Insider's Guide to San Diego

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

Get the
Inside Scoop

Privacy Policy

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 24 Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
  • Location:San Diego, California
  • Duration:4 hours (approx.)

San Diego Whale Watching Cruise and Maritime Museum Entry

Go whale-watching from San Diego aboard a replica of a historic sailing schooner that won the world’s first America’s Cup sailing competition in 1851. Throughout your 4-hour cruise, your expert guide shares informative commentary about gray whales, dolphins and other marine animals, along with details about the US Navy sites you pass as you head out on the Pacific Ocean. Your cruise includes refreshments and a complimentary same-day admission ticket to the San Diego Maritime Museum.


  • 4-hour cruise on the sailing ship America, from San Diego
  • Spot migrating whales and dolphins frolicking in the Pacific Ocean
  • Visit the San Diego Maritime Museum with the complimentary same-day admission ticket
  • Choose the only whale-watching cruise by sailing yacht in San Diego
  • Includes whale sighting and 'no seasickness' guarantee

What You Can Expect

San Diego Whale Watching Cruise and Maritime Museum Entry

San Diego Whale Watching Cruise and Maritime Museum Entry

Make your own way to the Maritime Museum to board your whale-watching cruise on the luxury sailing schooner America.

Travel back in time when sailing on the America, a replica of the sailing ship that won the first America's Cup sailing competition in 1851. Your classic sailing vessel provides a smooth ride and spacious decks, perfect for sailing on the Pacific Ocean in search of gray whales and other marine life. Since your boat principally moves under wind power without using the engine, your captain can get closer to the marine animals without scaring them. The boat's deep keel provides excellent stability and large decks offer unobstructed views, making the America a prime vessel for whale-watching.

Snacks and drinks (non-alcoholic) are offered during the cruise. You are welcome to bring along a picnic lunch or favorite bottle of wine to enjoy onboard.

Your cruise includes admission to San Diego Maritime Museum, making this package an excellent value. San Diego Maritime Museum boasts one of the world's finest collections of historic ships, including the world's oldest active ship Star of India. Visit the San Diego Maritime Museum either before or after your cruise; your museum admission is only valid for the same day as your whale-watching cruise.

Whale sightings are guaranteed on your cruise. If no whales are sighted, you can return for a complimentary whale-watching cruise on another day in the same season. The America also provides a 'No Seasickness' guarantee. If you get seasick during your cruise, you can return for a complimentary cruise on another day, or receive a gift certificate for lunch at the San Diego Fish Market.

Customer Reviews

Rachel K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

We loved the whale watching cruise !

darrell m

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

very informed crew, saw quite a few whales, overall a great day

Monique E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This trip a must for locals and tourists. We live in the area and have whale watched before, but this boat and crew made the experience spectacular. We saw a lot of whales and one of the crew shared history and pointed out things about the history of San Diego and the US Navy sites that we had never heard before. This is a must for something different and a good relaxing informative experience.

Esther I

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

An outstanding day and experience! Great crew, great ship and the whales were out in their full glory that day. The best tour we took on our 50 day trip.

James R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

I would absolutely recommend taking this tour if you are in San Diego during the whale migrating season. The crew was amazing and took us to several spots to see the whales. At one point we saw a group of 5 whales. I wish the tour had been longer!

James G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This tour was amazing!

Tami H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Al was fantastic! The whole crew was friendly and shared their sailing knowledge with us. We saw a humpback, dolphins and many blue whales. So fun!

Heather B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

This was a wonderful trip. The passenger numbers were below capacity so there was more room for us all and we had a great day on the water. We did see a whale and calf but, given that it was at the end of the season, everyone was satisfied with that. There were also dolphins and seals so it was well worth the effort. Crew members were helpful, informative and interacted well with the passengers. This was a very enjoyalbe day and is to be recommended. Well done!

Barbara S T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

It was amazing to be on a schooner, sailing out on the Pacific! The passengers helped raise the sails as we got underway and we covered our ears as the horn blasted out the start of our adventure. As we cleared Point Loma we hit open water and it was exhilarating to be racing on the waves and feeling the wind and salt spray as the search for whales began. We did see whales, following them for 30-45 minutes,an unforgettable experience!! The captain and crew were excellent,mindful of our safety and comfort, but also encouraging all of us to enjoy this once in-a-lifetime outing! The kids on board got special attention from Captain Al as he explained a lot of the history of whaling and sailing. As we said goodbye to the whales, the crew opened up the last sail and we winged back San Diego, passing the schooner Californian with a cheer! Lots to see in the San Diego harbor, from the Navy warships and submarines, to a glimpse of the USA 11 . As we pulled up to the dock, all aboard agreed that it was a memorable experience, thanks to the crew and captain, and of course, the whales!!!

Dennis S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

Great cruise... very calm day. Only saw two whales and they weren't very visible but the cruise alone was worth the price. Plenty of snacks and drinks. Great crew and captain.

From USD $ 79.00

View price calendar

Low Price Guarantee

Select Travel Date

Flexible Date Guarantee

Enter Total Number of Travelers

What's this, and can I change it?

Please note: After your purchase is confirmed we will email you a link to your voucher.
What's this?

Tour code: 5170WHALE


Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message