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San Diego Whale Watching Cruise

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San Diego, United States
San Diego Whale Watching Cruise
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon4 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Overview

Go whale watching from San Diego aboard a replica of a historic sailing schooner that won the world’s first America’s Cup sailing competition in 1851. Throughout your cruise, your expert guide shares informative commentary about gray whales, dolphins, and other marine animals, along with details about the US Navy sites you pass as you head out on the Pacific Ocean.
  • Cruise on the sailing ship America from San Diego
  • Spot migrating whales and dolphins frolicking in the Pacific Ocean
  • Choose the only whale-watching cruise by sailing yacht in San Diego
  • Includes whale sighting and 'no seasickness' guarantee
Saved to wishlist!
4.5-hr sailing cruise
Sodas and snacks
Whale sighting guarantee: If you don't see a whale, you get to come back for free
No seasickness' guarantee: Lose your lunch, we get you a new one
9:00 AM trip: Check in between 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
11:00 AM trip: Check-in starts at 10:00 AM and ends at 10:30 AM
1:15 PM trip: Check in between 12:30 - 12:45
2:00 PM Trip: Check in between 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Free Parking. Check-in located next to parking lot.
Bring layers, blankets, and jackets. It can be cold on the water!
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop off
Next Level Sailing , 2050 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, USA

Check in opens an hour before departure time and closes 30 minutes before departure. Check in flag located across the street from the Best Western Island Palms Hotel and Blue Wave Bar & Grill. Please look at Inclusions/Exclusions for specific check in times. Abundant free parking at our location!

This activity will end right where it started.
Travel back in time when sailing on the America, a replica of the sailing ship that won the first America's Cup sailing competition in 1851. Your classic sailing vessel provides a smooth ride and spacious decks, perfect for sailing on the Pacific Ocean in search of gray whales and other marine life. Since your boat principally moves under wind power without using the engine, your captain can get closer to the marine animals without scaring them. The boat's deep keel provides excellent stability and large decks offer unobstructed views, making the America a prime vessel for whale-watching.

Snacks and drinks (non-alcoholic) are offered during the cruise. You are welcome to bring along a picnic lunch or your favorite bottle of wine to enjoy onboard.

Whale sightings are guaranteed on your cruise. If no whales are sighted, you can return for a complimentary whale watching cruise on another day in the same season. The America also provides a 'No Seasickness' guarantee.
Itinerary
Pass By:  
Old Point Loma Lighthouse
We sail past North Island Naval Air Station, US Navy Base Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma Lighthouse
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Please call if you have a wheelchair so we can discuss the boarding options as we have had guests with wheelchairs enjoy this experience. We do have 5 steps in order to board the vessel. There is a single step in the deck. Please call Thank you!
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 77 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Next Level Sailing
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during San Diego Whale Watching Cruise?
A:The policy on face masks and attendee health is:

