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DANA POINT, Calif. – June 30, 2014 – Known as the Whale Capital of the West, scientists believe that Dana Point may possibly serve as a reference “landmark” for whales and is a famous gathering area, attracting not only marine mammals but marine biologists and whale lovers from around the world. Guests at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel can experience the whale’s migration with an overnight experience that includes a whale watching trip or through a guided eco-adventure.

The Biggest Show on Earth program is offered through the Eco-Adventure Center. Guests embrace their sea legs on a three hour whale watching excursion and have the opportunity to see first-hand why Dana Point is the Whale Capital of the West. The adventure begins in the Eco-Adventure Center where expert naturalists provide an overview and brief introduction to the program. The naturalist then accompanies guests on the trip, providing education about the whales and other marine life that is seen while on the boat. The guided activity also includes transportation to and from Dana Point Harbor, as well as a light snack on the boat. The Biggest Show on Earth is $110 per person.

The resort also features a year round whale watching package. The Whale Watching package includes overnight accommodations in a pool/garden view guestroom and a self-guided, two-hour whale watching excursion out of Dana Point. The package starts at $550 per night for two guests. Additional whale watching tickets may be purchased.

Blue Whales
From May through November, Blue Whales congregate in Dana Point to feed on four to six tons of krill a day in our abundant waters. Blue Whales are the largest mammals ever to roam the earth. They are steel gray in color and are long and streamlined. Their dorsal fins are extremely small, and each whale has a unique fluke that is as wide as a wingspan on a private jet plane. Blue Whales are rorqual whales, a family of baleen whales with pleated throat grooves that expand when the animal takes in water while feeding. Blue Whales can be up to 100 feet long, weigh as much as 150 tons and have been found in every ocean of the world. They are solitary mammals, however they are occasionally seen feeding in loose groups where food is abundant.

Gray Whales
From January through April, California Gray Whales embark on the longest migration of any mammal on the planet. They leave their nutrient rich feeding grounds in the cold Arctic, and follow the coastline to the calm, warm waters of Southern California and Baja where they mate and bear their young. This 12,000 mile migration brings much of the pod past Dana Point. The Gray Whale is a dark slate-gray color, but also has characteristic gray-white patterns caused by the accumulation of marine parasites on their skin. They typically measure 30 to 45 feet as adults and weigh about 22 to 35 tons. Gray Whales do not have a dorsal fin like other whales; instead they have a series of "knuckles" along the after portion of the back.

Other whales including Fin, Minke, Humpback and False Killer Whales are occasionally seen in the waters off of Dana Point.