We were blessed with picture perfect weather for our first full day in San Diego, so we decided to take full advantage of it and head to the bay for a whale watching excursion! Every year from December through April thousands of gray whales can be seen passing through the Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of San Diego, and a number of tour operators offer opportunities for people to go s catch a glimpse of them as they swim by. As we researched the different options available, one immediately caught our eye - @nxtlevelsailing.
I mean, having the opportunity to go whale watching on a replica of one of the most famous sailing vessels of all time?!? Yes please! -
The original yacht America was said to have been the boat that put yachting on the map. It also happens to now be the namesake of the America’s Cup event. The 139-foot yacht only holds a total of 76 passengers, which makes it a much more intimate experience than other tour providers. -
Our 4-hour sail was led by the yacht’s owner himself, and he and his crew did a wonderful job of making sure everyone enjoyed themselves and stayed safe. They educated us on sailing, the history and geography of the area, the migratory patterns of the whales, and much much more. They also had snacks, soft drinks, and waters for us to enjoy throughout the sail. We did manage two see two gray whales on our tour today, and they were absolutely magnificent! But we also just loved the experience of getting to see the beauty of San Diego from the water - especially once they killed the engines and were able to just sail! The only downside to the experience was that both Daddy and Benjamin ended up tossing their cookies at one point, so that was kind of a bummer. But it was short-lived and definitely didn’t ruin the experience for anybody. -
So would we recommend it to other families? Absolutely! But with that said, we do feel like Benjamin was probably a little young for a yacht like this with very little to keep him from going overboard. At 1.5 years old, he just wants to be on the go all the time, so keeping him contained was a struggle at times. I’d say ages 3 and up is probably a good recommendation!