Harbor Breeze Cruises

Best Whale-Watching Cruise, August 2014

Giant sea mammals don’t announce their presence by spouting off on cue, but the captains on the three-hour Harbor Breeze Cruises, which sail out of Dock #2 in Long Beach, have a knack for knowing where to find them. Before each ship departs, an expert from the Aquarium of the Pacific, which is steps away, hops aboard to share facts about the blue herons, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and whales you might spy. December through April is best for gray whales; May through November, for blues. The cushioned seating is a godsend, especially when you hit rough water; spotters with binoculars patrol the deck to keep an eye out for the critters. Online coupons offer $10 weekday discounts, and parking is validated at the cruise booth.