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Whale Watching San Diego

Whale Watching Overview

Whale Watching

Whales that migrate off the California coast include Humpback Whales, Gray Whales, Blue Whales, Killer Whales (Orca), Sperm Whales, Pilot Whales, Minke Whales, Fin Whales and Baird's Beaked Whales. Spotting whales is possible year round as migrating whales pass by our coast twice a year on their way between the cool waters of Alaska to the warm waters of Baja California. Nearly every major marina, port or harbor along the California coast offers some sort of whale tour from up close kayak tours to tours aboard luxury yachts. Locations include everywhere from Oceanside to the harbor. Migrating whales such as the Humpback Whale and Gray Whale are the most commonly seen and pass by the Central Coast twice a year between December and May. Killer Whale sightings are most common March through May but can be spotted year round. Blue Whales are the largest at nearly 100 feet in length and frequent Central Coast waters during the summer months. Additional marine life you may encounter include dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions. Listed below are whale watching charters from Oceanside to the harbor.

Oceanside

Oceanside Adventures is located off Interstate 5 in Oceanside Harbor. They offer whale watch and dolphin tours in a 50-catamaran that's specifically suited for wildlife viewing, complete with restrooms. Whale tours are 2-hours long and meet in front of the lighthouse in Oceanside Harbor.

Oceanside Adventures
315 Harbor Drive S
Oceanside, CA 92054
(888) 507-1130

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Helgren's Sportfishing is located off Interstate 5 in Oceanside Harbor. They offer whale watching tours in a large fishing boat, complete with restrooms. Helgren's runs fishing and 2-hour seasonal whale tours.

Helgren's Sportfishing
315 Harbor Drive
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 722-2133

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La Jolla

Bike & Kayak Tours is located off Interstate 5 in La Jolla. They offer whale watch tours by kayak. Paddle a mile or more off shore to the kelp beds along the whale migration route. Visit the La Jolla caves upon return. Whale tours are seasonal from October to March. wet suits are necessary but all equipment can be rented.

Bike & Kayak Tours
2158 Avenida De La Playa
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 437-1224

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Birch Aquarium at Scripps is located off Interstate 5 off La Jolla Village Drive. They offer whale watching tours in a large research vessel. Birch Aquarium specializes in educational ocean activities. Whale tours are offered seasonally from late December to mid April.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 534-3474

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San Diego Harbor

San Diego Whale Watch is located off Interstate 5 in Mission Bay Park. They offer whale watch tours in a large fishing boat, complete with restrooms and snack bar. Seaforth Sportfishing runs fishing and 3-hour, year-round whale tours.

San Diego Whale Watch
Seaforth Sportfishing
1717 Quivira Road
San Diego, CA 92109
(619) 839-0128

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Hornblower Cruises is located off Interstate 5 in Downtown. They offer whale watching tours in a large comfortable yacht, complete with restrooms, full bar, snack bar and gift shop. Hornblower Cruises runs private charters, dinner cruises and 3½-hour seasonal whale tours from late December to mid-April.

Hornblower Cruises
1066 North Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 686-8700

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H&M Landing is located off Interstate 5 at Shelter Island, in the north end of the harbor near the airport. They offer whale watch tours in one of several large fishing boats, complete with restrooms and full galley. H&M runs fishing and seasonal whale tours December through April. Choose between a local 3-hour tour or a 6-hour trip to Mexico and the whale nursery lagoons of Baja California.

H&M Landing
2803 Emerson Street
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 222-1144

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Flagship Cruises & Events is located off Interstate 5 in Downtown. Join a whale watching tour in a large comfortable yacht, complete with restrooms and snack bar. Flagship hosts private charters, party cruises and 3-hour seasonal whale tours from late December to mid-April.

Flagship Cruises & Events
1050 North Harbor Drive
San Diego, California 92101
(619) 234-4111

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Adventure R.I.B. Rides offers whale watch tours and ocean charters in former Navy SEAL Rigid Inflatable Boats. R.I.B. boats are low profile which allows you to get closer to sea life than other whale tour operators. A smaller boat results in smaller, more intimate tours but rocks a bit more in ocean swells. Adventure R.I.B. Rides is located on Harbor Island near the airport.

Adventure R.I.B. Rides
1380 Harbor Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 808-2822

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