For over twenty years, Harbor Breeze has offered families from around the world the most unforgettable whale watching Santa Monica experience available. As one of the prime locations for whale watching, Santa Monica offers the opportunity to view a wide range of sea life closer than ever, all from the comfort of our fleet of specially designed vessels built to provide truly incredible expeditions on the sea. From the moment you step onto a Harbor Breeze boat, your care and enjoyment are our top priorities. Your whale watching tour will be led by a knowledgeable captain trained to deliver expert narration about the marine life you encounter, while also ensuring your safety at all times. Whether you’re an early bird ready to head out on your excursion first thing in the morning, or a leisurely afternoon departure is more your speed, there is a whale watching Santa Monica option to suit your needs.
The best part about cruising with Harbor Breeze is that you never know what you might encounter out on the water. You just might catch a glimpse of the majestic Humpback Whale as it breaches the water, or possibly the stunning Pacific Gray Whale making its annual migration. And, while you keep your eyes peeled for the various whale species that inhabit Santa Monica’s waters, stay on the lookout for orcas, dolphins, sea lions, and so much more. No matter the whale watching Santa Monica tour you choose with Harbor Breeze, we guarantee a trip you won’t soon forget. Contact us today to purchase tickets, and get ready for a fun-filled journey alongside the most incredible sea life on the planet.
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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 Santa Monica
Throughout the year along with Gray and Blue Whales you may also see Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, and Killer Whales (Orcas). Other wildlife frequently spotted off the coast of Santa Monica are Dolphins including Common, Bottlenose, Risso's, and Pacific White Sided. The diversity in sea life found off the coast of Santa Monica is special, and unlike any other region.
A whale watching Santa Monica cruise will give you the amazing opportunity to see a blue whale in Santa Monica! Blue whale watching on Santa Monica whale watching tours is an incredibly breathtaking experience and an exciting must-see attraction for both tourists and Santa Monica locals alike. 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. Catch sight of a blue whale on your Santa Monica whale watching cruise and you’ve officially seen the largest animal on earth – not to mention the biggest animal in the history of the planet!
Blue whales are most often spotted off the southern California coasts between the months of May and October, as they migrate to the Santa Monica area to feed. While out on the water, you can identify the blue whale by its deep blue coloring, triangular flukes, tapered body, and flat head.
In addition to the blue whales you might see while cruising with us, stay on the lookout for other exciting creatures! Our whale watchers regularly spot orcas and other species of dolphins, sea lions, seals, and more.
Join Us in Santa Monica
Explore the Pacific
Join us for the most unforgettable whale watching expedition available only with Harbor Breeze, California’s leading whale watching tour company for over two decades. Our whale watching Santa Monica excursions are perfect for family members of all ages, and for families of all sizes. Alongside your loved ones, get ready to make a memory that will last for years to come viewing sea life up close. Conveniently located off the southern California coast in Santa Monica, catch a glimpse of sea mammals like never before. Making a reservation for your whale watching Santa Monica tour is quick and easy. Simply give us a call, or book your tickets online. Have questions about what to expect out on the water? Our team is standing by with answers to help you prepare for your whale watching experience. The trip of a lifetime is only a few clicks away - book your Harbor Breeze Santa Monica whale watching excursion today!
Santa Monica is the perfect destination for rest, relaxation, and loads of fun. While you’re in the area, consider one of the hotel recommendations below for easy access to the Harbor Breeze dock as well as some of Santa Monica’s must-see attractions.
1. JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot | 1740 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | (310) 395-9700
2. Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel | 120 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA | (310)451-0676
3. Wyndham Santa Monica At The Pier | 120 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA | (310)451-0676
4. DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Santa Monica | 1707 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | (310)395-3332
5. Sea Blue Hotel | 1670 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | (310)393-2363
6. Shore Hotel | 1515 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | (310)458-1515
7. Ocean View Hotel | 1447 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | (310)458-4888
8. Georgian Hotel | 1415 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | (310)395-9945
Santa Monica Attractions
There is so much to see during your visit to Santa Monica! After you’ve finished your whale watching Santa Monica excursion with Harbor Breeze, be sure to check out the following can’t-miss local attractions.
1. Santa Monica State Beach
No trip to Santa Monica is complete without a visit to Santa Monica State Beach to take a dip in the Pacific and soak up the sun. Santa Monica’s premier beach runs the full length of the town itself, and draws crowds full of beach-lovers of all ages. The beach offers a wide range of activities, including surfing, swimming, and sunbathing, as well as biking on the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, paddle boarding, and even an opportunity to squeeze in a workout at the world famous Original Muscle Beach.
2. Santa Monica Pier:
The Santa Monica Pier is a must-see attraction, offering a great time for fun-seekers of all ages. With a variety of rides (like the iconic red and yellow Ferris wheel), many shops and restaurants, bars, and an arcade that boasts over 200 games, you’ll enjoy hours of laughs and thrills at the Pier. Plus, be sure to stop by the Heal the Bay Aquarium for hands-on presentations and interactive exhibits.
