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Friend of the Blue Whale ‑ CLOSED

Features Animals
Mirissa, Sri Lanka
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Friend of the Blue Whale
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Laura G wrote a review Sep 2016
4 contributions1 helpful vote
The owner of the friend of the blue whale, club mirissa fooled us knowing it. I told him I wanted to do a cruise for whale watching with my old parents and young kids but that i did not have time to go for a normal cruise at 6 am so he wrote back saying that an afternoon cruise was possible even in the summer season. He also said he would provide a special boat/catamaran for which he asked 100 dollars more (total for 6 people 600 USD) and finally we went out with the normal boat of the morning tours since probably the sea conditions were not good enough for the catamaran. He was very careful NOT to tell us that in summer we had to travel out a minimum of 7 marine miles out to hope to get a glimpse of a whale tale and that to do that we would probably get back by night time if leaving at 2pm. Due to the rough sea, very common in summer or so it seems, of course after one hour my mum had already vomited 6 times despite of the motion sickness medications taken, also my brother got sick and my eldest daughter too so I gave up and asked the captain to return. We would never have made it back before sunset anyway and I was too scared to be in that rough sea at night with kids and parents. Once returned at the hotel I sent a message to the owner asking him to come to the hotel were we stayed to return at least 100 dollars for the "special boat" which we never got but more importantly to apologize to my family since by email conversation i had told him many times we would do a cruise with small children and elderly parents but he didn't show up. The driver plus van we used during our trip in Sri Lanka was also provided by him and while the vehicle and the driving skills were ok, the driver English was terrible which caused us some troubles. The owner of the friend of the blue whale of course knew we were foreigners and that we needed an English speaking driver but again he did not care.... apart from this experience overall we found people from Sri Lanka to be very kind and helpful and we loved the rest of our vacation in South Sri Lanka very much so I would say that self-arranged trips are ok with family as long as you use only recommended operator for whale watching and to arrange taxi through a recommended travel agency. Prices might be higher, you might not see the whales but you will be safer.
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Date of experience: August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Steve D wrote a review Feb 2015
Caerleon, United Kingdom364 contributions157 helpful votes
We took the advice of a previous reviewer and went on the Catamaran Water Sprite II. It was well worth the extra cost as it is a beautiful craft. It will take 25, but was very comfortable with only 6 visitors abroad. My wife suffers from sea sickness, but the Catamaran was very stable and certainly the best boat on the water. We saw a blue whale which stayed with us for about an hour; very spectacular. The only issue was the large number of boats that followed this whale! Most kept a respectful distance but some didn't. It does distract slightly from the experience. The captain and owner of Water Sprite 11, Peter was a great bloke and was very informative about the sea. Overall we had a great trip.
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Date of experience: January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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340sammy19 wrote a review Mar 2014
London, United Kingdom1 contribution3 helpful votes
As a seasoned traveller to Mirissa I have had the good fortune to experience many of the whale watching trips on offer from the harbour. All operators meet up early in the morning ready for their whale finding quest, an array of different vessels promising an experience of a life time! Its a lottery choosing which boat to venture out on and the levels of comfort and attention vary immensely as does the cost! I have experienced first hand two trips out on the Nathaliya trimaran, this is a beautiful boat, clean and in good working order and being less than a year old modern and safe. It can take up to about 65 people and due to the design of the seating all passengers are afforded a good view. The staff are helpful and adhere to safety regulations and are very enthusiastic about spotting the whales! This boat has also been awarded the first SGS certification to ensure responsible whale watching.. If you want to go up a level in comfort and luxury I can't recommended enough the WaterSprite II, a luxury catamaran yacht. Beautifully equipped with seating to accommodate up to 20 people ( although often only 10-15 people going out) this boat is definitely a treat and well worth spending an extra 1000rps for.. Tea + coffee is served on arrival, sea sickness pills offered, life jackets given along with a warm welcome and a smile. The crew are amazingly attentive to your comfort and safety and are committed to giving you an experience of a lifetime. Shamira ( youngest crew member) can be seen bouncing around the boat and becomes highly excited when he spots a whale and is extremely good at it! Apart from the obvious delight of sailing with this vessel and crew what impressed me most is their genuine concern for the conservation of the whales, adhering at all times to keeping a safe distance from these beautiful creatures being committed to their preservation. We are most fortunate in our lifetime to witness these beautiful creatures first hand, let's hope that other boat owners/crew follow this lead and that future generations can enjoy the sight of these magnificent whales in Mirissa....
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Date of experience: February 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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letizia c wrote a review Mar 2014
Treviso, Italy1 contribution2 helpful votes
in mirissa there are many boat operators and may be difficult to find the right one at the right price, for booking and chartering i would recommend friend of the blue whale in first place because of their open commitment to support responsible whale watching by selecting boats and operators who follow an acceptable code of conduct, show respect for the whales habitat and the visitors safety and provide enough information on the amazing blue whales of sri lanka. for example the day i took the tour with assistance by friend of the blue whale dynamic manager the skipper of the boat told me very proudly that they have just been certified as responsible whale watching operator by the SGS, whom i know professionally (I am a former auditor) to be a leading organization in the world for the certification programmes. i didn't try the yacht catamaran which is also in their portfolio but i wish to do it in the next visit.
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Date of experience: February 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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