Whale Watch by Newport Landing

Weekend retail rate is $39.50 with fuel surcharge included; $35.50 on weekdays. As a bonus, this offer includes the fuel surcharge, so you don't have to incur that expense out of pocket at the time of departure.

3/5 3 Reviews
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Gate Prices Adult $39.50
Child (3-12) $33.50

Have you ever seen a 90-foot giant blue whale? How about a humpback whale? Newport Landing viewed over 2800 whales in 2014! Along with viewing thousands of whales over 300,000 dolphins were also viewed in 2014. Newport Landing Whale Watching gives you a great opportunity to view these majestic creatures — along with whales & dolphins, seals, sharks and other sea life are also encountered — with expert narration from a captain and crew.

Newport Landing Whale Watching has served the Southern California area for over 30 years with whale watching and dolphin cruises daily. The coast off Southern California is famous for bordering on the routes of various migratory whales, and Newport Landing invites you to see these magnificent mammals up-close and in their natural habitat. Newport Landing is located next to one of the largest marine sanctuaries in California with over 75 square miles of protected waters and coast. The marine park ensures that the rich ecosystem and its mammals will be in place for generations to come.

Year around cruises let passengers view an array of whale species, as well as dolphins, seals, and other marine life. The excursion lasts approximately two to two and a half hours and several cruise times are available every day.

Newport Landing boasts a 65-foot double deck ship with an upstairs sundeck, wraparound seating, a snack bar, and an indoor seating area with large windows. The ship was specifically designed for the viewing of marine life in a comfortable fashion. The captains and crew members are well-versed on the subject of marine mammals, with extensive backgrounds in marine biology and ecosystems.

Here’s a look at the fascinating creatures you may see on your excursion:
  • California Gray Whale: A baleen whale that can reach up to 52 feet in length and weigh 36 tons, with a life expectancy of up to 70 years. They are so named for the gray patches on their otherwise dark skin and were once called “devil fish” because of their erratic hunting behavior. Over 10,000 gray whales take part in their annual migration.
  • Giant Blue Whales: Measuring in at up to 108 feet and up to 180 tons, this is the largest animal ever known to have existed. They were once found in abundance in all the world’s oceans, but were hunted almost to extinction. In 2002 it was reported that there were between 5,000 and 12,000 blue whales in the world, traveling in as few as five groups. Newport Landing viewed over 700 of the giant blue whales in 2014.
  • Orca: Also known as the Killer Whale, these mammals are toothed whales belonging to the dolphin family. They are regarded as “apex predators” because they themselves have no predators and often feed on even large sharks, using sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal signals.
  • Minke Whales: A sub-order of baleen whale that is the second smallest type in existence. They measure in at an average of only 23 feet and weigh around 14 tons. They are black and gray in color, recognizable by the white band on each flipper. These whales typically live between 30 and 50 years.
  • Humpback Whales: A species of baleen whale ranging from 39-52 feet and weighing in at an average of 79,000 lbs. The whale is recognizable by its long pectoral fins and bumpy head. They are unusually playful, tending to breach and slap the water frequently in brilliant displays. The male variety is known to sing intricate songs lasting up to 20 minutes, possibly in a mating ritual.
  • Take advantage of the amazing whale watching and dolphin viewing that Southern California has to offer. See these vast and complex marine mammals in their natural environments. Passengers will leave with an enhanced appreciation for these gentle giants who are the kings of the sea.

    The Go Los Angeles® Card is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility, which includes discount Whale Watching Cruise tickets by Newport Landing, plus admission to dozens more top attractions.

    Getting In

    Present your Go Los Angeles Card at the ticket counter.


    Reservations can be made via email using the Newport Landing website.


    Daily, 8:00 am-7:00 pm. For specific tour times please consult the website.


    Thanksgiving and Christmas Day


    Parking options include parking structure at 309 Palm Street ($8 per day), Balboa Pier Parking Lot, & free residential parking


    309 Palm Street
    Suite A
    Newport Beach, CA

    Driving Directions

    Merge onto the 55 Freeway South; 55 becomes Newport Blvd. Continue south onto Balboa Blvd. at 21st St. Continue South on Balboa Blvd. to Adam St.; Turn left on Adams and pull into parking structure.

    Public Transportation

    Taxi, shuttles, and Orange County Transit Bus System available.

    Reviews for Whale Watch by Newport Landing

    Review Snapshot® by PowerReviews Express
     3 out of 5 stars (based on 3 customer ratings)
    Average Rating for Whale Watching Cruise by Newport Landing
    0% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
    Tried it? Write a Review
    Displaying Reviews 1-3 of 3 Back to Top Previous | Next

    [3 of 3 customers found this review helpful]

    No whales, no 2,5 hours tours
    By MJ Verified Reviewer from Barcelona, Spain on
    Bottom Line:
    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Comments about Smart Destinations NEW! Whale Watching Cruise: Newport Landing:

    If you expect to see whales, just forget about it. You may see some seals and dolphins in a 1,5 hours tour sailing in circles, nothing more than that. It is not a 2,5 hours tour and there are no whales. To make matter worse the audio doesn't work well enough so you are not able to listen what the guide says. I would suggest to change the name of the tour to "Dolphins Watching in circle"

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    [4 of 6 customers found this review helpful]

    Best Tour!
    By Luv2Travel216 Verified Reviewer from Long Island, NY on
    Price Friendly, So much fun, Perfect length, Amazing Wildlife Sighting
    no complaints, Nothing Perfect Tour,
    Bottom Line:
    Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Comments about Smart Destinations NEW! Whale Watching Cruise: Newport Landing:

    I travel all over the world. This cruise was one of my favorites! The amount of wildlife sighted on this tour was incredible! Truly a once in a lifetime experience!

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    [30 of 35 customers found this review helpful]

    A great cruise but not for whale watchin
    By Disbabe Verified Reviewer from Stafford, UK on
    Friendly staff
    No refunds
    Bottom Line:
    Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Comments about Smart Destinations NEW! Whale Watching Cruise: Newport Landing:

    Cruise booked for 9-11.30am. Boat did not turn up until 9.45am and therefore returned to dock late. You do not go far out to sea, sticking close to land, going round in a circle. We got to see pelicans, seals lying on the 2 buoys and some wild dolphins in one area that swam alongside the boat for a few minutes. We did not get to see any whales at all and was told that only one had been spotted in that area, earlier on that morning. This was very disappointing as we expected to see more! We enjoyed the cruise itself and was a good use of 2.5hrs out, although due to the lateness of the boat meant that it scuppered plans for later on in the day. We were also disappointed that they did not give refunds, only a ticket for half price off another tour, which also did not guarantee you seeing a whale. I know that the previous day a woman, who had returned to this tour, had not seen a whale either (which meant that she had now done 2 tours without seeing any whales). Of course the seeing of a whale is not guaranteed, so I would still recommend this cruise, but wouldn't travel a long way for it.

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