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Whale Watching Kicks off in San Diego

November 2, 2010

WATCH WILD GRAY WHALES WITH HORNBLOWER CRUISES & EVENTS, STARTING THIS DECEMBER 11

San Diego’s greenest cruise presents guaranteed sightings and nature at its best

Guests will set their sights on magnificent, migrating gray whales when Hornblower Cruises & Events kicks off this season’s popular Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures on Saturday, December 11, 2010. In addition to showcasing the awe-inspiring animals – sightings are guaranteed! – San Diego’s ultimate eco-adventure provides a greener-than-ever experience with displays and tour narration spotlighting local environmental efforts.

More than 2,500 guests will set out on the acclaimed, 3 ½-hour Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures this season, heading directly to prime viewing areas off the scenic San Diego shoreline. Hornblower’s experienced captains know the best places to spot the whales making their migration from frigid Arctic waters to the warm lagoons of Baja California – and, on-board naturalists from the San Diego Natural History Museum share scientific stories and fun facts about the marine mammals along the way.

Long known as a top stop for watching the annual migration, San Diego Bay also plays host to several species of dolphins, California sea lions and a variety of seabirds. Guests will have the opportunity to snap shots of the local skyline as they cruise, and each outing comes with a guarantee: If a whale is not sighted on a Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventure, Hornblower hands out a pass good for another whale watching tour or harbor cruise during the season. Sighting updates are posted regularly on the Hornblower Captain’s Log and the public can track the latest sightings on Twitter.

Most Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures take place aboard the Adventure Hornblower, a boat that demonstrates the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship with on-board displays, video clips and narration highlighting Hornblower’s eco-outreach. Guests also learn about local environmental efforts as part of the Respect Our Planet program, a series of Hornblower initiatives designed to reduce the company’s environmental impact and educate the public. For the past two years, Hornblower has been participating in an EPA-funded study of copper-free paints that aims to minimize boating impact in San Diego Bay; company employees further protect local habitats by volunteering for beach and harbor clean-up projects.

Times and Tickets

Whale Watching Cruise depart daily at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets cost $17 (weekday) or $19.50 (Saturday-Sunday) for children ages 4-12 and $34 (weekday) or $39 (Saturday-Sunday) for adults. Children ages 3 and under are free, and groups of 20 or more can arrange outings at a discount. Snacks are available for purchase and all vessels offer comfortable indoor and outdoor seating.

To purchase tickets and gift certificates, call 619-686-8715, visit www.hornblower.com or stop by the Hornblower ticket booth at 1066 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, Calif., 92101. Advanced purchase is recommended to secure specific dates and times.

Special deal for the 2010-2011 season

Wild for whales? Take advantage of Hornblower’s Whale Club Card. For the special low rate of just $60, Whale Club membership includes free Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures for the entire season along with free Harbor Cruises & Sea Lion Adventures in the off-season. Cardholders also enjoy exclusive discounts on other Hornblower cruises throughout the year. The Hornblower Whale Club Card pays for itself after just two cruises!

Big Bay Whale Days set for January 22, 2011

Hornblower will proudly sponsor the third annual Big Bay Whale Days – a full month of money-saving deals on tours, tickets and meals – and the San Diego Whale Festival, which takes place from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, January 22, 2011. The family-friendly festival, which features music, exhibits and art, will be held at the new Broadway Pavilion on Broadway Pier at N. Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego.

To learn more about Hornblower’s daily tours, holiday parties, private charters and special event cruises, visit www.hornblower.com.

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Hornblower Cruises & Events has been the leading charter yacht and public dining cruise company in California for over 30 years. The company operates 32 vessels in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Marina del Rey and San Diego. The 1000 passenger Inspiration Hornblower is one of San Diego’s premier venues. In addition, Hornblower San Diego offers seasonal Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventures and year round Harbor Cruises. For more information visit: www.hornblower.com/pressroom.