  • Face masks provided for travelers
See all safety measures taken by San Diego Whale Watching Cruise.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during San Diego Whale Watching Cruise?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
See all safety measures taken by San Diego Whale Watching Cruise.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during San Diego Whale Watching Cruise?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by San Diego Whale Watching Cruise.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "I would recommend that you bring your own beverages and snacks." See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
958 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 958 reviews
star-5
So exciting, we got to...
Amy_M
, May 2022
So exciting, we got to see 2 blue whales! Crew was super nice and gave lots of information. Would definitely recommend
star-5
Incredible
Shawn_M
, May 2022
The “tail” of the whale!! We saw Blue Whales. One named bubbles gave us a spectacular show! To see the tail sticking straight up in the air was a once in a lifetime experience! The staff was very accommodating to everyone. I had some seasickness and they were right there helping me and giving me something to help. Definitely worth the trip.
star-5
Exceeded my expectations, amazing time
Stephanie_M
, May 2022
Amazing experience. The sailing alone is worth it, and the guide was so fun to listen to. Fathom gave all sorts of fun facts about various spots we were seeing while sailing out to the open ocean and was just a pleasure and so fun. No whales, because the waters were choppy and it was tough to see, but we get to come back and sail with them again because of their guarantee. 10/10 experience
star-5
So. Many. Dolphins !...
Linda_M
, May 2022
So. Many. Dolphins ! 🐬🐬🐬. Great ship. Nice folks. Beautiful day. Everyone did a nice job. We didn’t get to see a whale but it was still a wonderful day.
star-5
Must do
Dean_B
, May 2022
Great crew Boat is great Awesome sailing Very fun informative. Safe boat. Great sailing capable captain hood food
star-5
Nice adventure!
Jannine_J
, May 2022
Friendly crew, beautiful boat, great cruise. We really enjoyed our time on the boat. The crew was very helpful and knowledgeable!
star-5
Whale watching
Sharons_E
, May 2022
From beginning to end, it was a marvelous experience. Of course, you must enjoy the outdoors, wildlife, and boating. I loved it!
star-4
San Diego’s America on Sea
David_C
, May 2022
My most memorable of this experience was exploring out in the open ocean and got to see all of the view of the pacific, whole of San Diego, Coronado and Imperial Beach.
star-5
No whales today but amazing trip
Andrew_C
, May 2022
We holidayed around California this year, I pre booked the trip from the Uk which was easy and straightforward. From the check in to the end we were looked after. The crew were lovely, special shout out to Fathom (yes very aptly named) who took charge throughout the cruise. Lots of ice cold drinks and snacks provided on board. She gave a great commentary about the history and things we saw. Some of the guests were sea sick but I was amazed how well prepared the crew were with anti sickness meds and travel bands. The only downside was there were no whales to see on the day but I guess that’s nature. The company do give a free revisit for that reason, we will definitely be going again should we return to San Diego. Can highly recommend.
star-5
Beautiful weather and...
Gail_M
, May 2022
Beautiful weather and ride but no whales. They should let you know how likely you are to see a whale and warn people more about getting sick.
star-5
Lots of fun!
Kim_C
, May 2022
Very friendly crew and the excursion was fun. When you see a dog on a boat you know you made the right pick for an excursion. I loved the history behind the boat.
star-5
Wonderful
gator17999
, May 2022
Got up close with a fin whale. So cool! Crew is fantastic.. Seas were a bit rough, but the crew is tuned in and has multiple seasickness remedies at hand. Highly recommend.
star-5
Amazing Experience - mom and calf, fin whale
Adrienne_M
, Apr 2022
This was my favorite part of my whole trip to San Diego! This crew was amazing and hospitable. The boat is dog friendly and catering to any motion sickness. We saw dolphins, sea lions and Fin Whale with her calf! Amazing experience and will definitely be doing this again!
star-5
Wonderful crew, wonderful trip.
Samantha_G
, Apr 2022
This crew goes above and beyond for those that fall ill to sea sickness. They are knowledgeable and fun. Free snacks and drinks. When we came upon whales they stayed out a little longer so we could enjoy them.
star-5
It was really wonderful....
Rebeccah_A
, Apr 2022
It was really wonderful. I highly recommend this experience. We did not see whale so will definitely return.
star-1
'no seasickness' guarantee in the overview is misleading / a joke!
Vincent_D
, Apr 2022
I've used Viator for family trips to Chicago and San Diego and this is the first bad experience I've had with their service. Very disappointed that they would allow a misleading description for one of their tours. The only reason I booked this tour was because of the 'no seasickness' guarantee in the overview description. At least 1/2 of the passengers asked for the seasickness remedies they were providing. They ran out of buckets for passengers and had to start reusing buckets because so many people were throwing up! Apparently other passengers took the 'no seasickness' guarantee seriously when booking. I overheard one of the crew say that they were cancelling the tour the next day because of sea swells, our tour should have been cancelled that day, but it was sold out and I guess they didn't want to lose the $$$. 4 hours of torture for my wife. FYI, the guarantee is "Lose your lunch, we get you a new one". That must be their idea of humor. Nothing was offered other than buckets and seasickness remedies anyway, so I assume it was a joke. Not very funny and a waste of money for my family.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Our 'no seasickness' guarantee is certainly not a joke, this statement is false. We take the comfort of our guests very seriously. Unfortunately, it sounds like this trip was not a good representation of our standard whale watching trips. The actual sea state that day was not as predicted, giving rise to a very uncomfortable voyage. Due to the nature of Trip Advisor, I am not able to see the reservation linked to this review. Kindly call me at your convenience so we can remedy this situation immediately. My number is 619-922-6215 and my email is fathom@nextlevelsailing.com. Thank you.
star-4
Lovely boat but not made...
Eleanor_P
, Apr 2022
Lovely boat but not made for comfort. Unfortunately, despite good effort to find whales, we saw only a few spouts. Nice crew, lovely dogs, but not sure I would go again. One crew member did education for kids which I thought was great, but sound system made general commentary to passengers difficult to hear.
star-5
Excellent Cruise
Darlene_L
, Apr 2022
I can say everyone enjoyed themselves. We did not see any whales, but we were able to see a stampede of dolphins (hundreds) that swam all around the sailboat. They were very informative and included the kids in a group circle showing different things about whales. They told everyone they can come back free of charge for another day trip to see the whales. I would definitely recommend this cruise.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Thank you so much for your review! We really appreciate it. I am glad to hear you had a good time. Please come back for your free trip. Just give us a call 619-922-6215 or email us info@nextlevelsailing.com. We can't wait to see you again soon!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
A Must To Do when visiting San Diego!
Lea_S
, Apr 2022
The staff was so amazing and friendly! They go above and beyond to make sure this is so memorable for you. The boat 🚤 was amazing and just a fun and relaxing trip. They are even prepared if you start to feel any motion sicknesses, they think of every detail to make you feel pampered. We were very fortunate to actually see a mama gray whale and her baby calf! It was spectacular 🤩. We also saw baby common Dolphins and their mamas as well! Worth every penny! Don’t hesitate or think twice just book with them, you won’t be disappointed 🎉!
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Thank you so much for your wonderful review! We really appreciate it. I am thrilled to hear you had a wonderful time. Thank you for all your great feedback. We can't wait to see you next time :)
star-5
San Diego Must-do
Alennah_C
, Apr 2022
My husband and I had a great time. The staff was wonderful—friendly, well-informed, and super helpful. We both felt seasick but caught it in time because the staff on the ship were proactive and provided remedies to help (bracelets, ginger chews, essential oils, etc.). The views were beautiful and we saw a lot of wildlife—whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and fish. The ship itself also felt a little unique, which was a refreshing difference from usual tourist trips.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Thank you for your review. I am glad to hear that we were able to make you feel better! We sincerely appreciate your feedback. We can't wait to see you next time you are you in town!

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