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“Best outing in San Diego”

Yacht America Whale Watching
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best outing in San Diego”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2013

I've been meaning to review whale watching on The Yacht America since our trip last April (sorry, busy mom of 5). This was our favorite outing in San Diego. The crew was amazing, especially the pirate like, off duty school teacher (sorry, I can't remember his name) who had our 4 and 12 year old (as well as a handful of other kids) singing and dancing like pirates. We saw sea lions, and chased one whale for a bit. Then our Captain and crew spotted a humpback whale several miles away. We caught up to it and spent probably 45 minutes watching the whale jump and spin out of the water right next to the yacht. This was an adventure not to be missed. I questioned whether we should take 3 hours out of our trip to do this, and am so glad we did. Also when you return, take a tour through the maritime museum. It's included in your ticket and really fun for kids of all ages.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank AVmom5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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62 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
100 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Whale watching on a historical ship!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2013

What an awesome way to spend the day whale watching AND sailing on a beautiful historical ship. It is a replica of the original America, one of the most famous ships in American sailing history. There are many species of whales and dolphins off of Southern California's coast so apparently you have the opportunity to see them year round. The largest concentration of whales are during the Grey Whale migration period which is roughly mid-December to mid-April when they go south from Alaska to Mexico to calve and then return a couple months later. Other species include Blue, Minke, Fin, Humpback and even Killer Whales. We also were lucky enough to see some dolphins and Sea Lions!

It was a 4 hour sail from 11am-3pm and I do recommend that you wear layers and bring a jacket plus sunscreen, sunglasses and hat for optimum comfort. California's water is cold and sometimes the difference of temperature and wind between land and the sea can vary. They encourage you to bring food and drink onboard and treat it as a picnic on the sea which is great as it is right between lunchtime and dinner. It is a beautiful 139 ft. sailing yacht and they encourage you to participate in the sailing aspect if you want. Captain Troy even let me steer a bit! They had a guy onboard dressed in the old whaling style and he narrated for us. He was very interesting, he said they use him for shooting some of the Johnny Depp pirate movies.

Overall a great day, my girlfriend and I had lunch on board a beautiful yacht and got to see several Grey Whales, some dolphins, Sea Lions and marine birds. We helped hoist the sail and steer the yacht and the Captain and crew gave us interesting, informative and entertaining narrative throughout. I highly recommend doing this activity but definitely call them to find out what the schedule is, what marine life they are seeing and what you can and cannot bring on board. There website has lots of useful info and they may have an online special as well.

Tally Ho!!

Visited April 2013
1 Thank SurfdogSD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Rare Glimps of a Blue Whale!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2013

We went out to watch whales and were not disappointed when we got a rare glimpse of a blue whale! Many thanks to the terrific crew who gave us the trip of a lifetime! The America is a spectacular historic ship that sliced through waves and brought us to the sites of whales and dolphins. When the boat was without motor and totally under sail we experienced the simultaneous calm and thrill that beckons many to the joy of sailing. Note: This boat will be in San Francisco this summer and will be available for public trips during the America's Cup races!

Visited April 2013
Thank Jill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic Day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2013

I am a little late getting this review in but wanted to say a BIG BIG thanks to all the crew for such a fantastic day. So so professional, courteous, fun, informative, the crew were a delight to be with. We don't have any kids but they were so good with the children on board that everyone old & young had a great time. And, what a fabulous boat! 5 stars aren't enough.

Visited January 2013
Thank J G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley, California, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“What an experience...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2013

I am from San Diego and have been on many whale watching trips before, but this was by far the most unique yet relaxed atmosphere I have encountered yet. First of all, the boat is a replica of the America, a sailboat form the Americas Cup, and it is very different than the average motorboat experience. The tour guide was a character, the crew was friendly and extremely knowledgable, and we even got to steer the helm.

I took my girlfriend who's from England on the trip and she loved it. We saw a whale within 15 minutes of being out at sea, in addition to a baby whale with its mom, and plenty of "breaching" and "whale tail." They also provide light snacks and beverages for sale, and are very good for family outings and accommodating for small children (and the occasional sick sailor).

We would definitely go again.

Lucky and Evie

Visited December 2012
Thank Lucky T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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