Went here several weeks ago for the 3:30 pm cruise. After I purchased four tickets for the whale watching cruise, I didn't bother getting in line at the gate thinking the long line that started forming at 3 pm was for the 45 minute harbor cruise. Actually it was the line for both cruises combined in one. No big deal, so I was at the tail end of the line but we still got good seats on the side of the boat. Once the cruise gets under way, it doesn't really matter where you are on the boat, everybody is moving around and it seems the place to be is towards the front. This is because if a whale is spotted, the captain points the front of the boat in the whale's direction. Time goes by fairly quick and standing for hours on end doesn't really effect you that much. The hot dogs in the galley were only a couple of bucks and they even had beer. Just ask the lady vacationing from Texas who was binge drinking assorted beers and eventually took a spill on deck. Our cruise we were able to see several schools of dolphins and a couple of whale pods. So it did turn out to be a productive cruise for us. On the return trip to dock 2, the captain puts the boat into high gear so you do get buffered about by waves and strong winds. As your leaving the dock, Bubba Gump's restaurant is actually across the street next to the parking structure, so we enjoyed a nice seafood dinner there afterwards.
6290 E Pacific Coast Hwy,Long Beach, CA 90803
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Berth 3 Rainbow HarborLong Beach, CA 90802
This review is solely for their 45 minute Harbor Cruise. You would think that the small stand next to the Marina selling tickets would be a total tourist trap but think again. I could not have been more pleasantly surprised by the whole process. It is a relative bargain and to get out on a decent size boat for 45 minutes on a hot summer Sunday is a great mini adventure. The youngish staff selling and taking tickets was very organized and very polite and there was not up selling to the longer trips. The Harbor cruise is a quick was to get out on the ocean and tool around while the very friendly and informative captain narrates. He didn't mail it in either. His commentary was a thoughtful mix of the routine mixed in with some pertinent dialog for what was happening that day. This is not a whale watching excessive so be mindful it is simply a fun, quick and affordable way to get out on the ocean for a bit.. There are some great views of the Pike, the lighthouse, shoreline village, the Queen Mary, the spy sub, the cruise ship, the oil islands, and the sea lions. Just enough to keep you mildly entertained for the 45 minutes. I mentioned our captain already but I would be remiss not to mention how patient he was loading up the boat before we left with some very "needy and loud" adults. He was smooth and made sure it didn't effect the full capacity group already on board.
I have wanted to do this my entire life and it was worth the wait! Maura was very informative about the various species of animals we saw - a sea lion, Harbor seals, 3 species of dolphins and 2 GREY WHALES!!! It was a little windy and rough out but the boat was expertly piloted so as to allow everyone to see the animals and get pics. We were held off a jetty for several minutes so that everyone could get pics of the Harbor seals basking there. We went in close enough for everyone to get a good look at them, plus pics. Maura also pointed out a perfect place for me to stand and get pics of the whales! Eric was taking lots of pics and said the crew would post them on Facebook later. He asked if I'd gotten good pics of the whales and I told him I didn't think so because my camera was so old. He said to be sure and check FB for pics. As I was leaving the boat Eric found me and gave me a beautiful pic of a breaching humpback whale that he had taken on another cruise