National Parks / Natural World

Whale Watching Excursions San Diego

Where is it at?

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Whale Watching Excursions
990 North Harbor Drive
San Diego
CA
92101
Tel: 619-234-4111

Where are we going today?

Did you know that you could even go out whale watching from San Diego? Surprise! You can - with Flagship Cruises!

Actually, about 20,000 grey whales migrate each year from the Bering Sea all the way into the water of Baja California, and then back again!

So, between December to April you can witness this amazing migration for yourselves! It's an incredible family experience and one where the kids will learn some amazing things too!

Flagship Cruises offer two different whale watching cruises - the standard, and the Patriot Jet Boat.

The standard gives you 3.5 hours of marine life sightings, and guided by naturalists from Birch Aquarium - you also get Gray Whale fact sheets so you can really learn every step of the way.

You know what else is cool? If you don't spot a whale, you get to ride again for free next time, so you know that there is a super high chance of seeing one of those amazing creatures we have out in our ocean.

If you prefer something a little shorter, the Patriot Jet Boat whale watching is 1.5 hours, and in the open air seating you can enjoy the wildlife around you. You will see so much more than whales! In the San Diego area, you might see seals, sea lions, migrating birds...just to name a few!

Flagship Cruises also offer a number of other cruises for the family to enjoy, such as harbor tours and dining cruises, so if you really caught the cruising bug and wanted to experience some more water fun, then just check them out!

Seeing a whale for the first time in the wild is a magical experience, so make sure you take the camera because whale watching excursions are a chance of a lifetime! 

 

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$38 - $43 regular cruise. $49.50 jet boat.
  • Children$19 - $22 regular cruise. $39.50 jet boat (Ages 4 to 12)
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

Standard cruises 9:45am and 1:30pm departures daily. Jet boat 11:30am departures.

December to April. Jet boat weekends only

Teachers corner

Schools are more than welcome on the morning departure weekdays only. Give them a call for special school rates! .

I'm Hungry!

There is an onboard snack bar if you do get a little peckish looking at the whales!.

Healthy Eating!

It never hurts to take snacks and bottled water if you have younger kids because the cruise is 3.5 hours.

Any Top Tips?

Children must be over 40" to ride the jet boat.

Doing our bit

They love the ocean and make sure that they don't stress the animals out when they go close..

Need a little extra help?

If you have special needs, give them a call to see how they can help you out .

Can I get one of those?

You get coupons to visit Birch Aquarium with the tours! .

More information

Children under 3 years are not allowed on the cruises..

What people are saying?

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    A Sights & Sips Sunset Cruise was one of my birthday gifts from my daughter and her husband. What fun! The cruises are Friday and Saturday evenings, from 6 to 8 pm, from May through October. The ship opens for boarding at 5:30 pm, and the buffet appetizer spread was waiting for us, along with a flute of champagne. The buffet was generous, with cheese chunks, assorted breads and crackers, hot spinach and artichoke dip, tortilla chips and several fresh salsas, and fruit. Appetizers were passed by servers several times during the cruise, and the ones...Read More

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    SMOKE ON THE WATER...

    A sunset cruise on San Diego bay, yummy appetizers, kissing while passing under the Coronado bridge, the sparkling lights of the downtown skyline... what's not to love?

    We had a great date, and would take out-of-town visitors on this cruise whenever possible.

    Just be aware that the served appetizers often run out before the server reaches you, and inexplicably, they do allow smoking on the viewing decks. Otherwise, this would be a 5-star for me.

    #CityExperts

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    Yelp Rocks The Boat was the DEFINITION OF A 5 STAR EVENT! I can't imagine the planning and work that went into this. Seriously. The execution was damn near perfect!

    From the moment I walked onto Hornblower Inspiration, all I could think was "Holy Shit! This is all for US!?" The whole ship was setup pretty nicely. Station upon station full of food. From pork buns to ice cream to refreshing cocktails, this party had it all. All of the samples were well prepared and the proportions were great. All of the vendors/restaurants had no problem with you...Read More

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    We called to confirm they were handicap-accommodating (due to recent injury) prior to booking non-refundable reservation. If you're in a wheel chair, don't expect to take an elevator to the open deck to get a 360 view like other passengers. We were given the option to go to the back get to get the 180 view. Food was ok, don't know why they asked what temperature to cook our steaks as they all came out the same. Made arrangements in advance to have a birthday candle added to one of our party's desserts as well as a 'shout out' as offered, but neither...Read More

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    My wife I got married on the Newport Hornblower. We bought the 4-hour Mainsail Lunch reception package. The Hornblower event planning people were fantastic, the wedding and reception went off without a hitch, the food was great, and everyone had a good time.

