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FAQ

Welcome to our FAQ Page! Scroll down the page and find the most frequently asked questions about the whales, our cruises and wildlife. We hope that you find this information useful. However, if your questions are not answered here, fell free to call or email us!

How much is a Whale Watching Tour?

Our 2016 half day whale watching cruise costs $99.00 for Adults, $59.00 for Children aged 4 – 14 years, $79.00 for Seniors and Students. We also provide a family special of 2 adults and 2 children for $236.00.

What does that include?

Our prices include 2 1/2 to 3 hour whale watching and marine life tour. Tea/coffee and biscuits while on board the vessel whilst you enjoy the gentle giants of the sea.

Can I purchase a Gift Voucher?

Yes; our gift vouchers are ideal to give to someone for their Birthday, Engagement and Wedding, or to reward a staff member for their efforts. The gift voucher is valid for the whole season and can be used on any day. To utilize the voucher the recipient person calls the office direct, quotes the unique voucher number to book. Then brings the voucher with them on the day of their cruise.

Where do you leave from?
 

Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching Tours departs from Mariners Cove Marina, Berth 95, Arm D, next to the Helicopter Pad, located on 60-70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach.

To assist you locating the vessel on the day turn left into Mariners Cove Carpark (60-70 Seaworld Drive Main Beach).

*Free Parking is available at Mariners Cove car park.

What boat do you have & how many do you take out?

Spirit of Gold Coast is a 24metre Catamaran built to International Marine Standards (Bureau Veritas) designed for maximum stability and comfort, surveyed for 170 passengers + five crew in open waters. During the whale season we like to limit our numbers to a maximum of 145 to give all passengers space to move around and take advantage of the great viewing positions.
Our vessel has excellent 360º viewing from upper and lower decks, and a fully licensed bar. This boat was designed for your comfort.

When is the best time to go out Whale Watching?

Our Gold Coast location allows Spirit of Gold Coast to enjoy the longest Whale Watching season in Australia from June to early November each year. No two whale watching journeys are the same, with an unforgettable experience occurring during the whole whale watching season.

At the beginning of the season you are likely to watch these amazing creatures as they migrate north to warmer waters to mate and give birth, whereas later in the season you are likely to catch them as they return south with their newborn calves.

What types of whales will I see?

Each year Humpback Whales (otherwise know as Megaptera novaeangliae) travel past the Gold Coast during their migration. On the rare occasion you may be fortunate to also see Orcas (killer whales).

Will I see any other marine life?

Yes, there are a large variety of other marine life to keep an eye out for including but not limited to dolphins, flying fish, turtles, sharks and birds.

How close do we get to the whales?

As responsible whale watchers, we don’t approach closer than 100m of the whales. Though that doesn’t mean the whales can’t come to us and they do. Whales are curious mammals – at times they will dive for a few minutes and come up where you least expect them, sometimes close to the boat!

Can some boats get closer to whales than others?

No. Everyone, and that includes recreational boaters, follow the same regulations – 100m from the whales is as close as the rules allow any boat to approach.

Does a smaller boat mean we are closer to whales, and will we see more?

No. A smaller boat means you are closer to the water, not closer to the whales. The higher up you are the better vantage points to see and capture the whales.

Will I see Migaloo (the white humpback whale)?

If you are very lucky! Each whale swims by on their northern and southern migration, this sometimes occurs at night.

In 2009 the Majestic White Whale ‘Migaloo’ (White Fella’ in the Aboriginal language) passed our shores on Wednesday the 1st of July which passengers and crew aboard Spirit were fortunate to see.

We are the only Whale Watching Boat to have sighted ‘MIGALOO’ the White Whale three years consecutively: 10/7/2003, 22/6/2004, 16/7/2005. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 Migaloo was elusive as he passed the Gold Coast, with no confirmed sightings. Migaloo was once again sighted in 2009 and 2012.

Spirit Vessel last sighted MIGALOO last year on 10th August 2015. What a day!

What happens if it is bad weather?

If it is overcast or lightly raining we still venture out to see the whales; we tend to find the whales still active. We have plenty of under covered areas (including indoors) so you can stay warm without missing out on seeing the whales if you wish.

We base our decision on the tides and the winds. If it is too rough and unpleasant we will contact you the day before to reschedule your trip.

Will I get sea sick, will it be rough?

Motion sickness affects us all in different ways causing many people to get sea sick. If you know or are unsure how the boats journey will affect you, sea sickness tables can be purchased from a pharmacist or alternatively on board our vessel on the day. As our tours venture out to the ocean it is always better to come prepared. If you are still concerned, we recommend you speak with a pharmacist and eat lightly before embarking.

What Should I Wear/ Bring?

We highly recommend enclosed flat comfortable shoes as well as a jacket or jumper as it can tend to get a little chilly in the sea breeze.

And remember to bring your camera to take pictures of the beautiful gentle giants of the sea. You can post your photos on our Facebook, Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching.

What’s the definition of seeing whales?
 
 

By seeing whales we mean that we find and approach at least one whale during our trip. This guarantee is at the discretion of the Captain.

If we are booked as a group, do we have to come back as a group?

No, should you wish to join us on another whale watching trip you are welcome to come back on separate days if you like.

What happens if I still don’t see a whale on my return trip?

In the unlikely event that happens, then we will provide you with another voucher to come back FREE of Charge another day that is convenient for you.

Can I purchase drinks or alcohol on board?

Yes, the Spirit of Gold Coast is fully licensed with a bar providing a range of beer, wine and mixers for sale.

Can I bring food on board?
 

Yes you can however we do serve refreshments for both morning and afternoon tea, and we also have a licensed kiosk where you can purchase light snacks and nibbles.

Can I bring my pram on board?
 

Yes you can. When you make the booking please let us know so that we can ensure our crew is ready to help you with your boarding.

Are there toilets on board?

Yes, we have 4 full size toilets aboard the Spirit.

Are there any life jackets on board?

Yes, we certainly do have life jackets. There are both adult and child life jackets.

What happens if it rains?

Cruises will still operate if it raining. We have large lounge areas which have large windows, as well as two underwater viewing areas. In addition our top level has an undercover area.

Whale Guarantee

As our tours are conducted in the ocean we do not control these beautiful creatures; hence no two cruises are the same. We believe this is a part of the attraction of experiencing the whales on their migration path.

Due to the increase of Humpback whale population during the past few years, Our Guarantee is that if Whales are not sighted on the day of the cruise we will provide vouchers for the passengers aboard to return FREE of charge on another day.

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