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Family Whale Watching Cruise with Dana Wharf Sportfishing: Dana Point, California

Visiting Southern California? Looking for a little family fun and adventure? Well, I’ve got just the ticket: whale watching!


Dolphins and Blue Whales, Dana Point, CA


My family and I got the pleasure of joining a boat full of adventurers with Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching. We drove up to the Orange County area in Southern California and went on the 5pm cruise. It was the perfect time, not too hot as it is during the day, and the sightings were amazing!

Dana Pride Boat, Whale Watching, California


Once we hopped onto the Dana Pride, we found a seat and got comfortable. We were getting ready to head out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean! As we set sail, the captain of the boat gave an overview of the area and the species that tend to visit the nearby waters. The kids were excited, it was their first time on a “real” boat. The Small World ride at Disneyland just doesn’t count!


This is the view of Dana Point, CA from the boat…


View of Dana Point California coast line, Pacific Ocean


As the boat increased speed, the kids enjoyed looking over the edge at the chopping water. Then, it happened…


The great blue whale


Blue Whale Dana Point Harbor, California


About 5 minutes in, the captain announced that he had seen a whale come up just ahead. He sped over to the area, very politely though, and we waited for it to come back up. When it did, gasps were heard all over the boat. These creatures are absolutely majestic, demanding attention as they come up to the surface for air. My husband is not a huge outdoorsy guy, but even he was thrilled. Look closely at the photo above, you can see the air coming out of his/her blow hole.  The whale came up about 5 – 6 times for air, then disappeared into the sea. Nature is amazing.


Dolphins galore!


Bottle nose dolphins, Dana Point, California


After a few more blue whale sightings, we cruised a little further out to see what we could find. To our luck, a dolphin pod was passing through the area. This was the highlight of the trip! I could see dozens of them frolicking in the waves made by our boat. They were definitely not shy! Our captain decided to make waves in a donut fashion and put those dolphins to work. Apparently, they are very playful and love to trail boats, so they started swimming after us, jumping around in the waves and playing about. It was so much fun!


Watch the bottle nose dolphins in action…



Whale watching with Dana Wharf was a great experience. When you visit SoCal, I highly recommend that you add this to your itinerary! It is close to many attractions, within about 1 hour driving distance of Los Angeles, Disneyland in Anaheim, Knott’s Berry Farm and San Diego. They also have fishing tours and sailboat excursions if that “floats your boat”. Haha couldn’t help the corny joke! The whale watching cruise is 2 hours, designed for all ages, and has a snack bar and ample seating and deck areas to observe. If you do not see and whales on your trip, you’ll get a free return ticket They want you to see it all, our captain actually allowed us to stayed out an extra 30 minutes after finding the dolphin pod. So much fun!

A bit of advice: If you get motion sickness, take Dramamine ahead of time. You’ll thank me!


Contact Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching



Address: Dana Wharf, 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA  92629

Telephone: (949) 496-5794

Reservations and online contact



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A huge thanks to Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching for hosting my family!




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