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Gray Whale Watching

Season Lasts from December 13 through April 24

As part of our mission “to inspire in all a respect for nature and the environment,” the San Diego Natural History Museum partners with Hornblower Cruises and Events to provide an unparalleled opportunity to experience gray whale watching off the San Diego coast. Each gray whale watching experience is narrated by experienced Hornblower captains and the Museum Whalers, trained naturalists. These 3.5 hour cruises are great for guests of all ages. Come meet some of nature’s largest animals and enjoy a day on the water with family and friends.

Did You Know? 

Every year from December through April, magnificent gray whales pass through San Diego’s coastal waters on their way to and from their breeding grounds. Gray whales spend the summer months in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, and then leave for the breeding lagoons along western Baja California and off southern Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico. The gray whale makes the longest migration of any mammal on earth traveling 10,000—12,000 miles each year.

Learn more about these fascinating mammals from our museum-trained volunteer naturalists, called "Museum Whalers." The Museum Whalers receive training from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) scientists and other local experts. Visit the NOAA website for more information on the gray whales and other ocean life. 

Members Public

Adult*: $31

Child: $19 $19
How to purchase tickets:
Call 877.946.7797

*Photo I.D. required for all adults. Two trips daily from 9:30 AM–1 PM and 1:30 PM–5 PM. Boarding 15 minutes prior to departure. Boat leaves from the San Diego Navy Float 970 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101. Tickets purchased through the Museum require registration with Hornblower for the day and time you wish to go whale watching. Reservations can be made by calling 888.467.6256. 

By purchasing your tickets through the Museum, you'll receive up to $9 off retail prices while also supporting the Museum's mission and programming. 

Love the ocean, talking to people, and whale watching? Join our volunteer group, the Museum Whalers

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