Skip to main content
See Whales on San Diego Whale Watching Tours

San Diego Whale & Dolphin Watching Tours

If the whales are here, that means that dolphins are here too!

San Diego is one of the best locations to watch whales year-round! Gray Whales migrate winter-spring from feeding grounds in Alaskan waters to calving lagoons in Baja California and back. In summer, the legendary Blue Whales- the largest animals on Earth- commonly feed offshore of the San Diego coast. We often see other species such as Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Pilot Whales and even Killer Whales on our cruises!

Select Cruise Date
= discounted cruises
Whale watching and dolphin watching in San Diego
Available Events on Tuesday December 11, 2018
  • Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventure 9:30am
    Departs from Pier 2, 970 North Harbor Drive
    9:15 AM
    9:30 AM - 1:00 PM
    $43.00 per person *
    *Tax, service charge and landing fee may apply
  • Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventure 1:30 pm
    Departs from Pier 2, 970 North Harbor Drive
    1:15 PM
    1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
    $43.00 per person *
    *Tax, service charge and landing fee may apply

Winter Whale Watching featuring Gray Whales begins December 8, 2018   

SPLASH SALE ALERT!  Call to reserve $30 tickets for a limited time. (A $13-$18 savings)

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 the horizon for whales

Highlights: you're treated to a bay tour with live narration by our experienced captain and crew 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 adult beverage bar, and souvenirs for purchase.

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 HELPFUL HINTS FOR WHALE WATCHING and 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

A BIG THANK YOU for the whale watching set up on Wednesday. Along with the excellent weather we saw at least 8 whales on the Wednesday afternoon sail.. I wanted to mention that I loved the narrative by Captain Eric. He was clear and very easy to understand, presenting just the right information without going "overboard"! Going out annually is almost a religious experience for me and a great refresher as to what our guests can expect to experience. Thank you for making it possible and I look forward to more referrals for this great whale watching season. The referrals are definitely made with great enthusiasm.

– Nancy M