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“Beautiful Day” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center

Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center
1121 Route 109, Utsch's Marina, Cape May, NJ 08204
609-898-0055
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Ranked #14 of 22 Attractions in Cape May
Type: Tours
Attraction Details
Columbus, New Jersey
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Beautiful Day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

We weren't lucky enough to see any whales but we did see an abundance of dolphins! It was a gorgeous day and the water was nice and calm. Our crew was very informative and helpful. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. I'm gonna try coming back in the fall a crew member told us that there is a better chance of seeing whales then!

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Rowlett, Texas, USA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Enjoy whatever wildlife you see”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

Don't EXPECT to see a whale; they're not trained animals. We saw lots of dolphins, and it was great. Having been on a whale watching tour in Monterey, CA, I can say this was a better experience for two reasons, even though we sighted whales in Monterey. First, the boat has an upper deck, so you can spot the animals better, and second, they got the boat closer to the animals so they weren't specks in the distance. The interpreters were knowledgeable about both the animals and Cape May history. We saw a bald eagle and some ospreys in addition to the dolphins. We got to see a couple of dolphin feeding frenzies. The day we went was pretty calm, and the boat was not crowded. This is not wheelchair friendly and there are stairs.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, New Jersey
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not bad”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2012

It was just okay... We didn't see any whales, just dolphins. But its a nice family trip to take if you're looking for something different. The boat was pretty crowded and it gets so windy.

Visited August 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“lovely day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012

Even though we didn't see any whales, we saw plenty of dolphins and other wildlife. The hosts were friendly and full of interesting local information. We had a thoroughly enjoyable 3 hours out in the ocean.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herminie, PA
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“A Great Experience even without finding a whale.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

My wife and I were well aware going into the trip that finding a whale was a long shot due to the sparse population of species present at this time of year so the fact that we did not get to see a whale was not surprising. We did get to see dolphins though and a lot of them. We were able to see them even before we got out of the bay. For whatever reason though the ones that came closest to the boat were on the opposite side from where we were standing. Still it was an incredible experience to see them in their own habitat and observe them from a more natural standpoint.

Other reviewers have had issues with the narration, specifically the narrators "going on and on" about how many times a day the dolphins have sex. The purpose of this type of tour is to inform the tour-goers about dolphin life, which inevitably leads to at least a mention of the behavior. At one point our narrator advised us o "cover the kids' eyes" as there was a mating pair of dolphins seen off the port side of the vessel. Frankly I found that amusing. She went on to say that one of the main reasons they came to this area and so close to shore was to mate, which they may do up to seven times a day. That was the only mention of it for the entire tour.

The only problems I had with the tour are problems that occur in any larger group of people. A few of the children along were restless. One in particular, a boy just over two years old, enjoyed running laps around the boat as his grandfather followed in close pursuit. The boy couldn't exactly run because of his short legs, but still it was annoying to have to keep moving out of their way. Toward the end of the trip as we were returning to the dock, a group of pre-teenagers got restless and began doing a little rough-housing. They were in the interior of the boat, where we were sitting, and had plenty of room for their antics but still it was not appropriate for the setting. All of this happened despite repeated announcements from the crew for parents to mind children. Additionally, the PA systems used for such tours are inherently difficult to understand due to crowd noise and the noise of the apparatus used to conduct the tour, in this case the cruise vessel. Please note that all of these are in my opinion beyond the control of the crew or the tour company.

The only thing that could have been different and is under their control is the timing of the "in case of seasickness" announcement. It was broadcast as we hit the open sea, which makes sense but doesn't make sense. The junction of the bay and the open sea is the most likely spot for passengers to begin to experience seasickness, but by this time the crowd and engine noise is so loud that it was difficult to hear. If it had been made at the beginning of the trip, it could have been heard more clearly and hopefully all of the passengers are able to remember the simple instructions for the hour or so it takes to get to the spot.

All in all it was a good trip and was family friendly, with the caveat that parents must exercise common sense and realize that they shouldn't bring a child where for whatever reason his/her attention span is such that the child will not be still for the duration of the tour or any other event. Also, don't forget, like we did, to bring binoculars! Sunblock/sunscreen and a sweatshirt are also must-have items as the wind produced by the boat moving across the water is quite chilly, even at 76 degree F ambient temperature. We are undecided as to whether we will do this again because my wife is one of the ones bothered by seasickness, mostly due to her allergies. Still, all in all it was a good experience.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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