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All reviews captain troy maritime museum american flag america's cup wear layers dolphins and sea lions saw dolphins blue whale hour sail marine life star of india sails hoist crew replica passengers boat
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Reviewed July 26, 2018

This is a whale watching tour on a replica of the yacht that won the original America's Cup race in 1851. It is smaller than most of the cruise ship type boats that do whale watching trips in San Diego and not configured as a dedicated tour boat, but an authentic sailing ship. The ship does not have seating as such, but there are places to sit on deck and below. You can help with the raising of the sails (or not) as you choose. Non alcoholic beverages are available, but you might want to bring water and snacks (and a Jacket in the colder seasons/ had and sunscreen in all seasons). There are bathrooms. When full, the boat can be a bit crowded, so try for a less busy day. Besides whales, you will likely see a great many porpoises. Personally, I would go just for the sail whales & porpoises to be seen or not.

Thank Richard_PF_59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 18, 2018 via mobile

We booked this as part of our 3 days in San Diego. This was part of a wider California road trip and our first time in San Diego itself.

Wow!! We took the 4 hr trip and it was amazing! Great weather and the team on board were first class in both looking after us And also sharing the knowledge of both the blue whale and generally.

We Saw dolphins and the amazing blue whales, we were blown away!!

We also loved the crew dogs ( in particular Walter who was on dolphin spotting duty at all times! )

We will be back and we will definitely do this tour again.

Thank NickyM467
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 15, 2018 via mobile

We left on this 4 hour trip from the Maritime museum area on a replica of the racing sailboat, “America”
We saw blue whales for the first time, one was a mother with her calf! The mother could have easily been 100 ft long, and appeared huge! Learned the meaning of the term “ there she blows! That is the way to spot a whale, when they blow a white jet of water straight up about 15 ft in the air! The tour provided drinks and snacks. The first mate, Al was a great host, full of information and entertaining! One thing we should have done was bring sunscreen!

Thank Robin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 4, 2018 via mobile

I searched a lot for a whale watching tour for our recent trip. We did not want to go on one of the big "cattle boats" and weren't quite ready to venture in the six passenger small boats. This was the perfect option. A lovely four hour sail on a schooner looking for whales.
We did see a number of whales. The time of year we were there was the gray whale migration. They were smaller and less visible than the larger humpbacks we had seen in Hawaii, but rewarding just the same. We also saw several kinds of dolphins.
The boat was very comfortable and you can stand and move around with the exception of taking off and landing. Water and soft drinks were provided as well as salty and sweet snacks. You are also welcome to bring your own refreshments. Wine and beer for a small charge. There is a nautical restroom below deck. The boat was very stable and smooth even though it was a windy and somewhat choppy day.
The captain and crew were all very personable and answered many questions. They were knowledgeable about sailing, whales and local information. They also engaged the passengers who wanted to in lifting the sails and in conversations.
Bring and wear layers, it can be windy and chilly. At least two passengers lost hats. Wear sunscreen. They did offer nice fleece blankets for chilly passengers.
Tickets include the Maritime Museum which is very unique and worth an hour or two before or after the cruise. We parked in the 12 hour lot by the Midway and walked a couple of blocks.
We very much enjoyed our day on the water and were very pleased with our choice for whale watching.

1  Thank Lovtorun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 11, 2018

Have never been on a sail boat before, and have never seen whales, so checked off two experiences with one excursion. Once we cleared the harbor, immediately began seeing dolphins following the ship. We soon spotted two California Gray Whales breaching, which the captain stated was unusual. Also saw a mother and her calf, though we kept a good distance as to not disturb them. On the way back to harbor saw more dolphins and sea lions swimming together. It was just fantastic! The captain and crew were all so friendly and knowledgeable, it made this one of the highlights of our vacation in San Diego. They advise in their ad to dress in layers for this activity because it is quite cool out on the water, and luckily we abided. Some showed up in shorts and flip flops, and ended up shivering in blankets for most of the journey. They do provide free snacks and soda or water, plus there is a very friendly little dog who lives on board, and keeps an eye out for everyone.

Thank Jon N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 12, 2017

Had a wonderful few hours on the 139' sail boat America with Captain Troy, Al and their crew looking for whales. Some passengers got to hoist the sails and American flag. Motor sailed out past the lobster traps until we found pods of dolphins. Captain Troy turned off the motor and stayed with the pods while the dolphins entertained their audience. No whales this day. Sailed back to the dock - a very pleasant afternoon on the sea. Soda/water and chips/granola bars offered for free - beer for $4/5. Narrator Al is keeping you laughing with jokes and entertained with lots of stories about San Diego, boats, etc. Entrance to the Maritime Museum and all the ships docked by the America is included - leave time after the excursion to see them all - especially the Star of India and the museum on the ferry. Sit in the center of the boat if you get queasy. Another bucket list item checked off for the hubby. Keep in mind that the parking meters are only up to 3 hours - park in a lot because the cruise is more than 3 hours.

Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 1, 2017

We had out of town guests and decided to go on this excursion literally last minute since our guest's mother had sailed on America in 1997.
Most unfortunately didn't see ANYTHING finally after almost 4hrs. at sea we saw a pod about 4-5 seals. I've seen much more marine life swimming or even walking around La Jolla. The Captain was very quiet and we didn't learn anything interesting.
May be it was not the season, but it would have been nice to know that before embarking on such a time and money consuming trip. The captain did say that we were welcome to return as he was not able to show us any whales on this voyage.

Thank SanDiegoMal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 14, 2017

It was a wonderful day to look for whales. Unfortunately, we did not spot one this day. we did see many dolphins though. They offer half price on next tour if no whale is spotted. Great time was had by all.

Thank Judy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 22, 2017 via mobile

We spent a beautiful Sunday chasing whales with an "authentic " sea captain, Al, and a very good crew of Bob, Suzie, the real captain and others. Al kept us entertained and informed -- very interactive-- between whale sightings. Highly recommended!

Thank mariann1_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 6, 2017

Signed up for whale watching cruise, when we met with captain he explained that there were high winds and anyone not wanting to go could do it another day. one couple left.The ship can accommodate up to 72 people, there were only 20 of us. This cruise turned out to be one of the best things we have ever done in San Diego. We saw no whales , but that didn't matter at all. Swells on the ocean wer 8 to 10 feet. The America performed beautifully. It was exciting,the crew was great, the captain competent. I encourage any one who has never been on a saling ship of this caliber to experience this type of trip. Thank you America and her crew.

Thank davidrD8206ZF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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