Whale Watching Frequently Asked Questions

This Seasons Sightings: Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales Dolphin Sightings include Common Dolphin, Pacific White Sided Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin Please note that there is NO better time for seeing whales or dolphin as they pass by 24 hours/day!

Questions About Whale Watching

  • Chevron down Are we guaranteed to see whales?
  • Sightings are guaranteed, meaning that if you do not see a marine mammal (whale OR dolphin), we’ll give you a voucher for a free trip!

  • Chevron down When is whale watch season?
  • It’s always whale watch season at Dana Wharf! Gray Whale season starts the day after Thanksgiving every year (Nov 28), and typically runs until the end of April (April 30). January to March are the peak times for Gray whales, and coincide with our annual Festival of Whales. Blue Whale season runs from May until November. Whatever the season, we also typically see pods of dolphin, sea lions, squadrons of pelican and other sea faring birds.

  • Chevron down What is the best time of the day to see whales?
  • Whales migrate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no “best” time to see whales, but the weather on the water tends to be calmer in the morning.

  • Chevron down How close do we get to the whales?
  • The Marine Mammal Protection Act requires that we stay 100 yards away from the whales, but some may swim right up to the boat! Dolphins usually come very close, but we do not touch, swim with, or feed the wildlife.

  • Chevron down How far does the boat go out?
  • Gray whales are coastal navigators, so usually we travel about a mile offshore. The same is generally true for Blue whales. The boat does have the range of up to 7 miles if needed.

About Dana Wharf

Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching is dedicated to helping locals and visitors alike enjoy the unique wonders of Dana Point Harbor and the Orange County coastline. The warm waters right out of Dana Point Harbor are flourishing with sea life including whales, dolphins, harbor seals, and California sea lions. Our thriving coastal waters provide bountiful fishing of sand bass, calico bass, halibut, bonito, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, and dorado. Whether you’re looking for boat rentals in Dana Point to enjoy a private boat charter, sailboat or catamaran, coming for an awe-inspiring whale watching cruise or wanting to create memories onboard our sportfishing charters, one thing is for certain: your trip through the beautiful and scenic Orange County coast will be unforgettable. Dana Wharf is conveniently located in Dana Point, Orange County, just south of Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach – about 30 minutes south of Disneyland, an hour south of Los Angeles and an hour north of San Diego.

World Cetacean Alliance logoProud Partner of the World Cetacean Alliance
The World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) is the world’s largest Partnership working to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans). Partners of the WCA aim to conserve and protect cetaceans and their habitats in the world’s oceans, seas and rivers, to ensure their continued survival.