For cruises, head to Newport Coastal Adventure:
Newport Coastal Adventure
309 Palm Street #A Newport Beach, CA 92661
Newport Coastal Adventure, LLC
PO Box 5272 Balboa Island, CA 92662
Before emailing us with your questions, please consider reading over our FAQ section to potentially find your answer right away!
1. When is the best time of day to book a trip?
Contrary to what one might expect, there is no way to predict what time of day whales and dolphins might be more actively feeding or closer to shore. And to some extent, it doesn’t matter. That’s because whales and dolphins need to come to the surface to breathe air every minute or so, which means they are always accessible to watch and enjoy, no matter the time of day!
2. What should we wear?
The air temperature on the ocean is closely related to the the sea surface temperature. For that reason, our colder months on the water occur from November through June, when temperatures range from 55 to 65 degrees. During these months, pants and jacket are suggested. July through October brings a temperature range of 65 to 75 degree ocean temperature, so this is when you might be comfortable in shorts. Shoes of any type are welcome aboard the boat, except for high heels!
3. When is the best time of year for whale watching in Newport Beach?
The most consistent time of year for whale sightings is from January through April, during the Gray Whale migration of over 20,000 whales. However, what is most consistent is not necessarily best: giant Blue Whales are known to feed here May through September, and charismatic Humpback Whales often make awesome appearances in the late Fall. Check out our sightings calendar to see what’s in season for your visit!
4. Is there a minimum age requirement for a child? Is there a maximum age? What if I’m pregnant?
Yes, we ask that on a public trip, children be at least 5 years old. This is because on a small and fast boat, everyone must have awareness for their own safety. On a private charter, children as young as 3 years are allowed. Under no circumstances can we accept passengers under 3 years old. Large, slow moving boats are much more suitable and safe for babies. The same might be said for an adult if they are frail, recovering from a surgery, or otherwise not prepared for the potential of being jostled. There is no maximum age, but please know the boat ride is fast and adventurous. Pregnant women are not allowed to join us for this reason.
5. Will we get wet?
It’s possible, but we do our best to minimize passengers becoming soaked. If the day is windy, sometimes spray will come on the boat. But our Zodiacs are NOT “white water rafts”. If we are on a trip that is turning out to be too wet, we will return to the dock.
6. Will I get seasick?
The vast majority (>95%) of our customers do not get seasick! There are several reasons for this. First, the design of our boats allows for open air and a clear view of surroundings at all times. Secondly, because our Zodiacs are low to the water and stabilized by air filled tubes, they do not rock side to side like big boats do. Lastly, we operate low-emission four stroke gasoline engines. These are the same engines that power most cars, so you don’t have to worry about inhaling diesel fumes, which are common on other boats and often nauseating.
7. What happens if a whale gets “too close” the boat? Are they aggressive?
Whales are truly the gentle giants of the sea. Amazingly, even a whale that is 2 or 3 times larger than our boat presents no risk to us. That’s because whales have amazing eyesight and hearing, so they know our location around them at all times. Whales want to do everything they can to avoid making contact with boats, out of self preservation. And because whales have evolved to eat tiny prey such as krill and anchovies, they lack an aggressive instinct.
8. Are the boats safe? Can they “pop”?
Newport Coastal Adventure’s fleet is comprised of the highest performance vessels in their class. The primary reason we use RHIBs (Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats) is because they are SAFE! All our boats are purchased from the military, who certainly do not use boats that can “pop” or easily sink. In fact, because our boats have a high flotation collar filled with air in addition to the metal and fiberglass hull structure, they are redundantly safe! Furthermore, the US Coast Guard inspects us annually, requiring lifejackets on board for each person, as well as automatically inflating liferafts.
Our recommendation is you park on Balboa Island no matter which trip you’ve selected. This is because Balboa Island parking is free, has less restrictions, and is generally more plentiful than Balboa Peninsula parking. Then, simply take the Balboa Island Ferry across the harbor to 309 Palm Street if you’re on the 15 passenger Zodiac.
Balboa Island Parking directions: Enter Balboa Island from Pacific Coast Highway (1) via Jamboree Rd. Continue straight until making a right turn on Park Ave. Proceed straight until Topaz Ave. Make a left and begin looking for street parking on Topaz, Opal, or Agate streets.