For decades, Harbor Breeze has been the leading provider of incredible whale watching excursions throughout southern California. Our Newport Beach whale watching experiences draw visitors from all over the world hoping to catch a glimpse of the incredible wildlife that call the Pacific home. On each of our vessels, you will enjoy a safe and comfortable ride under the care of a knowledgeable crew and captain there to provide informative narration on the marine animals you encounter.
From morning cruise options available for early risers, to afternoon whale watching Newport Beach cruises for those that prefer a later start, we have an experience to fit your needs. Contact us today to book your once-in-a-lifetime excursion with Harbor Breeze.
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Regular walk up price: Adults $45/M-F, $50/Sat-Sun, Senior Citizens $40, Children $30
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See the Wildlife
of Newport Beach
When participating in a whale watching Newport Beach cruise with Harbor Breeze, you never know what you’ll see. So many different sea animals call Newport Beach’s waters home including humpback whales, gray whales, blue whales, fin whales, and more. Other wildlife frequently spotted off the coast of Newport Beach are Dolphins including Common, Bottlenose, Risso's, and Pacific White Sided. The diversity in sea life found off the cost of Newport Beach is special, and unlike any other region.
On our Newport Beach whale watching cruise you will have the amazing opportunity to see a blue whale! Did you know? The blue whale is the largest animal on the planet with a heart that can weigh as much as an elephant! Reaching over 100 feet in length and weighing up to 200 tons, spotting one of these incredible sea mammals is an experience you will never forget. Blue whales are most often spotted off the southern California coasts between the months of May and October, as they migrate to the Newport Beach area to feed. While out on the water, you can identify the blue whale by its deep blue coloring, triangular flukes, tapered body, and flathead.
You can spot Blue whales off the coast of Newport Beach year-round, however, blue whale sightings are especially high between the months of May to November.
Join Us in Newport Beach
Explore the Pacific
We can’t wait for you to join us out on the water for an unforgettable whale watching Newport Beach cruise with Harbor Breeze. Harbor Breeze cruises are perfect for the whole family, offering family members of all ages an experience they won’t soon forget. For over two decades, we have delighted families with a safe opportunity to view a wide range of marine wildlife in a way that isn’t possible from land. See it all including humpback whales, gray whales, blue whales, and fin whales, plus sea lions, seals, dolphins, and much more. Booking your Newport Beach whale watching excursion is quick and easy. Simply give us a call to book, or reserve your tickets for the whole family online. If you have questions about what to expect during your trip or how to prepare for your cruise, do not hesitate to contact our staff. Your Newport Beach whale watching expedition is only a few clicks away - book today!
There is a lot to do in Newport Beach after you’ve finished your Newport Beach whale watching expedition with Harbor Breeze. During your stay, consider one of the following hotels in the area that offers quick access to the Harbor Breeze dock as well as other local attractions and activities.
1. Balboa Inn, Newport Beach | 105 Main St, Newport Beach, CA, 92661 | (949) 675-3412
2. Balboa Bay Resort | 1221 W Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA, 92663 | (949)645-5000
3. Bay Shores Peninsula Hotel | 1800 W Balboa Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92663 | (949)675-3463
4. Dorymans Oceanfront Inn | 2102 West Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663 | (949)675-7300
5. Little Inn By The Bay Newport Beach | 900 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660 | (949)640-4000
6. Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa | 900 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660 | (949)640-4000
7. Hyatt Regency Newport Beach | 1107 Jamboree Rd, Newport Beach, CA 92660 | (949)729-1234
8. Fashion Island Hotel Newport Beach | 690 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660 | (949)386-8361
Newport Beach Attractions
There is a lot to do in Newport Beach after you’ve finished your whale watching expedition with Harbor Breeze. During your stay, consider one of the following hotels in the area that offers quick access to the Harbor Breeze dock as well as other local attractions and activities.
1. Newport Pier
Take a quick trip to Newport Pier, a 1,032 feet long pier located in the center of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. Built in 1888, the pier was originally used for shipping until its later use for recreational purposes. Today, you can enjoy a number of different recreation activities at the pier, including dining, fishing, and walking.
2. Balboa Island
One of Newport Beach’s man-made islands, Balboa Island is a charming spot with lots to do. The island is surrounded by a 1.6 mile boardwalk perfect for a leisurely stroll, plus there are a number of mom-and-pop shops to peruse. Make sure to also grab a bite to eat or enjoy a sweet treat including frozen bananas or delicious donuts. You can access Balboa Island by car, or take a five-minute ferry by water.
3. Sherman Library and Gardens
A unique combination of books and botanical beauty, the Sherman Library and Gardens boasts over 15,000 volumes for you to browse. On the 2.2 acre gardens, take a calming jaunt among an exotic collection of flora. Complete your visit with a drink or snack at the on-site cafe.
4. Balboa Fun Zone
Those seeking a thrill or two will enjoy the Balboa Fun Zone, an affordable amusement park home to various carnival rides, including its signature Ferris wheel on the waterfront. Though small in size, Balboa is a must-see site that dates back to 1936.
5. Fashion Island
Calling all shoppers! Fashion Island is a one-stop shop for any items you might need...or just want. With department stores in addition to staple mall shops, you can’t find it all at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.
6. Crystal Cove State Park
Bask in Newport Beach’s natural beauty at Crystal Cove State Park. A 3.2 mile stretch along the coast, this state park offers sandy beaches and coastal cliffs where you can enjoy a quick dip in the tide pools, explore the canyons, and even camp overnight.
Why Whale Watch
in Newport Beach?
When picking a location to embark on an incredible whale watching expedition, you have a number of options to choose from. So why should you choose Harbor Breeze Newport Beach whale watching? There are so many reasons that make Newport Beach the perfect location for an unforgettable whale watching trip of a lifetime.
Diverse Sealife. The southern California coast boasts an incredibly diverse collection of sea life you won’t find anywhere else. While out on a whale watching Newport Beach trip, you might see everything from gray whales to blue whales, humpback whales to fin whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and so much more. Visitors flock to Newport Beach because you’re guaranteed to enjoy every moment of your Newport Beach whale watching excursion from start to finish.
Lots of Local Attractions and Activities.A Newport Beach whale watching cruise is just one of the many local activities you can take part in. Newport Beach is a bustling area with restaurants, shops, beaches, and other attractions to keep the whole family busy.
Year-round Marine Wildlife Viewing.
When planning a whale watching Newport Beach trip, you can plan a trip that fits into your schedule. This is because Harbor Breeze Newport Beach whale watching cruises are available during all months throughout the year. Off the coast of Newport Beach, marine wildlife can be spotted year-round - unlike in other locations. Whether you want to see blue whales during the fall and summer months or gray whales during winter and spring, you have endless opportunities to view majestic creatures all year long.
Other Marine Wildlife you Might See While Whale Watching in Newport Beach.
During your whale watching Newport Beach cruise with Harbor Breeze, we will do everything in our power to ensure you see as many whales as possible. However, don’t forget that in addition to whales, there is a wide range of other marine wildlife you should keep an eye out for. Newport Beach coastal waters are also home to other sea species including a variety of dolphins, sea birds, dolphins, seals, sea lions, porpoises, and more. Year-round, there is so much wildlife for you to see during your excursion.
Whales You Might See
On Your Newport Beach Cruise
Keep a lookout! You just might see the following whales when you book your Newport Beach whale watching tour with Harbor Breeze Cruise:
Not sure when is the best month to book your whale watching Newport Beach cruise? Good news! The gray whale can be spotted off the coasts of California year-round. As you might have guessed, you can identify these beautiful creatures by their deep gray coloring. Gray whales are known for their “friendly” behavior when it comes to interacting with boats, so you just might get an up close and personal experience. A medium-sized whale, gray whales can grow to be up to 50 feet in length, and weigh up to 40 tons. They are not to be missed, so keep your eyes peeled!
Seeing a humpback whale is a once in a lifetime experience. These incredible creatures journey to the California coasts during the summer months to feed, providing onlookers the perfect opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat. Not only do humpback whales impress with their size (they can weigh up to 40 tons!), they also dazzle and delight with their signature acrobatic jumps and flips.
Right behind the blue whale, the fin whale is the second largest whale species and can be spotted off the southern California coasts. Weighing up to 80 tons and reaching up to 85 feet in length, fin whales can be spotted on whale watching Newport Beach tours year round, with peaks during the summer and fall months. The fin whale gets its name from the easy-to-spot fin located near its tail. On average, the signature dorsal fin will grow to be about 60 cm high. In addition to the fin, you can identify the fin whale by its distinctive black/brownish gray coloring and V-shaped head.
