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Whale & Dolphin Watching Cruises

The whales are here and so are the dolphins!

San Diego is one of the best locations to watch gray whales as they migrate from feeding grounds in Alaskan waters to calving lagoons in Baja California and back. In addition to Gray Whales, we often see other species such as humpback whales, minke whales and even killer whales on our cruises! See the Whale Report! This is what's going on now with whales and dolphins off San Diego coast.

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If you love whales, dolphins, sea lions, and sea birds, hop on board for a breathtaking experience on the open ocean. We’ll speed out to sea on one of our large, comfortable yachts and pass barking sea lions and pods of leaping dolphins as we search for the legendary gray whales-known for making one of the longest migrations Earth. As we make our way on a 3.5-hour tour, we’ll be treated to a live narration by our experienced captain and our on-board naturalist (from the San Diego Natural History Museum). You’ll stay cozy and comfortable with both indoor and outdoor seating and a snack bar featuring hot food, a full bar, and souvenirs.

See the Whale Report! This is what's going on now with whales and dolphins off San Diego coast.


  • 3.5 hour Whale Watching excursion in San Diego 
  • Opportunity to spot whales, sea lions, dolphins and more
  • An exclusive look at local environmental efforts
  • Professional live narration on marine life from our expert captains and volunteer naturalists from the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT)
  • Snack bars featuring hot food, full bar and souvenirs 
  • Climate-controlled indoor seating
  • Spacious sun deck seating with tons of rail space all around the ship for great viewing
  • Views of famous San Diego landmarks   

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 1 or 2 Hour Harbor Cruise from Hornblower San Diego.

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. Still, if seasickness is a concern, getting fresh air on the sun deck or taking over-the-counter anti-seasickness medicine prior to your cruise might help. Click here for FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

No outside food or beverage is allowed onboard the yacht. For your convenience, we have a fully stocked snack bar and full beverage bar available to purchase on board.

For information on a Hornblower annual pass, click here.


Combine your Harbor Cruise or Whale Watching cruise with one of our combo packages for a FULL San Diego sightseeing experience. Choose from ticket packages with one of our great partners: USS Midway Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum or San Diego Maritime Museum.

View the Whale & Dolphin Watching Brochure

San Diego Drone Whale Watching San Diego Drone Whale Watching

Excellent crew and deck hands. We really appreciated the Captain's narration, knowledge and skills which enabled us to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience! Thank You Hornblower...this is our second excursion with you.

– Larry W

This was our fourth Hornblower whale watching trip in the past 3 years, and we have NEVER been disappointed! Saw both whales and dolphins each time out, sometimes more than others, but always left completely satisfied with the experience!

– William E