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“Avoid - Too much discomfort, too little safety.”

Southern Right Charters
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$63.56*
and up
Boat Based Whale Watching from Hermanus
Ranked #2 of 21 Tours in Hermanus
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: BOAT BASED WHALE WATCHING IN HERMANUS. Our memorable whale-watching trips are informative and educational. We mostly encounter the Southern Right whales, seals, penguins and marine birds, and often see dolphins, Bryde’s and Humpback whales on many of our trips. The purpose-built catamaran, Miroshca complies with all safety regulations and provides spectacular viewing and comfort. Qualified, experienced skipper with Whale Specialist and Interpreter guide on board- Light refreshments included- DVD of tour available- Licensed permit holder. Daily Departures: 9h00; 12h00 & 15h00. Weather Permitting. Bookings Advisable.
Singapore, null, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Avoid - Too much discomfort, too little safety.”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

It started badly - for someone charging R600pp, they had no washrooms. We were shown a portable room on the otherside of the road, that was overflowing and terribly smelly. After a talk that lasted 30 mins in good weather, we started towards sea, only to be rocked by heavy winds. Everyone on the boat got sea sick, with 90% of the passengers throwing up. Not once, in 5 phone calls to them, did they even hint of sea sickness. While I was peronsonally ok, it just ruins the trip, if a boat, has 40 people throwing up in all directions. The waters were perilously choppy, and we thought the captain did NOT take adequate precaution - both in terms of anticipating the weather, and in terms of being ready to handle passenger safety in rough seas. Our "3 hour" trip lasted all of 55 minutes, with one humpback sighted in the distance, no southern right whales at all, and a 40 minute jouryney back in strong headwind. At the end of this, the captain made a terrible remark " well folks, this is Hermanus as its most unexpected best". Worse, in an attempt at further hardsell, the land crew told us " we will catch a lull in the wind again tomorrow morning, would you want to give it another try?" Well, I'm pretty sure you could have expected a better tour operator, especially if they anticipated bad weather. While the whales are interesting, Southern right did their best to make it a terrible show. You would go here, if you entrust an F16 fighter pilot with a Boeing 747. Too cowboy. Too thoughtless. And you dont have a decent washroom to use, for upto 4 hours.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Madhuslg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRCWhaleWatching, Manager at Southern Right Charters, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Hi Madhu,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the tour with us and we do take all comments, positive and negative seriously. With regards to your review we were unfortunate to have afternoon winds pick up on the day of your trip however we do take safety seriously and do our utmost to ensure passenger safety on board, this is covered in the our on land briefing you mention which gives an educational aspect to the whales and safety on board as well as a life jacket demonstration plus tips on how to avoid sea sickness, additional to this all of our crew is highly trained and our captain on your trip has in excess of 30 years’ experience with qualifications that exceed our vessels requirements. The boat, from the design to the engineering and equipment is all geared to ensuring safety on board.

With regards to passenger comfort, we have a fully equipped ladies and gents on board, I am unsure as to why you mentioned that there were no toilets, the boat itself has an indoor section to protect our guests from sea spray in the event of the weather changing. We also do our best to assist with passenger that are sea sick with crew members dedicated to their well- being and providing of sick bags as well as hot towels to freshen up.
With regards to the trip duration, on all marketing material, including when booking via phone or email it is stated that the trip is anything from 1h30- 3 hours maximum, this all depends on the traveling time to the whales, and usually the trip averages at 2 hours. Your trip was shortened due to the wind that did come up.
With wildlife it is always difficult to say what we will see on any trip with no two trips being the same; during the week your tour fell in we had great sightings of southern right whales and even with the season tapering to the end we are still currently having good whale sightings with the occasional dolphin sightings. The Humpback breaching (jumping) on your trip was a rare sighting for this time of the year. With that said it is unfortunate that your trip is one of only two in the last 6 months where unfortunately no southern right whales were spotted.