& Dolphin Tour
Duration: 3 hours
Our most popular tour, the Newport Beach Whale Watching and Dolphin Tour is a 2 1/2-hour excursion into the open Pacific Ocean to search for all different types of whale species. Highlight whale species on this tour includes the Gray whale, Blue, Fin, Humpback, and Minke Whales! But it doesn’t stop there. In addition to whale spottings, this tour is also in search of many other marine life species including Dolphins, Sea Lions, Marine Birds, and more! As a proud partner of the Aquarium of the Pacific, every Newport Beach whale watching and dolphin tour is accompanied by an expert educator from the Aquarium of the Pacific who offers engaging narration of everything you see on the ocean. Harbor Breeze’s Seasoned Captains and crew specialize in Newport Beach whale watching with over 30-years whale watching Newport Beach experience. Absolutely no hidden fees or fuel surcharges.
Narrated Harbor Tour
Duration: 45 minutes
Learn history about the harbor, see the beautiful Newport Beach skyline, California Sea Lions playing in the harbor, the world famous Queen Mary, large cargo and container ships from all over the world, and so much more! The Narrated Harbor Tour is a fun way to take in all the harbor has to offer along with some breathtaking views. Harbor Breeze Newport Beach Whale Watching tours are led by experienced Captains and crew with over 30 years of experience in Newport Beach whale watching tours. Absolutely no hidden fees or fuel surcharges.
Helpful Tips For
Newport Beach Whale Watching
At Harbor Breeze, we want to help you make the most of your whale watching Newport Beach trip. While ensuring your safety, our knowledgeable captain and crew will guide you through an incredible excursion with the ultimate goal of helping you view a wide range of species you might not otherwise see on land.
Your only job during your Newport Beach whale watching cruise is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights. To make sure you stay comfortable while out on the water, there are a few recommendations we suggest to all passengers:
1. Be Mindful of the Season: Harbor Breeze whale watching Newport Beach trips take place year round, as there is always sea life out in and around the water during all months. However, if there is a specific type of whale you’d like to see, it’s important to know their migratory patterns to increase your chances of spotting these incredible animals. For example, if you have your heart set on seeing the stunning blue whale, you should consider booking your Newport Beach whale watching cruise during the summer or fall months. Gray whales, on the other hand, peak during the winter and spring months. If you have questions about the best time to book your trip, feel free to give us a call.
2. Keep your Camera Ready: Newport Beach whale sightings are unpredictable and can happen quickly. If you hope to snap pictures of the marine life you see, keep your camera in hand and ready at all times. Don’t have the quickest reflexes? Many of our passengers find that the best way to fully appreciate the experience out on the water is to put down the lens and simply take in the sights with their own two eyes.
3. Pack Sunscreen: Southern California is known for its sunny weather, and though you’ll be out on the water the rays are still just as strong. Harbor Breeze Newport Beach whale watching trips can last up to a few hours, and you’ll want to avoid burns while looking for whales out on deck. Be sure to apply sunscreen prior to departure, and keep the bottle handy for reapplication later on during the trip.
4. Chat with the Crew: The primary job of the crew on board is to keep you safe. However, they are also there to provide you with information about the whales and other sea life you might encounter. During your Newport Beach whale watching experience, be sure to ask any and all questions you might have. At the end of your trip, the crew can also recommend local restaurants, bars, or shops you won’t want to miss during your visit.
5. Pack a Light Jacket: Once you leave the shore on your Newport Beach whale watching tour, be prepared for the temperature to drop. Pack a light jacket so that you stay comfortable out on the water if the winds pick up, or if your trip takes place on an overcast day.
7. Grab the Binoculars: Binoculars, though not necessary, are a great addition for a whale watching Newport Beach trip. Your captain will get as close to the wildlife as possible, while still keeping a safe distance. With a pair of binoculars, see wildlife in a level of detail not obvious to the naked eye.
7. Prepare for sea sickness: It’s an unfortunate reality that some people are more prone to seasickness than others. The last thing you want is to excitedly embark on your Newport Beach whale watching trip only to be struck with a bout of motion sickness that leaves you miserable. Because departure, take an over-the-counter seasickness medication or purchase a non-medicinal alternative such as Sea-Bands.
8. Be Patient: The exact movements of whales is unpredictable, so it may take some time before you catch a glimpse of these majestic animals. Relax and enjoy your time on the water during your whale watching Newport Beach cruise until you spot some of the incredible sea life out there.