Whale Watching Field Trips

Whale Watching Field Trips

“The kids had a blast, and were so thrilled to see all the dolphin and the whale! Of course the snack bar is always a hit, too…I only got excellent feedback from all the parents and other teachers. Thank you so much such a special field trip!” ~ Joan, Jullian Elementary

Education Outside The Classroom

We at San Diego Whale Watch believe in the importance of utilizing the wonderful natural resource of the Pacific Ocean as a tool to help educate our children on the marine life that inhabits it.

Field Trip Highlights

  • 3 hour whale watching cruise
  • Narration by a certified Marine Biologist
  • Teachers guide, provided prior to your visit. This guide, filled with pre- and post-visit activities, will provide additional educational value to your whale watching tour
  • Naturalists available throughout the trip to answer questions
  • Indoor and outdoor seating is available

During their whale watching field trip students will gain a broad understanding of whales in terms of migratory patterns, size differences, feeding behavior and communication. We will also cover environmental factors, endangered species and how we can all help to save them from extinction.

We strongly recommend, and encourage, wearing non-slip/secure footwear for the cruises.

SDWW Girl Scout Badge 1 | San Diego Whale Watch 1


We strongly recommend, and encourage, wearing non-slip/secure footwear for the cruises.

Whale Watching Season In San Diego

We were the first company in San Diego to offer whale watching year around.  Why?  It’s because though there is a whale watching season in San Diego, we see whales and dolphins throughout the year.  Take a look…

December through April

December through April Students will learn about the Gray Whale migration, the longest (up to 12,000 miles round-trip) migration of any mammal on Earth! We will discuss the migration itself, including the typical route taken by Gray Whales and the purpose for their migratory behavior. Students will gain a better understanding of whale morphology, feeding behavior and how the Gray Whale has miraculously bounced back from the verge of extinction. Of course, we will also touch on what actions can be taken to help maintain the current Gray Whale population status and save other oceanic animals.

Humpback 3 1 | San Diego Whale Watch 2
Humpback Ryan 1 1 | San Diego Whale Watch 3

May through November

May through November Students will learn about the Rorqual Whales, including the Blue, Humpback, Fin, and Minke Whales. These whales frequent the San Diego coast when food is prevalent enough to draw them in. Students will gain an understanding of how significant it is to be able to see the largest animal on the planet, the Blue Whale, a critically endangered animal. We will cover their size, the sound they produce and what is known thus far about their migratory patterns. A Humpback Whale sighting could introduce students to the topic of Photo Identification. The dorsal fin and flukes are as unique to each individual as fingerprints are to humans. Although this is the case for every species, Humpbacks have some of the most unique individualistic markings! Additionally, students may learn about the mighty Fin Whales (the fastest of the baleen whales) or the cosmopolitan Minke Whales!

Throughout the year

Fin Whales, Humpback Whales and Minke Whale can be spotted off the coast of San Diego at any time. Although this makes them a little less predictable, it also means that we have a chance of seeing them on every trip! Various types of toothed whales (includes all dolphin species) also visit our coast throughout the year. Common Dolphins (both Short-Beaked and Long-Beaked), Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins and Risso’s Dolphins can be seen year-round. Pacific White-Sided Dolphins are a seasonal visitor that we get to observe during the winter, typically between the months of December-April. In addition to cetaceans, California Sea Lions, Sharks, Bony Fishes and a wide variety of sea birds will also be pointed out for your enjoyment!

Common dolphin 3 | San Diego Whale Watch 4
Terms & Conditions
Please check our schedule for accurate trip times. Approximate length of cruise: 2-3 hours depending on trip type. Check in 45 minutes prior to departure. Boarding begins 15 minutes prior to departure. We recommend treating an offshore outing no differently than a plane flight.

Please note:
The curriculum can be customized to enhance the topics currently being taught in the classroom. Educational packets including teacher outlines, activity sheets and whale fact sheets will be sent via email, prior to the trip (at your request) for in-class activities that can add to the educational value of your trip.