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San Diego Whale Watching Cruise

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San Diego, United States
San Diego Whale Watching Cruise
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon4 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Go whale watching from San Diego aboard a replica of a historic sailing schooner that won the world’s first America’s Cup sailing competition in 1851. Throughout your cruise, your expert guide shares informative commentary about gray whales, dolphins, and other marine animals, along with details about the US Navy sites you pass as you head out on the Pacific Ocean.
  • Cruise on the sailing ship America from San Diego
  • Spot migrating whales and dolphins frolicking in the Pacific Ocean
  • Choose the only whale-watching cruise by sailing yacht in San Diego
  • Includes whale sighting and 'no seasickness' guarantee
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4.5-hr sailing cruise
Sodas and snacks
Whale sighting guarantee
No seasickness' guarantee
9:00 AM trip: Check in between 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
11:00 AM trip: Check-in starts at 10:00 AM and ends at 10:30 AM
1:15 PM trip: Check in between 12:30 - 12:45
2:00 PM Trip: Check in between 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Free Parking. Check-in located next to parking lot.
Bring layers, blankets, and jackets. It can be cold on the water!
Hotel pickup and drop off

Departure Point

2050 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, USA

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Travel back in time when sailing on the America, a replica of the sailing ship that won the first America's Cup sailing competition in 1851. Your classic sailing vessel provides a smooth ride and spacious decks, perfect for sailing on the Pacific Ocean in search of gray whales and other marine life. Since your boat principally moves under wind power without using the engine, your captain can get closer to the marine animals without scaring them. The boat's deep keel provides excellent stability and large decks offer unobstructed views, making the America a prime vessel for whale-watching.

Snacks and drinks (non-alcoholic) are offered during the cruise. You are welcome to bring along a picnic lunch or your favorite bottle of wine to enjoy onboard.

Whale sightings are guaranteed on your cruise. If no whales are sighted, you can return for a complimentary whale watching cruise on another day in the same season. The America also provides a 'No Seasickness' guarantee.
Pass By:  
Old Point Loma Lighthouse
We sail past North Island Naval Air Station, US Navy Base Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma Lighthouse
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 77 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Next Level Sailing

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during San Diego Whale Watching Cruise?
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by San Diego Whale Watching Cruise.
What is the policy on sanitization during San Diego Whale Watching Cruise?
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by San Diego Whale Watching Cruise.
What is the social distancing policy during San Diego Whale Watching Cruise?
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by San Diego Whale Watching Cruise.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during San Diego Whale Watching Cruise?
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by San Diego Whale Watching Cruise.
What is the maximum group size during San Diego Whale Watching Cruise?
This activity will have a maximum of 77 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by San Diego Whale Watching Cruise.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "I would recommend that you bring your own beverages and snacks." See review


612 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 612 reviews
Worth the trip
, Jul 2021
Every part of this experience was 5 stars. We saw a whale and other marine life. The ship, America,, is a beautiful vessel and being on the boat at sea was worth the trip. The crew is very knowledgeable and friendly. Would so love to do it again.
Dolphins, Harbor history & more
, Jul 2021
Beautiful sailboat with an interesting history! Clean restroom below deck! Excellent crew and enjoyed the commentary throughout the cruise. Learned a ton about whales, dolphins, and San Diego harbor. Professional, knowledgeable, and helpful crew! We did not see amy whales but had a great time - we saw a Navy Sub heading out to sea and we ran into a mega pod of dolphins - something I have never experienced on a whale watching trip! Would go again! Recommend a motion sickness medication before leaving.
Magnificent Experience
, Jul 2021
The experience was magnificent. The crew was professional and attentive and the boat is an experienced by itself. Even tough we did not see any whales we did see a large pod of dolphins. I will recommend this excursion.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
We saw lots of dolphins and tuna. No whales😫
, Jul 2021
The Captain and crew are all very nice. Check in was smooth and we boarded on time. They had snacks and drinks included in the price. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. Some of the passengers were able to help with opening the sails. We didn’t see any whales, we saw lots of dolphins and tuna. They do have a guarantee that we can come back anytime since we didn’t see whales. The ride out was fun but 4 hours is a long time.
, Jul 2021
I loved the experience, loved how there was dogs on board. Loved how customer friendly the crew was and loved the adventure like atmosphere.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Great trip
, Jul 2021
The dolphin pod was awesome. We showed up a few minutes passed 830am and was met by the captain. Thank you for waiting. The boat crew was awesome and knowledgeable. No whales this trip so we will be back again. Oh and the boat was the best one out there !
A Whale of a good time!!!
, Jul 2021
The crew was helpful and very knowledgeable not only about whales, but about the surrounding area. They went out of there way to locate a Blue Whale which was amazing to see. I will definitely use this charted again and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for an amazing excursion.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
It’s worth it.
, Jul 2021
Excellent. Crew and captain very nice. Wear layers and bring snacks (although they offer snacks during the trip).
Memories that will last a life time
, Jul 2021
This was by far the best part of our San Diego trip. The captain and his crew were very knowledgeable about the ocean and the creatures within. They checked on the passengers frequently to make sure that we were all doing ok throughout the journey. The ride was as smooth as they stated.... WE SAW A GINORMOUS BLUE WHALE, a huge pod of (hundreds) of "common" dolphins, and sea lions leaping out of the water. Definitely a MUST when in San Diego!
Blue whale!
, Jul 2021
Excellent fun crew. We saw a blue whale that came right next to the boat. The boat is a beautiful sailboat with lots of wood. Plenty of space to be at a railing. Very fun!

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