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“Great experience and photographic opportunities” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of St Lucia Tours & Charters

St Lucia Tours & Charters
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: From end May till December the mighty 40ton Humpback Whales migrate alongs the KwaZulu Natal coastline to breed and calf, this is where legal permit holder, Advantage charter operates their boat based whale watching operation since 1998! Our staff is highly trained as qualified marine skippers, they will handle the boat with care, being a surf launch there is always a safety issue, so please do not be upset if the captain is very strict. The Captain's word is law!! This trip is a direct high energy surf launch and we need 3 hours of your time to complete the tour - within season you are Guaranteed to see a Humpback Whale, if you do not see a whale you get 40% refund after the trip - In case of bad weather, rough sea, Sandbanks or tidal issues trips can be cancelled at the last minute - we will not cancel a trip just for no reason, so please respect our decision if we cancel a trip - your R$'s is our income, so obviously we prefer to do the tour and take you out and let you see those magnificent whales and other ocean mammals, but sometimes we do have to cancel trips - we will not tolerate people fiddling around with cameras and backpacks if we have to launch and give our safety briefing - and our captain will have to be strict - IF there is any concern about an equipment issue, my competent staff will deal with it there and then, fixing everything before we head out to sea - and if this results in a delay , please just bare with us - this is not an easy operation as we have a surf launch and no harbor, so we will sometimes encounter hassles on the each, but we have done this since 1998 so we know what we are doing - it is also a very expensive operation, so in the beginning of the season if we do find we have only limited clients we will make the decision to cancel the trip as it might not be financially viable - we appreciate you using our web page to have all your questions answered and do a direct online booking - We also have the legal iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority concessions for 2hour hippo/croc boat cruises and deep sea Game Fishing - find much more daily pics and description on FB under St Lucia Tours
Johannesburg
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great experience and photographic opportunities”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013

I have been on the whale watching trips 5 times and every time has been an amazing experience. They are very proffesional and Bernard the skipper is great. The boat is big and the whole experience is wonderful. When the see is choppy, it gets a bit rougher, but it is then that the whales breach the most often. When the see is calm the whole experience is much calmer with less whale activity, but great on another level.
The lake cruise is also truly enjoyable. You can see waterbirds, crocodiles and loads of hippos out of the water if you are lucky, which is a great experience and not something you can see so close anywhere else.
I would highly recommend both activities.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Heinrichvdb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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london
Level Contributor
74 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Hold on tight!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2013

This is very much a weather dependant adventure when we were there in September and one not to miss. An early start for us as we wanted the first boat out to make the most of our time in st Lucia. They tractor you from town to the beach to meet with the boat and this is where you first get to see the immense power of the ocean at 6am. Unfortunately for us that's how far we went as rightly so the skipper, Dutchy, decided its was too dangerous to launch. However all was not lost as he was confident of a later launch as he believed the conditions would be better in a few hours time. At first we were a little miffed and thought this was some sort of scheme to combine a couple of boat loads of people together, but we needn't have worried as a few hours later we turned up again with the same amount of people as the early morning start and were given the green light to kit up and climb on board. Safety is paramount here and the launch on an early September morning is an experience not to miss. A full briefing was given on what to expect as the boat has to power over some massive waves to get beyond the break. Basically grab hold of the bar, plant your feet firmly and pull you self down. Dutchy then does the rest and my god does he know what he is doing in these conditions. The journey back in is just as exhilarating. But let's not forget the main reason of the review, The Whales, previous reviews have said it all, a must do experience in St Lucia. To be so close to these gentle giants is an unforgettable experience. The skipper expertly moved us into position to such an extent that the whales felt so comfortable having us there. At some stages the whales were feet away from us with their fishy spray blowing in our faces and on one occasion one gently bumped the boat. At no stage did the boat gun after them to catch the perfect picture for us eager tourist but they just swam towards us. A once in a life time experience, in fact one of our group was so taken with it he booked again for the next day!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank middlegam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“One of the BEST experiences I have ever had!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

I have been on the Whale Watching & Dolphin Ocean Adventures Tour and also the St Lucia Estuary Hippo & Crocodile Cruise and would highly recommend this activity to anyone visiting KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is simply a "MUST DO" and a "once in a lifetime" experience. The staff are very knowledgeable and professional and this makes it an unforgettable and memorable adventure!

Regards
Rene Hartslief - Editor - The BEST of KZN & BEYOND Travel Guide

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Rene H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
143 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
“Great hippo cruise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2013

We took a 4pm Hippo & Croc cruise in late July and really enjoyed it. We saw lots of hippos and many other animals including kudu & fish eagles. We did see crocs too, but only a couple.

Skipper Sean was very knowledgeable, and allowed enough time for those of us slower to see the wildlife than him to keep up. Sean's commentary on the PA was easy to hear and follow, and he worked hard to manoeuvre us into position for good, close views.The boat was full (on the lower deck at least) but Sean was still very patient with us all moving around to get the best photos. At one point Sean passed a hippo tooth round the boat; seeing one close up, and getting to feel how heavy it was, certainly added to our experience.

On the outward part of our tour, it was quite hard to see as we were looking into low sun, and the bright reflection of the sun off the Lake. However, the hippos are more active late in the day as they prepare to leave the Lake to forage on land at night and the scenery was especially beautiful as the light began to fade, so I'd happily recommend 4pm as a good time to cruise Lake St Lucia.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank grantem2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic Whale Watching Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

I went with Advantage Whale Watching Tour for my birthday and had an unforgettable experience. I was hoping that we would see at least one or two humpback whales but we actually saw so many I lost count. The whales came so close to the boat and it was breathtaking to see how enormous these animals are.

The Skipper was very experienced and knew so much about the whales and the local area. He was very respectful of the whales so it never felt like we were harassing/ chasing them. They came close when they were curious and left when they wanted. I also felt very safe on the boat and we all had life jackets and waterproof jackets to wear.

It was very well organised tour and we were given lots of hints and tips at booking to make sure we had the best experience e.g. we might get wet on the boat, take sea sickness tablets if you know you have a sensitive stomach.

If you are visiting St Lucia during whale season I definitely recommend this trip.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sonja H H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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