Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Capt. Dave's Dana Point Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari

Home of the world’s only Underwater Viewing Pods

Choose Your 5-Star Cruise

Capt. Dave’s Dana Point Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari

Home of the world’s only Underwater Viewing Pods

5-Star Dana Point Whale Watching Company


– CBS Los Angeles


  • Book Now & Save 25%
  • Most Popular
From $89 $66.75

If you’re looking for whale watching near Los Angeles, we guarantee you’ve never experienced anything like this. Our exclusive underwater glass viewing pods put you face to face with some of the largest creatures on…

Google reviews
Yelp reviews
Tripadvisor reviews
Facebook reviews


– CBS Los Angeles

Have you ever dreamed of getting up close and personal with a blue whale or being eye-to-eye with a dolphin? Now you can make your dreams a reality with Captain Dave’s Dana Point Whale Watching and Dolphin Tours! As one of the highest-rated whale watching companies in Southern California, we offer year-round boat tours and educational whale watching field trips for an ocean adventure you’ll never forget. Join our email family for exclusive offers, the latest Dana Point whale watching videos, news, and more!


illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Amazing day with an amazing crew!

Every single person working on our boat was amazing and engaging with everyone. The COVID precautions that are taken are wonderful and still allow you to have a fantastic time. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience.. and seeing 6 humpback whales was definitely the cherry on top of a perfect day cake.

– Knzknz0204 | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Spectacular Adventure

It was worth the time. The Captain and his crew are wonderful, knowledgeable and I felt safe(all around COVID-19 included) it was definitely a safari, I learned a lot about the different types of dolphin. We met up with several view of dolphins. But the adventure was in finding the Bryde's Whale and her calf. It was all so worth the speedy ride with few bumps and splash-

– sistasister_2000 | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Great trip and value!

Had a great time and we saw bottlenose and common dolphins! Loved that the time was longer than other than other boat rides. Felt safe with the Covid precautions the company took. Great job Captain Steve and crew!

– Tiffany R. | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Amazing trip!! Worth every penny!!!

Really fun, would highly recommend, even if traveling with teenagers. Underwater viewing-pod was awesome, where dolphins were very interactive. Boat was very comfortable and never felt sea-sick. Crew was excellent, they are very knowledgeable, and answered all questions.

– Joerod01 | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
What an amazing morning with the whales

Capt Dave delivered. We spent about an hour and a half with two Blue Whales. I have travelled the world looking for these rare creatures and they were a 15 minute boat ride off the Californian Coast. Capt was very knowledgeable and gave us good viewing without interfering with the whales. Absolutely amazing tour. Oh, there were dolphins as well.

– NeilK_13 | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Fourth time back from the U.K.!

I have recommend this trip to all my friends coming to Southern California from the U.K. and EU. It’s just awesome...we had hundreds of dolphins which was incredible. The boat is great and you can move around so easily and get great views of the wildlife especially in the underwater pods. I will be back for another trip I am sure in the future. Well done guys you never disappoint!

– Mark C. | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Great Boat Trip

The tour said that we would see dolphins and we saw plenty! Our trip was on one of the catamarans with the viewing windows which allow underwater viewings. Amazing close-up views of schools of these beautiful animals. Crew was friendly and helpful. Wear sunscreen!

– Jeff M. | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
An Awesome Adventure

My family and I were touring California on a road trip. We wanted to book a boat trip at some point in our holiday and read about Captain Dave's tours and were impressed by the reviews. I'm so glad we did this tour as it was one of the best experiences we have ever had.

– Neil P. | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Whales and More!!

I was so pleased by the whole experience. It was great!!! Not only did we see whales, but we saw a dolphin baby pod of some 400 dolphin...The under water viewing was so cool!!! Our trip lasted longer than advertised after group permission was granted (just in case someone needed to get back on time but no one did!).

– Ben C. | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash

My husband and I went on the 2.5 whale watching trip, and it was absolutely amazing! We saw 3 blue whales, sea lions, dolphins. It’s an experience we will never forget, and we will return and bring our children too. I highly recommend. Staff was amazing.

– Amy O. | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Great Morning of Dolphin Watching

Our first trip with Captain Dave's was fantastic. The captain and crew were informative and welcoming. We felt safe and comfortable and, most importantly, saw hundreds of dolphins and a few sea lions. Luckily we went on a day when the boat was only about half-full but I think it would have been enjoyable even on a full boat. We look forward to going back in the future.

– ncinaz | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash

Whale watching at Dana point was amazing! Captain chuck, Hannah and Stacie are fabulous, friendly, attentive and very knowledgeable. Because of Covid the boat was not completely full, and plenty of seats to space out and distance. Masks are required the whole duration of the ride. We definitely did not mind at all. We were able to see several dolphins and at least 2 gray whales. It was amazing and I loved every minute of it. You do have a chance to purchase drinks and snacks before boarding the boat. Small restroom on board. If going for the last tour, bring a jacket, it gets cold. Also if you plan on sitting at the front of the boat, you will get wet! They will warn you, so don’t take that lightly. Overall it was a wonderful experience.

