With a fast, fun, and safe military-style Zodiac inflatable boat, we take just six passengers on a semi-private or private 2 hour excursion that is sure to be a highlight of your year. Our boat is twice as fast as the competition, allowing us to give you an experience unlike any other offered in Orange County. Newport Coastal Adventure’s trips combine whale watching and a coastal tour. And because of the light load, passengers receive the personalized attention of the captain to answer their questions or accommodate requests. Our 23′ boat, with its air-filled pontoons, makes interacting with dolphins and whales a comfortable and close up experience. Leaning over the side of the boat, you can almost touch the dolphins as they playfully ride our bow wake. And because our engine is quiet four-stroke, we don’t annoy the whales with loud noise, enabling them to get comfortable with our presence. The waters off of Newport Beach are productive for viewing Common dolphin, Bottlenose dolphin, and Pacific White-Sided dolphin, along with Gray, Blue, Fin, Humpback, and Minke whales depending on the season! To learn more about our local whale species, CLICK HERE!
Because our whale watching Zodiac travels at 20 plus miles per hour, there is a wind factor that can bring a chill. Layering with a jacket is your best option, with jeans or pants also being a wise choice. Our boat is a very dry ride in the majority of conditions, but its possible to catch a few drops of spray on a windy day.
There is no consistent best time of day for Whale Watching. Since the animals need to come up to breathe every few minutes, the viewing opportunities are available as long as there is light to see. However, it is easier for the captain to spot the whales and dolphin when the weather is calmest, and that typically occurs in the morning hours.
Please visit the restroom before you get onto the boat. There are no bathrooms onboard and the excursion lasts 2 hours. Also, allow for time to find parking, as Balboa Island has residential street parking. Another option is to park on the Balboa Peninsula and take the Balboa Island Ferry over as a pedestrian.
If you have experienced sea sickness before, it was most likely on a large boat slowly pitching and rolling on the waves, confined in a stale interior space. Newport Coastal Adventure is just the opposite…. We move fast and in the open air. Most likely you’ll be having too much fun to even think about it. But if you experience chronic motion or sea sickness, this may not be the trip for you.
Our whale watching Zodiac is equipped with soft cushion seats with backrests but even so, if you are pregnant, have a weak back or neck, or if you do not like going fast over the water, you should not go. Children must be 5 or older to ride. If you do not meet the criteria for our trip, or are concerned about going fast in a small boat, consider booking with our partner Newport Landing at this link: Newport Landing Whale Watching Ships
Newport Coastal Adventure runs a 23-foot Zodiac inflatable paired with a quiet 150 hp four-stroke Yamaha engine. The Zodiac SRO 700 has a weight capacity for 20 people, but we only take 6 passengers at a time. While the boat can attain a top speed of 40 mph, we typically travel around 20 mph. Our speed capabilities allow us to cover more ground in less time to increase our chances of finding dolphins and whales, providing a key advantage over our slower competitors.
We meet United States Coast Guard (USCG) standards for commercial operation and our boat has a radar, chartplotter, and VHF radio for the highest level of safety. Your captains are licensed by the USCG and have broad knowledge of the local coastline and conditions.
Read more about Newport Coastal Adventure in these stories featured in our local newspapers:
Enter Balboa Island from Pacific Coast Highway (1) via Jamboree Rd. Continue straight until making a right turn on Park Ave. Proceed straight until Agate street on your left. Our boat is at the end of Agate street near the ferry. Parking is also available on the “other side” of the bay at Balboa Peninsula Fun Zone or Pier lots.
Adjacent to the Balboa Island Ferry on the Balboa Island side. We meet on the sidewalk in front of
504 S Bay Front- look for the sign and boat!
Newport Coastal Adventure, LLC
PO Box 5272
Balboa Island, CA 92662
Captain Ryan Lawler
PH: (949) 922-8784
For Orange County fishing charters, contact our partner AllWater