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Balboa Island

Balboa Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

Newport Beach: Ultimate Whale Watching Adventure

1. Newport Beach: Ultimate Whale Watching Adventure

Take a 2-hour dolphin and whale watching tour from Newport Beach. Cruise in an open boat that offers 360-degree views from anywhere onboard, allowing everyone a to have close encounter with nature. Admire the stunning coastal landscape and look out for whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife.   Board a custom-built RIB, perfect for whale watching. The boat has a maximum capacity of 15 people, giving each passenger a piece of the action. See dolphins come almost close enough to touch. The boat can travel at speed and cruises up to 14 miles from port to ensure the highest success rate of animal sightings.

Newport Beach: Year-Round Whale Watching Cruise

2. Newport Beach: Year-Round Whale Watching Cruise

The waters surrounding Newport Harbor are deep and nutrient-rich, attracting all types of marine creatures. Cruises typically see a variety of whales including giant blue whales (during the summer and fall), finback whales, grey whales (in the winter and spring), minke whales, and humpback whales, as well as several types of dolphin, seals, and all sorts of other marine life. Each cruise is a unique experience in that you never know what you might encounter. The Laguna Beach coastline lies just to the south of Newport Harbor and is some of Southern California’s most beautiful coast. The grey whales are commonly seen in this area. Most whale watching cruises take in the scenic backdrops of Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach, while viewing the gentle giants just a few hundred yards from shore. Due to the geography of the Orange County coastline that surrounds Newport Harbor, ocean conditions are very calm allowing whale watchers to fully enjoy the amazing viewings. Our primary whale watching ship is 65 feet long, and has a large upstairs sundeck, wrap-around outside seating, snack bar, and indoor seating with large windows. The ship was purpose-built for viewing marine life. Plenty of other amenities guarantee a very comfortable and exciting trip. Captains and crew members are well-versed in marine biology and are incredibly knowledgeable about marine creatures, environment, and eco systems.

Newport Beach: 2-Hour Whale Watching Tour

3. Newport Beach: 2-Hour Whale Watching Tour

Embark on a whale-watching adventure off Newport Beach, CA and look out for a variety of whales, including humpback whales and blue whales. Observe marine life in the wild and admire the Newport-Laguna coastline. On these year-round cruises off Newport Beach, many whale varieties are regularly seen including the giant blue whale (summer and fall), finback whale, grey whale (winter and spring), minke whale, and humpback whale. Several types of dolphin, seals, and all sorts of other marine life are typically spotted on the excursions as well. The cruises depart from Newport Harbor, located in the heart of Orange County, which is just a short drive from both Los Angeles and San Diego. Each cruise is a unique experience as you may never know what you might encounter. A recent cruise encountered a pod of more than 30 killer whales, including adults and their young, making for a whale watching adventure of a lifetime. The cruises enjoy a 96 percent success rate viewing whales and/or dolphin.

Orange County: Coastal Beach and Highlights Tour by Van

4. Orange County: Coastal Beach and Highlights Tour by Van

Visit Orange County's striking coastline beach cities, beaches, and iconic landmarks on a van tour. Stop at multiple locations to enjoy some free time to stroll around, buy a snack, and simply relax. See coastal landmarks like Newport Beach and the Balboa Island Ferry crossing. Listen to your local guide narrate and identify coastal landmarks and locations as you drive from point to point along the tranquil coastline. See what this world-famous beach destination is all about. Take your time at multiple locations for photos, snack breaks, and some exploration without your guide to truly feel like a local. See iconic spots including Dana Point Harbor, Laguna Beach, Hiesler Park, Newport Beach, Balboa Island Ferry crossing, Huntington Beach Pier, and Main Street.

Other Sightseeing Options in Balboa Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Balboa Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Balboa Island

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 365 reviews

Such an incredibly great experience at a super fair price. Unfortunately we didn't see any whales, but a lot of dolphins, sea lions, anchovies and pelicans. Many thanks to the crew for this experience!

It was a magical afternoon! We saw a humpback whale, common dolphins, bottle nose dolphins, and sea lions. I would do it again!

We seen a bunch of dolphins and sea lions one super late whale but it was an experience. I will never forget. Scholarship

Really great, even though we couldn’t see the Wales they offered us a discount for our next booking

Super friendly staff, excursions at the top for the price I highly recommend!