Avid sailor and land lubbers’ alike can choose between helping the crew hoist her 1,700 sq feet of canvas or kicking back as the professional crew takes you on a magnificent journey under sail.
On your 2 hour sail, you will enjoy:
- The exhilaration of 41 tons of wooden boat majestically sailing the waters off Dana Point.
- The serenity of motion under the power of the wind alone.
- Views of luxurious beachside homes and the Orange County coast as never seen them before..
- A magnificent California sunset!
- Complimentary champagne, soft drinks and hors d'oeuvres
When you choose Curlew for your ocean adventure, you will take an unforgettable journey in the spirit of the past.
What Is Not Included?
- Do I have to book tickets in advance?
- Advance purchase is required in order to guarantee your space on the boat, and sails often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased in advance with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
- What happens if the sail is sold out?
- Unfortunately, we do not have a waitlist for our sails, so please book well in advance. However, if you find the sail you are looking for is full, you should check out the other trips and cruises going out from the Dana Wharf!
- What type of ticket should I buy if I'm bringing a very young child?
- For children between the ages of 3 and 12 you should purchase a reduced price Child ticket. Children ages 2 and younger ride for free, but you’ll still need to enter the appropriate number of Infant tickets labeled “Free” when purchasing. All passengers, regardless of age, must have a ticket, so please make sure your entire party is accounted for in this way.
- Do I need to be an experienced sailor?
- No, but a desire to set your spirit free will help! On Curlew, you can spend the trip any way you'd like: lounging in the cockpit, watching the sea wash the weather rail, or on the foredeck, where you can sense the Curlew's power as she parts the seas before her.
- Will I be able to help sail the vessel?
- Absolutely! In a race, Curlew would be crewed by as many as 12-15 experienced sailors, so while on these public sails we only carry two, plus the captain, we have lots of tasks that will leave you with a good sore at the end of the day, if you want to participate! Be sure to let us know if you want to help, as most of our guests tend to enjoy sitting back and letting us take care of the work.
- Where exactly is Dana Wharf located within Orange County?
- Hopefully these landmarks will help you to find us better: Dana Wharf is located 40 minutes south of Disneyland in Anaheim, 1 hour south of LAX airport in Los Angeles, and 60 minutes north of Sea World in San Diego. We are basically in the heart of Orange County!
- Is this trip narrated?
- Though the sailing trips aboard the Curlew are not officially narrated, your Captain will provide you with a detailed introduction to the boat and it's history at the very start of your trip. The Captain and his crew are also fully equipped to answer any questions you may have along the way, so don't hesitate to ask! They'll be as interactive as you want them to be.
- What exactly do we see on the trip?
- The focus of our trip is on the sailing itself, which creates experiences ranging from pure exhilaration on windy days to amazing serenity on calm days. That said, sailing aboard the Curlew allows you to enjoy magnificent views of the spectacular Southern California coastline from its glistening blue waters. We will also change course for whales, dolphins, and sunfish if we find them in the area, and we regularly see California sea lions and many marine birds. You will also enjoy a splendid sunset while sipping on champagne!
- Can I bring food and beverages?
- Yes! Complimentary unlimited champagne, soft drinks and hors d'oeuvres are included, but you can feel free to bring your own picnic, including alcoholic beverages. We ask that beverages be in cans or plastic bottles, as glass can be a real hazard aboard a boat.
- Can I bring an ice chest?
- A small one for your food and beverages. We ask that large ones be left at the dock, so as to not deprive yourself or anyone else of space.
- Do I need to worry about being seasick?
- The waters off Southern California are tame, for the most part, and Curlew is a steady, smooth sailboat, so it is quite uncommon for our guests to become seasick. While we cannot officially advise you to take medication, if you normally take anything for motion sickness, you may want to consider light medication.
- Do you ever cancel sails due to bad weather?
- The sail usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but we may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If we cancel the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- What happens if it starts raining while we're on our sail?
- Don't worry, some of our most fun and memorable trips have taken place in less-than-perfect weather! If we're caught in a rain shower, you may go below to the main salon.
- Are there blankets or ponchos on board in the event that I get cold or it rains?
- Unfortunately, we do not have enough blankets or rain gear to accommodate all our guests, so be sure to come prepared for all weather conditions!
- Can I get a refund or reschedule my tickets after buying them?
- No. Since we are guaranteeing your space on the sail, tickets cannot be refunded nor rescheduled once purchased.
- What happens if there isn't enough wind to sail?
- Southern California enjoys an onshore breeze most days starting in late morning, and while we cannot guarantee the wind, it tends to cooperate on most days. Lack of wind means we reluctantly use the motor.
