There is truly no better way to spend an evening than exploring the gorgeous waters of Mission Bay and taking in all its amazing scenery and wildlife including dolphin, sea lions, and birds. If you are looking for a fun-filled family adventure, one of the most popular family activities is a Cruise San Diego dolphin tour.

During your relaxing sunset cruise, you will get a chance to observe several types of dolphin in their natural environment. Some of these fun and friendly creatures love to frolic in the bay and work hard to get your attention, which makes this a top choice of family activities along the San Diego coast.

Types of Dolphin to Observe in Mission Bay

  1. Common Dolphin – The Common Dolphin has two varieties – the short-beaked and long-beaked. They bring year-long pleasure to Mission Bay. Contrary to their name, these dolphins are anything but common. They are among the most playful and often travel in large pods ranging from 50 to 1,000 in a group! These engaging swimmers love to jump and are impressive when you see their acrobatic abilities.
  2. Bottlenose Dolphin – The Bottlenose is the largest dolphin in the San Diego area. Known as the smartest creatures in the ocean, the Bottlenose is the most common type of dolphin and are most likely the ones you have seen on TV. The inshore type of Bottlenose is typically seen close to the shore and in the bay and are not too friendly. The offshore Bottlenose Dolphin are quite the opposite and love to be seen! You will catch them jumping, playing, and following the bow of the boat!
  3. Pacific White-Sided Dolphin – Probably the most beautiful of all dolphin are the Pacific White-Sided Dolphin. This striking creature features white stripes along their top side and a distinctly different dorsal fin. Although they are typically only seen in the area from May through November, they are especially fun to watch as they play alongside the boat.
  4. Risso’s Dolphin – One of the largest members of the dolphin family, Risso’s Dolphin look quite different than the dolphins you typically see. They are dark gray with a great deal of white scarring, which is due to their battles with squid, their main prey. These creatures are typically found offshore, so they are not seen as often as their counterparts but make a wonderful discovery if you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

Also, be sure to check out our new adventure, the Dolphin & Whale Watching Sunset Cruise which takes place in June, July and August. This new adventure was designed specifically for nature lovers and gives you the best of dolphin & whale watching tours combined. Our friendly crew provides you with sightings of beautiful whales & dolphins while educating you about these amazing animals. Make memories to last a lifetime with Cruise San Diego dolphin & whale watching tours.