213 Grey Whales-Today we saw 3 grey whales; a mother and calf, as well as a single adult. All sightings were up close and personal for an excellent view!
1/9/21-9 Grey Whales
20 Pacific Whiteside Dolphins
The 9 Grey Whales we saw were a pod of 4 and 2 followed by 3 single sitings - all close enough to hear the whales breathing! Everyone onboard also observed some great tail flukes as the whales dove down as well as additional spouts in the area!
1/2/211 Grey Whale
15 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins
-We saw our first Pacific White-Sided Dolphins of 2021 today, as well as a Grey Whale.
1/1/21-2 Grey WhalesToday we had cool, light winds - perfect for a refreshing day on the bay.
12/31/201 Grey Whale-We saw one adult Grey whale today which gave us very good views and tail flukes despite large seas and rough conditions.
12/30/20-4 Grey Whales - 2 JuvenileWe had great views of the whales right next to the boat and ended the trip with a double tail fluke from the adult pair.

Learn More about San Diego Whale Watching

  • Celebrating Dolphins in San Diego

    Did you know that March is Dolphin Awareness Month? To celebrate, Hornblower San Diego is featuring a dolphin species every week. Dolphins are toothed whales in the Delphinidae Family. Off …

  • Winter Whale & Dolphin Watching Cruises Began with a Splash

    Last Saturday, Hornblower Cruises & Events in San Diego began a new season of whalewatching cruises! So far we’ve spotted the first migrating Eastern Pacific Gray Whales off the coast …

  • Winter Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruises on Sale!

    Splash Sale! For a limited time, Hornblower’s Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventure Cruise Tickets are only $30 per person for Monday  through Friday cruises (a savings of $15 per person)! …

  • Killer Whales off the San Diego Coast

    Orca alert! Last Saturday, our Captain, Whalers(naturalists) from the San Diego Natural History Museum, and on board guests were thrilled to spot three Killer Whales (orcas) off the San Diego …

  • The Return of Patches the Famous Dolphin

    Yesterday, admist another incredible day of Whale and Dolphin Watching, we spotted Patches, the most famous, offshore Bottlenose Dolphin on the West Coast! Patches is a  rare, black-and-white piebald dolphin. …