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On-the-Water Team Building for Groups of All Sizes

March 14, 2024

When you’re meeting in a destination where there’s more water than land, it’s only natural to take your team building out to sea. In Newport Beach, which is home to the largest recreational harbor on the West Coast, planners have access to some of the best team building activities in Orange County.

From a smooth electric cruise through the harbor to a private whale watching charter, there are countless opportunities for groups of all sizes to set sail on our welcoming waters. Make a splash during your next event with corporate team building in Orange County that goes far beyond the ordinary. These three on-the-water experiences will allow groups to explore 10 miles of stunning coastline, all while building relationships and creating cherished memories as a team.

Duffy Boat Rentals for Small Groups

A joyful group of coworkers engaged in team building activities in Orange County, laughing and enjoying their time together on a Duffy boat in Newport Beach Harbor.
Group Duffy Scavenger Hunt credit: Visit Newport Beach Group Sales

Whether you’re treating your top performers or hosting a small team, booking a private Duffy ride is one of the most iconic ways to experience a sun-kissed afternoon in Newport Beach. Made for entertaining, these electric boats are equipped with a Bluetooth-ready A/V system and a spacious cabin that can allow up to 12 guests to sail in nautical style and comfort.

Start your team building in Orange County on Balboa Island, where Balboa Boat Rentals offers hourly rental packages tailored to your group’s needs. Once on board, the silent engines make bonding a breeze. Plan a few icebreakers or interactive games to enjoy while gliding past the harbor’s spectacular waterfront estates and yachts lining the private docks. For a challenge, break your group up into two or more boats and embark on a fun-filled scavenger hunt. Race through Newport Harbor and use clues and maps to uncover hidden treasures.

To enhance your team building, add a dock and dine experience to your itinerary. Pull up to the dock outside waterfront restaurants like The Cannery, which also offers a private boat for self-captained group brunches or cocktail cruises. The century-old restaurant is a Newport Beach institution, serving as the city’s first commercial fish cannery. Enjoy a decadent meal in a private dining room or order ahead from the Duffy boat menu to savor lobster sliders, sushi and more out on the water.

SUP Lessons for Medium-Sized Groups

Coworkers engaged in team building activities in Orange County, using stand-up paddleboards in Newport Beach Back Bay at dusk with colorful lights illuminating the water beneath them.
SUP on the Back Bay at Dusk credit: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina

Strengthen your core while strengthening team bonds during a private stand-up paddle session. The low-impact activity not only fosters a sense of balance, but also provides opportunities for groups to work on skills like communication, collaboration and trust as they embark on a shared adventure.

Your group can soak in the natural beauty of Newport Beach’s Back Bay at Pirate Coast Paddle Co., located at Newport Dunes. Up to 70 people can participate in this team building activity in Orange County. Led by a private guide, lessons take place both onshore and on the water. You’ll learn new skills together in a fun, engaging environment. Afterward, relax and debrief with your group at reserved picnic tables on the sand.

Whale Watching Cruise for Large Groups

A group of colleagues participating in team building activities in Orange County, standing together on a boat with wide smiles, their gazes fixed on the sea, as they excitedly follow a pod of dolphins emerging from the water.
Group Whale Watching Trip credit: Visit Newport Beach Group Sales

For a relaxing team building activity in Orange County, head out to the open ocean with your group for a private whale watching tour. Fascinating marine life can be spotted year-round, from graceful gray whales and orcas in the winter to giant blue whales in the spring and summer.

Board a private charter at Newport Landing Whale Watching on Newport Harbor for a cruise tailored for your unique team building needs. Vessels can accommodate groups as large as 149 passengers with customized trip lengths, specialized itineraries, and partial or full catering options. Your captain will expertly navigate the waters while an onboard naturalist helps create an enriching whale-watching experience.

Your Newport Beach team building event will not only be an unforgettable nautical experience, it can help meet your corporate social responsibility goals. A portion of proceeds from each cruise supports our local state park and marine protected areas via the nonprofit Crystal Cove Conservancy.

To learn more about planning your next successful Newport Beach event, contact our destination experts to submit an RFP.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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