Adventure RIB Rides: Everything You Need to Know

Imagine experiencing a once in a lifetime wildlife experience that allows you to watch giant whales and pods of Dolphins jump in the air in front of you. 

In this guide, we'll cover what exactly a R.I.B ride is, what makes it unique, what you can expect, and the animals that you may see during the ride.

rib ride whale

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    What is Adventure R.I.B Rides?

    As one of the most popular tours/rides in San Diego, Adventure RIB tours are extremely unique and will provide you with fantastic memories that will last a lifetime.

    What is RIB?

    "RIB" stands for Rigid-hull Inflatable Boat. Now this is not your normal 'inflatable boat' that you can throw in the pool or a lake...

    This an authentic Navy SEAL RIB purchased from the Navy Seal team in San Diego.

    The RIB is an unsinkable, high capacity and high performance boat built from top of the line technology and is regularly used in rescue patrol roles as well as transportation roles.

    The RIB's lightweight and low profile allows you to get near and personal to marine wildlife without disturbing them.

    They are also the fastest whale watching boats which means you will have a higher chance of seeing wildlife. This is something that other tours just can't offer.

    How Does RIB Handle Rough Weather?

    This battle tested RIB can do well even in rough seas, as the flexible tubes allow for better 'heavy sea' contact absorption.

    Whatever concern you may have regarding inflatable boats should be alleviated as the US Navy's primary special operations force has used this for decades.

    adventure rib rides dolphin

    Smaller Group Provides You a More Personable Experience

    The Adventure RIB tours will be made up of a smaller group, and you will be able to choose a public tour or a private tour.

    The smaller group has many advantages including giving passengers the opportunity to have 1 on 1 conversations with the captain, have their questions answered and if you're lucky even make special requests!

    This provides an amazing experience for your vacation.

    Every charter will be guided and captained by very knowledgable, highly experienced & personable US Coast Guard licensed captains.

    They've led countless tours and have provided passengers memories of a lifetime.

    What to Bring?

    Yourself and a camera! Every passenger is provided with everything they will need to have an adventurous yet safe tour. Passengers are provided with a survival suit to keep them dry (and warm), and sunscreen.

    Passengers also have the option to purchase additional items including hats, sweatshirts and even snacks.


    Options include binoculars & Go Pro cameras.

    aventure rib tour whale

    Tours | Itinerary | Beginning to End

    1. Book Your Tour or Tours

    Reserve your seats for your tour. Something of note, if you are doing a public tour, they have a minimum age of 4 years old. Watching tours typically require reservations.

    You'll notice there are tours that last different amount of hours, book the best fit for you.

    Go to the email that you provided and ensure you have received your tickets after purchase.

    2. Arrive Early

    To ensure you are there on time, and out of courtesy to the captain and the other passengers, make sure you arrive early to make your tour experience as seamless as possible from beginning to end.

    Arrive at least 15 minutes early.

    You will be able to park in the Sheraton Hotel and Marina self parking lot for a discounted parking price.

    Sign your waiver and if you'd like, apply sunscreen as well!

    3. Follow Instructions to Get Inside the RIB

    Hop aboard the RIB and enjoy your fantastic experience throughout San Diego. Make sure to follow your captain's guidance as he will point out interesting/beautiful sights along the way, while explaining the history of San Diego.

    4. Sightseeing

    Some of the things you'll be able to discover include the San Diego skyline, a Nuclear submarine base, brown pelicans, sealions, seals, the Point Loma lighthouse, beautiful hotels, the gorgeous beach from the seaside, and the Cabrillo National Monument. All amazing views the San Diego Bay provides.

    Make sure you enjoy yourself, take tons of pictures, and ask lots of questions! Whale watching is an amazing experience, sometimes we forget how small in size we truly are in the world.

    One whale watching experience and that will all change!

    A larger list of animals you may see during your San Diego tour can be found below.

    Something of note, depending on the season you may see different animals. Some animals will be in that area year round, others will migrate throughout the year.

    5. End of Tour

    Review the fantastic pictures that you took on your trip and send them to your friends and family, but of course... post them on instagram as well!

    Tour Through San Diego

    You will be able to enjoy navigating through the San Diego Bay in a way that you have not seen before. RIB boat rides are such a unique experience that it is extremely popular with everyone that visits San Diego.

    It is very rare to experience something like this. Oftentimes you will be able to see animals from far away, not in their natural habitat, or inactive. 

    These tours allow you to see wildlife in a way few people ever get to experience and for these reasons have impressive reviews/ratings on yelp, tripadvisor and online in general.

    Animals You May See | Wildlife | Homes


    Blue whales, Fin whales, Hump back whales, Gray whales, Minke whales, Sei whales, bryde's whales

    rib tour gray whale


    Bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, pacific white side dolphins


    Sea turtles


    Mako sharks, Hammerhead sharks


    Mola mola

    Sealions & Seals

    aventure rib tour sea lion

    Animals That Can Be Found Year Round

    Humpback Whales, Long Beaked Common Dolphins, Short Beaked Common Dolphins, In-shore Bottlenose Dolphins, Off-shore Bottlenose Dolphins.

    Tips to Remember 

    Although the captain will do his best to find the best wildlife that is out there on that day to give you the best experience.

    There is no guarantee that can happen, as they can't control wildlife. They will always be extremely personable and friendly to everyone, provide fantastic services, and will do their best to find marine animals for you to see.

    So please, make sure you reciprocate that.

    Discount Adventure RIB Rides Tickets

    If you are looking to save money, look no further. 

    We will always be able to offer prices at a lower price, and tickets are sent to your email instantly. 

    You can find more information on how we are able to do this in our Authorized Theme Park Reseller page.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I Have to Book Tickets in Advance?


    Morning Tour or Afternoon Tour?

    As far as whales, go they are active throughout the entire day. The only impact will be weather. If you prefer morning, the temperature will be a bit lower and the waters will be more peaceful.

    Are There Lifejackets On The Boat?

    Yes. Ages 13 and under must wear them at all times.

    Can I Bring a Camera?


    Will I Get Wet?

    It is a possibility depending on the weather. However, you will be provided with a wetsuit.

    Are Food and Drinks Available On the Tour?

    They are not.

    How Close Will We Get to the Whales?

    Straight from the official Adventure RIB rides site

    We follow the federal whale watching guidelines that apply to all boats, including kayaks: stopping the boat at least 300 ft (91 m) away from the whales, not pursuing or blocking them, and driving slowly when we are near them. We allow the whales or dolphins to approach us if they choose.

    Where Can I Find Adventure RIB Rides Reviews?

    Trip Advisor


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