California Boats


Magnificent Migrations of Gray and Blue Whales

DANA POINT - Whale Watching Trips. Search for whales, dolphin, sea lion and other exciting marine life! All cruises are narrated by our expert captains who will educate you on the abundant ocean life on our coast. Trips are all 2 hours long. Trips depart daily!  Location: 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, California. Call: (800) 979-3370.
  addition, discounted Big Bay Whale Days cruises will be featured all month at Hornblower Cruises and San Diego Harbor Excursion.

LONG BEACH  Harbor Breeze Cruises Whale Watching
Depart daily near Aquarium of the Pacific.

MARINA DEL REY: Marina Del Rey Whale Watch 
Whale watch season begins December 26th and runs through mid-April. Don't miss your chance to see the Pacific gray whale!

MONTEREY: Monterey Bay Whale Watch Trips

  • Chris' Whale Watching,
    Full service guided Family Friendly whale watching tours year around in the third largest deep submarine canyon in the world.
  • Monterey Bay Whale Watch
    84 Fisherman's Wharf. Year-round whale watching trips led by professional marine biologists. View humpback, blue, gray, and killer whales plus a variety of dolphins.
  • Princess Monterey Whale Watching
    Year round whale watching and wild life 2 1/2 - 3 hour fully narrated tours by marine biologists/naturalists.
  • Discovery Whale Watch
    66 Fisherman's Wharf. Daily 3-4-hour whale watch trips narrated by a marine biologist, naturalist

NEWPORT BEACH  Newport Landing Whale Watching Tours depart daily at Balboa Fun Zone.

REDONDO BEACH: Redondo Beach Whale Watch 
Weekdays and Weekends

SAN DIEGO Hornblower Cruises Whale Watching weekend trips for the tourist crowd. Wonderful experience takes you out into the Pacific.

SAN FRANCISCO Whale Watching Tours
Farallon Islands Whale Watch and Natural History Tour. This is a 6 hour natural history and whale watch tour that departs from PIER 39 Dock B and travels 27 miles outside the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands and the edge of the continental shelf! This tour gives you the most opportunity to see whales and other amazing marine wildlife!

SAN PEDRO Spirit Cruises offer a variety of harbor tours and whale watching
 The celebration is all about the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale with their newborn calves from the protected lagoons of western Baja to their ancestral feeding grounds in the cold waters of the Bering Sea. The migrating whales, numbering 18,000 - 23,000 individuals, pass by the Mendocino Coast twice each year: once going south between the months of November and February, and again going north between the months of February and June. Since they don't migrate simultaneously, not all the whales make it all the way to Baja. Some linger off shore and observations suggest that these are primarily the younger males. Newly pregnant females lead the northward migration, followed by males.

The California Gray Whale travels the longest distance on migration of any mammal. This species is the only whale whose year-round habits and whereabouts are well known.

Examinations of the stomachs of whales during the whaling days indicated that gray whales eat very little while migrating and while in calving areas. Thus, many whales may go without food for three to five months.

The animals travel south to the three major breeding and calving lagoons on the west coast of Baja California, Mexico: Laguna Ojo de Libre, San Ignacio Lagoon (also known as Scammon's Lagoon), and Magdalena Bay. Captain Charles Scammon charted many of these areas in the mid-1800s as he hunted gray whales.

The northbound migration begins with immature animals (some of which may not have gone all the way to Mexico), adult males, and females without calves. Breeding sometimes is observed at this time.

Calves usually are rambunctious but stay close to their mothers as they become more coordinated and develop an insulating blubber layer. Calves are at least a month old before they migrate north with their mothers. Mothers and calves are the last to leave the lagoons and move somewhat more slowly.

During the spring migration, if the weather is good, you can see whales within a few hundred yards of coastal headlands.

The full round-trip migration from the Baja calving lagoons to the Bering Sea and back is 10,000 miles (16,000 km), the longest known for any mammal. Other whales also are known to migrate between summer high latitude feeding grounds and more temperate low latitude breeding and calving areas. However, researchers know more about the gray whale because it moves so close to shore. This near-shore movement has led to speculation that gray whales navigate by staying in shallow water or keeping the surf noises to one side or the other depending upon their direction of travel.


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