Welcome to SoCal Snorkeling Tours!


 Orange County's #1 Rated Snorkeling Tour 

Our trips will give you the opportunity to see a great variety of fish and marine life while we explore the beautiful reefs and astounding kelp forests! Schedule a trip today and experience it with friends and family!

Trips Offered

All trips are private and up to 6 people


Full Day


What does the entry fee include?

The per person entry fee includes return cross channel travel for your team (when the IJ is based in Italy), all hotels from the start to the end of the official dates, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), participation in our navigational event, final gala dinner, door logos, event marshals, service van and fundraising support.

Can a team be just one person?

Sadly, no. A team is normally two people. For safety, given the distances that we will be driving during The Italian Job each team really needs a driver and a co-driver. Additional passengers are of course welcome.

How old do I need to be to enter?

We ask that the driver is at least 21 years of age and the co-driver 19.

Where does the event start?

We usually start the event in Italy but, new for 2021, we will be holding the event in the UK and starting at the MINI Plant, Oxford. For Italy-based events, we stagger our finish line between the UK and Italy.

I’ve never driven on "the wrong side of the road" before?

Don’t worry. We have a supplemental service van route from Calais to our start line in Italy with many other participating teams, event marshals and service crew. For many this structured route down helps allay any concerns about driving in Europe.

What else do I need to budget for?

You need to budget for fuel and toll fees throughout plus any hotels you use on your way to the start if you don’t follow the service van supplemental route. You’ll also need to budget for the bar in the hotels we use.

Do I need a competition driving licence?

No. You just need to hold a full valid UK driving licence. Depending on Brexit, you might also need an International Driving Licence.

Do I need breakdown cover?

Yes. We think this is essential just in case your car has a terminal mechanical failure. With breakdown cover you’ll be able to carry on with the event while your car is repatriated.

Do I need medical cover / insurance?

Yes. We think this is a very good thing to have just in case something happens and you need medical care.

Can I cover my car in sponsorship?

Pretty much. All we ask is that you leave the driver’s and front passenger's doors free for our official door logos which will be supplied by us. The rest of the car can be stickered up with sponsors' messages. A highly-stickered car typically means a lot of money has been raised.

How do I fundraise?

Our teams are legendary when it comes to fundraising for The Italian Job’s chosen charity. Many put up an online fundraising page via www.JustGiving.com or similar and share it across their connections on social media channels for instance. Others organise events from barbecues to dinner dances and get their friends, families and colleagues involved. We will give you plenty of ideas for fundraising in your welcome pack.

What is the minimum I need to fundraise?

We ask you to try to raise at least £1,500 per team (at least £500 for the shorter The Yorkshire Job 2020). This might sound like a lot, but after 30 years of doing this we know it is achievable. Our aim is that teams exceed this target, and keep going, for every penny raised makes a huge difference.

What support can you give me for fundraising?

We provide a range of materials from sponsorship forms to an A to Z of fundraising ideas. We will also connect you with our chosen charity who will send you collection boxes and other fundraising materials. We can also shout out about your fundraising event via our social media channels and our brilliant monthly E-Newsletter Job News.

How will you stay in touch with me?

We’ll send you our regular updates in our brilliant Job News and also email you directly with any additional information. If you prefer, we can still post letters to you too. Sign up to our newsletter here.

What is The Italian Job auction?

We ask all participants to bring one or two items for our very enjoyable auction which we hold during The Italian Job. The profits from the auction go to our chosen charity. 50% of the winning bid is allocated to the fundraising total of the team that donated the item and 50% is allocated to the winning bidder's fundraising total. To give you an idea of the sort of thing we auction; one year we auctioned John Cooper’s Italian Job cap which went for £1,500 and another year a mug with a picture of a mini on it went for £80! Items vary enormously and needn’t be Mini or Italian Job related.

What is the navigational event about?

You will be asked to navigate between specific places in specific times following a carefully produced Tulip design road book. Partial and cumulative distances will help guide you. Penalty points are awarded for arriving at check points early or late and we also throw in some ‘special stages’ to test you further. It is a lot of fun, as competitive (or not!) as you want it to be but a brilliant way to take you well off the beaten track and explore some beautiful hidden treasures of Italy that you would never ever just stumble across.

What if my car breaks down?

We have two mechanics and a fully equipped service van which follows the event. The service van is full of spare parts and tools so if your car breaks down and is reparable, the service crew will fix it.

What are the locations / pit stops of the event?

These vary year on year. They could be famous cities, small villages, museums, car manufacturers or local food producers. We always try to add variety to the places we visit but one thing we always try and do is ensure that all our pit stops add colour and flavour to our tour. Clues to our route and pit stops are given in our monthly E-newsletters plus a full day to day itinerary is supplied well in advance of the event itself.

What cars can take part?

Any Mini (old or new) can take part as well as any classic car featured in the film. We’ve had every kind of Mini / MINI imaginable as well as Aston Martins, E-Types, Lamborghini Miura, Thames Van/Dormobile, a London Black Cab, Fiat Dino Coupe and LWB Land Rovers. The organisers also reserve the right to invite, at their sole discretion, any special car that may not be connected to the 1969 film.

Booking Charge: $1,200


2 Day Overnight

(9:00am-5:00pm the following day)


Are you interested in extending your stay at the island? Avalon has several options for Airbnbs and hotels. We will drop you off at the dock and pick you up for our outings. Think of us as your personal boat chauffeur! If you’re looking for a more rugged and adventurous stay at the island, there are also beaches with camping that are only accessible by boat that we can take you to (camping gear/reservations can be provided at an additional fee). On the 2 day trips you’ll be able to do all the snorkeling you’d like, venture further around the island, and have time for extra activities like paddle boarding, exploring secluded beaches, or just floating behind the boat on an inflatable raft! Booking Charge: $2000

Booking Charge: $2,000


About Us

Since 2015 we have been Southern California’s BEST snorkeling tour! We started out doing snorkeling trips from shore in Laguna Beach and we have now upgraded to doing private boat trips to snorkel and hang out at Catalina Island!


Dalton Best is the owner/operator of SoCal Snorkeling Tours. He was the main guide for the beach snorkeling in Laguna Beach and is now the captain that will be running these trips to Catalina. He is an avid free diver and spearfisherman. He is an Orange County local and has been training in the water since he was 8 years old. As a former Laguna Beach lifeguard, he has a safety-first mentality. With his background in customer service, he will always be striving to make sure you have the best experience possible.


When you're with Dalton, you can be sure that your safety will always be a priority and that you will create a memorable experience!

About Our Boat

Our 26’ Glacier Bay power catamaran offers the most comfortable ride of any boat in its size class. With a full wrap around windshield and hard top roof, you are protected from the wind, sun, and spray for a dry, warm ride.


The boat has a 3 seat bench with backrest, a cooler seat, and two oversize bean bags for getting real comfy. The boat also has a cabin below deck with a queen size bed if you want to take a nap.

Featured In:


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9 Surprisingly Fun Activities To Do In Laguna Beach


SoCal Snorkeling Reviews


Keith Lewallen

4/14/17 + Verified Review


We had a fantastic time snorkeling with Waller as our guide and Dalton is an outstanding guy too.  It was an absolute blast and while we were all good swimmers, you can be rest assured they make this a very safe and fun experience.  Thanks so much guys!


Jessica C.

3/3/17 + Verified Review


Let me start by saying that I have a fear of the ocean. If I can't feel the ground, I tend to panic. Ironically enough, I snorkeled for the first time two years ago and I really liked it, but was still very nervous about it. My boyfriend booked with Socal Snorkeling Tour for my birthday, and I was very scared. Dalton, our tour guide, was amazing! He made me feel very safe and comfortable with snorkeling. He stayed between the rocks and I so that if we got close to them I wouldn't hit them and hurt myself. He took us to three different points and taught us the names of the types of fishes. The locations were very beautiful and we saw plenty of fish. I would definitely recommend Socal Snorkeling Tour if you are looking to book with someone!


Jay Schuette

6/21/16 + Verified Review


I can't believe I have lived in Orange County for 10 years and never snorkeled here before.  I had a friend visiting and wanted to try something different.  SoCal Snorkeling Tours seemed to have great reviews so we gave them a shot.  I can't say enough about the service we were provided or the unbelievable snorkeling around Laguna Beach.  Dalton took excellent care of us and taught us some great techniques.  As soon as we were comfortable in the water, I was actually diving about 15' down and checking out the rock reefs with Dalton.  I will definitely be doing this again.


Scott Freeman

5/4/16 + Verified Review


We had a great time Saturday on our snorkel tour on Laguna Beach with Dalton. He was extremely informative and courteous. We felt safe and in good hands and Dalton supplied top quality equipment and a first rate snorkeling experience. We would highly recommend him to any one who is curious or inexperienced when it comes to the ocean. Thanks Dalton.


Kathy Chinchilla

7/21/16 + Verified Review


The instructors are awesome, new equipment, and great safety guidance out in the water for beginners.  It was awesome having locals show you around the waters, and they stay at your pace whether you're a beginner or advanced snorkeler.  Would highly recommend checking them out, you will have a blast all the while getting the best snorkel experience in Laguna!


Kayla Hynes

7/3/16 + Verified Review


We had an incredible experience with SoCal Snorkeling Tours. Our instructor Dalton was extremely easy to communicate with before the tour. We met him right on the beach so all of your 2 hour tour time is spent in the water. During the tour he was even better. He was very patient with the kids and helped them get extremely comfortable in the water. He was always making sure that everyone in the group was doing ok. The equipment was either new or extremely clean and in great shape. I would definitely recommend this snorkeling tour to anyone.

Still Not Convinced? Read More Reviews


- Derek R.

"Great opportunity. Highly recommend"


- Christian R.

SoCal Snorkeling Tours is definitely the best!


 - Kayla H.

We had an incredible experience


- pborowski54

Phenomenal Experience


Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the trip?

➤ We will depart Dana Point Harbor at 9:00am and return around 5:00pm

If we want to stay at the island overnight, do you offer a 2 day trip?

➤ Yes, we can accommodate multiday trips.

What if I get sea sick?

➤ We recommend Bonine over Dramamine. It doesn’t cause drowsiness the way Dramamine does. The most effective use is to take it the night before so it is in your system, and take another the morning of.

Do we need to know how to swim?

➤ To join us on the boat, no. To join us in the water for snorkeling, yes.

Are children allowed?

➤ Absolutely!

Is there a minimum age?

➤ 4 years old

Is snorkeling gear and wetsuits provided?

➤ Yes

Where do we meet?

➤ Dana Point Harbor.

Where do we park?

➤ You will be able to park in a private lot in the harbor.

Is alcohol allowed?

➤ Yes. We request that you don’t bring glass and that you drink responsibly.