- In-person & Virtual Events
52nd Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales
March 4 & 5, 2023Family-friendly fun, food, festivities, and whale watching!
Dates: Public safaris and private charters are available 7 days a week. Click on calendar date for live availability and departure times.
Capacity: Our Dana Point whale watching safaris are never over crowded. Ample elbow room for guests!
Cetacean Declaration: No dolphins or whales sighted on your public safari? Join us again for free within one year.
- Safe, clean, uncrowded, and 100% outdoors from start to finish.
- Eco-friendly. Dana Point is a certified Whale Heritage Site.
- Exclusive eye-to-eye underwater view pods on Manute’a.
- Dana Point’s first and best Zodiac-style (RHIB) whale watching tour.
The Dana Point Festival of Whales takes place annually in March. In 2023, the 52nd annual Dana Point Festival of Whales will be held on March 4 and 5.
- From :
- $ 89 $ 71.20
Dolphin & Whale Watching During the Dana Point Festival of Whales
Experience up-close wild dolphins, migrating gray whales, playful humpback whales, huge fin whales, silly sea lions, and so much more! Mere minutes from the harbor, the waters off Dana Point are teeming with all kinds of marine wildlife for you to enjoy.
Bring the kids, family, and friends for a chance to connect with dolphins and whales underwater in our exclusive Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods on our catamaran sailboat Manute’a. Or, get within arm’s reach of the animals on our fast and adventurous zodiac whale watching safari.
Eco-Hero Dolphin & Whale Safari
Kids (12 & under) are FREE with paid adult on this safari only!
Special guests will be on board to inspire and educate future Eco Heroes.
Dana Point Festival of Whales – Dolphin & Whale Watching Super-Safe Signature Safari
- Duration: 2.5 hours
- Ages: all ages welcome
- Manute’a Features: Large, stable sailboat catamaran. Never crowded, with reduced guest capacity for social distancing. Two eye-to-eye underwater viewing pods, eye-spy dolphin and whale tram nets, micro-museum of artifacts, live narration, Mrs. Capt. Dave’s triple fudge brownies. Perfect for all ages.
- Book Now & Save 15%
- Most Popular
Click here to visit Signature Dolphin and Whale Watching SafariSignature Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari
If you’re looking for whale watching near Dana Point, 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 earth! Book your seat today!
- Underwater Viewing Pods Underwater Viewing Pods Underwater Viewing Pods
- All Ages Ages All Ages
- 2 ½ Hours Duration 2 ½ Hours
Dana Point Festival of Whales – Zodiac Dolphin & Whale Watching Super-Safe Safari
- Duration: 2 hours
- Ages: 6 or older
- Zodiac Safari Features: Fast, fun, and bouncy ride. Intimate tour with reduced guest capacity for social distancing. Extremely close to the water; GoPro friendly. Heavily padded seats, large sunshade, wide bow area, live narration, Mrs. Capt. Dave’s triple fudge brownies served. Perfect for adventurous types.
- Book Now & Save 15%
- Adventure Seeker Favorite
Just like our Signature Safari, but faster and closer! Get within arm’s reach of wildlife on our speedy and fun dolphin & whale watching zodiac-style boats (rigid hull inflatables). VERY low to the water & GoPro friendly. Book your intimate experience now!
- Ages 6 & up Ages Ages 6 & up
- 2 Hours Duration 2 Hours
Dana Point Festival of Whales – Private Charters
- Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours, although extended charter times are available
- Ages: all ages
- Prices: Vary depending on number of passengers and the boat you choose
- Private Charter Features: The ultimate whale watching experience on a safe and spacious boat all to yourselves! Only your group and the vessel’s crew will be on board.
- Safe & Private
Booking a private boat charter gives you all the beauty Dana Point has to offer, and with exclusivity of a private event. All boat rentals come with Captain & crew. Explore suggested private charter itineraries or make your own!
- Private Charter Category Private Charter
- Choice of Boat Boat Choice of Boat
- All Ages Ages All Ages
About the Dana Point Festival of Whales
The Dana Point Festival of Whales began 50 years ago as an annual community event in the coastal town of Dana Point, located in picturesque Orange County, California. During the two-weekend whale watching festival held each March, residents and visitors celebrate migrating gray whales and other marine wildlife with ocean-themed activities and presentations emphasizing education and environmental responsibility.
A wide variety of family-friendly activities will take place and the premier event is, of course, whale watching! With an abundance of year-round whales, dolphins, and other sea life, Dana Point is the Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World®.
Dana Point, California, is also an official Whale Heritage Site. A Whale Heritage Site is an outstanding location where cetaceans (whales, dolphins, or porpoises) are embraced through the cultural, economic, social, and political lives of associated communities, and where people and cetaceans coexist in an authentic and respectful way.
In addition to whale watching, Capt. Dave’s is hosting a Free Virtual Whale Watching Safari.
Join Gisele (Mrs. Capt. Dave) for a fun and educational virtual dolphin and whale watching safari during the Dana Point Festival of Whales!
You’ll meet the magnificent whales and dolphins found off the coast of Dana Point, California, the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World® on a pre-recorded safari with live narration from experienced marine wildlife naturalists.
There is no cost to join us. To participate you’ll need a high-speed internet connection and Zoom.
A limited number of participants is allowed. Please sign up only if you’re sure you can attend.
Virtual Safari Date: Saturday, March 5, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM PST
Duration: 45 minutes
In addition to whale watching, Capt. Dave’s is hosting Eco-Heroes: Dream to Make a Difference Virtual Interview Series.
Join Gisele (Mrs. Capt. Dave), for a series of fascinating discussions on our YouTube channel with renowned guests who have made changes in the lives of whales by their service and sacrifice. It’s free!
How to watch: subscribe to our YouTube channel (and be sure to hit the little bell icon) to be notified when the interviews premiere.
Meet the Eco-Heroes
Tom Mustill is a photographer, researcher, and author. He talks with us about whale watching in the UK versus Southern California, his extremely close encounter with a breaching humpback while on a kayak, and his book “How to Speak Whale“.
Rick Erkeneff is the Vice Chairman for South Orange County Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, a community of everyday people who passionately protect our playground – the ocean, waves, and beaches that provide us so much enjoyment.
Doug Perrine is an award-winning photographer specializing in marine wildlife, author of seven books, and a field researcher. He is a true Eco-Hero and has documented extraordinary humpback whale behavior using bubbles as tools, communication, foreplay and even art! Join us and learn more about his groundbreaking discoveries and be inspired!
Read Doug’s fascinating article “For Humpbacks, Bubbles Can Be Tools”
In this episode, Gisele chats with four local Eco Heroes making a difference. Capt. Gary Brighouse, Caitlyn Nieblas, Hannah Rich, and Jess Wright discuss how they’re helping animals, and how you can too!