– Jessica V | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Best Whale Watching Outfit in Dana Point

As Dana Point people, we have been on every whale watching outfit offered in Dana Point. Of all of them, Capt. Dave's is a repeater. From the warm reception and comfortable waiting area, to the length of the trip and the boats that are used.. the expertise of the crew, the cookies at the end of the trip and the great treatment of return visitors.. This is a great investment for anyone wanting to hit the waves while visiting the Dana Point/Laguna Beach/San Clemente/San Juan Capistrano area.

– Julie J | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash
Excellent whale and dolphin watching trip

We saw the news on TV about the Dana Point whale watching festival on the next day and booked the ticket online that very evening. They had at least 3 tours on that day so there was no problem to get the tickets. The trip was really rewarding. I did one in Monterey Bay a couple of years back. Turbulent waters and no luck with whale at that time. This Dana Point trip was much more enjoyable, plus we saw so many times of the whales flipping their tales.

– pandabella_taipei | Tripadvisor
illustration of jumping whale and dolphin with water splash

As a first time visitor to Dana Point for Whale Watching I HIGHLY recommend the "All Swell" smaller boat tour (max capacity is 28) it moves beautifully through the water, easy to see everything, and gets closer to the dolphins and whales! My Captain was Marie , and first mate Janelle. Great tour! Informative & fun! During our tour we saw common dolphins, a blue Whale! And Risso's dolphins! We took the 8:30AM Tour. You also get a brownie at the end of the tour :) #win

– Shelley M. | Yelp


See What Sets Us Apart By Booking Your High Seas Adventure Today!
Humpback whale jumps out of the water

Highest Rated Whale Watch

Consistently awarded for Best Customer Service, our Dana Point whale watching and dolphin tours are the highest rated on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google.

Killer whale seen from window of Underwater Viewing Pod

Underwater Viewing Pods

Experience an eye-to-eye underwater adventure with dolphins and whales in our exclusive underwater viewing pods. The perfect view for Dana Point whale watching!


Truly Eco-Friendly

As a dedicated eco-friendly tour group in Southern California, we are committed to providing only sustainable wildlife viewing during Dana Point’s whale watching season. We believe in being good stewards of the ocean. That means using the best sustainable technology available and not watching whales from a fishing boat.

Dana Point is one of the best places in the world to see blue whales up close

More Blue Whales

There’s a reason whale watching in Dana Point is popular in Southern California! We have the largest concentration of blue whales in the world.

Dolphin Stampede

More Dolphins

Dana Point whale watching also includes dolphins! The area has more dolphins per square mile than anywhere else!

Dana Point has year round sea lions

More Variety

Whale watching season at Dana Point offers 60+ species of whales, dolphins, sharks, sea lions, birds, and more seen year-round.

Dolphins bow ride with Manute’a

Never Crowded

Our Dana Point whale watching tours feature customized catamarans that can carry up to 49 passengers and offer ample elbow room. Some of our vessels carry as few as six guests for a more intimate whale watching experience.

Gillnet removed from entangled gray whale

Whale Rescue

In addition to offering his popular Dana Point whale watching tours, Captain Dave and his team members have received worldwide recognition for their whale rescue and conservation efforts.

Mrs Capt Dave’s Triple Fudge Brownies

One Word: Brownies.

Touring Dana Point during whale watching season wouldn’t be complete without Mrs. Captain Dave’s famous Triple Fudge Brownies! These memorable treats are served complimentary on every whale watching trip.

Whale, Hello There!

Whale watching Dana Point visitors can join us on an exciting adventure aboard Manute’a, our catamaran sailboat. This one-of-a-kind vessel features eye-to-eye viewing pods and comfortable seating for guests. For a major adrenaline rush, whale watching Dana Point visitors can reserve a Dolphin & Whale Watching tour aboard our Zodiac boat, Fast Cat.

Whether you’ll be joining us for a public tour or private boat charter, whale watching Dana Point visitors can always expect exceptional, personalized service. Whale watching Dana Point visitors will even be treated to one of Mrs. Captain Dave’s famous brownies as our way of saying, “thanks.” It’s the special touches that make us one of the best whale watching tours in Southern California, and it’s what keeps our customers coming back again and again!


Whale watching season in Dana Point offers the highest number of dolphins per square mile than anywhere else in the world! This area is also home to a variety of large whales, including:


Not only does Dana Point have the highest number of dolphins per square mile than anywhere else in the world, but it is also the home of a variety of large whales, including:

  • Blue Whale Overhead

    Blue Whales

    The blue whale is the largest animal on earth weighing more than 400,000 pounds! Whale watching Dana Point visitors will have the opportunity to see these magnificent blue whales from May through October. In the summer months, there are more blue whales in Dana Point than anywhere else in the world! Whale watching Dana Point visitors love hearing interesting blue whale facts while we’re on the water. Blue whales can hold more than 1,000 tons of food and water, hear other whales up to 1,000 miles away underwater, and shoot their breath at 200 miles per hour.

