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  • In-person & Virtual Events

52nd Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales

March 4 & 5, 2023
Family-friendly fun, food, festivities, and whale watching!

Quick Details

Calendar Dates: Public safaris and private charters are available 7 days a week. Click on calendar date for live availability and departure times.

Users Capacity: Our Dana Point whale watching safaris are never over crowded. Ample elbow room for guests!

Checkmark Cetacean Declaration: No dolphins or whales sighted on your public safari? Join us again for free within one year.

Info Additional information:

  • 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.

52nd Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales logo

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.

Book Now

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.

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.

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.

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.

Gray whale tail seen during Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point, California

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