Lily, Whale Research/Rescue Safari
In October of 2013 we welcomed our third catamaran to our fleet of most unique whale watching boats. Captain Dave named the boat Lily, in honor of a gray whale that became entangled in a fishing net and stranded herself in Dana Point Harbor in 2010. Learn more about the rescue of Lily, the gray whale.
Lily, Whale Research/Rescue Safari is a 49-passenger luxury power catamaran with state-of-the-art research and rescue equipment. You’ll enjoy dolphin and whale watching in luxury with a beautifully appointed cabin, climate-controlled pilothouse, shaded upper sundeck, and spacious bow, all with cushioned seating, as well as a fully equipped galley. The sundeck and bow both feature rails enclosed with Lexan® glass for wind protection. You can contribute to whale and dolphin research and learn more about the lives of individual animals using our on board ID catalog. Explore beneath the surface with an underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV) that passengers can drive. See and hear dolphins and whales underwater with our hydrophone and underwater camera. A life-size common dolphin, micro-museum of whale and dolphin artifacts, and stunning photographic art throughout the boat immerse you in the world of dolphins and whales. Dolphin and whale watching trips aboard Lily are broadcast live. And Mrs. Capt. Dave’s famous triple fudge brownies are served as a special treat!
Lily was recently featured on a live broadcast of Good Day LA when Mar Yvette joined us for an incredible morning of dolphin watching and whale watching!
Dolphin and Whale Watching Prices
2 and 1/2 hour Dolphin and Whale Watching “Signature Safari”
Price: $65 per adult and child.
Learn more information about our daily whale watching trips.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Available for Signature Safari’s on select dates only. If boat is not showing on our schedule online, tickets are probably not available to purchase at this time.
Private Dolphin and Whale Watching Charters
Privately charter Lily and it will be just your group on board. Extended availability. $3,185 plus $330 gratuity for 2 and 1/2 hours. Learn more about about private whale watching charters or give us a call at (949) 488-2828.
Enjoy dolphin and whale watching in luxury! Lily’s fully equipped stainless steel galley is perfect for hosting any special event with features that include an ice maker, trash compactor, dumbwaiter, 4-burner stove, dual refrigerator, huge freezer compartment, dishwasher, garbage disposal, butcher block cutting station, and more.
The beautifully appointed heated and air-conditioned salon (interior), with seating for up to 15, is richly decorated in warm golden and brown hues to make guests feel right at home. Panoramic windows ensure terrific viewing of the dolphins, whales, and scenic coastline.
Spacious upper sundeck is perfect for entertaining and whale watching with cushioned seating for 18 to 20, cocktail tables, cup holders, and more. Lexan® glass for wind protection and an adjustable awning offer climate control, sun or shade as needed.
In the heated and air conditioned pilothouse with table seating for six, guests are welcome to visit with the Captain.
The foredeck (bow) is ideal for up close encounters with dolphins and whales. Wrap-around cushioned seating, cushioned backrests, cup holders and rails enclosed with Lexan® glass for wind protection offer supreme comfort and convenience while whale watching. A realistic, life size, common dolphin and stunning photographic art throughout the boat immerse passengers in the world of dolphins and whales.
Currently there is very little information known about whales and dolphins off Orange County. How often do individual whales and pods of dolphin frequent the same spots in our area? Do calves return to same spot? These questions and many more we will help answer as we build our cetacean ID catalog. Passengers and crew will be able to help our staff contribute to the ongoing research of Cascadia Research, the Great Whale Conservancy, NOAA and other whale researchers around the world creating a database of whales and dolphin photos. You will have the unique opportunity to be trained in photo identification of cetaceans such as blue whales, gray whales, and several species of dolphin with the use of their own cameras and underwater photographic equipment. Younger passengers will soon be able to join our Researcher program too for an incredibly fun and educational whale watching experience and help us ID whales. With our large database of information we will also provide a history of individual animals as we encounter them, further enhancing the dolphin and whale watching experience.
Special Research Equipment and Accessories:
• Underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV). This high definition robotic camera will send live video, still shots, depth information, and water temperature back to the boat to help us view and understand the behavior and feeding habits of cetaceans and fish up to 200 feet below the surface.
• Professional camera with GPS receiver to track and record the animals.
• Photo identification catalog software.
• Steerable pole-mounted underwater camera capable of high resolution video with on board monitor.
• Underwater hydrophone allowing passengers and crew to hear vocalizations of dolphins and whales.
• Micro museum with whale and dolphin artifacts.
• During trips multiple cameras will be broadcasting live on our website.
Lily Whale Research/Rescue Safari is completely equipped to respond at a moment’s notice to a whale in distress, though Lily will only be used for observation when passengers are on board for safety reasons. She can host and feed an entire rescue team and stay with the whale for days until the whale is successfully disentangled. Whale and dolphin entanglement in fishing gear is a world wide problem nearly 1,000 dolphins and whales are estimated to die every day because of entanglement.
Special Rescue Equipment and Accessories:
• Underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV) enabling rescue team to completely assess the whale’s condition and nature of the entanglement.
• State-of-the-art whale disentanglement equipment including custom pole knives, flying jam knives, helmets buoys, and lines.
• Team members trained in whale disentanglement by NOAA and also in first aid, CPR, etc.
• On board 13 foot high speed rigid inflatable boat that can be launched from Lily by use of a special hydraulic arm.
• Whale tracking device.
• Dive compressor and scuba equipment.
• Pole cam.
* Please note that Lily Whale Research/Rescue Safari is not equipped with Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. That feature is only available on “Manute’a“. *
Watch whales and dolphins live from your computer during our daily whale watching excursions.