San Diego Whale & Dolphin Watching Cruise

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Full details

A truly magical whale-watching experience...

Witness nature first-hand as you relax and enjoy this incredible San Diego whale and dolphin watching cruise. Sail the open ocean on a comfortable yacht to see pods of dolphins, sea lions and the magnificent California gray whales on their annual journey from the Arctic to California's Baja Coast.

Our guide to San Diego Whale & Dolphin Watching Cruise

Enjoy the best sightseeing on San Diego Bay—with a professionally narrated tour of San Diego's whale-watching hot spots. Join us on the water as we search for Gray Whales (winter), Blue Whales (Summer), Minke Whales, Fin Whales, dolphins, sea lions, marine birds, and much more!

As we cruise, we’ll see up-close views of the bay's wildlife as well as iconic landmarks from a new perspective. Onboard our staff will provide live narration and details about the aquatic life and landmarks we pass for a truly memorable experience. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to capture all the sights in photos and video.

If some type of whale is not sighted on your whale-watching cruise, you will receive a pass good to return for a Whale Watching Cruise or Harbor Cruise from City Cruises San Diego.

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions for San Diego Whale & Dolphin Watching Cruise

  • All guests ages 12 and up must present proof of vaccination to board all vessels.
  • Guests younger than 12 years of age do not need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result, but are required to wear face masks while cruising, except while eating and drinking while stationary.  Masks may be removed while on outdoor deck spaces so long as guests are able to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.
  • All guests must wear face masks on board when moving around the vessel. 
  • No outside food or beverage is allowed onboard the yacht. There is a snack bar with adult beverages, soft drinks, hot and cold snacks, plus souvenirs available on board for purchases. 
  • Boarding starts 30 minutes before the cruise departure time. You must arrive before the schedule departure time as the cruise will not wait for latecomers.
  • Infants aged 3 and under go free, however please advise they are travelling at time of booking. 
  • As this is a natural experience, whale sightings cannot be guaranteed. On the rare occasion that whales are not seen, you will be given a 'whale check' that is good to use on another whale watching cruise or San Diego harbour cruise.
  • NOTE: The whale watching vessel cruises in the open ocean. Our yacht is the most comfortable yacht in San Diego, due to stabilizers that greatly reduce the yacht's motion.
  •  Dress Code: Casual (suggest layers) We recommend warm attire, including a coat. 
  • Meet at Pier Two, 970 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego CA. 92101. Harbor Dr at Broadway St. 
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off is not included. It is your responsibility to get to the boarding point. 
  • Cancellation policy - Cruises are non-refundable, sales are final. You have up to 48 hours prior to your departure date to reschedule. We do not compensate for any late arrivals or no-shows to a cruise.


Frequently Asked Questions for San Diego Whale & Dolphin Watching Cruise

General Information

  • When is the best time to go on a whale watching cruise in San Diego?

    The best time for whale watching in San Diego is generally from December to April when the gray whales migrate south. However, dolphins and other marine life can be spotted year-round.

  • What types of whales and dolphins can we expect to see on the cruise?

    You may encounter a variety of species, including gray whales, blue whales, humpback whales, orcas, and various dolphin species such as bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins.

  • Is the cruise suitable for children and families?

    Yes, our whale and dolphin watching cruises are family-friendly and suitable for children of all ages. It's a great opportunity for kids to learn about marine life.

Facilities & Amenities

  • What amenities are available on the cruise?

    Our cruises typically offer amenities like onboard restrooms, snack bars, and indoor and outdoor seating to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all passengers.

Food & Drink

  • Can I bring my own food and beverages on the cruise?

    Outside food and beverages are generally not allowed, but we do have snack bars and drinks available on board for purchase.


  • Is the ship wheelchair accessible? 

    The cruises do have accessible yachts in the fleet. However, not all yachts and decks are accessible. Please make us aware if you require any assistance at the time of booking so we can ensure accessibility for the date you are planning to cruise.

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