  • Gray Whale Overhead View

    Gray Whales

    Whale watching Dana Point visitors will have the chance to see gray whales from November through May. These gentle, slow-moving animals weigh approximately 90,000 pounds! Gray whales feed on small crustaceans called amphipods found in the bottom sediment of cold waters near Alaska. Many gray whales go months without feeding during their migration. Whale watching Dana Point visitors may be able to witness barnacles and lice hugging the 40-50 foot body.

  • Humpback Whale Underwater

    Humpback Whales

    Humpback whales are known for being energetic and creating soothing underwater melodies. Whale watching Dana Point visitors can see these 60-foot creatures putting on magnificent shows, breaching, fluking, and lobtailing. Humpback whales can eat up to 3,000 pounds per day, the equivalent of eating 12,000 tacos with extra toppings!

  • Fin Whale Dorsal Fin

    Fin Whales

    Whale watching Dana Point visitors may encounter the long, sleek fin whales during one of our dolphin and whale watching safaris. Fin whales have a unique V-shaped head and two v-shaped chevrons behind their blowhole. Whale watching Dana Point visitors sometimes spot these sleek giants cruising at accelerated speeds.

  • A minke whale above the surface of the water

    Minke Whales

    Minke whales are the smallest member of the great whales, reaching lengths of up to 35 feet and weighing 20,000 pounds. Whale watching Dana Point visitors have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the common minke whale as they are a year-round visitor in the Dana Point, California area.

  • Killer Whales (Orca)

    Killer Whales

    Killer whales have a set of 50 razor-sharp teeth and can accelerate up to 30 miles per hour to take down their prey. These intelligent creatures use underwater sound, unique to their pod, to communicate, navigate, and feed. Whale watching Dana Point visitors may see killer whales year-round, especially in the winter months.

Mother and Calf Common Dolphins

Common Dolphin

A typical pod consists of about 200 dolphins, but the largest pod in the Dana Point area is no less than 10,000 dolphins! Common dolphins eat anchovies, squid, mackerel, and sardines

Mother and Calf Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphin

These beauties are often seen bow-riding in front of massive blue whales. Adult bottlenose dolphins can weigh up to 1,400 pounds.

Pod of Pacific-White-sided-Dolphins

Pacific White-Sided Dolphin

Whale watching Dana Point visitors might catch these dolphins bow-riding or playing with gray whales.


Risso’s Dolphin

These are some of the larger dolphins encountered on our whale watching safaris, weighing up to 1,100 pounds and ranging up to 10 feet long. Whale watching Dana Point visitors may not see these dolphins as they are rather shy around boats.


  • Camera/Drone – Capt. Dave’s safaris are great for whale watching Dana Point visitors interested in wildlife photography.
  • Jacket – Whale watching safaris can be a bit chilly, so an extra layer is highly recommended.
  • Sunscreen – Guests can bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for protection at sea.
  • Binoculars – Whale watching Dana Point visitors can bring binoculars to enhance the overall experience–like spotting lice and barnacles hugging a gray whale.
  • Water & snacks – Guests are encouraged to bring small snacks and water, and keep track of any wrappers, etc.

On your whale watching Dana Point tour, you’ll want to keep your eyes open and your camera ready because we regularly see a wide range of other marine animals, too! This includes seals, sea lions, sharks, sea turtles, local marine birds, jellyfish, and much, much more!

While we do see dolphins and whales on more than 95% of our tours, our large marine friends occasionally decide to take the day off. Don’t worry if this happens! We will provide you with another tour within the year—totally free of charge!


If you’ve got kids, teens, or even babies, you can go ahead and bring them on board with you during our whale watching Dana Point tours. Most of our large catamarans are suitable for children of all ages and offer an experience that your little ones are unlikely to forget.

Complement their wildlife experience with a visit to our onboard micro-museum! Whale watching Dana Point visitors of all ages will have the chance to see dolphin and whale artifacts, and you can accompany them to our exclusive underwater viewing pods where they can “swim with the dolphins” — All without getting wet!

Instill an even deeper love and appreciation for ocean creatures by joining us for the annual Dana Point Festival of Whales or discover our other whale watching Dana Point tours in Southern California like our wildlife-intensive Whale Geek Safari or luxury private yacht Orca charter tour! No matter which one you choose, we promise you’ll have a whale of a time!


Boasting the highest ratings on Tripadvisor, Yelp, and Google, Dana Point’s whale watching season in Southern California doesn’t get any better than Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours. Contact us or view our FAQs for more information and book your unforgettable adventure in Dana Point—the dolphin and Whale Watching Capital® of the world!

Skip to toolbar