Gray Whale Watching

December 2021 through April 2022

The Nat partners with City Cruises anchored by Hornblower to provide an unparalleled opportunity to experience gray whale watching off the San Diego coast. Each gray whale watching experience is narrated by experienced City Cruises captains along with the Museum Whalers, museum-trained naturalists.

The Whalers enthusiastically share their knowledge about the dolphins, whales, ocean sunfish, sea lions, and birds. On the way back to the harbor, passengers can join them on the lower deck to learn more about marine life, touch real whale specimens, and even create a souvenir origami whale.

These 3.5-hour cruises are great for guests of all ages. They depart from 910 N. Harbor Drive at 9:30 AM and 1:30 PM.

  • December 23-January 3: Morning and afternoon cruises run daily (except New Year's Day)
  • January 4-31: Morning and afternoon cruises run Thursday-Monday
  • February 1-April 10: Morning and afternoon cruises run daily
  • April 11-17: Morning cruises run daily

Dates/times may vary due to inventory, event conflicts, and overall demand.

Come meet some of nature’s largest animals and enjoy a day on the water with family and friends. Learn more and purchase tickets through City Cruises.

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Did you know?

Every year from December through April, magnificent gray whales pass through San Diego’s coastal waters on their way to and from their breeding grounds. Gray whales spend the summer months in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, and then leave for the breeding lagoons off the coast of Baja California. The gray whale makes the longest migration of any mammal on earth traveling 10,000—12,000 miles each year.

Learn more about these fascinating mammals from our museum-trained volunteer naturalists, called "Museum Whalers." The Museum Whalers receive training from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) scientists and other local experts. Visit the NOAA website for more information on the gray whales and other ocean life.

Gray Whale Watching with Lena

Hop on board the Hornblower with Lena, our young whale watching enthusiast, to learn more about gray whales' migratory patterns and more. Join the Museum Whalers, museum-trained volunteer naturalists on one of these adventures: