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Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari
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US$65.00*
and up
Dana Point Whale Watching and Dolphin Watching Eco-Safari
Ranked #1 of 20 Tours in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Whale watch with Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point on our high-tech sailing catamaran year round, with two Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. For 20 years Captain Dave's has provided daily trips to see dolphins, up to 10,000 strong, leap and play right off our bow, plus Gray Whales (December through April), Blue Whales (May through November), and year round Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, and so much more. Go underwater with whales and dolphins without getting wet during your whale watch in our Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods aboard Manute'a. Listen to dolphins during your whale watching safari with our underwater Hydrophone. Celebrity and certified naturalists make this exciting Dana Point whale watching excursion educational and entertaining too. Mrs. Capt. Dave's famous triple-fudge brownies make this a one-of-a-kind dolphin and whale watching adventure unforgettable. We are a real Eco-tourism company providing only sustainable wildlife viewing. Ask about Fast Cat, our upscale Rigid Hull Inflatable Catamaran and the newest boat in our whale watching fleet.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 14, 2015 via mobile

I have done whale watching before. This is a whole new level. We are not talking 2 hours out to hopefully see something and then two hours back. We chose the smaller catamaran, which really let's you get up close. I know it's not always like this, but these guys are really good. It went like this...

1) Board boat
2) As soon as you leave the harbor cue the sea lions
3) Sea Lions check...now cue the blue whales
4) Blue whales check...now cue the bottle nose Dolphins. Oh and throw in Patches. The most famous dolphin on the west coast. Oh and make sure to throw in some 20+ ft high jumps.
5) Bottle nose Dolphins and Patches check...now cue about 300 common dolphin complete with aerial displays.
6) Common Dolphins check. Let's add one last humpback whale on the way into the harbor.
7) Throw in a few more sea lions for good measure
8) Thanks for coming. Please enjoy these amazing brownies.

It was an unbelievable experience for the whole family.

7  Thank whetraveler73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2015

Hi,

Thanks so much for your review and beautiful photos. I especially enjoyed reading your play-by-play of the safari. It was very entertaining and funny! It’s so gratifying to read how pleased you were with the whole Capt. Dave’s dolphin and whale watching experience. I’m very happy that you had such a full range of incredible animal sightings while on board our original catamaran DolphinSafari.com, including our buddy Patches. Our first recorded sighting of Patches was in 2006 and since then this uniquely pigmented Bottlenose Dolphin has been sighted up and down the coast of California. Thank you for coming out with us. We hope you will join us again, and we will do our best to provide a trip that is just as exceptional!

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328 - 332 of 811 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2015

If you want to see Sea life including Whales, Dolphins and friendly Sea Lions Captain Dave knows where to find them . My Family asked if I wanted to join them on a tour in San Diego ( they had arranged a Groupon) so I reluctantly agreed . I never had a rougher ride Had to hang on to the rail all the way or get thrown about. We did not even see one whale or dolphin. The biggest attraction was birds. They did offer a coupon of 50% off next visit but why bother ? Dana Point is a better launch point and no one is better than him for knowing all the active spots. Whenever you see clips of Whales it is from Capt. Dave's boats. He is the Man ! His knowledge is unsurpassed. Afterward you can walk around the Dana Point Harbor and enjoy shopping and dining ! This is a "must do" experience at least once!

4  Thank beachbabelagunabeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2015

Hi,

Thank you so much for your review. I’m glad to read that you enjoyed your dolphin and whale watching tour with Capt. Dave’s! He is a true authority in this field and typically our trips do see dolphins or whales, or both, along with other marine wildlife such as sea lions, sharks, fish, birds, and more. It’s great that you were also able to take advantage of our beautiful, convenient location in Dana Point to make a day of it. Thanks again for coming out with us, and I hope we’ll see you soon.

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Reviewed July 9, 2015

While vacationing in Southern CA with our kids and grandkids we scheduled a whale watching trip. It was a great experience. Saw many dolphins, 3 whales and even the dorsal fin of a shark. My grand kids said it was the best part of the vacation. The staff was fun, friendly and professional.

3  Thank hate2stayhome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2016

Hi,

Thank you so much for your review. It’s definitely a special experience to share amazing dolphin and whale sightings with your family. I’m also glad you liked our crew, and we are very pleased to be the highlight of your grandkids’ vacation! We’d love to see you on another trip soon.

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Reviewed July 8, 2015

We had a great day out on Capt. Dave's Whale Watching Safari. We saw a humpback and several gray whales. It was very exciting to find a pod of dolphins and sail along with them for about 30 minutes. The staff was very knowledgeable and respected the animals by leaving distance between the boat and them.

1  Thank czarinalex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2016

Hi,

Thank you for your review! I’m so glad you enjoyed your time with the beautiful wild dolphins as they swam alongside the boat. It’s wonderful that you also had the exciting encounters with Gray and Humpback Whales, and that you liked our crew. I hope we will see you on another dolphin and whale watching safari soon!

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Reviewed July 8, 2015

I had always wanted to go whale watching, so seized the moment on a recent trip. Captain Dan came highly recommended by our time share, so we went with his company. Good choice! The staff was excellent and highly informed. We learned a ton.

At first it seemed we might not get lucky- on quick sighting of a Minky (sp?) whale. But then we followed a huge pod of dolphins- amazing! We took advantage of the special underwater viewing section of the boat to get a really close look. TIP: skip that if you're maybe even sort of prone to seasickness. I was fine until I tried it, not so great for the rest of the trip... My kids went down twice and didn't feel even the least bit queasy. Darn getting older!

Our captain was taking us back in when he heard reports of a possible blue or humpback whale. After confirming that no one would be inconvenienced if we stayed out longer, he took us off in search of it- and found it! It turned out to be a blue whale- and apparently only 1% of humans ever see one! We got so close; it was awesome.

Everyone, from my 11-year-old to my 70-year-old mom, had a wonderful time.

And the chocolate fudge brownies handed out at the end didn't hurt, either ;-)

4  Thank Samantha H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2016

Hi,

Thank you for leaving us a review! I’m so happy your whole family had a great time on your dolphin and whale watching tour aboard our catamaran Manute’a. Some people do experience discomfort during our trips, but there are lots of things passengers can do to feel better, including taking advantage of the various seasickness remedies we have for sale at our Dolphin Deck, and by relaxing at the back of the boat where it is more stable with lots of fresh air. I’m glad that the slight motion sickness did not prevent you from enjoying the exciting up-close sightings of the endangered Blue Whale, Minke whale, and dolphins! Thanks so much for coming out with us, and we’ll see you next time.

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