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Manute'a Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience

The World’s Only Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. Join Us for a Unique Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience!

Manute’a (pronounced mah-noo-tay-ah) offers the world’s most incredible and unique whale and dolphin watching experience. This unique catamaran ship provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of dolphins and whales, allowing you to “swim” with these magnificent creatures without getting wet!

Capt. Dave’s whale and dolphin watching tours offer the best whale watching near Los Angeles with an unforgettable adventure like nothing else you’ve experienced before. In our one-of-a-kind Manute’a ship, you’ll come face-to-face with some of the largest creatures on earth! Book your seat to join this incredible whale watching tour today!

Manute’a, our flagship vessel, is a high-tech, high-speed catamaran featuring two Eye-to-Eye (and fin-to-fin!) Underwater Viewing Pods, three Eye-Spy Dolphin Tram Nets, and a micro dolphin and whale museum.

With this unparalleled whale and dolphin watching trip, experience becoming one with the pod and feel what it’s like to swim side-by-side with dolphins and whales in our Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods! Each pod has glass windows on both sides, allowing you to get aquatically acquainted with your new underwater buddies — all without getting wet!

Eye to eye, underwater with a Gray Whale

“I visited family in CA for the holiday, and one of the days we went out whale watching. We had such a wonderful experience. The crew was very nice and extremely knowledgeable. My entire family had a great time. The viewing pod was INSANE!!! I felt like I was swimming with the dolphins. They were so close, and we could hear them as well!! Highly recommended.”

– Sadie B., Yelp

U.S. Coast Guard-certified, Manute’a carries up to 49 happy passengers with plenty of elbow room and comfortable seating for all. Never crowded and always cozy, this whale and dolphin watching experience uses our best high-speed, low emission, environmentally friendly engines to carry you safely and comfortably out to see whales, dolphins, and other sea life year-round.

Manute’a also has a covered cabin area for protection from the elements, two bathrooms, and cushioned seating. Her exceptional open-air layout offers panoramic views from almost every spot, so you never miss a moment of your adventure!

During your whale and dolphin watching safari, experienced marine naturalists will interact with you and your family, sharing fun marine life facts and dolphin and whale artifacts. Best of all, Mrs. Capt. Dave’s legendary and delicious Triple Fudge Brownies are served with our compliments after every excursion!

Drone flies over whale watching catamaran Manute'a

Go Underwater Without Getting Wet!

Manute’a is the only whale and dolphin watching boat in the world with Capt. Dave’s Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. Feel what it’s like to swim next to dolphins — and sometimes whales — without getting wet!

These “viewing pods” are areas in the hull of our catamaran with cushioned padding that let you sit or lie down. There are glass windows on both sides of the ship, perfect for whale and dolphin watching from all angles. In our eye-to-eye observation pods, you’re not just looking down at the animals—they’re swimming right next to you and looking you in the eye! If the dolphins are “chatty,” you’ll even be able to hear their clicks and whistles, too!

Each Underwater Pod in our Manute’a whale and dolphin watching experience can usually fit two adults or three children at a time. Everyone is allowed to take turns experiencing this amazing underwater world of our dolphin and whale friends. For safety reasons, the Underwater Pods are not open during the entire trip, but your Captain will let you know when they’re open.

Ready to Experience the Best Whale Watching Near Los Angeles?

Book Your Trip Today!

Manute’a Photo Gallery

FAQs About Whale and Dolphin Watching

Where is the best whale watching near Los Angeles?

Dana Point Harbor offers easy access to the open ocean where the whales and dolphins are! Dana Point is home to more dolphins than anywhere else in the world! It also offers a gorgeous coastline, calm seas, and no large ships, towering skyscrapers, or oil rigs to mar your view. Dana Point is the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World®.

When is the best time of the year for whale and dolphin watching?

In Dana Point, California, the answer is simple: every day of the year! Many species of whales can be seen throughout the year, including playful humpback whalesfin whales (the 2nd largest whale species), and minke whales. Blue whales (the largest whale and biggest animal on earth) also visit in the spring and summer!

What safety procedures are in place?

Capt. Dave’s takes pride in offering uncrowded whale and dolphin watching excursions. All vessels are US Coast Guard certified.

TripAdvisor logo

"Was not sure my husband who is paralyzed on his left side as the result of a Stroke could have this experience. From the first phone call and forward the group at Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari put all of our concerns to rest! The team at Captain Dave’s were so helpful and made our trip one of the best experiences of our lives! The boat was wonderful and the captain and crew were knowledgeable and fun!"

– TripAdvisor
Yelp Logo

"What a great trip! I have been whale watching many times, but this was by far the most fun. Our kids LOVED the front of the boat with the suspended netting and the underwater viewing. We got up close to a humpback whale and a huge pod of dolphins. Fun, fun and more fun. I bet this will be a big highlight of our trip when we ask the kids what was their favorite."

– Carlie M.
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"My family spent a week in Southern California and this was the favorite part of our trip. I would give this 6 stars if I could! We took a Thursday morning cruise and saw tons of dolphins. The underwater viewing pods are really neat. You can see and hear the dolphins swimming underwater along the bow of the boat. We also saw a giant humpback whale swimming up north."

– EdQ528