About Our Dolphin and Whale Watching Trips
Join Orange County’s most unique and highest rated dolphin and whale watching adventure!
Where does world-famous marine life artist Wyland go whale watching? With Captain Dave!
Captain Dave’s daily dolphin and whale watching trips aboard high-tech catamarans can get you up close & personal with Blue Whales (May – November), Gray Whales (December – May), and year-round Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, and occasionally Orcas (Killer Whales). Not to mention five species of wild dolphins that can number in mega-pods of up to 10,000, sharks, sea lions, endangered seabirds and much more, for an educational and incredibly exciting whale watching experience.
Captain Dave’s boats are never crowded with a maximum of 49 passengers. And they’re eco-friendly, too, because we don’t offer sport fishing. We specialize in dolphins and whales!
Knowledgeable marine naturalists explain how these animals live while you explore our collection of whale and dolphin artifacts.
And Mrs. Capt. Dave’s famous triple fudge brownies are served as a special treat!
Our vessels depart from Dana Point every day. Our whale watching trips serve all of Southern California including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Oceanside, and San Diego. Get directions.
Currently Available Safaris
|Safari Type||Boat||Trip Length||Availability||More Information|
|Signature Safari||Manute’a primarily (DolphinSafari or Lily may be used when needed)||2 and 1/2 Hours||Daily; Trip times may vary||Learn more|
|Sunset Safari||Lily||2 and 1/2 Hours||November 12 at 3:00 p.m.||Learn more|
|Fast Cat Adventure Safari||Fast Cat||90 Minutes||Usually Thursday – Saturday||Learn more|
|Private Charter||Your choice!||Customized||Every day||Learn more|
Highlights of our Dolphin and Whale Watching Safaris
• You can be one of the pod and feel what it’s like to swim with dolphins and whales without getting wet in our two Eye to Eye Underwater Viewing Pods aboard Manute’a.
• Venture out on our Eye-Spy Dolphin Nets aboard our catamaran sailboats Manute’a and DolphinSafari for a really close encounter! See dolphins, sometimes whales, and other wildlife swimming right under your feet.
• Whale watch in luxury aboard our power catamaran Lily, which features cushioned seating and wind protection on the bow.
• Enjoy an intimate (12 passenger max) and high-speed whale watching adventure aboard our new Coast Guard certified rigid hull inflatable catamaran Fast Cat.
• Southern California has the greatest density of dolphins per square mile than of anywhere on earth! Our whale watching trips are home to the Dolphin Stampede.
• Our catamarans are never crowded with a maximum of 49 passengers. Some of our vessels carry even fewer for a very intimate whale watching experience.
• We are a real eco-tourism company! Our vessels only offer dolphin and whale watching. You won’t be whale watching on a fishing boat. Sport fishing can cause the unintended death and injury of animals such as sea lions and marine birds.
• Informative narration from our experienced marine naturalists will give you a fun and educational oceanic adventure.
• See and touch our micro-museum collection of dolphin and whale artifacts.
• Listen below the surface with our underwater hydrophone.
• Southern California has the largest concentration of blue whales of anywhere else in the world! Blue whales are the largest known animal to have ever lived.
• We offer the best customer service! Read what other whale watchers have to say about our safaris.
• Mrs. Capt. Dave’s yummy triple fudge brownies are served as a special treat when you return to the dock.
Meet Captain Dave
Captain Dave Anderson is an experienced marine naturalist, award winning filmmaker and author, photographer, and a leader in ocean wildlife education and conservation. His award winning film “Wild Dolphins & Whales of Southern California” and book “Lily, A Gray Whale’s Odyssey” have drawn people worldwide to Southern California. Captain Dave organized Orange County’s first whale disentanglement group in 2008 and was hands-on with Lily the Gray Whale’s disentanglement that made national headlines. Captain Dave has been featured on the Ellen Show and CBS Morning News for his conservation efforts and his success in disentangling whales.
Captain Dave was a keynote speaker at the LA Drone Expo where he talked about flying his DJI Phantom 2 and GoPro hundreds of times over water in challenging conditions filming dolphins and whales. Most recently Captain Dave received worldwide acclaim for his breathtaking viral video “Drones Over Dolphin Stampede and Whales off Dana Point and Maui”. Did we mention, he’s also a really great guy?
This whale headed straight for us and turned aside just seconds before contact. Capt. Dave shot the surface footage and a passenger, Leslie Jeanne Morava, shot the underwater footage while she was in our Underwater Viewing Pod. WOW!!!