What to expect
- Spend a half-day fishing in the crystal clear waters off the California coast
- Enjoy constant help from an experienced guide who will give you valuable tips and tricks to catch a variety of fish
- Take in incredible views of the sea as well as of the varied marine life, which may include bass, barracudas, mackerel, and more
- Gain valuable memories and great photographs of you and your catches that are sure to wow your family and friends
About this Activity
Note: No experience needed. Participants must be 13 years or older. Fuel surcharge is included in price. A fishing license is required by the state of California. Rod rental ($13), one day license ($15.12), and tackle ($10-$15) will be available for purchase.
Price includes $4 facility fee.
|Price||$85.00 per guest|
|Duration / Session||6 hours|
|Rating||44 positive reviews|
Jeff V.Twilight Fishing Trip (Half Day) September 12, 2020
Always a great time! I’ve been on the Freelance since the 80’s. This was my sons first trip and he had a blast. The Crew did an amazing job from the rigging, unhooking the fish and untangling of others lines which made my experience as a father to help me keep my kid fishing wonderful! Thank you Daveys Locker!
Stephen Y.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) September 10, 2020
Great team on the boat
Fidel R.Fishing Trip (Half Day) September 18, 2019
Gregory C.Fishing Trip (Half Day) September 5, 2017
My experience was great. The crew were very careful and explained a lot to the unexperienced fishermen. We went far from the harbor and I still don't get why we make this 1h trip, otherwise, everybody catch plenty of fishes, not always the biggest ones, mid-size, but the crew were attentive that we released them if they were too small, which is good thing to preserve the spieces ;D I will certainly return fishing with them when my brother and friend will be with me in California
Brandi R.Fishing Trip (Half Day) June 1, 2017
I have nothing but good things to say about the whale watching tour and I highly recommend it! The staff was friendly, funny, & knowledgeable of the ocean life. We didn't get to see any whales but we did see dolphins, Patches the dolphin, & sea lions. We were able to walk around the boat, buy drinks & snacks, and there are bathrooms! Take a sweater because it gets cold!!
Cndnangel2 .Fishing Trip (Half Day) May 28, 2017
I have to say this was probably the highlight of my trip to California.
Things didn't start off great as on our way from our hotel in Long Beach to Newport Beach I realized that I had screwed up on the reservation and we had missed our Whale and Dolphin Watching tour the day before. I called and explained and they were kind enough to book us in later that afternoon at no additional cost for which I am very grateful.
We didn't see any whales, not for a lack of trying but we did see sea lions and an entire pod of dolphins which was very cool as I had never seen anything like that before. I was looking down from the side of the boat and they were swimming along side us. So amazing.
They did a bit of a running commentary throughout the tour with stories and facts which was great and then at the end we were able to buy some pictures of the things we saw which was nice as I didn't bring out my own camera once and just enjoyed the entire experience.
This was a lot of fun and even if we hand not seen anything the boat ride alone was worth the price for me.
Thank you for a great experience.
Richard S.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) May 28, 2017
Twilight fishing...just WOW! We had an incredible experience that will be repeated several times over! Thank you to the crew for such a memorable / truly perfect time. It's amazing the power of a memory and a new tradition can make on a family. No words for how thankful we are.
Kristin N.Fishing Trip (Half Day) May 15, 2017
We didn't see too much on our evening boat ride except for a seal ripping apart and eating a small shark. The boat can make you a bit seasick. Obviously there's no guarantee you'll see anything. I think for us we were hoping the boat ride itself would be more enjoyable.
