Cruise off the coast of Orange County in search of whales on this excursion from Newport Beach. Watch the rugged, beautiful scenery of the Pacific Coast glide by as you listen to interesting commentary from your crew about the native California marine life. Watch for blows and tail slaps; these signal that humpback, minke, grey, finback or giant blue whales are near. Dolphins and other marine life are also in abundance during this family-friendly, year-round whale watching tour.
Whale watching tour from Newport Beach
Keep your eyes open for blue, grey, minke, finback, and humpback whales
Knowledgeable captain and crew
Multiple departure times available
Spot other marine life such as dolphins, seals and more
2.5-hour whale-watching cruise
Hotel pickup and drop-off
2.50 fuel surcharge per infant age 3 years and younger due on date of travel. The fuel surcharge and wharfage fees is required by our local supplier and is not within our control.
Meeting And Pickup
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This activity ends back at the meeting point.
What To Expect
Make your way to Newport Harbor for the departure of your whale watching cruise down the coast of Orange County.
Board the 65-foot (20-meter) boat and meet your experienced captain and crew, all of whom have extensive backgrounds in marine biology. As the boat leaves the harbor, learn about the different types of marine life that frequent the area and what to look for.
This year-round tour allows the opportunity to see different animals during different seasons. During the winter and spring months, watch for minke whales; one of the world's smallest, they only grow to about 23 feet (7 meters). Winter also brings the humpback whale, which can grow to an impressive 52 feet (16 meters). Both of these whales eat krill and are known to slap their tails on the surface of the water, or 'fluke'.
Blue whales, the largest mammals in existence today, usually grow to approximately 200 tons (180 metric tons) and 98 feet (30 meters) in length. Watch for these giants during the summer and fall months, in addition to grey whales and finback whales (the second-largest type of whale).
There are also possibilities to see dolphins, sea lions, and seals on your trip. Feel free to ask any questions of your knowledgeable captain and crew regarding any of the animal life you encounter.
After your time on the Pacific, return to Newport Harbor.
30 minutes • Admission Ticket Free
Balboa Fun Zone
45 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included
Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
Outside alcohol, ice chests, coolers or glass containers are strictly prohibited.
Vessel may change depending on availability.
Not wheelchair accessible
Near public transportation
Most travelers can participate
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 115 travelers
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
The staff was great and even though we did not see any whales, the experience was fun. I would recommend this trip to anyone in Cali.
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 541 reviews
Awesome experience and once in a lifetime opportunity to watch whales in the natural habitat
Greg_L, Apr 2023
Great crew, went above and beyond to allow us to follow the 2 whales. Watching these majestic animals is just mind boggling
Worth the time and money!
Carole_B, Mar 2023
Biggest pod of dolphins!! Would e like more commentary. Mire on the sea lions on the buoys and the birds on the rocks.
Spring break searching for whales
Bonnie_W, Mar 2023
We saw lots of bottle nose dolphins and a mother and calf grey whale. The staff went out of their way to find a whale for us to see. We didn’t get to see the whole body but it was still a nice boat ride.
Christi_R, Mar 2023
The captain was the voice for the whales and was very respectful of them during our cruise. we saw sea lions, blue whales and a small pod of dolphins. There is an indoor area if you get cold. Pretty cool. The only thing I wish I had known was that i had access to life jackets right away, I would have put my kid in one.
Out on the Pacific
Cathy_H, Mar 2023
Enjoying riding the sea, great to see the dolphins. Didn’t mind not seeing a whale, was a great experience and we could see how we handle a boat ride
Whale watching in Newport Beach
Gunnel_C, Feb 2023
To see the enormous Whale so close to our ship and for the Whale to swim along us for some time made it a very memorable outing.
The captain was very...
Megan_H, Feb 2023
The captain was very concerned for our safety and did not take the boat out too far because of the big swells.
We did NOT see any whales...
Karen_M, Jan 2023
We did NOT see any whales or dolphins. The weather was cold and rainy but the captain and staff kept us updated. Alcohol can be bought at the bar. Snacks too. They gave us a free ticket for next time because of the bad weather.
Carol_B, Dec 2022
Over 1000 dolphins, they we amazing!
Nice boat and crew
Everything was just great at 27 people, any more would have been too much
Richard_H, Dec 2022
Boat ride was very scenic. We did not see any whales but captain and crew very knowledgeable and courteous. I would give it 5 but didn't see whales.
Definitely worth the $
Sarah_E, Dec 2022
No whales, though they did try. It’s the end of one season and beginning of another so it is what it is. Two different pods of dolphins. I had a really enjoyable time. Thank you.
Trip was smooth tour...
Jorge_B, Dec 2022
Trip was smooth tour guides were great and very informative. Not the best time for whales in early December but the dolphins were great
Had a nice time
Ron_L, Dec 2022
Although we didn't see any dolphins or whales that day we got some great pictures and enjoyed the boat ride. The captain was nice and informative. Since we didn't see any wildlife but birds and the seals. They gave us discount coupons for our next ride.
Worth the trip
Elisheva_G, Dec 2022
It was a lot of fun even though we had to cut the trip short due to choppy waters & we didn't see any whales. The guides were very nice about it & gave us free passes to come back any time. The boat ride itself was a fun experience! I would do it again just for that.
Delen_L, Nov 2022
This was a Great tour and a amazing crew! We appreciate all their efforts to share the ocean life with us
We had a great time. Saw...
Kaveh_B, Nov 2022
We had a great time. Saw thousands of dolphins which was a lifetime experience for us. The crew are amazing. Definitely recommend it.
Jessica_B, Nov 2022
Traveling alone isn’t always fun but it was still fun and I loved the staff they were super nice and fun and it was great to see the doplhins
Rick_M, Nov 2022
Had a great time. Even though the waters were rough from a previous storm the day before, we had a wonderful and the captain knew just where to go to show us a great group of dolphins. Great friendly crew and nice clean boat. Thanks for a great time.
Nice day on the water!
Stephanie_g, Nov 2022
We didn’t see any whales but we still had a great time… it was just nice being out on the water! Perfect length, nice crew and they even gave us a voucher to come again since we didn’t see anything. I still am giving them a great review because it’s not their fault if wild animals decide to go somewhere else! Lol
So many dolphins
jterzino, Nov 2022
Despite high wind and choppy waters, our crew was able to get us out far enough to find a huge pod of dolphins that swam and jumped alongside the ship for a nice long while. Beautiful sun kept us all warm so we were able to stay outside the whole time.