San Diego Whale Watching Cruise

San Diego, CA

Item #: CRU-SDI-0012
From: $61
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Take San Diego sightseeing to a new level aboard a scenic cruise featuring much, much more than the city's famed landmarks. The San Diego Whale Watching Cruise is your chance to embark on the H2O adventure of a lifetime!

  • The cruise company's 30+ years of experience makes this some of the best whale watching in San Diego
  • Gaze across pristine Pacific waters in search of wildlife like whales, dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals and sea birds
  • Enjoy fascinating narration from your Captain and a trained Natural History Museum naturalist, during the course of this 3.5-hour tour
  • Share the outing with family or friends, taking full advantage of the boat's many entertaining amenities!
San Diego, CA
When Do I Choose A Date?
If giving as a gift, your recipient can choose a date at their convenience; otherwise, you can choose one after checkout.

Mid-December through April:
Weekends - 9:30 AM & 1:30 PM

*Rates do not apply for specialty cruises and/or holidays

Essential Information
  • Coast Guard regulations require all participants over the age of 18 to have a valid photo ID to board
  • Participants under the age of 18 must have parent/guardian supervision
  • You may not bring food or drink on board
  • There are food and beverages available on board for purchase
  • Binoculars are available to rent on board for $5 (subject to change) and a $50 cash or credit card deposit is required to rent
  • If a whale is not sighted on your cruise, you will receive a pass good for another Whale Watching or Harbor Cruise
3.5 Hours
Experience Provider Info
Complete information for your Experience Provider, including contact information, will be included on your booking confirmation email once you or your gift recipient have scheduled the experience. Our Product Management team handpicks top-rated experience providers, removing the guesswork for you and ensuring your peace of mind.
Maximum Participants
The yacht can accommodate up to 500 guests.
This experience is only for those on the cruise.
Weather Dependent
This cruise will run in light rain. Cancellations depend on wind, sea conditions, and precipitation; your experience provider will reach out the day of your cruise in the event of a cancellation. If you have any questions about weather conditions, please contact your experience provider. Cruises canceled due to weather conditions will be rescheduled for another date.
What To Wear
Please dress in warm layers as the temperature and winds are often unpredictable.
Will I get seasick?

The yacht has stabilizers that greatly reduce its motion. However, if you tend to have trouble with motion sickness, you may experience seasickness. Bio bands are sold both at the ticket booth and on board for $11. Medicine is not available for purchase.

What if I don't see any whales?

If you do not see any whales, you will be issued a "whale check" that is good for another whale watching cruise or 1-2 hour narrated bay cruise.

Is smoking allowed?
Smoking is not allowed on this cruise.
How far out will the boat cruise?
In the beginning of the season the ship cruises 3-5 miles from shore. Toward the end of the season the ship cruises up to 9-12 miles from the coast.

Experience Vouchers that have not been redeemed can be returned hassle-free within 30 days. All refunds will be made to the original purchaser.
Experience Vouchers that have not been redeemed can be exchanged for anything else in our marketplace at any time.  If you choose to exchange for an experience that costs more, you'll simply have to pay the difference. If you choose to exchange for an experience that costs less, you'll have a credit towards your next booking with Virgin Experience Gifts.

Cancellation Policy

Once you have scheduled a date and have received a booking confirmation, all bookings are final and no rescheduling or cancellations will be allowed.

Other San Diego Experiences

Customer Reviews

This experience has a customer rating of 4.5
based on 5 reviews.
We sighted 7-8 grey whales on a beautiful calm January morning. Even if we hadn’t -it was a beautiful view of the city and coast narrated by knowledgeable staff and augmented by assistance from the San Diego Natural History museum’s volunteer ‘Whalers’. A Great day! Highly recommend.
Response from Virgin Experience Gifts
Hi there Helene!  We are thrilled that the San Diego Whale Watching Cruise was a splash hit!  Sighting that many whales is truly magnificent! We are overjoyed to hear that the whales only added to an already beautiful day on the water.  We can't wait to get you out on another wonderful experience! Best, Sophia 
It was great! We didn't see any whales, but they gave us complimentary passes to come back!
Response from Virgin Experience Gifts
Hi KatiLin,  I am so happy to hear about your great experience, although I am sorry that the whales weren't in sight that day. It's definitely an experience worth seeing, and we are thrilled that you will be able to come back and see them! We can't wait to hear about it.  Cheers to next time,  Kasia
The whale watching was awesome!! We saw, 2 HUGE pods of common dolphins and they came right up alongside of the boat. Then we saw a gray whale who we were also able to get very close to. Then, we finished off our adventure with a humpback sighting!! No breaching, but still so cool! Please know it's a good Idea to plan for being out to sea. We took motion sickness medicine and were fine, but man, there were a lot of sick people...
Response from Virgin Experience Gifts
Hi Gina,  WOW! Sounds like an absolute DREAM! We totally agree with you - seasickness is no fun! What IS fun - dolphin and humpback sightings!  Thank you so much for sharing. Cheers,  Kasia 
Really had a wonderful whale watching experience. Highly recommend it!!
Boat was a little crowded but the overall experience was good. Two in our party didn't realize it was going to be quite as rough out on the ocean, and they were somewhat seasick.
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