We had the luxury of waiting for a good day (meaning clear blue skies and calm seas). If you’re in the area for an extended stay, you would be advised to sign up early because they may not be sailing the one day you had planned. Tours can be cancelled due to bad weather/sea conditions. The tour company calls the evening prior to confirm the voyage for the next morning which is great since we were driving over an hour to get to Whakatane.
Even though the sea was pretty calm, my husband and I both took a motion-sickness pill (which we had purchased on our own) one hour prior to the trip; didn’t want to spend that kind of money and end up getting sick the entire time. We were fine. There was interesting reading material about the volcano on the boat; which helped because it was hard to hear some of the commentary out on the open sea.
It was a GREAT experience; didn’t feel rushed to take photos (ended up taking nearly 300 of them). Crew and guides were all very professional and friendly. You do have to be somewhat nimble to climb in and out of the bobbing dingy. There were only two dolphins sighted on the return trip; it was nice that they slowed the boat for us to catch a glimpse of them.
Tip: There’s a coupon in several of the tour books for a free bar of volcano soap which is a nice souvenir. Otherwise, you have to pay for the soap.
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