- Is the Curlew safe?
- Absolutely. While known for her speed, the Curlew is a safe and gentle vessel. Along with your captain, there is a minimum of two crew members on every sail to make sure you feel comfortable and at home on the water. We are stocked with life jackets for all our guests, should you feel you need one.
- Are there life jackets on board? Do I have to wear one?
- We have enough life jackets on board for all passengers, should you feel you need one. Children 12 and under are required to wear life jackets at all times.
- Is there a bathroom on the boat?
- Yes, the boat is equipped with one bathroom that is accessible at all times. We call bathrooms "marine heads" and they are unlike the bathrooms you use at home. Don't worry--the captain will give you a short tutorial on how to use them at the beginning of your trip.
- Can I stow anything (eg, my briefcase) during the sail?
- There is limited room to stow your belongings on board. Please only bring what is absolutely necessary for the trip.
- Where does the sail finish?
- Our sail will end at the same wharf from which it departs.
- What should I wear?
- We suggest that you dress comfortably, and weather appropriate. Keep in mind that it is usually 5-10 degrees cooler on the water, so layers are recommended. Soft-soled, closed-toe active footwear (no high heels) is also recommended.
- Will people be able to reach me if there's an emergency?
- Yes! Curlew is equipped with ship to shore radio equipment. In addition, our shoreline usually offers good cellular coverage, too.
- How fast can the Curlew go?
- This depends on the wind conditions, but on a typical day, the speeds range from 5 to 8 knots under sail. Her record is 12 knots!
- Are any areas of the boat covered or air conditioned?
- While there are no parts of the boat that are air-conditioned, guests are more than welcome to go below deck or stay in the shade of the sails to keep out of the sun. The natural sea breeze provides our fan. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended. Drink plenty of water on hot days to stay hydrated.
- Are there any stops along the way?
- No, there are no stops. We will be sailing for the entire 2 hours.
- What is the policy on cell phones, radios, tape recorders, etc?
- While we have no strict policy, we do ask that you be considerate of your fellow passengers. Most of our guests go out to sea in order to experience the thrill of motion as the boat is propelled under sail alone, and the sense of tranquility and peace that goes with it.
- Is the Curlew wheelchair accessible?
- No, unfortunately the Curlew is not wheelchair accessible. If you would like to find a trip out of Dana Wharf that can accommodate a wheelchair, click the "Contact DanaWharf" link on the left-hand side of this page for more information.
- Is there parking?
- Yes! Dana Point Harbor has public parking for up to 4 hours, which should be more than enough for your 2 hour sail.
- Are dogs allowed on board the Curlew?
- Though we do not recommend bringing dogs on the Curlew because they tend to slide around when the boat heels, small dogs are allowed on board. Please keep in mind that the dog must sit on your lap for the duration of the sail, so you may prefer to leave him at home if this poses any issues.
- Can I smoke on the boat?
- We ask that you refrain from smoking on our trips.
- Can I book a private charter sail?
- Yes, private sails on the Curlew can be a unique and elegant event for your group. If you are interested in booking a private sail, please contact us by clicking the "Contact DanaWharf" link on the left of the page.
- Are gift certificates available for this trip?
- No, unfortunately there are no gift certificates available specifically for this trip. There are, however, gift certificates available for the 2 hour whale watching trips (both Gray Whale Season and Blue Whale Season), ½ Day/Twilight Fishing Trips, and ¾ Day Fishing Trips, and they make a perfect gift for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate for one of these activities, please click on "List of All Activities" to the left of the page and then on "Buy a Gift Certificate" at the bottom of the page. You also have the option of purchasing a gift card for a specific dollar amount, good for any activity, though you would need to visit the shop located at Dana Wharf in person to purchase one. Please click on the “Contact DanaWharf” link on the left of the page for more information on this option.
- Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.
- Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- Children under 16 must be accompanied by a supervising adult and all passengers must have a ticket.
- No children under the age of 16 will be allowed on board without a supervising adult to accompany them. Furthermore, all passengers (including children of all ages) must have a standard priced ticket in order to attend.
Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching
Now entering its fifth season, Curlew Charters, operating as part of the Dana Wharf Sportfishing fleet, is offering for the second year, public sailing trips so individuals can experience the thrill of sailing on this historic 1926 Schooner.
Built in Wiscasset, Maine, the 82’ Schooner Curlew was built from the imagination of the legendary American boat designer John Alden. Built to race, she competed in the 1920s and 30s with other celebrated yachts, in the style of the rich and famous. A veteran of WW2, Curlew has since been totally refitted and restored to the highest standards of performance and luxury.