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Blue Whale Watching

Weekends in July and August, 9 AM to 1 PM

Blue whales, the largest mammal and possibly the largest animal to ever inhabit Earth, can be spotted swimming and feeding off the coast of California during the summer months. Join the San Diego Natural History Museum Whalers on a breathtaking experience on the open ocean to see these magnificent creatures aboard a large, comfortable yacht from Hornblower Cruises and Events

The 4-hour tour includes live narration by experienced captains and the Museum Whalers, trained naturalists who accompany every cruise. You’ll stay cozy and comfortable with both indoor and outdoor seating, a snack bar featuring hot food, a full bar, and souvenirs. 

By purchasing your tickets through theNAT, you’ll receive up to $20 off retail prices while also supporting the Museum’s mission and programming. See chart below for dates, prices, and purchase options. Cruises start Sunday, July 6.



Enjoy discounts up to $20 off retail and help support theNAT.

Whale Watching + Museum Admission Combo Package
(Admission to Real Pirates extra.) 

Blue Whale Watching
Ticket Only
(For members and general public)
($20/$18/$15 off retail) 
Adult Member
$60.00 ($15 off retail)

Adult Non-member
$65.00 ($10 off retail)
Child (3-12)
$49.00 ($2 off retail) 
Child (3-12)
$38.00 ($2 off retail)

Hornblower Cruises and Events Logo

Three easy way to purchase ticket vouchers*:

At our Admissions Desk
By phone: 877.946.7797
By email:

*Ticket vouchers purchased through the Museum require registration with Hornblower for the day and time you wish to go whale watching. Once voucher is purchased, please call 1.800.668.4322 to reserve your spot on a cruise. Photo I.D. required for all adults at the time of boarding.

Did You Know?

  • Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) are long and slender, having a remarkably streamlined shape for such a large animal. They are the largest mammal on Earth, some as long as 100 feet and weighing 150 tons or more.
  • Blue whales are found in all oceans of the world and sighted off the coast of San Diego each summer. They mate and calve in tropical-to-temperate waters during winter months and feed in higher latitudes during summer months. The largest population in the northern hemisphere is found along the west coast of North America and the high level of productivity off southern California seems to attract a number of these animals each year. It is estimated that there are 10,000–25,000 blue whales worldwide.
  • Blue whales are classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In 1966, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned all hunting of blue whales and gave them worldwide protection. Recovery has been extremely slow, and only in the last few years have there been signs that their numbers may be increasing. It is estimated that blue whales once numbered about 275,000 worldwide.