As part of our mission, the San Diego Natural History Museum partners with Hornblower Cruises and Events to provide an unparalleled opportunity to experience gray whale watching off the San Diego coast. Each gray whale watching experience is narrated by experienced Hornblower captains and 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. Come meet some of nature’s largest animals and enjoy a day on the water with family and friends.
Cruises depart from 910 N. Harbor Drive at 9:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Purchase tickets through Hornblower Cruises and Events.
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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.