Whale Watching Cruises in Los Angeles: A Guide

Although the largest city in California and the second largest city in the United States, there are no whale watching cruises that depart from Los Angeles specifically. However, there are several companies that provide whale watching cruises to people visiting or living in Los Angeles. Most of these companies have come up in our other articles about whale watching in California, but a couple have not, and in any case this guide was written with Los Angeles visitors and residents in mind. If you are interested in taking a whale watching cruise from Los Angeles, we have all the information you need.

As our guides to whale watching in San Diego, Newport Beach, and Long Beach show, there is a core group of whale watching cruise providers who serve the Southern California area. Regardless of the exact coastal city you are trying to leave from, a few of the same companies come up. But no matter which company you end up booking a cruise with, you will be in for a similar experience. Almost every whale watching cruise lasts for two to three hours, and since you are sailing the same coastal waters, you will see the same whales and marine life. So, it is wise to pick a whale watching cruise on the basis of its price (promotions in the form on online coupons seem popular), and also the proximity of the departure port from where you are staying, as opposed to trying to scrutinize the offerings of each individual company. They will be largely the same.

If you are staying anywhere in Los Angeles, probably the easiest cruise company to work with is Harbor Breeze Cruises. The company is based in Long Beach, which is at the coastal center of the Greater Los Angeles Area. Harbor Breeze is the closest thing to a Los Angeles-based whale watching company. If you go further south, into Newport Beach, there are two whale watching companies based in this area: Newport Landing Whale Watching and Davey’s Locker. Both companies offer whale watching cruises “for” Los Angeles visitors, but these are the same whale watching they offer all the time, which depart from Newport Beach. (It is worth mentioning that Newport Landing, through a partnership with Riter Aviation, offers whale watching cruises by plane. They depart from Torrance Airport, which is right by Long Beach.) Harbor Breeze Cruises, Newport Landing, and Davey’s Locker are probably the best companies to sail with if you are in L.A. However, if you happen to find yourself a little further south than Newport Beach, you could sail with Dana Wharf or Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari, or if you find yourself quite a bit further north of L.A., you might consider booking with Condor Express, which is based in Santa Barbara.

As you can see, there are a number of whale watching cruises in the Los Angeles area. Some are near the heart of the city, like Harbor Breeze Cruises in Long Beach, whereas others are scattered more on the edges of the region, particularly Condor Express. Again, they will all offer similar cruises, so we recommend picking a company based on convenience and price.

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