Could this be the winter of the whale? During this time of year it is common to see gray whales migrating, but other leviathans are in the waters off Long Beach this winter. In about the past week, experts from the Aquarium of the Pacific aboard Harbor Breeze Cruises have spotted a sperm whale, a pod of more than twenty orcas (killer whales), and blue, fin, humpback, and gray whales. 

Sperm whales are very rarely seen off Southern California, and orca sightings here are also uncommon. The endangered blue whale is the largest whale on the planet and normally frequents local waters in the summer months. The second largest animal on the planet is the endangered fin whale, who has returned another winter to the waters off Long Beach. Dolphins and other animals are also being spotted. Experts will delve into why these animals are here and discuss conservation issues involving whales in these urban waters.

The public can embark on the whale watch and also explore the newly redesigned, award-winning Whales: Voices in the Sea multimedia exhibit at the Aquarium. As guests interact with this exhibit, they will learn about the environmental threats facing gray, sperm, blue, North Atlantic right, humpback, and other whales. This bilingual English-Spanish exhibit is located on the Aquarium’s second floor. The redesign, featuring new state-of-the-art interactive exhibit technology and the latest research on blue and gray whales, was made possible by the Pacific Life Foundation. The exhibit was developed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography with the Aquarium of the Pacific. The new Whales: Voices in the Sea interactive program is also slated to open at the Florida Aquarium and Texas State Aquarium in 2014.

The public can visit the Aquarium of the Pacific and embark on Harbor Breeze Cruises for a two- to two-and-a-half-hour whale watch excursion with Aquarium experts daily at12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The Gray Whale Watch combo ticket is available for purchase on-site at the Aquarium of the Pacific and may be purchased in advance by calling 562-590-3100. Prices are $45.95 for adults ages 12 and up, $41.95 for seniors ages 62 and up, and $30.95 per child (includes whale watch & Aquarium admission). Guests will be able to listen to the whales they see and can learn more about whale communication through the Aquarium’s newly redesigned interactive Whales: Voices in the Sea kiosk exhibit featuring the largest and smallest whales on the planet—the blue whale and the vaquita.  For more information, the public can visithttp://www.aquariumofpacific.org/education/info/gray_whale_watch .


AQUARIUM:  The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is dedicated to environmental education. Its vision is to create a sustainable future for nature and its resources by building relationships between and among people. The Aquarium is home to over 11,000 animals in more than fifty exhibits. For more information, visit www.aquariumofpacific.org .



CORP:            Harbor Breeze Cruises has been providing public whale watching, world port, and charter cruises for over 20 years in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Their experienced captains provide comprehensive narration about the characteristics of each cruise. The double-deck sightseeing vessels are U.S. Coast Guard-inspected, certified safe, and are complete with seating, snack bar, restrooms, salon, and plenty of outside viewing room for everyone. Aquarium of the Pacific whale watch and harbor cruises feature a new vessel in the fleet operated by Harbor Breeze Cruises. The new 150-passenger, 83-foot M/V Triumphant was christened on July 17, 2013. For more information, visit http://www.harborbreezecruises.com/ .



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