Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

49th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales

March 7-8 & 14-15, 2020
Family-friendly fun, food, festivities, and whale watching!

Quick Details

Calendar Dates: Tours available 7 days a week. Click on calendar date for departure times.

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

Info Additional information:

  • Uncrowded
  • Eco-friendly
  • Exclusive eye-to-eye underwater view pods
  • Dana Point’s only zodiac catamaran whale watching tour

UPDATE 12-March-2020:

In light of yesterday’s announcement by Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health advising the postponement or cancelation of public mass gatherings of 250 or more to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), weekend two of the Dana Point Festival of Whales has been canceled.

The Harbor and its businesses are open.

Whale watching trips will operate as scheduled.

Logo for 49th annual Dana Point Festival of Whales in 2020

The Dana Point Festival of Whales takes place annually during the first two weekends in March. In 2020, the Dana Point Festival of Whales occurs on March 7 to 8 and March 14 to 15.


From :
$ 45

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, Fast Cat.

Dana Point Festival of Whales – “Manute’a” Dolphin & Whale Watching Signature Safari

  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Ages: all ages welcome
  • Prices: $65 per adult (13 & older), $45 per child (1 – 12), $5 per infant
  • Manute’a Features: Large, stable sailboat catamaran. Never crowded, with up to 49 guests. 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 – “Fast Cat” Zodiac Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Ages: 8 or older
  • Prices: $65 per person (all ages)
  • Fast Cat Features: Very fast and fun zodiac catamaran. Intimate tour with up to 12 guests. Extremely close to the water; GoPro friendly. Heavily padded seats, large sunshade, wide bow area, live narration, Mrs. Capt. Dave’s triple fudge brownies. Perfect for adventurous types.

About the Dana Point Festival of Whales

The Dana Point Festival of Whales began nearly 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 the migration of 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®.

In addition to whale watching tours, we are hosting two special events at this year’s Dana Point Festival of Whales.

Festival of Whales Carnival

Captain Dave’s Under the Sea Eco Carnival

Date: Saturday, March 7, 2020

Time: 12 to 2 pm

Location: 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA

Cost: Free Entry

It is adventure time again with Captain Dave and his crew at the Dana Point Festival of Whales! Learn how you can do your part to keep our oceans clean when you join us at our carnival.

We even have under-the-sea bounce houses and a selfie station to guarantee all-day fun! Come see all the waste we are able to fit in our fluke while learning different ways to recycle household items. Dive deep with Captain Dave’s one-of-a-kind Underwater Viewing Pod simulation to see what it’s like to bow-ride with some of southern California’s most beautiful inhabitants while you wait for a chance to get your face painted at the Dana Point Festival of Whales. And learn fun facts about the undersea kingdom from a mermaid!

All ages are welcome! Carnival entry is FREE within the whale festival; face painting available for a small fee.

Gray Whale with Metal Frame Around Head

Presenting – Entangled Whales: What Can We Do? Hear what Capt. Dave has to say!

Date: Saturday, March 7, 2019

Time: 2 to 3 pm

Location: OC Sailing and Events Center, 34451 Ensenada Pl, Dana Point, CA

Cost: FREE

Join Captain Dave Anderson for an informative presentation about whale entanglement and rescue during the Dana Point Festival of Whales. Learn about recent disentanglements that Captain Dave and others were involved with hands-on. You’ll discover more about what is being done to help these animals, and also what you can do to make a difference.

Throughout the presentation, you’ll enjoy amazing rescue footage and drone video, and have the opportunity to look at and touch the special equipment used to help entangled whales.

Contact us for more info and book your whale watching tour today before tickets sell out!