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Captain Dave's Dolphin
&Whale Watching Safari

Dana Point’s Highest-Rated Whale Watching Experience

“We’ve gone to other companies at both Dana Point and Newport Beach, but Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari are the gold standard for consistent experiences.” – 5-star review from kelpzone/Tripadvisor

Quick Details

Departure times: View the calendar for available times

Tour duration: 2-2.5 hours

Event dates: March 2 and 3, 2024

Specials: For a limited time SAVE 24% in 2024 instantly when you book our 2.5-hour Signature Safari or 2-hour Zodiac Safari

Connect with nature on a one-of-a-kind catamaran with the world’s only underwater viewing pods, or Dana Point’s only high-speed zodiacs. Experience a 5-star, uncrowded, up-close and personal view of majestic gray whales, fin whales, humpback whales, and more. You’ll be wowed by up to five different species of amazing dolphins, including mega-pods that can number in the thousands! Other wildlife includes sea lions, birds, sharks, and more.

“Better than Sea World, The Zoo and LegoLand so that says a lot!” – 5-star review from Angela L./Tripadvisor

“I’m a marine biologist and I’ve been on whale watching trips all over the globe. Captain Dave’s is one of the best operations I’ve experienced. Their staff is outstanding, the boat is exceptional (underwater viewing pods are UNREAL) and their knowledge and concern for wildlife and conservation issues is obvious in everything they do. I cannot recommend them highly enough.” – 5-star review from Valerie P./Tripadvisor

Signature Whale Watching Trip



Ages 1-12


Up to 12 mo.




Zodiac Whale Watching Trip




Ages 6+



Dana Point is the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World® and the first Whale Heritage Site in the Americas. All of our remarkable experiences have live narration from expert naturalists or biologists, and Mrs. Capt. Dave’s legendary triple fudge brownies are served as a special treat.

Our safaris are eco-friendly and we are a Responsible Whale Watching operator certified by the World Cetacean Alliance.

Signature Dolphin & Whale Safari on MANUTE’A
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.

  • Uncrowded, up to 49 passengers with plenty of elbow room and comfortable seating for all.

  • Micro-museum with whale and dolphin artifacts.

  • Catamaran sailboat. Very stable!

Zodiac Dolphin & Whale Safari – Fastest Experience

  • Extremely low to the water. Wildlife at your fingertips!

  • Our fastest whale-watching boat! More speed can equal more time with wildlife.

  • Up to 20 passengers.

  • Zodiac-style = Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB). Super stable!

  • Comfortable with a large sunshade and heavily padded seats.


“We do a whale watching trip with Captain Dave’s every year. Every. Year. We used to go out on the big whale watching boats that are totally impersonal. They are cheap and, frankly, they suck. Captain Dave’s is a little pricey but it’s worth it. Once you do this tour, you’ll never go back to the cheapo companies. The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly. The experience is completely intimate because the boats are very small.  You will probably see whales and you will almost certainly see dolphins. Hundreds of them. Some of them will be just a few feet from you. You read that right. Sometimes you get what you pay for. This is that place.”
– 5-star review from Craig W./Yelp for fundraising.

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

Connect with Us on Social Media

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter for amazing videos, photos, and the latest sightings of whales, dolphins, and more.

Book Now!

Book Signature Safari

Book Zodiac Safari

More Whale Watching Trips


Dana Wharf
Whale Watching


Ocean Institute Pacific Marine Exploration Cruise

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