Destene K.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) May 6, 2017
Honestly have nothing negative to say about the crew on board they were extremely helpful, friendly, and made the experience fun. However, be very aware that this company's only goal is to squeeze as much money out of you as possible. Originally paid just for the experience, with the promise all was included. Called to make the reservation and another huge fee was tacked on for wharf charges and fuel. Okay, fair. Then showed up and was charged for the fishing license and bag of bait and tackle. Again, fair. Then we board the boat and we don't actually have the proper tackle or bait so we need to pay more and we're already an hour out to sea when we find this out. Boat was crowded with not much place to sit or relax while out to sea for 10 hours, and it's really every man for himself as far as grabbing your spot on the boat to fish from. Constantly had people stealing my spot when leaving to grab bait, or simply pushing me aside or crawling under me and snagging or tangling my line. Finally catch some fish and find out there's another cost for them to put it in a bag for me to take home. Definitely bring your own food and drinks, and any other supplies you'd want for the experience and you'll save yourself loads of money. Ended up paying almost triple what I expected just to catch 6 fish, none of them worth really calling home about. Overall a fun time, just watch all those tricky hidden fees for things you'd been told were included!
Toni L.Fishing Trip (Half Day) May 3, 2017
Well worth the price. Even though we didn't see any whales, we did enjoy alot of dolphins and sea lions. If you are prone to motion sickness than beware. The boat is like a rocking even with good weather. I took pills before and they didn't work too well. But my family enjoyed the tour.
Robert L.Fishing Trip (Half Day) April 23, 2017
We went out April 21, 2017, not a good day of fishing. The boat ride was 3 hours getting to the back side of Catalina, 2 & 1/2 hours back. Overall it was a long boat ride, but that is fishing.
I would question the fish count (Big Time) that was posted for following day.
138 Bacaccio, 105 Rockfish, 21 Bonito, 13 Whitefish, 7 Spanish Jack, 4 Sculpin & 1 Barracuda.
This my be accurate but most of the fish caught were very small 5" to 6" and were thrown back for the seagulls. Not sure I would do this again, full boat fishing elbow to elbow. We spent half the time untangling our lines.
Also no rotation on the boat we had the same position all day while a group of about 20 + kept calling there friends up to the front of the line as they showed up and took up the entire back of the boat all day. Simply a rude group of people to the rest of the fisherman who showed up earlier got pushed back in line. Capt Nick & the crew were trying to find fish and were very excellent and helpful.
Karen C.Full Day Fishing Trip (Sat & Sun) April 21, 2017
Went on our whale watching near the end of the season, so it was unsure if we would see any whales, when looking at the count for previous days outside the shop we were hopeful, even if it was just dolphins we may see as thousands had apparently been seen the day before. We unfortunately didn't see one! Making me think where are these thousands??? We did find a small family of grey whales right at the end of the cruise, they didn't want to show us much but that can't be helped. Drinks on board are quite expensive but staff were friendly but there wasn't a lot of communication or commentary throughout the cruise.
Tad D.Full Day Fishing Trip (Sat & Sun) April 17, 2017
Whale watching: Only saw one whale on the day we went but we saw over 300 dolphins, pretty cool! The staff was great. Price was reasonable. Plan on spending a couple hours walking around the boardwalk, getting a bite to eat, or walking up the pier.
Katlowry .Full Day Fishing Trip (Sat & Sun) April 14, 2017
Well we didn't realize we booked a sport fishing excursion with 42 other people. Since I'm not a pro and looked at the rod minus weight, hooks etc, as too intimidating, a quick decision to cancel was decided. As it was spring break and packed the chances of a refund didn't look promising. The staff there suggested a credit and we were able to book whale watching instead.
Thanks to the staff for being so thoughtful and helpful!!
Cherri S.Full Day Fishing Trip (Sat & Sun) April 14, 2017
Due to a cancellation from another whale watch trip we had booked, we found this place online, made a reservation for 8 for the following day at 12:30. Parked in the public lot next to Palm Street. Check in was easy. Staff was friendly and knowledgeable. The boat was not overcrowded and we were able to bring a double stroller on. We were so fortunate as the Captain located 2 Gray whales which we followed at a distance for a while. Got several good views as they surfaced. After that we found a large pod of dolphins (like hundreds of them). They like to play with the boats the Captain explained so we hung with them for a while as they interacted with the boat. The trip was very enjoyable. Depending on weather bring a jacket or sweatshirt as it was considerably cooler while the boat was in motion. Would highly recommend for all ages.
randamcfadden .Full Day Fishing Trip (Sat & Sun) April 10, 2017
We (3 of us) took a 4:00 ride. It was well worth the extra money for the Captain's Seating Reservations. We were treated like VIPs. We spotted one whale a couple times and lots of sea lions, but no dolphins. The water was quite choppy after an hour, so the Captain decided we needed to head back to the dock. He gave an entertaining talk about the houses on the bay on our way back. We were more than satisfied with their refund policy. Next time we would book a morning cruise..