It is unfortunate that you could not join us on a complimentary trip the following morning however we do hope that if you are traveling to South Africa in the future you will take us up on our offer. Thanks very much
SOUTHERN RIGHT CHARTERS TEAM
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“great trip, plenty of whales and close to the action”
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Enjoyed a lovely trip with southern right charters. Saw whales just outside the harbour as our trip was starting and then plenty more on the far side of the bay. Had a wonderful experience watching a mother and calf playing in the surf which was fantastic, they were quit close to the boat. It was a very moving experience. We also saw a pod of bottle nose dolphins who put on a great show for us, it was excellent. I took travel sickness tablets before the trip,and am used to the sea and had no problems at all. I would advise anyone to take a travel sickness pill before setting off just in case as the sea can get pretty choppy. My only slight criticism was that the boat was quite busy, we had a whale right up by the side of the boat but a few of us didn't get to see it as that side of the boat was full, however we still saw some amazing things and I would thoroughly recommend the trip. We were very well looked after,the boat was clean and in excellent condition and the crew were very friendly. I had seen lots of whales from the land, breaching and tail slapping but this trip still added much more. A great experience!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank JennyS80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRCWhaleWatching, Manager at Southern Right Charters, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Hi Jenny,
Whales just outside the harbour mouth is always a luck and a great start to the trip with whale sightings only moments in, glad you enjoyed your time with us and hope the rest of your time in SA was great too, thanks for taking the time to review us,regards
THE SOUTHERN RIGHT CHARTERS TEAM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great experience, great people and plenty of whales.”
Reviewed October 31, 2012

Overall: great place to see whales, the best boat, super helpful and knowledgeable crew with a passion for what they do. The boat trip was safe but not stuffy and the cat they use is very stable, large enough for everyone to get a good view, and clean. Get up front for the best fun! It was definitely the best boat in the harbour.
Tip when they say get there 30 minutes before - do. Usually this means organisers want to ensure an on time departure and nothing ese. But there is a very interesting and worthwhile presentation by the skipper on the Southern Right Whale, which you are very likely to see.
We saw around 10 whales in total and a couple of seals that the kids loved. We were given useful and tips such as "point your camera to the left around 15 metres from where you last saw the whale - that's where it will likely breach next" or "here comes the tail - get your cameras ready".... very useful if you are not a professional marine photographer.
Note on sea sickness: The sea was described as good the day we went out (as a strong Easterly was flattenng the swell) but there were still a number of younger adults looking very green. If you are prone to sea sickness, as two of my fmily are - choose a calm day or try viewing from the old port Hermanus. The whales tend to come to the surface to take on air and the boat stops to allow the best viewing opportunities. As such the boat bobs alot and this is pretty grim if you are prone to sea sickness.
Overall: great place to see whales, the best boat, super helpful and knowledgeable crew and a land based team to whom I owe a particular thankyou. They found a rucksack I had left behind which was going to be problematic to return to the boatyard to pick up. It had cash and electronic stuff inside. They located my mobile, called me, boxed it up and arranged to have it couriered 300km to Knysna for me. They refused to even take cash equivalent to the cost of a round of drinks by way of a thankyou, despite my insistence. It was so uplifting to find people who enjoy what they do and are simply pleased to help out. Thanks guys. I am so appreciative and I hope this review will encourage others to stop by and see the whales with you for the many reasons listed above.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Hebe_Bear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRCWhaleWatching, Manager at Southern Right Charters, responded to this review, November 10, 2012
Thanks for the review, and I am really glad your bag arrived with you in Knysna, in one piece and with all valuables, again it was our pleasure, hope the rest of your time in SA was great and enjoyed by the whole family, thanks
THE SOUTHERN RIGHT CHARTERS TEAM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“WHALE WATCHING TRIP”
Reviewed October 19, 2012

A very exciting trip, on a family-run boat. Staff very knowledgeable, boat clean and comfortable. Saw a number of whales at very close quarters. An experience not to be missed.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Traveltwo42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Fantastic Whale Watching on a new twin hulled boat”
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We spent one of our days out from Cape Town in Hermanus on a Whale Watching Tour with this company, what a fantastic trip we had, out of the harbour and headed into the bay, saw loads of Southern Right Whales, singly and in small groups. The boat crew were excellent and we had a fantastic trip. I have to say that the whole day out including the shared mini bus from Cape Town was not cheap, almost 600 Rand each for our share of the mini bus and driver (Magic Bus Tours) and then a further 600 rand each for the boat trip. Even though we had a great full day, it was not heap but well forth the £100 each for the day. Thank you, Andy & Mandy.

Helpful?
1 Thank Andy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRCWhaleWatching, Manager at Southern Right Charters, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Hi Mandy & Andy, thanks for the excellent review!
Hope to welcome you back in the future, regards
THE SOUTHERN RIGHT CHARTERS TEAM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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