We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Even Better than anticipated”

Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari
Book In Advance
More Info
US$65.00*
and up
Dana Point Whale Watching and Dolphin Watching Eco-Safari
Ranked #1 of 20 Tours in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Whale watch with Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point on our high-tech sailing catamaran year round, with two Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. For 20 years Captain Dave's has provided daily trips to see dolphins, up to 10,000 strong, leap and play right off our bow, plus Gray Whales (December through April), Blue Whales (May through November), and year round Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, and so much more. Go underwater with whales and dolphins without getting wet during your whale watch in our Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods aboard Manute'a. Listen to dolphins during your whale watching safari with our underwater Hydrophone. Celebrity and certified naturalists make this exciting Dana Point whale watching excursion educational and entertaining too. Mrs. Capt. Dave's famous triple-fudge brownies make this a one-of-a-kind dolphin and whale watching adventure unforgettable. We are a real Eco-tourism company providing only sustainable wildlife viewing. Ask about Fast Cat, our upscale Rigid Hull Inflatable Catamaran and the newest boat in our whale watching fleet.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 17 April 2017

As part of a Spring Break trip to Southern California, I decided to take my teen/tween kids to do something outdoors and not associated with a theme park. Whale watching was the answer. After a fair amount of online research, I decided that Capt. Dave's seemed like the best choice, despite being a bit more expensive than other tours. We were not disappointed! The "I'm too cool for this" kids absolutely loved the experience (as did I) and could not stop talking about it afterwards. The really nice thing that makes this tour different is being on a catamaran with the "deck" being an open net that lets you get splashed, see the dolphins swim beneath your feet, and not feel like you are crowded. The crew was outstanding, friendly, and very safety conscious. I highly recommend it and will go back again.

Thank botman2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptDavesWhaleSafari, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Hi,
Thank you so much for your review, and for choosing to include Capt. Dave’s as part of your Spring Break vacation. I’m thrilled that the dolphin and whale watching experience was engaging and memorable for everyone in your family. I love reading how much you liked our unique catamaran Manute’a, with the Eye-Spy Dolphin Netting in the bow and the Underwater Viewing Pods. It is possible to get splashed on the bow of the boat, but guests can also stay totally dry in other areas of the boat and still have great sightings. And we do limit the number of passengers on board so I’m glad you were comfortable as you viewed the dolphins and whales up-close. Thanks for your recommendation and the positive words about our crew. We’d love to see you again soon!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (808)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

63 - 67 of 811 reviews

Reviewed 14 April 2017

What a great idea to take visitors from out of town or friends/family who have or have not done whale watching to join Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari! A unique experience run by great !captains and crew... and delicious brownies at the end to top it off. Even if you do not see as many animals as you hoped the trip is educatiing and just fun!
Great time to relax and enjoy the ocean's wonderful wonders!

Thank Linda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptDavesWhaleSafari, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded yesterday

Hi,
Thanks for your review. I’m happy you had a fun and educational dolphin and whale watching safari with Capt. Dave’s. It’s nice to read that you liked our captains and crew, and enjoyed Mrs. Capt. Dave’s delicious, complimentary triple-fudge brownies at the end of the trip. We appreciate your kind words and we look forward to your next visit with us!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2017

Capt. Dave's was recommended to us by the hotel we were staying at in Newport Beach. After reviewing their website as well as a few other whale watching tours in the area we felt Capt. Dave's was what we were looking for. Best decision ever!! We booked online and received a phone call a few hours later that our tour was confirmed and extra details about our tour. (arrival time, snacks we could bring, clothes, etc.) The day was perfect - not to hot or cold. The crew did a great job preparing us with instructions as we headed out and information about the types of dolphins, whales, sea lions and brown pelicans, etc. We first encountered the common dolphins a few at first from a distance and then literally thousands in pods. They would play, jump and splash us along side the boat as we traveled. I cannot even explain the excitement of seeing so many dolphins playfully swimming along side us. We could literally touch them. We were really wanted to do the whale watching and were informed early on that no tour had seen any that day - never a guarantee but they do the best they can at finding them. Towards the end of our tour someone spotted the blows of the whales and off we went chasing them. It was so exciting to see the only 3 humpback whales of the day! We followed them for about 45 minutes as they headed further out to sea. This was one of the most exciting excursions of our vacation. There were people from as young as 5 to 90. Safe for all ages, educational, interactive and just plain fun! I would HIGHLY recommend Capt. Dave's if you are in the area!!

Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2017

We booked on-line and arrived in good time for 12noon sailing. Check-in was very professional and we spent a good half hour relaxing in the sunshine before the appointed time.

We were taken the short walk to the boat which we boarded. Although the trip was fully booked there was plenty of space, but be aware there is no food or drink for purchase on board. Also it is colder on the water than on land, so we were glad of our decision to bring fleeces.

Although the boat is a catamaran with sails, the whole trip was under power. We chose to sit in the stern, but many younger passengers enjoyed the ride up front where they could get close to the ocean and wet.

For the first part of the trip we stayed close to shore and spent time tracking a grey whale with its calf. Although the skipper kept a respectful distance we were quite close enough for good sightings.

After a while we left the whale to continue her journey north and headed out to see where we eventually encountered a pod of bottle nosed dolphins. We had a good time watching these playful creatures staying so long that the tour over-ran by 20 minutes. There were no complaints.

The sea was quite smooth, but clearly some children were suffering from mal de mer, something to be aware of and take precautions against. The crew were kind and helpful to those suffering from the motion of the boat.

All in all a great trip from a highly professional organisation. I guess sightings can't be guaranteed, but I suspect that if they are out there Capt Dave's crew will find them.

Thank paul6111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptDavesWhaleSafari, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Hi,
Thank you for your positive, detailed review. We love feedback from our valued guests! It’s so great to read that you liked our staff and service. And I’m very happy that you got to experience part of the Gray whale family’s migration, which is one of the longest migrations of any mammal: about 12,000 miles round-trip between Baja and Alaska! I’m glad you enjoyed spending time with the playful wild dolphins too. Many of our guests prefer to view these fascinating animals from the bow of our catamaran, where it’s possible that your feet could get splashed. Passengers also have the option to stay completely dry in other areas of the boat and still have amazing sightings. Our catamaran is designed for a smoother ride overall, and the ocean conditions in our area are usually mild. However, for anyone worried about motion sickness, we do sell various remedies at our check in area. Our crew is always happy to help if anyone is feeling unwell. I’m glad you had a great trip, and that we were able to extend the tour this time so everyone could continue enjoying the up-close animal sightings. I hope we’ll see you again soon!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2017 via mobile

Really fun, would highly recommend, even if traveling with teenagers. Underwater viewing-pod was awesome, where dolphins were very interactive. Boat was very comfortable and never felt sea-sick. Crew was excellent, they are very knowledgeable, and answered all questions.

Thank Joerod01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptDavesWhaleSafari, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hi,

Thanks for your review and for posting the lovely photo! I’m very pleased that you had a great time experiencing the wild dolphins up close through our unique Underwater Viewing Pods. I’m also glad you were satisfied with our crew’s knowledge and service, and we really appreciate your recommendation! I hope you’ll be able to join us for more fantastic dolphin and whale sightings soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari also viewed

 
Dana Point, Orange County
 

Been to Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing