The Bioluminescent Waves are Back at Newport Beach, Tours Tonight

Please credit: Photographer Mark Girardeau

Bioluminescent waves come and go quickly, but when they arrive it’s a magical experience for everyone to see. Newport Landing is offering Evening Bioluminescence Glow Coastal Cruises tonight, January 2nd at 6:00pm and 8:00pm.

The waves come as a rare occasion so when boats spot the blue bioluminescence, tours are added until it dissipates.  Cruises could be added the following day but it all depends on how long the blue is here to stay.  If you have never seen bioluminescence it is a must see experience to add to your 2024 bucket list.

So, what is bioluminescence and why does it glow blue? “This spectacular display is all thanks to a spectacular natural phenomenon known as bioluminescence. It starts on a microscopic level. Tiny, phytoplankton (or plant-like plankton) called dinoflagellates, are light producing organisms that live in our ocean,” said Jessica Roame, the Education Programs Manager at Newport Landing & Davey’s Locker Whale Watching. “These plankton thrive off of sunlight, warm waters and high levels nitrates and phosphates in the ocean. So, when all these factors align, we will have a massive amount of these plankton in an area.”

Please credit: Photographer Mark Girardeau

The light producing organisms, when in high concentration along the coast, create a mesmerizing blue glow like the sky has been flipped into the ocean. The blue light shines when any motion disturbs the waves, including boats, whales and dolphins moving through the water.

“The bioluminescence is actually a defense mechanism, which is used to help detour predators,” added Roame. “This glowing light is basically a beacon saying ‘help, I’m getting eaten, something bigger come by and eat whoever is eating me’ and that way the algae can avoid being prey.”

The 90 minute Evening Bioluminescence Glow Coastal Cruise tickets start at just $35 for adults and $30 for kids and can be purchased here: