I think it's fair to say that if you have at least semi-decent weather and see lots of whales, you'll have an amazing time. In our case, it was a calm, sunny day but we saw very few whales. Of course, marine mammals are not under contractual obligation to present themselves on a fixed schedule but I think the guide should be prepared to fill the gap with something informative and/or entertaining. Other than pointing out whales when he saw them, he was silent (in two languages!). On several occasions, the passengers spotted whales before the guide. It was fun to get suited up and spend time on the water...but ultimately not worth the money or the time.
Later in the day, we went to Cap-de-Bon-Desir which was terrific...even though we didn't see a single whale! The park naturalist was amazing and had tons of information and educational resources. She explained that whales follow the food (bien sur!) and that you can often predict where they will be based on the tides. They had seen an impressive number and array of whales the day before and that morning (they record sighting information each day) but nothing that afternoon. It was such a beautiful, dramatic setting and I would definitely go there first rather than going out on a boat or zodiac.
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