About Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Trips

Aboard Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari there is never a dull moment, always a learning opportunity, and guaranteed a thrill. On our dolphin and whale watching trips you can be close enough to smell their breath! And we see whales and dolphins all year long. Take a look at our whale watching sightings to get an idea of how often we see whales and dolphins on our trips.

Our boats are safe, stable, and designed especially for you to get up close and personal with the awesome dolphins and whales of Southern California.


We leave from Dana Point Harbor daily and take you on an unforgettable ocean adventure. Dana Point is located not too far from San Diego (approximately 60 minutes away). And we’re a short drive south from Disneyland in Anaheim. Our Dana Point whale watching trips serve all of Southern California including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and San Diego.


Captain Dave Profile ImageCaptain Dave is an experienced marine naturalist who has been leading dolphin and whale watching tours from Dana Point since 1995. He has also created and produced the award winning documentary, Wild Dolphins & Whales of Southern California and wrote an award winning book, Lily, A Gray Whale’s Odyssey.


A few reasons why we’re so different:

• Our high-tech catamaran sailboat, “Manute’a“, has the world’s only Eye to Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. You can feel what it’s like to swim with dolphins and BE one of the pod!

• Capt Dave is THE dolphin and whale expert! A marine naturalist, award winning filmmaker and author, photographer, conservationist, whale watching Captain, and frequent guest speaker, he spends more time with these animals than anyone we know! Did we mention, he’s also a really great guy?

Capt. Dave on The Ellen Show

• Our specially designed whale watching boats can get you UP CLOSE!

• 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 just 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.

• We offer true eco-tours! We do not offer sportfishing, which does cause the unintended death and injury of animals such as sea lions and marine birds.

• On the way home, our naturalists will teach you about the animals. You can learn first-hand how these animals eat, sleep and live.

• Mrs. Capt. Dave’s famously yummy triple fudge brownies are served on every whale watching trip (that’s the real reason some folks come on our trips!).

Don’t take our word for it. Read what other whale watchers have to say about our safaris!


Questions? Contact us to learn more about our dolphin and whale watching safaris or to make reservations.

A couple of our favorite videos taken during our regular whale watching safaris:

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!!!


A pod of 7 transient killer whales attacked and killed a California seal lion. Whale Watchers on board Capt. Dave’s Whale Watching Safari were amazed by this rare display. Some passengers were able to witness the event underwater from the vessel’s two underwater viewing pods.

See more amazing dolphin and whale watching videos taken during our whale watching trips.