Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour in Dana Point, CA

Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching34675 Golden LanternDana Point, CA 92629
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Total Price: $57.12 (USD)
TripAdvisor user rating 4.50 out of 5 Based on 4169 reviews


Experience a wide variety of majestic underwater wildlife and beautiful scenic views at this Dana Point dolphin and whale-watching tour. Dana Wharf offers an exciting 2-hour tour featuring up-close views of gray whales in winter and spring, blue whales in summer and fall, playful bottlenose dolphins year-round, sea lions, nautical birds, and possibly a shark!

up to 2 hrs 1 or more people

Good To Know

  • Approximately 2 hours sightseeing boat tour for all ages.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to boat departure to check in and find parking.
  • Free-to-use public parking space available for less than 4 hours.
  • Whale and dolphin watching season is year-round.
  • Bring a light jacket and camera for pictures and videos!
  • You are welcome to bring a “brown bag” lunch.
  • Food and beverages are available on board to purchase.
  • Tour runs in light rain or shine. Offers whale check when weather conditions are not good for the touring on water.


from Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour
Dana Wharf Whale Watching began in 1971 and was the first whale watching company in Orange County. Dana Point Whale Watching & Sportfishing is the premier year-round whale watching facility in Southern California. If you want to Whale Watch, do it from Dana Point with Dana Wharf, the industry pioneers.

Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour
During this two-hour tour, visitors will take a voyage with Orange County’s original whale watching company. Riders on one of Dana Wharf’s many vessels often see whales, dolphins, and sea lions while embracing the majestic coastline of Dana Point. All these excursions are narrated by expert marine naturalist captains.

About the Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventure Tour
Join DANA WHARF OC's first (and locals favorite) whale watching company and delight in the exciting sights and sounds of the magnificent ocean creatures at Dana Wharf. Known as a landmark for marine life sightings, Dana Wharf's Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventure Tours offer rare glimpses into a huge variety of underwater wildlife and gorgeous scenic views you'll never forget.

Seasonally we see over 1500 Gray Whales; in the summer, we see Blue Whales. Year-round, we see Fin Whales, Minke Whales, Humpback Whales, and even shark. Every trip is a new experience, so be sure to come out often! Whale Watching season is year-round, marine mammal sightings are guaranteed, meaning that if you do not see a whale OR dolphin, we'll give you a voucher for a free trip that never expires!
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Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour is located at Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching34675 Golden LanternDana Point, CA 92629
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Frequently Asked Questions about Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour

How long is the tour?

The tour takes approximately 2 hours.

Where is it located?

Dana Wharf is located 30 minutes south of Disneyland in Anaheim, one hour south of LAX airport in Los Angeles, an hour south of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and 30 minutes north of Oceanside, and an hour north of San Diego. It's basically in the heart of Orange County.

Is parking provided? If so, what is the fee?

Dana Point Harbor has public parking but there is a four-hour limit. Violation of this limit results in a $45 parking ticket. If you're planning to stay for four hours or longer, you should park in the designated parking space for Dana Wharf employees and fishermen. Secure a permit at the front counter when you check in and display it on your dashboard with the correct date stamped on it.

Are there life jackets on board?

There are life jackets on board, but it is not required for any passenger to wear one during the cruise.

Are there restrooms on board?

Yes, there is a clean marine head on board.

How early should I arrive for my tour?

Please arrive no later than 30 minutes before the cruis departs.

Does the tour still run if it rains?

The tour will run in light rain, but if it becomes extremely windy, the tour might have to cancel the trip for safety reasons. If the trip has already left the dock and conditions become unsafe, they will issue a “whale check” that will allow you to come back another time for another cruise!

When is whale watching season?

It’s always whale-watching season at Dana Wharf! Gray whale season starts the day after Thanksgiving every year and typically runs until the end of April. January to March are the peak times for gray whales, and they coincide with our annual Festival of Whales. Blue whale season runs from May until November. Whatever the season, you will typically see pods of dolphins, sea lions, squadrons of pelicans, and other seafaring birds.

Is the tour appropriate for children?

Yes! There is no age limit for our whale-watching cruises. Everyone is welcome, and the boats are very safe with high rails. All guests require a ticket because the boats can only hold up to a certain amount of people and cannot exceed that number even for toddlers or infants.

Is the tour wheelchair accessible?

If you or anyone in your party will come whale watching in a wheelchair, please leave a comment in the "Have Special Needs?" section above when booking your reservations.

Can I bring my pet?

Only ADA-defined service animals are allowed.

Can I bring my camera?

Yes! There are lots of great photo opportunities to capture with your camera or smartphone.

Can I bring my own food/beverages?

You are welcome to bring a “brown bag” lunch. However, you may not bring ice chests or alcoholic beverages onboard. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase onboard. The boats offer a variety of grilled sandwiches such as cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, BLT, and burritos. They also have soda, water, and beer.