San Diego

Catch the Big Gray Whale Migration

Whale watching along San Diego’s coastline is at its best from from December through April, when California gray whales migrate from the frigid Alaskan seas to the warm lagoons of Baja California where they give birth and rear their young.

On a Whale Watching Yacht Charter, visitors to San Diego have the unique opportunity to glimpse one of nature’s most awe inspiring events.

Each winter, thousands of these gentle giants journey close to the San Diego coast on their southern journey. San Diego is a great location for viewing this extraordinary trek involving tens of thousands of whales. It’s the longest annual mammal migration on the planet!

Many Eastern North Pacific gray whales make an incredible 20,000 km (12,400 mile) round trip between their southern breeding grounds off Baja California, Mexico and their northern feeding grounds off Alaska and the Beaufort Sea.

April – November: Arctic feeding grounds
October – March: migrates south
December – April: Mexican breeding grounds
February – July: migrates north

In the early winter, they move south to breed in the warm, shallow lagoons along the Mexican coast. The most popular breeding lagoons are San Ignacio lagoon, Scammon’s lagoon, and Magdalena Bay, on the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico. Around February, the grays migrate north to feed in Arctic waters (western Beaufort Sea and Bering Sea), northwest of Alaska. A few – mainly younger – whales make a shorter journey north from Mexico.

As a yacht charterer you should allow for 3-5 hours of cruising time for your whale watching tour depending on whether you are booking a power boat charter or a sailboat charter.