Plan Your Trip Ahead Of Time
It may seem obvious but book in advance for your trip to avoid long lines or even disappointment. Usually at least one week before the trip is recommended. Whale watching cruises can last anywhere from 3 hours to 41/2 hours, and the length depends on how long it takes to find the whales. If you’re easily bored staring at the open ocean then take along a novel or your iPod, or something to entertain young children if they’re part of your group. While most boats are equipped with a place to buy food and drink they don’t usually mind you taking your own pack lunch or snacks to keep the costs down.
Criteria For A Good Whale Watch Cruise
I’ve two criteria when I choose a whale watch cruise company. How long have they been in business and does it have whale experts on staff? You can usually uncover this information by checking out their web site or calling them.
Most whale watch boats use sophisticated sonar and communications equipment to find the whales, but as I’m not an expert in equipment I look to see if a company has a history of organizing whale watch trips. Good experience is usually a sign they’re doing something right and a safe bet. I also like to see at least one scientist or naturalist on the crew narrating the tour, as having a knowledgeable authority provides a better understanding of what you’re seeing.
Check For A Whale Sighting Guarantee
It happens occasionally you don’t get to see a whale. These mammals are unpredictable, and while the captain will make every effort to uncover their location, some days they’re nowhere to be found. So make sure you book on a cruise that offers a guarantee sighting or you get to cruise again for free. Offering a guarantee is another good sign of a confident and experienced whale watch company.
Whale Watching Is Done On The Open Ocean
Experienced whale watch cruise companies do not go out in rough seas, but the whale feeding grounds are normally miles from land in the open ocean. Even at the height of summer the open sea can still be choppy, and so if you suffer with motion sickness then take something about an hour before you board the cruise.