Wouldn’t it be magical to see dolphins swim along the hull of your boat as you sunbathe? This would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, while this may seem like a rare—or even impossible—sight to see, you may get to witness this event when you visit San Diego. Several water sports companies offer this experience, allowing you to see dolphins while exploring San Diego’s lovely waters.


Not only that, but dolphin cruises in San Diego can let you take in all of its breathtaking beauty and wildlife, such as dolphins, sea lions, and birds. In fact, most of these friendly species would be splashing about in the water, hoping to draw your attention. Because of that, dolphin cruises became a favorite family activity along the San Diego coast.


If you want to see dolphins up close, consider going on a dolphin cruise in San Diego! Once you’ve decided to go, here is some information that might help you make your dolphin-viewing experience worthwhile.

How To Identify Dolphins

A dolphin’s behavior may vary, depending on its species. Some species may be more friendly and energetic, while some may be quite timid. Not only that, but knowing how they behave may also keep you safe and let you know whether you should approach them or not.


Thus, what’s the best way to be able to enjoy your experience, other than knowing what sort of dolphin you’re looking at? Visitors have found and posted photographs of really rare pods without even realizing it, so keep that in mind the next time you’re on the ocean. Check out the list below to see what aquatic species may be found in the region, including dolphins.

Common Dolphins With Short Beaks

These are the most prevalent species found in warm waters across the globe, including along the coast of San Diego during the summer and migratory patterns. They’re typically seen in the ocean, but we’ve even seen them in Mission Bay! Dark backs, white bellies, and an hour-glass curvature on their sides between the two hues distinguish them.

See Dolphins With Long Beaks

Physically, these dolphins are similar to short-beaked dolphins, but they have a larger beak with more rows of teeth. 

Pacific White-Sided Dolphin 

The Pacific White-Sided Dolphin is one of the most attractive dolphins on the planet. White stripes run along the creature’s upper side, and the dorsal fin is noticeable. Although they are only visible from May to November, they are entertaining to watch as they frolic alongside the boat.

Risso’s Dolphin

Risso’s Dolphin, one of the most prominent members of the dolphin group and is unlike any other dolphin you’ve ever seen. They’re dark gray with many white scars from their struggles with squid, which is their principal meal. Furthermore, these creatures are typically found offshore, so they are not as common as their counterparts, but if you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse, they are an incredible discovery.

Northern Right Whale Dolphin

These dolphins, which are most usually seen in calmer seas and might be mistaken for smaller whales since they lack the distinctive dorsal fin that dolphins have. They have a smooth bow form to their bodies, short beaks, and black bodies.

Dolphin With Rough Tooth

These creatures are similar to short-beaked dolphins, and they’re known for their unique teeth, thus their name. The conical form of their heads and shorter beaks, even though the other dolphins have a more projecting forehead, are two of the most noticeable differences.


Encounter With a Dolphin Up Close

This memorable experience allows you to get up close with dolphins. At some aquatic theme parks, discover their natural history and incredible aquatic adaptations by spending time with these fun, curious creatures. Guests will learn hand signals used to connect with dolphins and interact with them during a 10-minute poolside session led by an animal care professional.


If you wish to see dolphins, Sea World San Diego has gone above and beyond to guarantee that your experiences are as safe as possible:


  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your allocated tour time for your Dolphin Encounter at Dolphin Point.
  • Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who has paid the entry fee.
  • Photographing the animals and your experience is welcomed, although SeaWorld ambassadors are not permitted to touch your camera or other personal belongings during your visit.
  • No loose jewelry, sunglasses, or smoking are allowed during the encounter.
  • Before and after their contact, all participants will be given a chance to wash and disinfect their hands.
  • Maintain physical separation; party sizes and inventory are restricted. Limited spaces are available, and we cannot promise that guests be accepted.
  • Timetables, costs, and animal involvement are subject to change.
  • Any “animal experience reservations” may be altered or cancelled once for free if done 48 hours before the reservation date; however, there are fees for changes made less than 48 hours before the reservation date or for multiple shifts.


A sunset cruise that allows you to see dolphins and whales is a good addition to your travel bucket list. This unique experience was created for nature lovers and combines the finest dolphin and whale watching trips. Our knowledgeable team will show you gorgeous whales and dolphins while informing you about these incredible creatures. San Diego’s dolphin and whale watching trips can provide you with moments that will last a lifetime.

Meta Description: If you’re looking for a fun-filled family adventure to see dolphins, a Cruise San Diego cruise is popular. Come along on this journey with us.