LA JOLLA–Whale watching season is just around the corner and Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and Flagship Cruises and Events have teamed up to offer guests big adventures looking for some of the largest creatures on the high seas.
Whale watching season begins now and the twice-daily cruises continue through April 14. Led by expert naturalists from Birch Aquarium, guests will witness part of the longest marine mammal migrations in the world, when 20,000 semi-truck-sized Gray Whales pass San Diego on their 10,000-mile round-trip journey from the Bering Sea to Baja California’s tranquil lagoons.
These behemoths hug the San Diego coast on both legs of their journey, delighting guests with glimpses of their intimate lives. Lucky passengers will witness whales breaching, or hurling themselves out of the water and mating, and may even get a glimpse of newborn calves.
Beyond Gray Whales, the 3.5 hour cruises include a San Diego Bay harbor tour — including highlights of San Diego’s military history — and glimpses of dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea birds, and more.
Flagship Cruises and Events’ Marietta is a family-friendly boat and offers 360-degree views from the upper sun deck, multiple restrooms, and free WiFi. The onboard snack bar features lunch items, snacks, drinks, and alcoholic beverages for purchase.
New this year, Birch Aquarium is celebrating whales like never before at Whale Fest. Starting February 2 and running through February 10, guests will become whale experts as they enjoy whale-themed activities and crafts, get hands-on with whale biofacts, and learn the latest whale research from Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists.
This year marks the 19th season of the whale watching partnership between Birch Aquarium and Flagship Cruises & Events.
Tickets are available online, by phone at (619) 234-4111, or at the Flagship Cruises & Events Kiosk on the Embarcadero in Downtown San Diego. Advanced purchase is recommended, especially for weekend cruises.
Weekend cruise tickets are $48 for adults and $24 for children ages 4-12, weekday tickets are $43 for adults and $21.50 for children, and children under 3 are free every day. Discounts for military, seniors, and Birch Aquarium members are also available. Cruises depart at 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. from 990 Harbor Drive in Downtown San Diego.