3. Santa Monica Place
A shopper’s heaven, Santa Monica Place is a shopping center that offers high end boutiques and department stores. Built around a stunning open-air courtyard, browse three levels of stores to pick up a cool pair of sunglasses or a brand-new bathing suit.
4. Santa Monica Farmer’s Market
You don’t want to miss the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market when you’re in town. Open on Saturdays and Sundays, you’ll find a large collection of fresh vegetables, locally-made crafts, and delicious eats.
5. California Heritage Museum
Need a break from the sun? Enjoy a piece of California history at the California Heritage Museum. Located inside a restored 1894 Victorian house, the museum offers visitors a chance to explore rotating exhibits related to the region.
If you’re looking to experience an unforgettable whale watching excursion with your friends or loved ones, you might be wondering where the best location is for this type of trip, Harbor Breeze Santa Monica Whale Watching Cruise is the right destination for you. While it is true that whale watching trips are available up and down the California coast, you will want to consider a whale watching Santa Monica cruise for a few important reasons.
First, the diversity of whales that can be found in the Santa Monica waters is truly unmatched. Year-round, whale watchers in Santa Monica have the opportunity to view the migrations of several different species of whales, including gray whales, blue whales, fin whales, and humpback whales. Plus, when you whale watch in Santa Monica, you have the added bonus of likely encounters with other sea life including dolphins, sea lions, seals, sea birds, and more.
Why Whale Watch
in Santa Monica?
Third, once your whale watching Santa Monica tour with Harbor Breeze ends, there is still so much to do in town. Santa Monica is packed with world-class restaurants, shops and boutiques, beaches, and more. You’ll have a blast enjoying the many activities and attractions waiting for you on land.
Fourth, While out on your whale watching Santa Monica tour with Harbor Breeze, we aim to help you view as many whales as possible. But keep in mind that there is so much more to see out on the water as well! Santa Monica is home to many other species of sea life in addition to whales, including dolphins, sea lions, seals, porpoises, and many different types of sea birds. No matter the time of year you cruise with Harbor Breeze, you are sure to see incredible marine wildlife during your tour.
Whales You Might See
On Your Santa Monica Whale Watching Cruise
When you take a whale watching Santa Monica cruise with Harbor Breeze, you never know what you’ll see once you head out into the open water. Fortunately, the unpredictable nature of whale watching excursions is what makes each trip so exciting. Throughout the year, Santa Monica’s waters are home to an incredibly diverse variety of sea life each on unique migratory journeys, including humpback whales, gray whales, blue whales, fin whales, and more. Meet some of the whales you might see while whale watching with us.
Not sure when is the best month to book your whale watching Santa Monica 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 Santa Monica 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 Santa Monica 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 Santa Monica 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 Santa Monica whale watching with over 30-years whale watching Santa Monica experience. Absolutely no hidden fees or fuel surcharges.
Narrated Harbor Tour
Duration: 45 minutes
Learn history about the harbor, see the beautiful Santa Monica 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 Santa Monica Whale Watching tours are led by experienced Captains and crew with over 30 years of experience in whale watching tours. Absolutely no hidden fees or fuel surcharges.
Helpful Tips For
Whale Watching in Santa Monica
When you embark on a whale watching Santa Monica cruise with Harbor Breeze, you’re in for an action-packed expedition of a lifetime. From the moment you step onto the boat, our experienced crew is focused on your safety so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights out on the Pacific.
While we’re confident you’ll enjoy your experience out on the water, we have a few recommendations so that you can fully participate and have the best trip possible. To ensure your comfort at sea, consider the following tips:
1. Bring Sunscreen. Just as you’d protect your skin for a fun day at the beach, you should come prepared for your whale watching trip with sunscreen. Each Harbor Breeze whale watching cruise will last at least a few hours, so you’ll want to prevent serious burns especially on sunny days.
2. Dress in Layers. It’s important to remember that once you hit the open water on your cruise, the temperature will drop compared to what you experienced on land. We recommend you dress in layers so that you stay comfortable should there be any strong winds or changes in cloud cover.
3. Pack the right gear. In addition to sunscreen and a light jacket, don’t forget to pack your binoculars and camera. For your safety, whale watching vessels are required to keep a set distance from wildlife. While you will still have a great view of the whales from the boat, a pair of binoculars can help you see what these majestic creatures look like in greater detail.
4. Be prepared for sea sickness. Some whale watchers are more prone to seasickness than others. Unfortunately, a bout of sea sickness can instantly change your mood from excited to miserable. If you tend to get sea sick, we recommend taking a dose of the over the counter medication of your choosing prior to departure. You might also consider a non-medicinal alternative such as Sea-Bands.
5. Ask questions. While on board, our captain and crew are not only there to keep the boat headed in the right direction, but also to answer any questions you might have about the marine wildlife you see. Our staff is incredibly knowledgeable, and are happy to share information about migratory patterns, how to tell the various whales apart, what different sea creatures eat, and so much more.
6. Patience is key. Even when taking a tour with the most experienced companies like Harbor Breeze, the sea life you see and how long it takes for a sighting is completely unpredictable. Keep your eyes peeled at all times, but be sure to enjoy your time out on the water in case it takes a little while to spot a sea creature. We promise it will be worth the wait.