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Welcome Aboard Capt. Dave’s "Dolphin Safari"

Orange County’s Legendary Whale Watching Catamaran Adventure

Captain Dave’s Dana Point Dolphin Watching Tour has been mesmerizing people for decades, and DolphinSafari is the boat that started it all. Our 35-foot sailing catamaran is the original pride of our fleet and remains a favorite among our crew and passengers.

This prized safari catamaran whale watching vessel was the first in Southern California to offer year-round dolphin watching. It was also aboard this catamaran that Captain Dave filmed his award-winning documentary, “Wild Dolphins & Whales of Southern California.

Enjoy a World-Class Adventure in Beautiful Dana Point

Ready for a spectacular day on the water? We can’t wait to meet you and show you the true magic of the Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World®. For those thrill-seekers who crave a little speed with their whale and dolphin watching tours, we also offer a high-speed adventure on our upscale Zodiac whale watching catamaran, Fast Cat.

Book Our Catamaran Whale Watching Tours for an Intimate Whale Watching Experience

With a comfortable capacity of about 20 passengers, DolphinSafari makes our whale and dolphin watching tours an intimate experience for the whole family, while still providing plenty of room for everyone.

Her specially designed bow with eye-spy dolphin nets is so close to the water that you’ll feel as though you can touch the animals! You’ll even be close enough to hear the dolphins vocalize as they swim right under your feet. It’s almost like being in a kayak! This boat has comfortable seating in the enclosed cockpit and a restroom.

Looking for an even more intimate experience? Check out our private boat charter tours by contacting us today!

Please note: DolphinSafari is not equipped with Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. That feature is only available on Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari flagship vessel, Manute’a.

Experience a Heart-Pounding Nature Adventure

Our exhilarating whale and dolphin watching tours deliver an up-close and personal look at The World’s Whale Capital® and the breathtaking marine wildlife that call it home. Dana Point is teeming with wildlife all year round! Besides whales and dolphins, you may get to see sea lions, sharks, birds, and more! If we’re lucky, we might even run into some rare animals, such as sea turtles and jellies. Our catamaran whale watching and whale watching cruise tours are always unique, and we’re able to locate whales and dolphins on 95% of our trips; but on the off chance you don’t see anything, we’ll be happy to welcome you aboard again within one year, free of charge!

Book Your Adventure Now

Ready for a catamaran whale and dolphin watching experience you won’t soon forget? Book DolphinSafari by contacting us today, and see why people from around the world choose us to experience the world’s best whale and dolphin watching tours!

DolphinSafari Reviews

Amazing! Best Ever!

I know whale watching is always about 90% luck–sometimes the whales just aren’t there, but this trip was the best. The weather was perfect, Captain Peter is enthusiastic and kind, and the whole trip was just wonderful. Dana Point is the place to go whale watching as there is a steep drop-off just off shore. We saw 5 or 6 blue whales (on 8/19/2012), a bunch of dolphins and a few Sun Fish. The boat was the smaller catamaran, the Dolphin Safari, which is the best boat because you are right on the water. You could look down and see animals swimming under the boat! The water was so clear, too. We saw baby dolphins swimming with the mothers! The boat takes just 20 people, so it is pretty small, but everyone gets the same view, and you never miss anything because it’s on he “other side of the boat.” The bow waves splash into the boat over the netting a little bit (which is great when the weather’s warm) and the quieter engines of the Dolphin Safari mean the animals aren’t spooked as much. I’ve done lots of whale watching is this is the best!

– ClassicCarTraveler
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WOW

I have done whale watching before. This is a whole new level. We are not talking 2 hours out to hopefully see something and then two hours back. We chose the smaller catamaran, which really lets you get up close. I know it’s not always like this, but these guys are really good. It went like this… 1) Board boat 2) As soon as you leave the harbor cue the sea lions 3) Sea Lions check…now cue the blue whales 4) Blue whales check…now cue the bottle nose Dolphins. Oh and throw in Patches. The most famous dolphin on the west coast. Oh and make sure to throw in some 20+ ft high jumps. 5) Bottle nose Dolphins and Patches check…now cue about 300 common dolphin complete with aerial displays. 6) Common Dolphins check. Let’s add one last humpback whale on the way into the harbor. 7) Throw in a few more sea lions for good measure 8) Thanks for coming. Please enjoy these amazing brownies. It was an unbelievable experience for the whole family.

– whetraveler73, TripAdvisor
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Amazing wildlife

Went out this morning for 2 1/2 hr cruise, small catamaran with just 15 tourists in total. Saw brown pelicans, sea lions , amazing dolphins that raced the boat, grey whales and fin whales- great captain Peter and his crew lady were great hosts- the brownie at the end topped off a fantastic trip - thoroughly recommend.

– Ozziebd, TripAdvisor
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My Absolute Favorite SCAL Activity!

This was at least our third trip with Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari. We love this company because of their catamaran boats and crews. Today we went out with Capt Peter and First Mate Mark who are veterans with incredible knowledge and fun natures. We went out on the smaller boat today which turned out to be fabulous because it was an even smaller tour group. This allowed us to engage with Capt Peter and First Mate Mark more directly. It was almost like being out on the water with family. Best part of this company is their commitment to finding whales and/or dolphins so the trip is exciting for everyone - adults and kids. While they watch the time, they are just as prone to follow a whale or pod of dolphins as make an "on time arrival" to the dock. No rushing, unless of course we're tracking a whale! I enthusiastically recommend that everyone take a safari!

– Carol D., TripAdvisor
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Awesome Cruise

This was an awesome whale and dolphin cruise. We saw hoards of dolphins on a beautiful day off the CA coast just north of Dana Point on a small catamaran. We were really lucky. there were at least a hundred dolphins swimming in front of us and right off the bow. The water was really clear and we got great pictures. Then we found one humpback whale but it entertained us for over a half hour of breaching and slapping the water with its fin. All I can say is WOW. Well worth the price. Getting to Dana Point dock area is actually half of the fun along the pacific coast highway. There were beautiful lookouts and viewpoints.

– James S., TripAdvisor

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