Welcome to our sightings page! Here you will find the most detailed and accurate accounting of the type and quantity of whales and dolphins we’ve seen off Newport Beach, from the Trip Logs of our boats. We are meticulous about our data being gathered and reported accurately, as we cooperate with marine biologists to evaluate the trends observed in our local waters. Honest accounting is important to us, so that’s why we break down for you the sightings made by each trip, with the actual number of animals confirmed. Sometimes we have to estimate the numbers of dolphin, because there are just so many!



The heaviest animal to ever live on planet earth(up to 200 tons) feeds off Newport Beach May through October. In California waters, they average about 80 feet long, but are known to reach over 100! The population that frequents the West Coast of the United States stands at about 3,000 whales, which isn’t too far from it’s historical size. On a really good day in the summer, we might see 5-15 individuals feeding on krill off of Orange County. Blue Whales require patience, because their feeding dives can last upwards of 10 minutes. However, waiting is rewarded because when they surface again, they move very little and allow us to get close looks. Having evolved without predators, the blue whale is quite tolerant of approaches by boats. It wasn’t until the past few decades that Blue Whales were sighted with consistency off Newport Beach. These days, it’s one of the best places in the United States for Blue Whale Watching!

Information about Whale and Dolphin Sighting Seasons off Newport Beach:

There’s a reason why Newport Beach is such a productive location to try whale and dolphin watching. The underwater canyon and shelf that is present off our coastline causes an eruption of food chains, starting with with plankton to small fish, which whales and dolphins feed on all year long!

Just like on land, the ocean has its seasons, and we’ve put together this helpful Sightings Calendar to help show the seasonal variability of whale and dolphin species off Newport Beach.

Whale & Dolphin Sightings Calendar: Newport Beach

One of the things you will notice right away is that sightings of two species of dolphin, the Common Dolphin and Bottlenose Dolphin, are always ranked “Best” or “Good.” Southern California can easily be considered one of the dolphin capitals of the world, with scientists estimating the local abundance of Common Dolphin at well over 1 million animals!

We also have “Best” or “Good” rankings for 5 commonly sighted baleen whales, with various times of the year being better for each species. Over 20,000 Gray Whales migrate along the California coast from December through May, and so we’ve ranked those months as being the “Best” for that species. Giant Blue Whales, the largest animal on earth, visit Newport Canyon to feed during the late Spring and early Summer, when strong upwelling contributes to an abundance of krill in our waters. Humpback Whales feed on anchovies in the coastal waters of Orange County as they move between Mexico and California; typically sightings peak in a barbell fashion during the Spring and the Fall.

One thing’s for sure in Southern California, you never know what you might see on a whale watching trip. Rare encounters of Sperm Whales, Killer Whales, Sei Whales, Pilot Whales, Bryde’s Whales, and False Killer Whales have all been seen multiple times on Newport Coastal Adventure. Very few places in the world can boast of such diversity in sightings of whale and dolphin species.

Lastly it is important to remember, the ocean is a huge and wild place. Whales need to eat thousands of pounds of food per day. Sometimes currents shift, placing their food elsewhere, and we do experience periods of slower sightings now and then. It’s important to bring along a mindset of being on a “quest” for sightings, not an expectant “guarantee.” One thing we can guarantee, is that we will try our absolute hardest to give you the best trip possible with the conditions that the ocean gives us.

Need more information? Call (949) 922-8784.