Best Newport Beach Water Tours: Watch Whales and Dolphins on Vacation

In Newport Beach, watching whales and dolphins ranks as a must. Its location on the Pacific coast in California offers a prime spot for two whale migrations and serves as home to 11 different types of whales and dolphins, and birds, sharks and fish. Types seen depend on the season, however these water tours promise opportunities to see it all anytime of year. Get ready for adventure and read about the best Newport Beach water tours.

4 Newport Beach Water Tours: Year-round Fun for the Family

newport beach water tours whale watching

Davey’s Locker

This tour alone saw over 2,600 whales in 2016 while exploring the waters. Davey’s Locker has offered Newport Beach water tours for over 30 years, with multiple whale-watching cruises departing each day. The company hosts tours year-round where guests see the gray whale migration in the winter and spring, and blue and finback in the summer and fall. Other types include humpback and killer whales as well as sea lions and dolphins.

Davey’s Locker’s ship measures 65 feet and features wrap-around outdoor seating, upstairs sundeck, indoor seating, and plenty of snacks. Each tour lasts up to 2.5 hours, and admission is less than $40 per person.

East Meets West Excursions

Join Captain Nick and East Meets West Excursions for a top-rated whale-watching and dolphin adventure. East Meets West Excursions specializes in small group tours up to six people, perfect for families and couples. Captain Nick has over 20 years of experience navigating oceans and delights guests of all ages. Tours depart daily, and guests enjoy a more personal tour with up-close encounters.

Each tour with East Meets West Excursions lasts two hours and departs multiple times a day. Admission deals cost $50 to $60 (around $90 regular price) per person, and online reviewers say it’s well worth it.

newport beach tours family vacation

Newport Coastal Adventure Whale Watching

Another option for small Newport Beach boat tours is Newport Coastal Adventure Whale Watching. This top-rated tour features faster boats with open fronts and limits each tour to six people. Hosted by locals Captain Ryan and Captain Taylor, the tour lasts two hours and promises a fun experience. Guests may see as many as eight different types of whales, dolphins, birds and, of course, lots of fish.

Due to the speed – 20 MPH – visitors should wear jeans and layer with a jacket. Prices range between $55 and $65, and groups of six may be eligible for a special discount.

Newport Landing Whale Watching

Newport Landing, a thriving center for water adventures, offers multiple daily whale-watching and dolphin trips year-round. These ships vary in size and cater to large groups, complete with multiple decks, comfortable seating, a full drink and snack bar, and restrooms. In addition to thousands of whale and dolphin sightings each year, Newport Landing Whale Watching has seen hammerhead and great white sharks and sunfish.

Tours last two hours, and admission cost between $26 and $36, depending on age. Boats depart three times a day, seven days a week.

newport beach whale watching trip

What to Bring on Your Newport Beach Water Tour

Although these Newport Beach water tours provide everything guests need for a memorable adventure, there are a few things visitors should bring with them. Prepare to enjoy the outdoors and coastal scenery with these tips:

  • Wear sun protection, including sunscreen, a fitted hat or visor, and sunglasses
  • Wear comfortable close-toed shoes
  • Bring a jacket in case of chilly winds and cooler temperatures
  • Bring some cash for refreshments and gratuity if needed
  • Grab the camera or smartphone for unforgettable photo opportunities
  • Medicine for those who experience sea-sickness
  • Some tours allow guests to pack snacks and drinks, so call ahead to ask.

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