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Humpback Whales and Orcas Have Been Spotted in the Waters Off Long Beach

2 humpback whales at surface

2 humpback whales at surface Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

December 22, 2017

By this time of year, gray whale sightings are normally consistent. Instead, the Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises have been regularly sighting humpback whales, which are known for their acrobatics. In addition, orcas, fin whales, gray whales, dolphins, and other animals have also been spotted in the waters off Long Beach recently. On January 4, 2018, the Aquarium and Harbor Breeze Cruises invite the media to set sail for the chance to see whales and dolphins in local waters while exploring current ocean conservation issues. Members of the media will board the M/V La Espada, the specialized high-speed, low-noise and low-emissions whale watching catamaran docked next to the Aquarium. Experts will delve into conservation issues affecting whales in these urban waters. Join us to learn more about the diversity of whale populations and other marine life found off Southern California’s coast.

Media will also be able to explore the Aquarium’s award-winning Whales: Voices in the Sea multimedia exhibit. As guests explore this exhibit, they learn about the environmental threats facing gray, blue, humpback, sperm, and the endangered North Atlantic right whale, among others. Press can experience the bilingual English-Spanish exhibit after their whale cruise. This exhibit was made possible by the Pacific Life Foundation and was developed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography with the Aquarium of the Pacific.


  • Joel Lee, Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Captain Dan Salas, CEO, Harbor Breeze Cruises

Thursday, January 4, 2018
Check-in/Embarkation: 8:40 a.m. on the Aquarium’s front plaza
The boat will depart from Dock 2 at 9:00 a.m. and will return at 11:30 a.m.

Media RSVP:
Adrian Samora, Aquarium of the Pacific, (562) 951-3197,
Please RSVP as space on the boat is limited.

The public can visit the Aquarium of the Pacific and embark on Harbor Breeze Cruises for a two- to two-and-a-half-hour whale watch excursion with Aquarium experts daily at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The Gray Whale Watch combo ticket is available for purchase on site at Aquarium and may be purchased in advance by calling 562-590-3100. Prices are $49.95 adult ages 12+, $45.95 senior 62+, and $33.95 child (includes whale watch and Aquarium admission). Guests will be able to listen to the whales they see and can learn more about whale communication through the Aquarium’s interactive Whales: Voices in the Sea kiosk exhibit featuring the largest and smallest whales on the planet—the blue whale and the vaquita. For more information, the public can visit the website.

The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the new FROGS: Dazzling and Disappearing, Our Water Future, and Archerfish exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. The Aquarium won a 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for Aquariums, as awarded by TripAdvisor® travelers, and the 2017 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits.

Harbor Breeze Cruises:
Southern California’s Harbor Breeze Cruises offers harbor cruises in addition to fun and educational encounters with gray whales and the largest mammal on Earth, the magnificent blue whale, dolphins, and other marine life. Harbor Breeze Cruises’ experienced captains and Aquarium of the Pacific naturalists will take guests on this exciting journey. Harbor Breeze’s fast, custom built state-of-the-art luxury catamarans can cover great areas. Multiple daily departures offered year-round.