Jason M.Full Day Fishing Trip (Sat & Sun) April 10, 2017
Beautiful sunny day during Spring Break, took my Aunt/Uncle and cousins (who came out from Upper Michigan) to Daveys Locker for some Whale Watching. Just a bit of wind and temp was in the low 60's but perfectly sunny. Boarded at 12:30, exited the harbor and went just a bit south just offshore from Laguna Beach and spotted several California grey whales right away. We followed them all the way back to just offshore of Newport/balboa beach. The tour is about 2 hours and there is a bar and snack bar onboard. We enjoyed cold beers and great bloody Mary's. The captain and his crew were awesome and we purchased some professional pictures taken by Chasen who is the pro photographer on board. My family absolutely loved it and they cannot stop talking about their California whale watching adventure. Definitely try to book the earlier tours due to there is usually less wind in the mornings. Also arrive at least 30 min early so you can get a front spot in line and try to get spot at the Bow (front) of the boat so you can see everything. The prices are very affordable, but your best option is to go to their website and sign up for emails/offers before you book the trip. I have been many times and I usually only pay about $12-15 per person... great savings especially when you have multiple people going.
Enzo L.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) April 5, 2017
This was a highlight of our trip. We decided to go whale watching and found a special running from Davey's Locker. The staff were all professional and fun. We were able to see 3 hump back whales and a ton of dolphins. And it was a beautiful day to be out on the ocean. Once your done, the boardwalk is right there for some good eats and low key entertainment. Make sure to take a jacket ! Everyone goes to the top. But the beat view is on the bottom front!
Yvette A.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) April 3, 2017
The Captain and Deck hands were GREAT! The only issue for me was the amount of people on the boat. We were constantly getting tangled with our fishing lines. I was able to still reel in 7 fish... and boy were they tasty. My recommendation would be to try the weekdays instead. all in all, worth every penny.
Maureen K.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) March 27, 2017
We can not say enough positive things about our experience! Larry and his crew made the day one we will remember always! He made sure we saw whales, we were able to see two pods of grey whales. He helped guests find the perfect side of the boat to view and gave tons of great information about marine life. It was a wonderful experience. Photos after the trip were worth the price, as Chase is a great photographer!
There is a snack bar on board! Food and beverages.
LOVED THIS TRIP! Thank you!
Jenni F.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) March 19, 2017
I had been on a whale-watching tour one before without seeing any whales so I wasn't expecting much other than a nice little ride out onto the ocean. The price was right with a coupon for $13/ticket. The acoomdations were comfortable and the crew friendly. And the captain was fantastic! He was very knowledgable about the whales and kept giving us information over the loud speaker. Thanks to his expertise, we saw NINE gray whales on our two-hour tour. We saw one juvenile close to the beach and 8 adults in deep water.
Kerry N.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) March 16, 2017
The evening was met with a marine layer which inhibited the view. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our time and the trip was worth the cost. We were two families of three each with two teenage girls. I would add, if you are averse to alcohol then this trip may not be for you. We were not pressured to drink but the lower leave was a bar area that was occupied densely due to the weather. Very nice tour!
Kat M.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) February 19, 2017
My trip was smooth and easy. The water was beautiful. The captain was informative. We saw WHALES.... Yet, I was still underwhelmed. By seeing whales, I mean we saw a few inches of their backs and one time saw part of a tale. We saw a lot of their "footprints". The captain said we were the first boat to see whales ALL DAY! So clearly I was very fortunate to see whales and would not repeat the experience. I feel bad for all the other boats that day that paid money and spent time to NOT see whales.
If you enjoy just being on the water, this is a good choice for you. If you get restless after a couple of hours at sea like my son and me, skip it!
