About Newport Landing Whale Watching

Newport Landing Whale Watching has been offering whale watching cruises for over 20 years from Newport Bay. Our primary whale watching ship was built just for whale watching with unobstructed views from almost any location throughout the ship. Along with our great location and state of the art whale watching ship are staff is a really great group of people. Captain Dustin and Captain Austin are great at locating whales and dolphin and along with our ship crews and office staff will always do everything they can to make sure your trip is a success. Our education department is constantly working on enhancing our whale watching program and sharing this neat experience with schools and youth groups. Thanks for choosing Newport Landing Whale Watching for your whale watching experience.

Our Ships

Newport Legacy

The Newport Legacy is our new 2016 cataraman whale watching ship with two levels, huge bow with stadium seating, huge indoor salon with full bar, snackbar, 2 full sized restrooms, and windows throughout.

Ocean Explorer

The Ocean Explorer is our primary whale watching vessel. This 70' vessel has two full walk around decks making it perfect for whale watching. The Ocean Explorer is equiped with a full bar, snack bar, and two restrooms.


The Nautilus is our secondary whale watching vessel. This 75' vessel has two decks and ample seating. The Nautilus is equiped with a full bar, snack bar, and two restrooms.


Our 50 foot catamaran yacht for luxury whale watching cruises. A perfect balance of gorgeous nautical details, and spacious viewing areas allowing you to get up-close views of wild marine mammals.


The Tern is a high speed vessel that takes up to 12 passenger. It's speed allows the Tern to cover more territory as well as spend more time viewing once wildlife is found.


The Shearwater takes out small groups giving each passenger a piece of the action. The open design offers a 360-degree view from anywhere onboard, allowing everyone a close encounter.


Our Captains & Crew

John is one of our most versatile captains; he works as Newport Landings mechanical and safety operations manager for our entire fleet as well as captaining the Newport Legacy. For eighteen years Captain John has worked down in Newport Beach, running fishing and whale watching boats. John still gets excited about sightings of local Common Dolphin, though he has seen so much during his time on the ocean. His favorite trip was with a megapod of Commons that stretched for three miles; he was very enthusiastic to share this experience with his passengers that day.

Larry has been involved with the ocean for over 40 years. He has shown tens of thousands of people some of the amazing marine wild life that lives right off our coast. He made two movies "7 miles from Newport Beach" and "7 miles from Dana Point" illustrating all the species of whales, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, birds and other marine species that live right in our back yard. Many guests have commented to Larry that being in such close proximity to these beautiful animals literally was a life-changing moment for them.

Robby is the primary Captain of the Nautilus and has over 20 years of experience. 15 of those years have been as a Captain. There is always a little friendly competition between the Nautilus and Ocean Explorer to see who finds whales or dolphin first. Robby has stated that he will never forget what it was like to see these amazing mammals for the first time.

Mike is one of our captains and inherited his love of the ocean from his father and used that to build a successful career. After a decade spent on the ocean he has brought his skills aboard the Ocean Explorer to great acclaim. Passengers appreciate his keen eyes when spotting whales as well as his personable demeanor when speaking. His favorite memories since joining the Ocean Explorer team include spotting his first breaching Humpback Whale and helping hundreds of passengers fulfill their dreams of seeing dolphins and whales in their natural habitat!

Tiffani has held a captains license for many years and has enjoyed working on all different boats. But has now made a home on the Newport Legacy! Born in Maine, she has always been surrounded by oceans! She loves the water and her favorite animals to see are the common dolphins because of show they put on!

Mike Harkins is the primary captain on the Western Pride. He has over 12 years nautical experience and has been working for Newport landing since 2008. He has been running the Western Pride for the past 5 years. His passion is to take passengers fishing and experience all that the ocean has to offer. His goal as a captain is to make your fishing or whale watching experience something you will never forget and most importantly safe and fun!

Harrison has spent most of his life out on the ocean. He even enjoys taking his own boat out on his days off! He is a captain on the Legacy and throughly enjoys making memorable trips for the passengers! His favorite animals to see are the humpback whales!

Clark has spent many years working in Newport Harbor on different boats, including the Catalina Flyer. He is now a Captain on the Ocean Explorer and loves investigating the waters to see what animals he can find. His favorite animals that we see are the magnificent blue whales!

Ryan is a Captain on the Shearwater. From a young age, he has been captivated by the creatures of the sea. To him, the ocean offers endless excitement, solace, and possibilities for knowledge. Ryan's favorite aspect of his job is sharing with others the amazing sights to be had in the waters of his hometown.

Taylor is another Captain of the Shearwater. Since 10 years of age, Taylor figures that he's spent almost every day of his life either in or on the water."It's something I actually love doing! I couldn't imagine monotonous work behind a desk on the computer. I love being outdoors everyday. Each morning brings a new challenge and something different when you're whale watching."

