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Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari

Quick Details

Signature Whale Watching Trip
Children Ages 1-12
Infants Up to 12 mo.
Zodiac Whale Watching Trip
Person Ages 8 and up

Dana Point’s Highest Rated Whale Watching Experience

Opt outside and connect with nature! You deserve a safe trip on an uncrowded boat. Capt. Dave’s has always practiced social distancing, and now to keep people safe, we are offering more space than ever before. Our cruises are 100% outdoors from start to finish. Relax, unwind, and enjoy the refreshing ocean air while you get up-close and personal with magnificent gray whales, fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales, possibly orcas, and more. You’ll be wowed by up to five different species of amazing wild dolphins, including mega-pods that can number in the thousands! You could also see sea lions and seals, pelagic birds, and various species of fish, including sharks.

We depart from Dana Point, the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World!® All of our remarkable experiences have live narration from expert naturalists and Mrs. Capt. Dave’s legendary triple fudge brownies are served as a special treat at the end of your cruise.

Signature Dolphin & Whale Super-Safe Safari on MANUTE’A – Our Most Popular Experience

  • Two Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. Go underwater and, without getting wet, feel what it’s like to swim with dolphins and whales.
  • Originators of the Eye-Spy viewing platform! Three Eye-Spy Dolphin & Whale Tram Nets put wildlife inches below your feet.
  • Although Manute’a is Coast Guard certified to carry up to 49 guests, for safe social distancing we are limiting capacity.
  • Micro-museum with whale and dolphin artifacts.
  • Catamaran sailboat. Very stable!
  • Manute’a is cleaned with CDC-approved products in between cruises.

Zodiac Dolphin & Whale Super-Safe Safari – Our Fastest Experience

  • Extremely low to the water. Wildlife at your fingertips!
  • The fastest whale watching boat in Dana Point! More speed can equal more whales and dolphins.
  • Although our Zodiac-style vessels are Coast Guard certified to carry as many as 26 guests, for social distancing we’re reducing capacity.
  • Zodiac-style = Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB). Super stable!
  • Upscale with large sunshade and heavily padded seats and seatbacks.
  • The Zodiac is cleaned with CDC-approved products in between cruises.

Why Captain Dave’s? Because you and your family deserve the very best!

  • Five-star customer ratings, the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 10 consecutive years, and a proud recipient of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame award since its inception
  • Our trips to see dolphins and whales are the highest rated in Dana Point according to Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor. We offer the best customer service!
  • Customized vessels and exclusive features including Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods, Eye-Spy Tram Nets, micro-museum with whale and dolphin artifacts and more
  • Captain Dave’s unique catamarans are never crowded with a maximum of 12 to 49 passengers, depending on the vessel, for an intimate whale watching experience.
  • We are a real eco-tourism company providing only sustainable wildlife viewing. No fishing = no animal bycatch and less ocean pollution.
  • Our knowledgeable marine naturalists explain how these animals live for a fun and educational oceanic adventure that adults and children of all ages will love.
  • Captain Dave and rescue team members have been recognized worldwide for their conservation and whale rescue efforts.
  • Mrs. Captain Dave’s famously yummy triple fudge brownies are served complimentary on every whale watching trip.
  • Home of Dana Point’s most viewed YouTube Channel with over 31 million views, featuring breathtaking footage of whales, dolphins, sharks, and more. Subscribe to our channel!
  • We give back to the community via meal packing and donations and by partnering with like-minded organizations such as Sea Shepherd and Dolphin Project for fundraising.

Captain Dave is a marine naturalist, passionate conservationist, photographer, award-winning filmmaker and author, and whale watching captain. A founder of Orange County’s first whale disentanglement group, Captain Dave was a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to raise awareness of bycatch from fishing gear entanglement. He is often called upon as an authority on wild dolphins and whales, and was a keynote speaker at the LA Drone Expo for his spectacular use of drones to film whales and dolphins in his acclaimed video “Drones Over Dolphin Stampede and Whales off Dana Point and Maui”. Videos and photographs from Captain Dave’s safaris have been featured on ABC’s Good Morning AmericaCBS This MorningNBC Nightly News, and The Today Show, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and in feature films including the Academy Award-nominated film Racing Extinction.

Reservations, schedule, and information: 949-488-2828 or visit

Dana Wharf Whale Watching The Original 2-Hour Whale Watching Trip

Simply the best – from the originators of whale watching in Orange County and voted #1 five years in a row by Dana Point Times!

Ocean Institute Pacific Marine Exploration Cruise Come aboard the R/V Sea Explorer

Join the Ocean Institute’s marine educators in exploring the ocean from top to bottom, while searching for some of the world’s largest and smallest creatures during our 2.5-hour long marine life exploration program.

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