Newport Bay Whale Watching Cruise

Enjoy a Scenic Whale Watching Trip Along the Orange County Coast

4 stars rating 11 Reviews
participantsparticipants Price for 2 Participants
Newport Bay Whale Watching Cruise Unique Gift
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Additional Participants (optional):

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$83

Newport Bay Whale Watching Cruise

Enjoy a Scenic Whale Watching Trip Along the Orange County Coast

4 stars rating 11 Reviews
participantsparticipants Price for 2 Participants

Discover the marine life which flourishes in the pristine waters of Newport Bay, one of the closest natural harbors to the city of Los Angeles, during this two and a half hour whale watching cruise! Located just off of the coast of Newport Beach, this whale watching adventure is one of the best things to do in Orange County!

This aquatic adventure gift begins on Balboa Island. Here you will be greeted by the friendly Captain and Crew as you board the Ocean Explorer. Once the cruise is underway you head out to the mouth of the Harbor where an abundant amount of marine life congregates to feed. Here you will have the opportunity to see dolphins, sea lions, porpoises, harbor seals, and many others! During summer and fall months it is common to also see giant blue whales and finback whales, while multiple gray whales are often seen during the winter and spring months while on their annual migration.

Every trip is different, so whether it's your first time or you're a veteran, go out and see what the magical Harbor will reveal during this scenic Los Angeles Whale Watching Cruise!

Who Who
The Newport Bay Whale Watching Cruise Xperience Certificate® is for two participants. You will be joined by additional participants on ship.

Guests Guests
This experience is not suitable for non-paying guests.

LocationLocation
California, Balboa

When When
The Los Angeles Whale Watching Cruises are offered seven days a week, year-round, subject to availability. Trips are offered at 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM; and also at 3:30 PM November thru April and at 6:00 PM May thru October.

duration Duration
The Whale Watching Cruises typically have a cruise trip length of 2½ hours and a total duration of approximately 3 hours.

Weather Weather
The Orange County Whale Watching Cruises may be rescheduled by the Captain due to high winds, heavy rain, fog or other inclement weather.

What to wear What to wear
Dress comfortably, flat, non-marking rubber-soled shoes and layers are recommended for this open water adventure.

Additional Information Additional Information
Your experience will take place on one of the largest whale watching vessels in Newport Harbor, The Western Pride, a 90' vessel with spacious indoor and outdoor seating, a heated cabin, and large windows for viewing. Beverages and snacks are available on the boat from the snack bar but are not included in the price of the cruise. There is currently a $3.50 fuel surcharge which must be paid upon check-in at the dock.

Additional InformationITEM/SKU NUMBER  XD-839-001

Cancellation Policy Cancellation Policy
All changes to reservations for the Newport Beach Whale Watching Cruise Experience require seven (7) days advance notice.

Xperience Certificates® cannot be exchanged once a reservation for the experience has been made.

newport-whale-watching-cruise

Just a few hundred metres off the coast of Los Angeles are some of the ocean’s biggest and most captivating creatures. Who knew?? Well, locals and marine biologists might, but I certainly didn’t. It seemed strange to me that such incredible marine life would come this close to the shore of the United States’ second biggest city, but three hours on a boat was all it took to think otherwise.

This week I hopped aboard to join the Newport Bay Whale Watching experience, and I’m happy to say it lived up to expectations. Not only were we lucky enough to see several grey whales, but we also had some (appropriately) close encounters with dolphins and sea lions.
Our trip began on a brisk January morning at Balboa Pavilion, Newport Bay, The sky was blue and the wind was cold, but it was sunny and bright – fine conditions for whale watching (so I was told). The first part of the cruise takes you past huge houses with even bigger yachts outside, which was an experience in itself. But we weren’t here to look at houses, and it didn’t take long to spot our first animal.


