San Diego Whale Watching Tours


Between December and April, approximately 20,000 gray whales migrate along the coast of San Diego. Come get an up-close view of this incredible journey with San Diego's most experienced crew. 

Led by friendly marine experts from Birch Aquarium at Scripps, you'll get a deeper understanding of the ocean ecosystem and real-time commentary on the sights and sea creatures unique to your cruise. You'll also receive coupons to visit Birch Aquarium.

The tours depart twice daily aboard the Marietta, our comfortable, two-story whale watching yacht, featuring 360-degree views from the main level and upper sundeck, multiple restrooms and free guest WiFi.

Whale Tail Guarantee

Your experience includes

  • Sightings of marine wildlife including dolphins, sea lions and more
  • San Diego's only tour led by ocean experts from Birch Aquarium
  • Comfortable ship with 360-degree viewing and free WiFi
  • See whales or your next trip is free!
Download our Printable Whale Watching Guide
Whale Watching Guide

Select Your Cruise

Whale watching season ends in Mid-April.
Book now and secure your reservation.

Whale watching season begins again in early December and will run through Mid-April.
Book now and secure your reservation.

Weekdays (Monday - Friday)

    • Boarding
      • 9:00 am
      • 1:00 pm
      • 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
      • 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
  • $43.00*Adult
  • $38.00*Senior/Military
  • $21.50*Child (4-12)**

Weekends (Saturday & Sunday)

    • Boarding
      • 9:00 am
      • 1:00 pm
      • 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
      • 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
  • $48.00*Adult
  • $43.00*Senior/Military
  • $24.00*Child (4-12)**

Before you Depart

Arrive 15 Minutes Before Scheduled Departure
Dress in Warm Clothing in Layers
If Prone To Seasickness, Consider Medication In Advance
If Prone To Seasickness, Consider Medication In Advance
Binoculars Recommended
Don't Forget Sunscreen & a Hat
Bring a Camera
Refreshments Available For Purchase
No Smoking
No Pets Except Service Animals
The vessel and interior main deck are wheelchair accessible but the exterior top deck and restrooms are not

Cruises may be cancelled in the rare event of unsafe weather conditions.
For further information, please visit our FAQ.

Whale Watching Route

We follow the whales' migration path to bring you up close for the best sighting spots, which change every day. Early in the season, whales swim closer to the coast, so the maximum distance is about 3-5 miles. On their return trip, northbound whales swim further out, up to 9-12 miles off the coast.

All cruises depart from 990 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA (Directions, Parking & FAQ).
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