San Diego's coastal waters host one of the most wonderful arrays of whale and dolphin species in the world year-round, as it serves as a migratory 'highway' for multiple species of cetaceans.
Depending on the season you'll have the opportunity to encounter Gray Whales, Humpbacks, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, and Blue whales, and if luck is on our side, we might encounter some of the more exotic whale species such as Minkes and Orcas.
Join the pod on a thrilling whale watch private charter aboard our beautiful Zodiac Boat.
Our daily expeditions depart at 9:00Am, 12:00Pm, and our sunset trip at 3:00 Pm.
2.5 - 3 hours.
Location of Departure/Return:
Mission bay, San Diego California.
Private Charter Cost:
Our Base Rate includes Four Passengers
*Please let us know if your group is larger than six people.
We might be able to accommodate your group in two boats.
*Please let us know if you'd prefer a longer trip for a custom rate. Additional hr $150.00
* Plus taxes and booking fees
Gratuities are a great way of saying thanks to our hardworking crew.
*We can accommodate groups of up to 12 people in two boats.
Please note our Zodiac boat cruises at 20+ mph and although our Captain will maneuver to avoid 'bumps' there's always the possibility to encounter unexpected rough seas. With this in mind, we do not recommend our expeditions for people with back or neck problems.
We suggest you bring a reusable bottle of water.
It’s always a great idea to bring warm clothing, a sweater and a rain jacket (Layering works wonders) We'll also be under the sun so please bring biodegradable sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
Our Zodiac boat has a low center of gravity minimizing rocking motion. However, If prone to seasickness we recommend you to take the seasickness medicine the night before your expedition and another dose 30 minutes before the trip.
Which is the best month to go Whale Watching in San Diego?
There’s no specific 'whale season' in San Diego as there are opportunities to watch whales year-round.
Here’s a brief guide of the species most likely to see in any given season;
Year-Round: With a large local population of dolphins the San Diego offshore area offers the opportunity to encounter dolphins in most of our expeditions, although less common, fin and minke whales can also be found year-round.
Spring: Spring offers the opportunity to watch Humpbacks, grey whales, fin whales, and Blue whales in May!
Summer: Summer brings the largest creature on the planet to feed on the nutrient-rich waters of offshore San Diego, the magnificent blue whale.
Autumn: Autumn is prime time for humpback whales and if very lucky Eastern Tropical Orcas can be seen as well.
Winter: This is the peak of the Gray whale season; we typically find them close to shore in their annual migration.
How many species of whales can be seen in San Diego?
Up to fourteen different cetacean species can be seen in the biodiverse waters of the San Diego area.
The list includes:
Gray Whales, Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Risso’s dolphin, Orca (Killer Whale), False Killer Whale, Common Dolphin, Pilot Whale, Bryde’s Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Sperm Whales.
Will I get seasick?
Our low-profile RIB Zodiac offers less rocking than large vessels which reduces rocking motion and the possibility of getting seasick. However, if you are prone to seasickness we recommend you take sea sickness medicine one night before your expedition, have a light breakfast/ meal, and take another dose before boarding our boat.
What is the minimum age required for this expedition?
4 years and up, If 18 years or younger, you must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
*Please let us know if you have children younger than 4 years.
Please note you are booking an open ocean whale-watching expedition and due to the unpredictable nature of wildlife, we are not in a position to guarantee any whale sightings. However, we’ll do our best to improve the chances of finding whales and dolphins.
100% of the trip payment is required at the time of booking to reserve the expedition. You can cancel up to two weeks before the trip for a full refund*. We reserve the right to cancel any expedition due to unfavorable weather conditions, in this case, you will be informed and rescheduled at the earliest date available. Alternatively, and if you prefer, you will receive a refund for the full amount.
We took the whole family on a whale watching trip with NetZero Expeditions and it did not disappoint! The boat is excellent for small groups and allows you to see the animals up close. We saw blue whales, dolphins, and sea lions! 10/10 will definitely book them again the next time we visit San Diego.