After about 20 minutes the boat pulled up to an ocean buoy where a group a sea lions were basking in the sun. We gawked at them as they sunbathed on oblivious, just minding their own sea lion business and occasionally barking in that hilarious way sea lions do. It looked like they had a great life – just lying there in the sun, chilling out, occasionally flopping into the water for a brief refresher. I felt rather envious


sea-lions-1


Once we’d got our fill of sea lions we moved further out and it wasn’t long before we heard the shouts of our guide: “Quick! Dolphins at 12 o’clock!” Sure enough, swimming in front of us and leaping in and out of the water was a school of common dolphins.


For a while all you could hear was enthusiastic squeals and the clicks of dozens of cameras (dolphins are ridiculously quick though – I took about 500 photos and still couldn’t get a clear shot of them jumping out the water). More and more of them came over to us, and soon they were swimming alongside the boat. We all got very excited.


dolphin-collage-1


“I don’t care if I see the whales, I’ve seen the dolphins and can die happy now,” one woman next to me said loudly. That was nice for her, but I still desperately wanted to see the whales – otherwise I would have gone on a dolphin-watching cruise (duh). But while spotting sea lions and dolphins is almost guaranteed, whales prove more reclusive and a sighting is by no means a sure thing. We were already fortunate to have gorgeous weather and had checked off both sea lions and dolphins – would we be lucky enough to see the whales too?


WE WOULD! We’d been on the boat almost an hour before we heard our guide say, “Whale ahead! Whale at 12 o’clock!” Far in front of us we could see identical ripples moving across the surface of the ocean: not one, but two whales swimming just below the surface.


Being experts in their field, the guides were able to accurately guess how long the whales would stay under water for and when they would surface for air. This was brilliant for us, as every few minutes they’d give us a warning and we’d get our cameras ready, and then these giant creatures would emerge oh-so-briefly from the ocean, before diving down once more.
We all wanted that iconic shot of the whale’s tail poking out of the water as they dived down. Thankfully, the guides knew by the whale’s position whether or not their tails would crest, and they let us know to the very second it would appear. “Get ready for the tail crest… three, two, one… there it is!” I got the shot thanks to the guides. Yes!


whale-1


As we were snapping away, we heard another shout from the guide. There was a third whale! It was generally quite exhilarating. We were really quite close to the shore, so it was quite startling to see whales that far in. Once we were certain we’d taken enough photos, the boat turned around and we left the whales to it. Now we’d seen them and got photographic evidence, we were able to sit back and relax for the journey back, and just enjoy the ride.


newport-whale-watching-experience


I won’t forget the thrill of spotting whales in their natural environment, and thanks to our awesome guides I got the pictures I wanted too. All in all, I can’t imagine a better way to spend a sunny January morning around the Los Angeles area.

Price Price: $83


Who Who:
The Newport Bay Whale Watching Cruise Xperience Certificate® is for two participants. You will be joined by additional participants on ship.


Guests Guests:
This experience is not suitable for non-paying guests.


When When:
The Los Angeles Whale Watching Cruises are offered seven days a week, year-round, subject to availability. Trips are offered at 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM; and also at 3:30 PM November thru April and at 6:00 PM May thru October.


duration Duration:
The Whale Watching Cruises typically have a cruise trip length of 2½ hours and a total duration of approximately 3 hours.


Weather Weather:
The Orange County Whale Watching Cruises may be rescheduled by the Captain due to high winds, heavy rain, fog or other inclement weather.


What to wear What to wear:
Dress comfortably, flat, non-marking rubber-soled shoes and layers are recommended for this open water adventure.


Additional Information Additional Information:

Your experience will take place on one of the largest whale watching vessels in Newport Harbor, The Western Pride, a 90' vessel with spacious indoor and outdoor seating, a heated cabin, and large windows for viewing. Beverages and snacks are available on the boat from the snack bar but are not included in the price of the cruise. There is currently a $3.50 fuel surcharge which must be paid upon check-in at the dock.

Additional InformationITEM/SKU NUMBER  XD-839-001


Cancellation Policy Cancellation Policy:

All changes to reservations for the Newport Beach Whale Watching Cruise Experience require seven (7) days advance notice.

Xperience Certificates® cannot be exchanged once a reservation for the experience has been made.


Whale Watching Review 

4 stars

 Great. 

