My cohort in crime 4-year-old Alice and I were invited on a Whale Watching Trip from Hornblower San Diego. Let me tell you, Monday afternoon couldn’t have been more beautiful of a day. 82º bright blue sky’s!! A SERIOUSLY beautiful clear day, perfect for Whale Watching!
Our experience was amazing start to finish! Parking couldn’t be easier, with a parking lot directly next to the pier. Straight $10 parking per day. Head to the ticket booths located in front of the docks at Navy Float 970 N. Harbor Drive San Diego California. Tickets run $40 per person Monday through Friday. $45 per person Saturday and Sunday’s. Children 4 through 12 are half price). There are two cruises daily. Departing the dock at 9:30 am and arriving back at 1:00 p.m. The second cruise sails at 1:30 p.m and arrives back at the dock at 5 p.m.
What a great learning trip! If you plan to be in the San Diego area and definitely if you LIVE here this has to be on top of your MUST experience bucket list. If you love dolphins and whales this is the excursion FOR YOU!! Do not forget your camera. If you have a long range lenses I would suggest using that as well as setting your camera for the highest pixels because you will want to blow these photos up!!
The Hornblower yacht was super comfortable. Well staffed and expertly powered by Captain Jules Peet. The boat had a lot of people on board but it never felt crowded. We could have stood at the rail with my camera in hand the entire voyage if we wanted it or I should say if ALICE wanted!! That’s another thing, Alice is normally shy around strangers, VERY shy, which you would have never known because Alice interacted with the crew and passengers like she was part of The Hornblower crew. Alice had no problem going from deck to deck unassisted; meaning I didn’t have to carry her. There are plenty of places to sit both inside and outside. Even tables set up outside on deck. There is truly plenty places to hang out. Also on board are plenty of bathrooms; men and women’s. There is a snack bar that even features hot food. I would suggest grabbing your hot pretzel right away. Those yummies sell out fast. There is a full bar, sodas, water and ginger ale in case you get on board and realize you do get sea sick. Since the weather was SO hot (Yes, in February 82º !!) Alice and I opted to sit inside the climate controlled area to cool off every 30 minutes or so.
I would recommend bringing a sweatshirt because no matter how hot it is when the boat is moving it gets windy!!
When the boat leaves the port you’ll pass barking sea lions lounging on buoys. TONS of dolphins that appear to want to race the boat! Then when you are further out that’s when the legendary gray whales start popping up out of the water.
While all of this is happening the Captain and crew will tell you about the buildings, ships and landmarks around the harbor. Very interesting facts all the way around. Did you know that gray whales are known for migrating the longest distance of any mammal on Earth!! I also learned that humans have 7 neck bones and that huge gray whale that is the size of a BUS has 7 neck bones. AMAZING!!
The round trip tour lasts 3½ hours. Between the Hornblower Crew and the VOLUNTEER Naturalists from the San Diego Natural History Museum. You’ll leave the cruise feeling like you learned A LOT!
There is so much to love about Hornblower; like the fact if you don’t see some type of whale during your trip, Hornblower will give you a pass for another cruise. HOW cool is that?!
Hornblower Cruises’ San Diego Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventures are educational cruises and visual experiences for people who love sea birds, dolphins, sea lions and whales. Highlights of the cruise include pods of hundreds of dolphins plus an informative harbor cruise around the north end of the Big Bay. Enjoy a memorable three-and-a-half-hour whale-watching cruise on San Diego’s largest and fastest whale watching yachts, offering the most comfortable climate-controlled boats in Southern California. If the tour doesn’t see whales, all guests are given a “Whale Check” to come back for free.
NOTE: The whale watching vessel cruises in the open ocean. Our yacht is the most comfortable yacht in San Diego, due to stabilizers that greatly reduce the yacht’s motion. Still, if seasickness is a concern, getting fresh air on the sun deck or taking over-the-counter anti-seasickness medicine prior to your cruise might help.
I know you’re wondering ‘where are my whale pictures?! I demand WHALES and Dolphins!” I want to mention just how lucky y’all are, the first video I created had more photo’s of Alice than marine life. THE HUSBAND suggested I change it. He must not read my blog! I tell you guys all the time “I have a blog SO I CAN show you pictures of the Grandkids!!” But, I took them (most of them; okay fine, I took out 4). Here is our day at sea with Hornblower San Diego.
Here is a cruise that my oldest daughter will be excited about!
Not a single one. Great company. Fantastic weather!! An absolutely memorable day made possible by the outstanding crew of The Hornblower and the Naturalists from the San Diego Natural History Museum. Alice and I highly recommend this tour!!
Thank you Hornblower for our wonderful trip! We WILL be back!!