Dana Point, CA: The Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World

Dana Point, CA: The Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World

Dana Point has BIG NEWS (bigger than a Blue Whale)

DANA POINT, CA. (July 24, 2019) – After being fierce competitors in Dana Point for over twenty years, Donna Kalez, General Manager of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching and Gisele Anderson, Vice President of Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari have joined forces to let the world know that Dana Point is the Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World®. They have set aside their differences for the greater good of Dana Point, the dolphins, and whales who live and visit the ocean waters off Dana Point and the people who need to know about it. “We’ve been through a lot across the table from one another. It was time we came together and focused on what we both agreed on,” said Kalez.   

Anderson, Capt. Dave’s wife added, “Dave and I have traveled to many of the world’s best places to see whales and dolphins, and each time we come home thinking about how incredibly special what we have here is. It was better, hands down than anywhere else. It was time to let everyone know the facts. Working with Donna and Dana Wharf has been a lot of fun.”   

Together the pair are co-directors of Dana Point Whale Watching Company, Inc., whose sole purpose is to promote Dana Point as the Dolphin & Whale Capital of the World®. To that end, the company hired a trademark attorney and after a year-long process was successfully awarded six trademarks from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.   

There were nine criteria cited in the evidence to trademark Dana Point as the Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World®. Beginning with the NOAA report that Southern California has more than 450,000 resident common dolphins and more dolphin per square mile than anywhere else in the world, the criteria adds that Southern California’s almost pristine weather make it a year-round whale watching experience. The waters off Orange County are also frequented by five species of dolphins and five species of whales throughout the year. Other criteria that separate Dana Point from other Orange County locales are, having the closest access to the deep offshore underwater coastal canyons that are just minutes from the Dana Point harbor, as well as Dana Point’s annual Festival of Whales, the oldest and longest-running Whale Festival in the World.  

“There are some companies that can lay claim to some of the same advantages that Dana Point offers, but no other destination in the world can lay claim to ALL of the criteria that makes Dana Point the best place in the world to see dolphins and whales year-round,” says Anderson. 

For Kalez, this is the carrying of the torch for her father Don Hansen who started whale watching in Southern California over 50 years ago and launched the city’s annual Festival of whales. For Anderson, this is one more step in her husband, Capt. Dave Anderson’s mission that first started almost 25 years ago when he said, “I want to do for the dolphins and whales off Dana Point what John Muir did for Yosemite.” Both companies share a wide following, with Anderson’s having over 31 million views on YouTube.   

The whale watching pair plan to roll out their directive to the City of Dana Point and County of Orange as well as Visit Dana Point, Visit Orange County, and Visit California. In addition, the duo would like to have the State of California pass a resolution that will allow California to say it is home to the Dolphin & Whale Capital of the World. Plans are also underway to start a National Dolphin & Whale Watching Day.   

“It’s an exciting time to be coming together and doing something positive for our community and the people who live here and don’t even realize that they are a stone’s throw from such an amazing resource. It goes without saying that we take what we see for granted,” says Kalez, “For decades, Dana Point had the moniker, ‘Whale Capital of the West’, but this is so much more and includes our magnificent dolphins as well. We want to bring this to the world, where it can receive the recognition it deserves.”

For more information contact: 



Gisele Anderson (949) 257-9535 or Donna Kalez  (949) 291-9219

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