Ocean Institute Whale Watching and More

Ocean Institute Education Center

March 2, 3, 9, 10
Magical Migration at the Ocean Institute – Ocean Education Center 10 AM to 3 PM During the second festival weekend, a hands-on journey into the mysterious and captivating world of whales will allow visitors to explore a variety of fascinating phenomena unique to these magnificent animals. Guests follow the migration of the gray whale as they move through the facility, starting in Baja, moving on to the California Coast, and ending up in Alaska.

Along the way there will be opportunities to investigate how whales communicate and eat, to see how changes to the marine environment affects them, and to learn about ongoing research.

Admission: $10.00 Adults; $7.50 Children 3-12 & Seniors 55+

For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

Ocean Institute Parking information: The Ocean Institute offers free parking for our guests. During this busy festival weekend, there is a FREE trolley service that offers drop off at and pick up service near the Ocean Institute approximately every 15 minutes to multiple parking lots throughout the Harbor and Doheny State Beach.


March 2, 3, 9, 10
Join the Ocean Institute as we explore the history of sailing along the California shore. Learn how sailing impacted development of Dana Point, interactive history talks about Richard Henry Dana Jr., whaling exhibition, tours of the historic tall ship, the Brig Pilgrim, and more. Hours: 10AM to 3PM Last admission at 2:15pm

Pacific Marine Exploration Cruise aboard the R/V Sea Explorer: 10:00 am and 1:30 pm
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.

First, learn how scientists identify the largest mammals on earth based on their unique characteristics in an optional pre-cruise Mammal Talk. Then, embark on the R/V Sea Explorer to test your new knowledge as we search for whales, dolphins, and sea lions. Lastly, assist the Ocean Institute staff in collecting samples of sea floor mud and the smallest organisms on earth – phytoplankton and zooplankton! We are pleased to provide the area’s only whale watching program that allows your family to be a scientist for the day!

Pricing: Adults $35.00; Children (12 and under; minimum age 4): $15.00 Members receive a 10% discount. Weekend admission to the Institute is included with the sail ticket purchase.

For more information or reservations, please visit www.ocean-institute.org or call 949- 496-2274.

March 9 6:00 pm
Whale Songs & Other Tails from the Opera: A Musical Event with Lyric Opera of Orange County
Opera returns to the Ocean Institute to help celebrate the Gray Whale migration! Join us for a beautiful evening of whale song, cat calls, bird trills, and other operatic animal music plus refreshments overlooking the high seas at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. An elegant evening of eclectic opera, with a view you won’t want to miss. Ticket sales beginning in 2019.