Note: Do NOT get here too early thinking there will be a lot of fun things for your child to do on the Pier. There isn't. Spend time in Fashion Island with your kids before hopping on the cruise instead.
Mary Beth M.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) February 11, 2017
Took our 2nd Graders on a field trip out of Davey's Locker on Friday Feb.10th. What an awesome trip! The crew was fabulous and took great care of us and all the kids! We got to see a grey whale up close!! And lots of dolphins. Our kids had a wonderful time and I'm sure they will cherish this experience!!! Thank you again to the entire crew of the Ocean Explorer, you were by far the best!!
2nd Grade Teachers
Brian I.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) February 8, 2017
The weather didn't cooperate but the crew of the boat did their best to make the trip fun anyway. We did see a large group of dolphins though. Make sure to check the weather report before booking, for makes whale sightings difficult
Jennie M.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) January 31, 2017
Everything aligned today for our experience. Perfect weather, calm quiet sea, fun and awesome boat staff, and a fin whale!!!! This would have been a great ride out to sea even without the whale sighting. Keep in mind that the weather and animal behavior are unpredictable, nothing is guaranteed on this trip however the staff does everything they can to try to find a sighting. Definitely would do this again.
Kimberly H.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) January 16, 2017
Reserved a 12:00 pm trip online, parked our car at a meter at 11:50. This meter was being EXTREMELY difficult and would not accept our credit card for some reason. After 5 mins of inserting our card over and over we decided to scurry up some change and fed the machine for 3 hours. We power walked / ran over to Davey's (I still have shin splints from the walk) and was told that the 12 pm trip had already departed! We were placed on a waiting list for the 12:30 trip (which was running late) and luckily we were able to make it onto that trip, I did not want to drive and come back!
The 12:30 trip actually departed at 1:00. My bf and I got a delicious corn dog along with a chocolate covered banana with sprinkles nearby. It took a while bc a man was making everything from scratch. My bf said they make their own waffle cones too! YUM!
After all the rain during the week, the afternoon was clear and perfect weather for being out in the ocean! We sat / stood on the lower deck on the front of the boat. We saw hundreds of dolphins, it was amazing how close they were to us and even swam along the boat. AMAZING!! That afternoon, we saw a grey whale with its cub and we spent about 40 mins following the whale. It was so cool! They had a professional photographer that flew a drone over the whale and it was useful because if we did could not spot the whale, the captain would tell us to look below the drone.
Super clean boat, the restrooms were impeccable! Full bar and snacks served.
Definitely worth the trip! (maybe bc we actually saw a few things)
Park in the Balboa Pier Parking Lot!
Kari A.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) January 8, 2017
We took the whale watching tour with some friends and brought the kids. We thought the kids would get a kick out of seeing a whale and riding on a boat.
Unfortunately we didn't see any whales (which I knew was hit or miss) but we didn't see any dolphins, either! I was hoping to at least see a dolphin or two. The captain did take us to a buoy where there was a bunch of sea lions hanging out and snoozing. So we did get to see some marine life that day.
It was relaxing to be on the boat but to be honest I got bored after the first hour. I appreciated how the serious the captain and his crew were in trying to spot a whale. They were giving it 200 percent. Because things fell short that day, they gave each of us a voucher for a return trip. I wasn't expecting that at all and thought that was very generous on their part. I was really impressed with their service.
Things I didn't care for: there were several kids running around on the boat which I thought was dangerous. I think they should go over some safety rules pertaining to this prior to leaving the dock. It was also very annoying having these kids shrieking and running amok. I'm always astounded when parents don't provide proper supervision in potentially dangerous areas...smh.
The other thing was parking. On their website is a map showing where you can find metered parking and lot parking. It was impossible to find metered parking so we parked in one of the lots. Make sure you go to the all-day lot close to the beach. There is a lot that is closer to Davey's Locker but it had a two hour limit. Don't use that one. It's best to plan at least 3 hours for your trip (2.5 for the tour itself plus some cushion for walking to and from your car, waiting in line at the reservation desk, etc). Even with the map, we were unfamiliar with the area so it took us a while to find the correct lot.
