San Diego: One of the Top Gray Whale Watching Destinations in the World!

Whale Watching Season Begins Dec. 17th on Hornblower Cruises!

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ — Whale-watching at an amusement park is one thing, but whale-watching on the open ocean, seeing gray whales leaping out of the ocean and splashing in the wild, is quite another. Hornblower Cruises & Events in partnership with the San Diego Natural History Museum is preparing for over 25,000 whale-watchers to whom the sight of these gentle 45- ft-long whales traveling together on an epic 5,000 mile journey is inspirational. Whale-watching cruises begin on Hornblower Saturday, December 17th, 2005.

Unique to the Pacific, the gray whales pass in close proximity to San Diego Bay every winter between December and April, en route to their breeding lagoons at Baja’s southern tip. San Diego residents and visitors are treated to the awe-inspiring sight of these majestic giants while aboard the Adventure Hornblower which is one of the largest, fastest and most comfortable whale- watching yachts in southern California. Each of the three and a half-hour whale-watching adventures is narrated by experienced captains with information exclusively endorsed by the San Diego Natural History Museum. Other wildlife, such as sea lions, blue herons and three kinds of dolphins put in appearances, and there is a whale exhibit onboard which includes artifacts such as whale ear bones and fossils.

Nearly hunted to extinction in the beginning of the 20th century, the gray whales were placed on the endangered species list in 1970. However, as whale hunting stopped and whale watching became popular, the numbers of gray whales that ply these Pacific waters rose so steadily that by 1994 they were taken off the endangered list. As their numbers have risen, so have the masses turning out to see them.

“Whale-watching offers an unbeatable outdoor adventure for people from all walks of life,” said Captain Rich Goben of Hornblower Cruises & Events. “Cruising the open ocean and seeing the world’s largest mammal in its habitat is exhilarating and can be experienced by anyone.”

Reservations are not necessary; however, tickets can be purchased in advance online or 30 minutes prior to boarding at the bright RED Hornblower Cruises ticket booth located at 1066 North Harbor Drive, downtown San Diego. Cruises depart twice daily at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Please call ahead of time to assure wheelchair accessibility. A full snack bar is available onboard. The adult ticket rate is $27.00 Sunday – Friday and $30.00 on Saturdays and children ages 4-12 years are $15.00. Discounts are available for seniors, military personnel and groups. Whale-Watching Adventures are perfect as school field trips for any age. For more information or to purchase Whale-Watching Adventure tickets and gift certificates call 619-686-8715 or visit our Web site at www.hornblower.com.

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