Angela has always had a love for animals. Coming from Michigan, it didn't take long to fall in love with oceanic animals. Now a photographer and deckhand on the OE, she enjoys sharing her love for the animals with each passenger. Her favorite animals to see are the fin whales!

Tanner started working on fishing boats for years and transitioned to whale watching on the Ocean Explorer. He is dedicated to his job and loves interacting with all of our passengers. He makes the best Bloody Mary's in town! His favorite animal that we see are the humpback whales.

Dani has worked on whale watching boats up and down the coast of California and has now settled in OC on the Legacy as a deckhand and photographer! She is very passionate about ocean conservation and loves educating the passengers. Her favorite animals to view out on the ocean are offshore bottlenose dolphins!

Brian grew up here in Newport Beach and was always on the water with family. He loves working on the Ocean Explorer because he enjoys sharing his knowledge of the water and animals with the passengers. His favorite animal that we see are the Risso's dolphins.

Tina has spent most of her life enjoying the ocean on her family's boats. Now turning a hobby into a career, she is a deckhand on the ocean Explorer! She loves bonding with the passengers over her love for the wildlife. Her favorite animals that we see are the gray whales on their migration!

Bryce moved to California from Ohio and was eager to start working on the water! He has spent years working in Newport Harbor and transitioned full time to work as a deckhand on the Legacy. He loves to watch the excitement on the passengers faces during the sightings. His favorite animals to view are the blue whales!

Matt has always had a fascination with the water since a young age. Now, a deckhand on the Legacy, he loves being able to share his experiences with all of the passengers onboard! His favorite animal to view on the ocean is the famous bottlenose dolphin - Patches!

Kayla spent several years working as a deckhand on the Balboa Ferry but she wanted to expand her horizons and made the switch over to working on the Legacy as a deckhand. She enjoys the once in a lifetime opportunities that it brings! Her favorite animals are the beautiful Pacific White-Sided dolphins!

Lisa grew up on boats at the lake and spent ten years working on the Catalina Flyer. She enjoys animals and the ocean, and loves socializing with passengers.

Luke has a passion for the ocean and loves surfing when he's not working as a deckhand on the Nautilus.

Our Office Staff

Natalie is our senior office staff member at the Main street location. She has worked for Newport Landing Whale Watching during the summers while getting her undergrad degree. Natalie loves meeting new people and finds that whale watching is a fun and exciting conversation topic. When a senior position opened up at the landing Natalie was the first and right choice. She has been with us now for over 9 years, counting summers.

Leanna has a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, and quickly realized her passion for hospitality and the tourism industry while working at a hotel during college. She loves being able to meet and speak to people from all around the world and ensuring they have an experience of a lifetime. Some of her favorite things she's experienced while working here is seeing Gray and Fin whales in their natural habitat and taking in the scenic beauty of Newport Harbor.

Ty is our Operations Manager at the Main street location. He has worked for Newport Landing Whale Watching for the past 8 years. Ty loves scuba diving, camping and anything that has to do with a boat! He is a well-rounded asset to our team and there almost isn't anything he can't fix or question he can't answer! He's an early riser- so if you want to say Hi come on our for our first whale watch of the day!

Courtney is our newest additional to our Newport Landing management team. Courtney received her bachelor's degree from Georgia State University in Hospitality Administration before living life near the docks. She strives in providing exceptional customer service and wants to ensure every leaves with a smile on their face. Courtney is going on her 3rd year with the company and is excited for what is to come!

Our Education Staff

Jessica has a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and currently works as a Naturalist and Marine Science Educator with Newport Whales. She truly enjoys educating the public and especially students who try whale watching for their very first time. In her free time she enjoys SCUBA diving as a scientific diver, and volunteering at the Aquarium with penguins. Some of her favorite memories on the water have been in Baja Mexico where she's spent time with Gray whale mom's and calves in their breeding lagoons, and she got to kiss a baby whale! She can talk to you all about these friendly cetaceans, just ask!
CONTACT: jessica@newportwhales.com or call (949) 675-0551 ext.118

Erica is the newest member of Newport Whales' Education Department. Even though she grew up landlocked in North Dakota, whales have always been her #1 passion. In 2011 she followed her heart and moved to the coast to pursue her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology. In the last five years she has worked on marine research and whale watching boats in British Columbia, New Zealand, Washington, Monterey Bay, and now plans to make Newport Beach home! She loves to be on the water and especially loves answering questions and sharing her knowledge with students.

Jill joined Newport Whales after a 13-year career with the United States Coast Guard as a Marine Science Technician and a civilian employee. After working for environmental change at the policy and enforcement level, she decided the best way to affect change is through education. Jill has a dedication and passion for all things ocean-science, especially cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and is continuing her education in Marine Biology and informal science education at California State University, Long Beach.