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.

Western Pride

The Western Pride is our auxiliary whale watching vessel. This 85' vessel has a full walk around main deck and an elevated seating platform. The Western Pride is equiped with a snack bar and two restrooms.


80ft. 90 Passenger Max. Spacious and comfortable galley/snack bar with seating for 30. Ideal for large groups and company outings.


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.


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

Dustin is the main captain of the Newport Legacy, though he has worked on all the boats in our fleet, this catamaran is special to him. He has been with Newport Landing and Davey's Locker since 1991 and has over 25 years of boating experience under his belt. With his love for people and whales, Dustin works very hard to make each passenger's trip memorable. The most rewarding part of his career has been sharing all of his unique wildlife encounters with our guests.

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.

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.

Kane has 10 plus years of experience on the water with 5 of those being a captain. Kane prides himself on being the first one in the fleet to be able to spot a whale. His dedication and determination makes him extremely successful in finding marine mammals for our passengers to enjoy.

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!

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!

Dale Frink is our professional photographer, naturalist, and crew member for the Ocean Explorer, with over five years experience working in the whale watching industry. He has worked tirelessly to help photograph and document the whales and dolphins off Newport Beach, and to date has helped contribute to the successful identification of over 300 whales off our coast with his photographs. Some of his favorite individuals include "Patches" the Bottlenose Dolphin, "Hook" the Blue Whale, and "Scarback" the Gray Whale. His favorite part about his job is when someone leaves one of our whale watching trips with a greater appreciation for the ocean.

Kristin is our wildlife photographer, naturalist, and crew member on the Nautilus. Kristin has her Bachelors of Science degree in biology from the University of Washington. Throughout her career Kristin has researched sea otter dietary ecology, orca predation on Steller sea lions in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, and Pacific gray whale population ecology in southern California. Kristin loves sharing her photography with whale watchers and capturing the beauty of southern California's marine mammals and birds.

Sterling joined the company in 2017 and quickly earned his Captain's License. He has a talent for working aboard boats and has expertise in the mechanical aspects of boating. He also brings a passion for marine life and is quite at home while out at sea. Sterling is also very knowledgeable about Newport Harbor itself and is good at elaborating on various points of interest.

Chelsea is the Newport Legacy's wildlife photographer, in addition to being a crew member and an American Cetacean Society naturalist. After studying film production at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television, Chelsea worked as a director and cinematographer in the film industry before turning her sights to the open ocean. Chelsea looks forward to the surprising encounters that each trip brings, and especially loves sharing her photographs and knowledge with first-time whale watchers.

Chasen works on the Ocean Explorer as a crew member with 3 years of boat experience. He is enthusiastic and happy to be on the ocean with the passengers. Every cruise is a new experience which he enjoys sharing with the other whale watchers. Whether it's the intelligent killer whales or the enormous Blue Whales, Chasen cannot wait to get back out on the water for another amazing trip.

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."

Paul Rodriguez has been a crew member on the Western Pride for the past 11 years and has over 20 years of experience working on the ocean. He has worked thousands of whale watching trips. He has great eyes for spotting whales and dolphins and always likes to teach passengers some fun facts about whales.

Chris Kerrins is the relief captain/deckhand on the Western Pride. He has been with the landing for the past 5 years and obtained his captains license 3 years ago. He really enjoys taking people whale watching. Chris has been on the ocean his entire life so teaching our passengers about whales is second nature. He hopes to see you on the boat soon.

Mike has been a captain on the Nautilus for two years and has been with us since 2009. He is a fun and outgoing guy, who enjoys bringing passengers out on an ocean adventure to see our coastal wildlife. Mikes' first experience with Orcas was astonishing but that doesn't compare to a trip where two blue whales unexpectedly surrounded the Nautilus and its passengers. He is a blast to have as a captain and always gives a good show.

Robby has worked for Newport Landing since 2014 on the Nautilus; he is currently in pursuit of his captain's license. The best part of being out on the boat every day is the experience is different each trip. His most memorable whale watch was when a playful Humpback Whale started slapping its tail right in front of the boat. Robby is a great crew member and soon will be a wonderful captain for our boats.

Our Office Staff

Lia is one of our senior staff members and has almost 10 years of dedicated service with Newport Landing and Davey's Locker. She prides herself on being helpful and personable with all customers. The best part of her job is watching customer's reactions to them seeing a whale fluke for the first time. She greatly enjoys whale watching and has an unparalleled love for the ocean. Her favorite species to see are Risso's Dolphin.

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.

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

Wesley has a Bachelor's of Science degree in marine biology from the University of Maine and has spent many years on the water, both Pacific and Atlantic. Originally from Boston, she is one of our naturalists and marine science educators at Newport Whales. Through research and education in marine sciences, she makes a great asset to have on our whale watching cruises. Wesley is at home on the ocean and happy to share all her knowledge about the amazing creatures we get to see off Newport Beach coast.

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.