Not sure I would return, even with the voucher, because of my boredom. The kids still had fun, though. They sell snacks and sodas in their galley when was a nice touch.
Tip: take Dramamine before the trip, even if you don't think you will get seasick. Better to be safe than sorry! Bring a jacket as well. It can get chilly out on the ocean.
Also bring cash so you can tip the crew. We thought the service was solid and that a tip was well-deserved.
Rakesh R.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) January 8, 2017
I must say, we were lucky to witness both a 15+ ft. whale along with a newborn about 8 ft. baby whale on our 2.5 hour trip on Dec 31. Captain was great narrating this event as it was unfolding in front of our eyes, see the picture. Popcorn and hot chocolate makes you feel comfortable on this boat, overall we were very happy with our trip, they also gave us a revisit coupon. The experience of coming to Balboa island on a quick ferry trip itself is very entertaining.
Dennis G.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) January 7, 2017
Such a fun experience! We saw seals, dolphins, and even orcas! I would recommend doing this if you get the chance! We were even talking about doing it again when friends come to visit.
Laura C.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) January 5, 2017
We enjoyed great weather 2 peaceful whale sightings, a large pod of common dolphin, sea lions and friendly boat staff. Would definitely recommend this tour to friends and family.
Terry L.Full Day Fishing Trip (Tuesday & Wednesday) January 1, 2017
Captain Larry was great we upgraded to the wheelhouse and it was worth it for us as the captain took good care of us and drinks came with it. The captain had to chase a grey whale and was successful in giving us great views of it. I'd make sure parking is paid on cautious side as the trip may run past the 2.5hrs due to location of whales. We also saw a pod of dolphins. It was worth the trip for us and would do it again but like any nature venture it's hit or miss but not due to captain's fault.
Mark B.Fishing Trip (Half Day) December 31, 2016
Had a great time aboard the Ocean Explorer !
Captain and crew where very nice and entertaining.
Unfortunately did not see a whale but saw dolphins and seals. Captain kept us well informed and had some funny jokes along the trip. Nice little snack bar also. Facilities where very good , will be back again for another try at seeing a whale. Boat is nice and large and very comfortable. Top notch !
Jay L.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) November 13, 2016
awesome 1.5day trip to cortez bank with Agressor. Very nice crew members with helpful deck hands. Had first over 100LB bft. yay.
The ship was not equipped with refrigeration system to keep the fish fresh which I didn't like.
Tiffany R.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) August 21, 2016
our first whale watching tour and within the first 20 min out we spotted a Minke whale!! it was the only whale we saw, but we encountered over 100 dolphins and they surrounded our boat. they were beautiful and magical. I would highly suggest going on the early am tours, there is less people and the water and wind aren't as strong. we knew going in that these mammals are wild and not waiting to put on a show for us, so the possibility that we might not see anything was high, but just being out on a boat in the beautiful pacific was good enough for us. luckily, we were able to see a whale and dolphins along with sea lions, it was a great experience!
go in the morning
wear sunblock, sunglasses, or hat and a jacket
kids can do well on this tour..but it depends on the kid.. lots of motion and sitting
arrive early for parking and to check in.
bring some snacks and water
we will definitely be back, thanks for a fun time!
Carolyn L.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) July 31, 2016
I had a great time on the 10AM whale watch yesterday (7/30/16). Larry the Captain was super knowledgeable and funny and also made me happy because he was very strict with the parents, ensuring that they kept their children safe in their sights. He had a firm hand with the regular private boaters out on the water as well to make sure that the whales did not come into harm's way. His voice sounds exactly like Sam Rockwell (actor). OK enough about the captain.
We saw tons of dolphin in their pods out on the water, flipping gracefully and swimming in our wake. We also saw 2 Humpback whales who stayed with our boats and blew some pretty impressive (read: stinky) water on us. I just love watching these gentle giants and it was wonderful to get to follow them around for a couple of hours. The OC coast line is also a beautiful backdrop.
