Frequently asked questions
Which time of day is best for whale watching?
All of our tours have an equal chance of finding wildlife. Typically the water is the most calm in the morning but the weather is usually the coldest. The water usually gets a little bumpier as the day goes on but the weather warms up and it is typically nice and sunny in the afternoon.
Am I guaranteed to see a whale on the tour?
We typically see whales, dolphins, sea-lions, and pelagic birds on all of our tours throughout the entire year, but we do not guarantee that you will see any specific wildlife species and do not offer discounts or free tours in the event that we do not find wildlife on the tour.
Is there an age limit for public or private tours?
Our public whale watching tours have a minimum age of 4 years old. We do not have a minimum age for private tours. We require private tours for infants, disabled, and pregnant passengers so that we can accommodate special circumstances for the safety of the passengers.
How likely am I to get sea-sick on a whale watching tour?
Our rigid inflatable boats are low profile which greatly reduces the chance of sea sickness. We do sell antihistamine medication for those who are sensitive and want to take precautions.
Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
Yes. With a limited number of passengers on our tours, we often sell out. Book as far in advance as you can to guarantee your desired day and time. You can make reservations for public or private tours by clicking on any of the Book Now links on our site.
Is it safe?
Absolutely! Our boats are RIBs, or Rigid-hull Inflatable Boats, with a hard fiberglass hull surrounded by inflated pontoons for extra stability. RIBs are popular for whale-watching in many other parts of the world. Ours is the first offering whale watching tours in San Diego. Our boats were designed for military patrol use and are built to the highest standards of safety and reliability.
What is the policy regarding cancellations and rescheduling?
For our public and private tours we allow rescheudling and cancellations free of charge for up to 48 hours prior to the tour. No refunds or rescheduling are available less than 48 hours before the tour, for any reason. For the tour to the Los Coronados Islands in Mexico, we do not offer refunds for the Mexico Visas once they are purchased.
When will I know if my tour will get resheduled?
We will give you as much notice as possible about any changes we need to make to your reservation. We have a minimum requirement of four passengers for a public tour. If we do not have enough passengers we reserve the right to reschedule or cancel your tour if necessary. We also try our best to avoid unfavorable weather conditions and may reschedule or cancel your tour due to weather.
Will our tour be cancelled if it rains?
Our tours are rain-or-shine. We typically do not cancel tours due to rain unless there will be unsafe conditions such as a small craft advisory or lightning. We will call you if we need to make any changes to your reservation due to weather.
Should I bring cash to tip my captain?
It is customary to give gratuity to boat captains who provide you with exemplary service. While most captains prefer cash, some of our captains also accept Venmo for tips. Standard service industry gratuity starts at 20% or approximately $20 per person and increases depending on the quality of the service provided.
What should I wear & what should I bring with me?
It is about 15 degrees cooler on the ocean than it is on land. You can also expect a wind chill when the boat is moving fast so we recommend bringing multiple layers including a sweatshirt and wind-breaker. Comfortable shoes that can handle the occasional splash is also recommended. You will also want to bring sunglasses and a hat that fits snug (so it won’t fly off when the boat is moving)!
What is the exact duration of the tour?
The whale and dolphin watching tour is between 2.5 – 3 hours long, depending on the time of year. In the winter, the days are shorter and the wildlife is found closer to shore so the tours are typically 2.5 hours long. In the summer, the days are longer and the wildlife stays a little farther out so the tours are closer to 3 hours long. Our boats typically go around 8 – 12 miles out from shore. Tour times vary depending on the day so please be flexible and allow plenty of time before and after the tour to accommodate any unexpected changes in timing.