- - Santa Monica

Saw whales and dolphins 

5 stars

 The boat was overbooked but they had a sister company that was able to accommodate everyone. There was a $3.50 per person surcharge which was for fuel, and we rented a $5 binocular. I wouldn't recommend getting the binocular since we didn't really need it and the whales and dolphins could be seen without them. We actually saw a lot of blue whales and common dolphins and the trip was very enjoyable. 

- - Los Angeles

Loved this eExperience! 

5 stars

 I attended on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at 3:30pm. The weather was amazing, the boat ride was wonderful, and we saw lots of animals! It was quite therapeutic, and everyone loved watching the sea life. We did spot quite a few whales, but personally, my favorites were the dolphins! They came right up to the boat and even swam alongside of us. Definitely recommend this Experience. Tickets were really easy to redeem at the counter and all the staff was super friendly. Thanks, Experience Days! 

- - Orange County, CA

Los Angeles Whale Watching 

4 stars

 I totally enjoyed my time on the boat. I feel we got lucky and went out on a beautiful day with blue sky and smooth water. The captain was funny and knew what he was doing and talking about. We didn't see any whales but we did get to see two different pods of dolphins, which was amazing. He also drove by some sea lions sun bathing on a buoy. Overall I enjoyed my 2.5 hours on the boat and would definitely do it again. 

- - Petaluma

While Watching 

4 stars

 I did not see any whales but it was relaxing and we saw lots of dolphins. I recommeded as a walk on the ocean in a boat to see dolphins. Takes about 2 -2.5 hours. 

- - Los Angeles

Whale Watching 

3 stars

 I scored a 3 because on a whale watching trip there were no whales to watch... other than that it was all good. The service was good. 

- - Davies Locker

Whale Watching LA 

5 stars

 It was ammazzzzzzzzzzing experience me and my husband loved it. I recomend everyone to go on this amazing trip its lots of funn and there are - drinks on the ship so that makes it even better give it a try :) 

- - Newport Beach

Whale Watching 

4 stars

 We had a great trip. On our way South we saw Sea Lions and Bottle Nose Dolphins. I love how the dolphins play in the wake of the boat. On our way back to the Harbor we followed three gray whales heading North. It was exciting to search for the next spout and hear the crowd squeal with glee when it was spotted. The trip went quickly. It was a gorgeous day at sea. 

- - Newport - Davey's Locker

Whale Watching Trip 

4 stars

 A very pleasant and enjoyable trip. We did not see any whales but were delighted to be invited back for another trip. The good weather, tour of the bay and beach line, and narrative from the captain was well worth the time. We look forward to our return trip. 

- - Newport Beach, CA

Whale Watching 

4 stars

 We had a great time and wished it was a bit longer actually! We didn't see any whales, but we did see a couple different groups of dolphins and sea lions. We plan on going again and good word of mouth has spread and more friends will be going us for the next go around. A positive also since we didn't see any whales we got a 1/2 off our next visit. 

- - Pasadena, CA

Whale Watching 2/14/09 

4 stars

 We enjoyed the trip even though we only saw one whale. We did, however, see a HUGE school of dolphins who were more than happy to put on an incredible show for us!!! It was well worth the time and we plan to do it again. 

- - Newport Beach, CA

Question: I was wondering if the price of the Newport Bay Whale Watching Cruise was for one person or for two?

Answer: The price is for two people, unless an additional participants option is chosen from the drop down.

Question: When is the best time of the year to see whales on this tour?

Answer: Very few locations in the world have year round whale watching opportunities, luckily Los Angeles is one of the few places in the world that does. View the gray whale migration during the winter and spring months and the giants of the sea, the blue and finback whales during the summer and fall months. The whale watching is so good that one cruise can view over half dozen whales or more.

Question: I'm a little prone to getting seasick. Not every time but I have on small fishing boats before. How stable is this cruise?

Answer: Obviously it depends on the weather. But the ship is 90' and very stable. Plus the tour is only 2 1/2 hours long in a protected bay so this is one of the better whale watching experiences to participate in.