The staff at checkin were very nice and gave clear instructions. There are drinks on the boat, if that's your thing. All in all, it's a great way to spend the morning with family and nature!
Adena M.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) June 27, 2016
This review is based on the sunset cruise. I got a good deal from living social which made the trip a bargain.
The location is a little confusing to find and parking is a hassle but they are very helpful and inform you about all that you need to know via email ahead of time so make sure to read it.
We saw a lot of dolphins which was nice. Everyone was friendly it was a good experience worth the money. It's just after the sunset I was bored but it was still nice. Make sure to take a jacket it gets chilly on the boat.
Cindy J.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) June 21, 2016
What an adventure!!! Thank you, team, for a PERFECT Saturday (6/18). This was my first official trip to Newport Beach, and you guys made it so memorable. Larry was an amazing guide. He is a witty, no-nonsense kind of guy who was super honest with us - the earlier tour group unfortunately didn't get to see any whales. So he wanted us to go a different direction... WE GOT LUCKY! We ended up spotting and sorta stalking (tastefully) a humpback whale. We even got pretty close to it and saw it flipping around several times. It was amazing!!! After this, we saw a HUGE pod of dolphins. Hundreds and hundreds just flipping around, riding our waves. It was quite a sight! I just remember screaming (with joy) for about 15 minutes as I tried to reach down and high-five the dolphins. I got wet from the bumpy, splashy ride (it was a bit windy), but I didn't mind - it was SO FUN!!!! We also saw huge clusters of anchovies and sea lions. I felt like a kid again! Speaking of kids - only a handful of passengers were kids, most were adults... but I would strongly recommend parents to bring your kids to this tour. It's very educational, and they can see sea mammals and fish in their natural habitat... not in Sea World! I am planning on coming back for another tour someday. Hopefully we will get as lucky as we did this time!
Dress code - you may get wet, so boat shoes or sandals (non-slippery) are recommended. No matter how hot the day is, it still gets a bit windy out there, so bring a jacket (preferably waterproof). Ears get cold, too. So a beanie won't hurt.
Parking - For the 12PM tour, we came at around 10AM to find parking and grab some breakfast. We were lucky enough to find 6-hour metered parking... but it still ended up costing around $20. Meters in Newport are expensive! There's also an all-day parking lot, but it gets full pretty quickly, so come early, especially in the summer!
Nearby - if you're visiting Newport Beach for the first time, you may want to hop on the ferry (just a few steps away from Davey's) for $1 and explore Balboa Island. Walk about 12-15 mins east and you'll find a bunch of cute shops and restaurants. Went to Wilma's Patio for an awesome late lunch, and stopped by a boutique and got a killer deal on an adorable burlap throw. =P
Michael C.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) December 25, 2015
Here I am in the middle of the bay, sitting at a table. I should be enjoying the sights, but I mean, I would say the sights are better up close. So, instead, here's a Yelp review detailing this great adventure!
First of all, they told us to get to the location and be checked in no later than 8:00pm, so we came early. Yet, they had us standing outside in the cold until 8:35pm and didn't let us onto the boat until then.
I'll be right back; we're getting a bit closer to some of the houses. Aaand just like that, I'm back.
Apparently, all doors on the boat must be left open, including the bathroom. If the policy is to leave the door open, they could at least keep it clean, but the smell permeated throughout the interior of the first level of the boat. It's also cold, but I came prepared for that.
My advice if someone gets you tickets for this boat ride: bring a board game.
The crew was nice, though!
Patricia G.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) June 7, 2021
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CHRISTOPHER C.Fishing Trip (Half Day) March 31, 2021
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Steve J.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) September 21, 2020
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Corey C.Fishing Trip (Half Day) July 24, 2020
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Jose A.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) June 6, 2017
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Yumi L.Full Day Fishing Trip (Sat & Sun) May 7, 2017
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Nhan T.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) April 2, 2017
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Kimberly H.Luxury Whale Watching (Mon-Fri) January 16, 2017
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Gourui S.Full Day Fishing Trip (Thursday) December 30, 2016
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