Since attending the Dana Point Festival of Whales 2014 we have been looking forward to returning to Dana Point in the summer to see blue whales. The potential to see the biggest creature on earth in its natural environment was a great learning opportunity for my daughter. While it’s never guaranteed you’ll see anything specific on a whale watching tour, when you go on a tour with Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching if you don’t get a good showing of whales or dolphins, you will get your ticket back and are invited to come out again! The “whale checks” never expire. Our experience summer whale watching in Dana Point, California with Dana Wharf was excellent. Not only did we see blue whales but we also other marine animals including dolphins and a shark!
We checked in for our whale watching tour and walked along the dock before our whale watching tour began. Earlier in the year we interviewed a Dana Wharf captain to learn tips for whale watching with children. My daughter pointed out she saw the captain as we walked along the dock. It was great getting to see him again while we were waiting for our tour. Dana Wharf is a family owned business with captains committed to teaching children about ocean conservation while leading family friendly whale watching tours and fishing excursions.
My daughter was anxious to get on the boat and start our adventure and she was very excited to see the boat coming in to dock. She met the deckhand, Aloha, and happily walked down the deck to the boat with him.
We boarded the Ocean Adventures catamaran for a safety demonstration before moving to open water. We learned where to locate the life vests and what to do in an emergency.
Dana Wharf has a fleet of different whale watching vessels. The Ocean Adventures catamaran is the newest vessel and can hold up to 49 passengers. The boat has seating inside and a large viewing deck. The roomy boat features a snack bar and restrooms. My daughter found a great seat and couldn’t wait to start looking for whales.
It didn’t take long before a pod of Common dolphins were swimming next to the catamaran.
The dolphins swam below the boat and we could hear them communicating with each other.
Later we saw Bottlenose dolphins riding the wake from the boat.
During our two and a half hour whale watching tour we saw multiple Blue whales. The crew pointed out the whales and shared educational information. We were in awe seeing the beautiful whales in the ocean.
Then we were surprised by a Hammerhead shark. The shark swam right next to the boat and was very close to the surface. At an estimated 10 feet (using the boat as a reference), it was incredible to see the shark!
Our whale watching tour with Dana Wharf was a great experience. My daughter learned so much from the crew and seeing the marine animals.
We created great family memories and can’t wait for another great adventure with Dana Wharf!
What you should know when booking a whale watching tour with Dana Wharf:
- Tuesdays are half price all year.
- You can receive discounts by signing up for the Dana Wharf email club.
- Evening whale watching tours are available for a unique experience.
- 2-hour whale watching tours depart daily.
- Regular prices: Adults $45, Seniors 55+ $35, Kids 3-12 $25, 2 and under free.
The Dana Wharf kids club offers even more savings and fun merchandise to wear all year. For just a $39 annual membership, your child will receive a free 2-hour whale watching tour and always receive $10 off kids prices for other whale watching tours.
Dana Wharf supports Whale Research
Dana Wharf supports the research of Dr. Lei Lani Stelle, Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Redlands. Dr. Stelle and her students are investigating human impacts on marine mammal populations in the Southern California Bight. The research includes surveying local waters and recording sighting of all species, taking notes of and photographing behaviors, and recording location by GPS. Dr. Stelle has plans to share a mobile app for everyone to help in the data collection. Anyone with a smart phone will soon be able to share their sightings.
See the Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching schedule and book your tour today!
Disclosure: My family received a complimentary whale watching tour and souvenirs from Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching. All opinions are my own.