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November 2, 2011

When the annual whale migration season ended last April, the Hornblower Cruises crew had logged sightings of seven different whale species and four different dolphin species in San Diego waters. Now, Hornblower Cruises & Events is pleased to open reservations for another exciting season of Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures, with cruises starting on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

Last season, more than 25,000 guests boarded for the thrilling, family-friendly, 3 ½-hour Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures. Because Hornblower’s experienced captains know the best places to spot whales, tours head directly to prime viewing areas off San Diego’s shores. Plus, the captain and trained on-board naturalists from theNat (the San Diego Natural History Museum) share scientific stories and fun facts about the marine mammals along the way.

San Diego Bay has long been a top place to watch the annual migration, and waters here also host several species of dolphins, California sea lions and seabirds. Each day brings new sightings in new locations. Guides from Hornblower and theNat, who have partnered on the Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures since 2005, track all sightings and post updates to the Hornblower Captain’s Log at Last season, Hornblower crew members spotted and photographed sperm whales, humpbacks, killer whales, finbacks and Minke whales, along with the most commonly-sighted species this time of year, California Gray whales. Cruise guests also saw Pacific white-sided dolphins, common dolphins, Risso’s dolphins and bottlenose dolphins, plus gorgeous scenic and skyline views.

Most Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures take place aboard the Adventure Hornblower, a boat that features on-board displays and video clips highlighting Hornblower’s eco-outreach projects. The Adventure Hornblower is the largest, fastest, most stable whale-watching boat on San Diego Bay, which means guests experience less travel time and more time spent watching whales. The vessel leaves from a convenient downtown location on the Embarcadero.

To track the latest whale sightings, visit the Hornblower Captain’s Log at, or follow the Twitter feed at

Times and Tickets

Whale Watching Cruises depart daily at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets cost $17.50 (weekday) or $20 (Saturday-Sunday) for children ages 4-12, and $35 (weekday) or $40 (Saturday-Sunday) for adults. Seniors and military members are $33 (weekday) or $38 (Saturday-Sunday); children ages 3 and under are 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.

To purchase tickets and gift certificates, call 619-686-8715, visit 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 2011-2012 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!

Save the Date: Big Bay Whale Days is January 22, 2012

Hornblower will proudly sponsor the annual Big Bay Whale Days – a full month of money-saving deals on cruises, tours, and tickets – and the San Diego Whale Festival, which takes place from Sunday, January 22, 2012. The family-friendly festival, which features music, exhibits and art, will be held at the Broadway Pavilion on Broadway Pier at N. Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego.

To learn more about Hornblower’s daily tours, private charters and special event cruises, visit or call 800-ON-THE-BAY.


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 & Dolphin Watching Adventures and year-round Harbor Cruises. For more information, visit