Santa Barbara Whale Watching

Learn more about Santa Barbara Whale watching

Santa Barbara Whale Watching Cruises

Mid-February through Mid-May

Welcome aboard our 50' Sailing Catamaran, the Double Dolphin, for an intimate Santa Barbara whale watching experience. Our Santa Barbara whale watching tours are perfect for all ages and provide a unique on-the-water experience to get up close with some of the largest creatures on the planet.

Morning and afternoon trips leaving daily.

Winter brings these gentle giants to the waters just beyond the Sailing Center’s shores every year, and guests love to experience whale watching in Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara Channel is home to an incredible assortment of marine mammals, including over 30 different species of whales and dolphins. The most common whales sighted on our whale watching adventures are the majestic 45-foot long Pacific Grey Whales. Sometimes we also see the enormous Blue Whales, which can reach up to 100 feet in length and are the largest animals on the planet. On most of our whale watching trips we also see Common, Risso and Bottlenose Dolphins, California Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, and lots of other marine life. Occasionally, we are even lucky enough to spot Orcas, Humpback Whales, Minke, and Pilot Whales.

Pacific Gray Whales This year an estimated 28,000 Pacific Gray Whales will journey through the channel on their migration between Alaska and Baja California. On their way south, they pass by the Channel Islands, about 26 miles off our coast. Beginning in mid-February, as they make their way north again, the mothers and calves stay close to the Santa Barbara coastline, just a few hundred yards off shore. Join us for an experience of a lifetime as we journey alongside these magnificent animals on a 2 and 1/2 hour Whale Watching excursion mid February through mid May.

Blue and Humpback Whales From July through September, the Blue and Humpback Whales visit the area to feed on the krill produced in the Santa Barbara Channel. In recent years, our channel has seen the largest concentration of Blue Whales in the world, as well as large numbers of Humpback Whales, which are typically seen off the coast of Hawaii. Whether you live in Santa Barbara or you’re just visiting, you owe it to yourself and your family to come Whale Watching aboard the Double Dolphin. Along with our regular cast of dolphins, sea lions, and other fantastic marine life, it is a treat we’re sure you will remember forever.

Reservations are required


Adults: $65
Children & Infants (12 & Under): $45
Please arrive 20-30 minutes early to your cruise. Whale watching cruises often sell out so we recommend booking online in advance.

Prices subject to taxes and fees. We accept major credit cards only. We do not accept cash.



Dress in layers as it tends to be cooler on the water.
Wear comfortable, non-marking soled shoes.
Bring a camera, sunscreen, sunglasses and binoculars if you have them (especially for whale watching)
Motion sickness medication should be taken according to manufacturer’s direction.

Attention: Bringing your own alcoholic beverages is NOT permitted on any Double Dolphin public cruises. There’s a bar on board for your convenience.

We almost always see dolphins, sea lions and other fantastic marine life too!