Cannon Battles @ Dana Point

It’s like a relaxing three-hour tallship cruise…except there’s a winner.

Price Range

$50/Senior (55 & up)
$50/Active Duty Military


Our Experience

Tallships are fascinating. I’m a nautical novice; I know close to nothing about sailing, which means everything that I see opens my eyes to life at sea. Hollywood makes it look so easy, but the man-power and skill it takes to maneuver these vessels is astounding.

These is essentially a three-hour, sunset sailing cruise with the occasional bought of cannon fire between two ships. Nothing happens fast at sea (something else that Hollywood fails to portray) so this is slow, relaxing, methodical. In actuality, this is more of a social event. There is plenty of time to chat and get to know the other people on your ship, which my husband and I did. However, everyone 20 and younger spent most of the time sitting with their faces glued to their phones. That is why I put this event under “Date Night” instead of a family event. I’m fairly certain our children would have lost interest almost instantly.

The cannon fire is fun. We were on the Hawaiian Chieftain, which apparently is a larger and slower ship than the Spirit of Dana Point. What this means, is our ship decidedly lost our mock battle, as the Spirit sailed circles around us…literally…and repeatedly.

We exchanged fire, until the sun was setting. Then the crew begins the laborious task of bringing the ship into harbor. Again, nothing happens fast. It takes them an hour to pull in the sails. As we were coming into port, the setting sun was reflecting off the city of Dana Point and glittering across the ocean. It was quite lovely.

In summary, do not expect a high-action, pulse-pounding naval battle. This is a cruise that allows a glimpse of life on a tallship. It’s a social event that allows you to chat with the crew and your “shipmates” as you sail around Dana Point with the occasional burst of cannon fire.


Ocean Institute