    The yacht staff and Captain were most accommodating and pleasant before and during the cruise.

    Hornblower did not skimp on anything and I was surprised by the quality of the food and Champagne. We had the best tasting wedding cake I've ever experienced. They even went out of their...Read More

Submit a review

by Donna Amis Davis

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A Sights & Sips Sunset Cruise was one of my birthday gifts from my daughter and her husband. What fun! The cruises are Friday and Saturday evenings, from 6 to 8 pm, from May through October. The ship opens for boarding at 5:30 pm, and the buffet appetizer spread was waiting for us, along with a flute of champagne. The buffet was generous, with cheese chunks, assorted breads and crackers, hot spinach and artichoke dip, tortilla chips and several fresh salsas, and fruit. Appetizers were passed by servers several times during the cruise, and the ones we caught were good.

I enjoyed the cruise commentary - the captain hit the highlights of San Diego Harbor, but said a more thorough explanation of the sights could be had in a daytime harbor cruise.

There were plenty of places to sit or stand, both inside the ship and out on the deck. The San Diego Harbor is a fascinating place. I'm a native, but I learned things I never knew.

Before boarding the ship, we toured the area nearby. Fun to see the newly placed Kissing Statue, and the Bob Hope tribute area.

by Jay Edwards

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Yelp Rocks The Boat was the DEFINITION OF A 5 STAR EVENT! I can't imagine the planning and work that went into this. Seriously. The execution was damn near perfect!

From the moment I walked onto Hornblower Inspiration, all I could think was "Holy Shit! This is all for US!?" The whole ship was setup pretty nicely. Station upon station full of food. From pork buns to ice cream to refreshing cocktails, this party had it all. All of the samples were well prepared and the proportions were great. All of the vendors/restaurants had no problem with you going back for seconds (or thirds) either. The bartenders were friendly and accommodating as well.

Onboard entertainment was provided by The Sidekicks (longtime friends), and they had the place rockin' with some great covers. There were also a few DJ's pumping out some nice jams and also a saxaphonist! There was also a fun photobooth. Although you can't really classify Massage Envy as entertainers, it was also a very nice addition as I enjoyed my massage very much!

Special shout out to the captain and crew of the Hornblower Inspiration! The cruise was smooth sailing and the staff were extra helpful in keeping the place clean and safe for everyone.

by Lynne Kamp

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We called to confirm they were handicap-accommodating (due to recent injury) prior to booking non-refundable reservation. If you're in a wheel chair, don't expect to take an elevator to the open deck to get a 360 view like other passengers. We were given the option to go to the back get to get the 180 view. Food was ok, don't know why they asked what temperature to cook our steaks as they all came out the same. Made arrangements in advance to have a birthday candle added to one of our party's desserts as well as a 'shout out' as offered, but neither happened. On-board Management seemed less than willing to make any accommodations in lieu of not being able to take full advantage of facilities as other able-bodied passengers. Wait staff could be friendlier. I advised co-worker who recently moved to San Diego area to look for another option.

by Mark Fellhauer

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My wife I got married on the Newport Hornblower. We bought the 4-hour Mainsail Lunch reception package. The Hornblower event planning people were fantastic, the wedding and reception went off without a hitch, the food was great, and everyone had a good time.

The yacht staff and Captain were most accommodating and pleasant before and during the cruise.

Hornblower did not skimp on anything and I was surprised by the quality of the food and Champagne. We had the best tasting wedding cake I've ever experienced. They even went out of their way to accommodate the few vegetarian guests we had.

Cost per plate was very competitive with other venues we looked at. Thanks to Hornblower for making my wedding the special day it was.

My wife and I have also been on a Hornblower Dinner Cruise for our first anniversary. Good food, good captain, and a nice cruise around San Diego Bay.

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