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“Rip off!”

Lunenburg Whale Watching Tours
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: We are one of the oldest boat tour operators in Nova Scotia. Our three-hour tours include a variety of activities depending on the route and weather conditions. We don't always see whales but you will have an exceptional family outing. You will discover and can photograph Old Town Lunenburg from the water, see miles of rugged Nova Scotia coastline and observe and hear the rush of waves plunging ancient sea caves. We pass iconic lighthouses, stop briefly near Pearl Island (one of the few colonies of Puffins in the province) and often see dolphins, a variety of seabirds, leatherback turtles, sunfish, harbour seals and other marine species. As for whale watching, the variety of species we see is impressive. There are Fin Whales, Minke Whales and Humpbacks. And on very special occasions (and with a bit of luck) we have seen rare species, like the great Blue Whale, the largest whale (and animal) on earth.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Rip off!”
Reviewed September 30, 2013 via mobile

This was the most disappointing whale watching trip we've ever been on with not even a sighting in the distance. We had been told the humpbacks had moved on but that sighting of minke whales was likely. First there was a trip round the harbour then we saw The Ovens sea caves and a couple of seals. The mood on the boat quickly became despondent when it became obvious that we weren't going to see any whales. Whilst the guide was knowledgeable about the harbour it was soon clear that the 'high tech' searching for whales with binoculars wasn't going to yield results. This was an over priced trip and they should perhaps stick to harbour trips and charge a realistic price.

Thank TAR2403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Carp, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Excellent Day on the Ocean”
Reviewed August 25, 2013

As others have said, its a tricky business looking for whales. Unless as in many places with multiple boats, the captains are sharing locations and visiting the whales in groups or one after the other, they are not easy to find. We were out on a good day the crew did find whales.

The boat left roughly on time and on vacation we aren't clock watching so five minutes one way or the other was not a problem. We were on the first boat of the day so no previous trip caused delays.

We got a bit of description of the harbour and its history on the way out but like other's said we didn't get a lot of interpretation. That being said, the crew was cheerful and they answered questions quite happily.

It took a while but they searched diligently, and included all eyes aboard in the search, even cutting the engine and drifting for few minutes to listen for whales blowing on the surface. (As my wife pointed out to our 11 year old "Its whale watching ...not whale seeing")

We found a group of at least two humpbacks and Captain Flowers did an amazing job of quietly and respectfully adjusting our position so we could all see the whales as the surfaced a few times and did a few dives. We could see others humpbacks in the area as well.

After an amazing encounter that was very close to boat with multiple presentations we moved a half kilometre to three huge Fin whales that were in the area. They too were beautiful and the Captain got us a wonderful look at group of three Fins running side by side in the water, not more than a couple meters apart.

Our time on the whales was not cut short and we returned about 20 minutes late. We stopped to see a huge ocean sunfish lolling on the surface on the way back in.

Brian, one of the crew, showed us books and info on the sunfish and the whales but mostly he tried to make sure nobody went overboard in their excitement at seeing the whales! He was friendly and obviously an old hand at the sea.

We have been on other whale watching tours and this one was a nice trip. With no whales we would have been satisfied at having a nice ride from a beautiful harbour and in a beautiful bay to the open sea. (We were at least 15 kilometres off-shore).

I can't speak to how the crew would have helped fill in if no whales were found. They spent a long time looking for the whales and their happiness at having showed them too us was genuine. They could do more interpretation but all in all, we feel that the chance of an encounter like we had was more than worth the price of admission.

There was nothing slick about the operation but to us thats a good thing. We prefer honest experiences to packaged products and thats what we got. A clean boat in great shape, a friendly and experienced crew with a ton of local character and an experience with the whales that wasn't rushed. The next folks left half an hour late and I'm sure they got the same honest attempt to find whales that we did.

Our advice is ask their policy on seeing no whales whenever you go out on a whale watching trip and if you have questions when you get back, be polite.

We would go again in a heartbeat.

Visited August 2013
Thank ModerateCdnFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Some good - some bad”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

We know we were a little early in the season, and the weather was pretty horrible (cold), but we did expect to be taken out to see the seals and puffins if whales were not around. Instead, we saw only seals and then went back to the dock, arriving earlier than the time the tour was supposed to be over (and it was quite pricey, too). The only saving grace was that there was a gentleman on board who had a tremendous knowledge of the area and the fishing industry, and he provided us with a lot of information!

Visited June 2013
1 Thank mcconnellboys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“What a joke”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The worst whale watching tour I've been on. They recommend making reservations though they don't hold them (and don't stick to their own schedule (leaving 5 min early the first trip and 10 min late the second)

Was traveling really fast (would pass a whale without even knowing it) soaking everyone in the rear of the boat (good thing it wasn't a full tour)

Went to Puffin island (capt almost hit one with the boat) and spent all of 5 minutes being really far out looking for ? bird outlines...

Pros- Was able to see a Puffin up close (that we almost hit), saw some seals, Fist mate (when around) was knowledgeable.

Cons- Capt hid up to entire trip. first mate hid in front/up top most of the trip. Boat speed was unacceptable (If you can't make the destinations in the time frame, change it.) Time spent at destinations was unacceptable (5 minutes to see Puffins and seals) and so on...

Isn't worth $60.00

Visited July 2013
4 Thank Shawn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“no whales”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

I highly doubt anyone has ever seen whales on this trip. we fully expected to not see any, i just love being on the ocean. saw a sun fish, some seals and birds. if you want to see the Puffins bring binoculars. the view of the Lunenburg harbour from the boat was awesome.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Logan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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