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Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour

Experience Our World-Famous Underwater Viewing Pods

Quick Details

  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Underwater Viewing Pods
  • Never Crowded
  • Tours Run 7 Days a Week
  • Year-round whales, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, birds and more!

“…this tour offers the best whale watching in the world…”

Capt. Dave’s Dana Point Whale Watching

Of all whale watching tours in Dana Point, CA, CBS Los Angeles has called us the best!

Manute’a (pronounced mah-noo-tay-ah) is the primary vessel used for our daily whale watching trips. This high-tech, high-speed catamaran sailboat offers the world’s most unique dolphin and whale watching experience.

Passenger watching dolphins from underwater viewing pod on Manute'a

Passenger watching common dolphins from an underwater viewing pod on Manute’a

Manute’a features Capt. Dave’s exclusive Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. The two “pods” give you the extraordinary experience of feeling what it’s like to swim with dolphins and whales, underwater, without getting wet! This vessel also features three Eye-Spy Dolphin Tram Nets on the bow for an up-close and immersive whale watching adventure, a micro dolphin and whale museum, and live narration from expert marine naturalists for a whale watching experience that is both fun and educational. Never crowded, Manute’a carries up to 49 happy passengers with plenty of elbow room and comfortable seating for all.

And Mrs. Capt. Dave’s legendary, delicious Triple Fudge Brownies are served complimentary!

What do our passengers say?

I’ve been to Disneyland, Sea World, Universal Studios – all for much more money. I ALWAYS GET MORE THAN MY MONIES WORTH. I’ve brought friends, family members, colleagues from work, Rotarians, etc. Each time I knew every would enjoy themselves – and they have. I’ve seen my stoic girlfriend break out in giggles the first time she saw a dolphin. I’ve seen my 30+ year old son who is “too cool” to be impressed with anything anymore, grab my hand and point to several blue whales with great excitement.

I could write volumes about my experiences on Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari. The adjectives I would use are: GREAT, WONDERFUL, SPIRITUAL, INVITING, INFORMATIVE, PEACEFUL, ADVENTUROUS, FUN, FRIENDLY, and who can forget the great brownies at the end of the trip? – 5 star TripAdvisor review from Basia C.

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame award

What We’re Seeing

Spring is a great time for dolphin and whale watching! Dana Point is the World’s Whale Capital™ and blessed to have moderate weather all year long.

Gray Whales Galore! During the winter and spring months, the animal that started the whale watching industry in Dana Point can be seen migrating along the coast. And locals know Dana Point to be one of the best places to view thousands of gray whales on their annual journey. Gray whales are often seen within a mile or two outside of Dana Point Harbor and are believed to use Dana Point’s headlands as a landmark on their migration.

Recent trips have blessed us with numerous gray whale sightings, sometimes as many as 10 whales in a single trip! Join us during Spring Break for a chance to experience “Calves & Coves”, when we visit our local coves to see if gray whale mothers and calves are nearby.

Gray Whale illustration

Gray Whale

We’ve already seen Dana Point’s first blue whale of 2019, even though the season does not typically begin until May. Blue whales are the largest known animal to have ever lived on earth!

blue whale illustration

Blue Whale

This time of year we also see playful humpback whales, large and sleek fin whales, and curious minke whales, too. March blessed us with more humpback encounters (87!) than we’ve ever had in that month.

Humpback Whale Illustration

Humpback Whale

We also see orcas (killer whales) throughout the year. They can appear at any time, without warning, so have your camera ready! Or you might even have a rare encounter with pilot whales, false killer whales, or sperm whales. False killer whales paid us visit in early April!

Orca (killer whale) illustration


Hold on to your hats because we’re not done yet! Several species of wild dolphins are seen throughout the year, some in pods that can number up to 10,000. Imagine nothing but dolphins in every direction as far as the eye can see! And it’s during these cooler months that we see one of our favorite dolphins, the beautiful pacific white-sided dolphin They prefer cooler water temps, so now is the best time of year to view them! And that’s not all. Over 50 species of pelagic birds, sea lions, seals, and sharks, including the great white, mako, hammerhead, thresher, and more could be encountered.

Cetacean Declaration – Sightings Guarantee

Sightings Guarantee Capt Dave'sYou might be wondering, “what if I don’t see anything”? Though we locate whales or dolphins on over 95% of our trips, there are rare occasions when we don’t see any marine mammals. And in that unlikely event – zero whales or dolphins – you can return for FREE within one year from the date of the trip.

Join us for the adventure of a lifetime! Book your Dana Point dolphin and whale watching tour now!