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HORNBLOWER’S SAN DIEGO WHALE WATCHING TOURS BEGIN DEC. 8, 2012

November 29, 2012

Seats selling fast for the most exciting whale watching cruises on San Diego Bay San Diego’s whale watching season gets its earliest start ever this year, as Hornblower Cruises & Events kicks off its annual Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012.

Reservations are now open for the season’s family friendly harbor excursions, which regularly top the list of favorite San Diego activities for visitors and residents alike. San Diego Bay is ideally situated for spectators watching the annual whale migration, and waters here also host dolphins, California sea lions, seabirds and other species.

Last season, Hornblower welcomed more than 25,000 guests aboard its 3 ½-hour whale watching tours. Those guests spotted gray whales, finback whales, humpback whales and blue whales, which are the world’s largest, plus orcas, four species of dolphins and more. Because Hornblower’s experienced captains and crew know the best places to find whales, tours head directly to prime viewing areas off San Diego’s shores.

Live onboard narration includes scientific stories and fun facts about marine mammals as presented by staff members and on-board “whalers,” expert naturalists from theNat (the San Diego Natural History Museum). Guides from Hornblower and theNat, who have partnered on the Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures since 2005, track all sightings and regularly post updates to the Hornblower Captain’s Log at www.hornblower.com/whales. Updates are also available via the company’s Twitter feed, www.twitter.com/HornblowerSD.

Hornblower makes the San Diego whale watching experience even more comfortable with some of the largest and fastest yachts operating on southern California waters. The stable vessels seat hundreds, and features such as a spectacular sun deck set nearly 30 feet off the water offer an opportunity to view whales from up to a mile away. Efficient tier-2 engines, onboard recycling programs and sustainable products used vessel-wide put an eco-friendly twist on these sightseeing tours.

Times and Tickets

Whale Watching Cruises depart daily at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets cost $42 for adults, $40 for seniors and military members and $21 for children ages 4-12. Children ages 3 and under cruise for free. 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. Guests who don’t spot some type of whale on their whale watching cruise will receive a pass good for a future Hornblower San Diego whale watching or harbor cruise. To purchase tickets or 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 deals for the 2012-2013 season Make the most of whale watching season in San Diego with Hornblower’s Whale Club Card. For just $75, Whale Club membership covers free Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures for the entire season along with free Harbor Cruises & Sea Lion Adventures in the off-season. Cardholders can also take advantage of exclusive discounts on other Hornblower’s San Diego sightseeing cruises throughout the year. The Hornblower Whale Club Card pays for itself after just two cruises! Hornblower San Diego also offers combo packages that promise big savings on harbor cruise tickets plus admission to the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Maritime Museum or the U.S.S. Midway. Combo tickets start at $32 for adults and $16 for children. To learn more, visit www.hornblower.com/sealion/combopackages.htm.

Save the Date: Big Bay Whale Festival is January 26, 2013 Hornblower is a proud sponsor of the fifth annual Big Bay Whale Festival, which takes place from Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. The family-friendly event, held at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier at N. Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego, features music, exhibits, art and more. The festival is part of Big Bay Whale Days, a full month of money-saving deals on cruises, tours and tickets for popular San Diego activities. To learn more about Hornblower’s daily tours, private charters, special event cruises and other San Diego activities, visit www.hornblower.com or call 800-ON-THE-BAY.

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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 1,000 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.