Blue Whale Watching In San Diego

Summer Blue Whale Watching

During the Summer months just offshore San Diego we have the amazing opportunity to find and observe Blue Whales; the largest animal the Earth has ever known. The group of Blue Whales that spend their Summers feeding in the coastal waters of Southern California are part of the Eastern Northern Pacific Population, consisting of an estimated 2,000 Blue Whales. These massive mammals spend the majority of their time feeding on tiny shrimp-like creatures called krill, with adults consuming up to 8,000 pounds a day. Blue Whales will most often be found in or near areas of upwelling; where cooler, nutrient-rich water makes its way towards the Ocean's surface, bringing the much needed krill with it.

Blue Whale Showing Fluke Before A Deep Dive (Photo Courtesy of John J. King)

Luckily, we experience multiple upwelling events within fifteen miles of San Diego Bay. These areas are the destination for San Diego Luxury Sailing's Blue Whale Watching excursions. On these excursions, we will target certain areas based on recent trends and conditions.

The trips begin mid-morning, leaving from Cabrillo Isle Marina, located behind the airport Sheraton. This welcoming marina is easy to find, features free parking, and full restroom facilities. Upon arriving at the marina, you will be greeted by myself who will escort you down to the fully provisioned yacht so you can settle in for your unforgettable adventure.

As we make way out of San Diego Bay to the Pacific Ocean, we will sail by many of San Diego's historic sights and landmarks; giving you an up close look at the Naval Marine Mammal Training Facility, North Island Naval Complex, Naval Base Point Loma, The Cabrillo National Monument, and The Point Loma Lighthouse. Simply take in the sights or ask about the history behind the landmarks. Beyond the Point Loma Lighthouse is all open ocean, and the whale watching begins.          

Blue Whale Spout Towering Over 20 Feet (Photo Courtesy of John J. King)

Although sailing to the areas of upwelling takes about forty-five minutes, the towering Blue Whale spouts can often be spotted as soon as we clear Point Loma. Each time the Whales breach the surface to exhale, the water resting on their blowholes shoots straight up, reaching heights of thirty feet which allows us to locate whales that are miles away. Once an individual or a pod is located, we will continue to track the Whale until we get about one hundred yards from the animal. We will sail alongside these amazing mammals in complete silence, creating the most enjoyable Whale watching experience possible. I've had dozens of encounters with whales from this group so I am able to share the certain trends and educate you on the behaviors that you're observing. 

We will cover lots of water in search of Blue Whales so we often come across other species of Whales and Dolphin. We have the opportunity to spot Fin, Humpback, Minke, Orca, and Gray Whales. Most of the Whale species tend to hang amongst each other so we often see multiple species on our voyages.

The different Dolphins that we have a chance to see offshore are the Pacific Common, Pelagic Bottle Nose, Pacific White-Sided, and Risso's Dolphins. These Dolphin are typically extremely friendly and will come right up to the boat for some people watching and bow riding (seen below).    

Pacific White-Sided Dolphin Riding The Bow

After spending ample time viewing wildlife your yacht will sail back towards San Diego Bay. Take in the ever-changing panoramic views as America's Finest City approaches. Sightings of multiple species of whales and dolphins coupled with the perfect weather and beautiful views are certain to captivate everyone on the yacht, creating a day to remember on the Pacific Ocean. 


-Capt. Brock Passarella