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“Well worth it if you want to see fish (not fireworks)”

Cape May Whale Watcher
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Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise from Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Cape May Whale Watcher is one of the largest whale and dolphin watching tourist destinations in Cape May, NJ. Outside of our popular whale and dolphin watching tours, patrons may also choose to experience a lighthouse or sunset tour. Food is available purchase and patrons may purchase tickets for a dinner cruise which includes a delicious prime rib buffet.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
93 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Well worth it if you want to see fish (not fireworks)”
Reviewed July 17, 2014

Sorry, but I need to respond to the review of "Robin B". Their policy clearly states that they guarantee that you will see dolphins (or whales). If not, each patron will receive a voucher good for another excursion (and I presume that they would continue issuing vouchers until they "deliver the goods".)
Having said that, I find it unlikely that sightings would not occur. The Captain and crew are professional and experienced; they know where to find the dolphins AND how to stay with them. Our experience was fantastic, we estimate having spotted around 50 dolphins frolicking in the water! The excursion included a complete voyage around Cape May island accompanied by an informative (and sometimes witty) narrative by our Captain. The adults in our group thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and highly recommend this adventure!

Visited July 2014
2 Thank Rick-Christine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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453 reviews from our community

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English first
West Grove, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Nice trip”
Reviewed July 16, 2014

Nice company to deal with on all levels. Clean,roomy boat with a polite,helpful crew. Informative tour of the shoreline. Wheelchair accessible and indoor and outdoor seating. Dolphin and whale watching are like playing cards. It' all the luck of the draw. We were lucky and saw m any large pods of dolphins but never really went out far enough to see whales. Captain did a great job
Staying close enough to dolphins to get great pictures.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank Rusty454
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
178 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Lovely Trip”
Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

We recently went on a daytime cruise and saw lots of dolphins but no whales. The ship is large and we had plenty of room to spread out. It was clean and quiet and parking was plentiful and free. It was well narrated and we had good customer service from all of the staff. There is seating out in the open or under cover. Our trip included Danish which were individually wrapped and fresh. Very pleasant trip. Will go again!

3 Thank NJDels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“What a disappointment”
Reviewed July 10, 2014

We booked the ride for the 4th of July and beyond anyones control our trip out to the Ocean to see fireworks was cancelled due to the rain and storms so we had to switch our boat ride till Sunday night No problem everyone was helpful,then Sunday evening we get on the boat which was suppose to leave at 7pm but we were held up for almost an hour due to a pizza problem then we travel out the canal seen a few dolphins nothing much was doing then we notice we are being turned around with a cranky Captain who said the fireworks once again are cancelled due to the barge that was carrying them got wet .A fight broke out on the lower deck ,people in line for pizza were rude couldn't even get a slice .To top it all off we got our ticket stamped for a free ride next time we are in town REALLY a refund was never offered after all we been thru it would have been nice .So for 40 bucks a person we got nothing .We will never do it again nor recommend anyone to do it .Horrible time

Visited July 2014
7 Thank Robin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CaptainCuda, Manager at Cape May Whale Watcher, responded to this review, July 12, 2014

We are sorry to hear that you had a negative experience aboard our vessel for the Fireworks of 2014. As you can see from our reviews on Tripadvisor and our other social media pages, most patrons have a positive experience aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher.

The fireworks of 2014 were plagued by Hurricane Arthur from as early as July 2, 2014. The July 3rd Fireworks on the Delaware Bay by Lower Township were postponed over 24 hours in advance. This was rescheduled to July 5, 2014. This was an inconvenience, but made sense since the weather was forecast for poor conditions on July 3, 2014. The forecast turned out to be wrong and all cruises ran on July 3, 2014 without issue.

July 4th Fireworks were scheduled to go on as well as the cruise aboard Cape May Whale Watcher to view the fireworks. The City of Cape May announced about two hours before the cruise that the fireworks had been postponed until July 6, 2014. Cape May Whale Watcher, upon hearing the news took every step possible to reschedule patrons for the fireworks cruise of their choosing, either going on a Dolphin Watch without fireworks on July 4, 2014, going on the Fireworks cruise on July 5, 2014, going on the Fireworks Cruise for July 6, 2014, or given the ability to reschedule for a future whale and dolphin watch or dolphin watch trip. On July 4, 2014, the Cape May Whale Watcher had a 7:00 PM Dolphin Watch around Cape May which turned out to be a beautiful sunset, as Hurricane Arthur departed the area.

The Fireworks Cruise on July 5, 2014 went perfectly in calm conditions. All patrons who opted for this excursion enjoyed the cruise with dolphins, sunset, fireworks, as well as pizza and hot dogs. The Fireworks Cruise on July 6, 2014 looked like another ideal evening. According to the Captain's log, the excursion left exactly 20 minutes late due to the pizza not be delivered. The pizza and hot dogs were served from two locations, on both decks of the ship to allow all patrons ample opportunity to have a slice or a hot dog throughout the trip.

En-route to the fireworks, the Captain reports finding dolphins at Cape May Point in some chop. The Captain only spent 20 minutes with the dolphins instead of the usual 30 minutes due to the time constraints of the fireworks going off and wanting to be on time, in time for the fireworks. The decision to leave one pod of dolphins is the Captain's discretion and often results in finding another group of dolphins which sometimes are better than the dolphins we leave.

En-route to the fireworks, at approximately 8:50 pm, the fireworks barge notified a friend on the VHF radio that the fireworks were cancelled due to the barge being submerged in the inlet while trying to get to the location to set them off. Apparently, the computer which sets off the fireworks did not survive the extreme conditions and all was a loss aboard the fireworks barge. There was no official notice given by the City of Cape May, however the Captain verified the information and departed the area. The Captain then made an announcement to the passengers that fireworks were once again cancelled.

You stated in your review that "a fight broke out" while we were on the way home. According to all reports from passengers in the cabin, crew in the cabin and reviewing the security footage, no fight could be seen. A disagreement between two patrons did take place between a woman and a couple. Our seating is first come first serve and patrons are asked to respect this first come first serve, open seating policy.

Upon returning to the dock at 9:45 PM, the Captain issued Free Passes to all patrons aboard ship. The Free Pass is good for any of our dolphin watch or whale and dolphin watch cruises. You stated you are from out of town which we realize almost all patrons aboard our vessel are from out of town with people aboard from as far away as all 50 states as well as other countries. For this reason, the Free Pass we issue has no expiration date. No expiration means you can use this Free Pass the next day, or the next year or the next decade and so on. While you may not have plans to return to Cape May now, plans change.

The fireworks being postponed is beyond the control of the Cape May Whale Watcher. The fireworks being cancelled, the sea conditions causing the barge to be swamped with the fireworks is also beyond the control of the Cape May Whale Watcher. The policy on each ticket issued is that our tickets are Non-refundable and Non-transferable and that trips are subject to change. The policy on our website also states that our tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable as well as subject to change. The website also contains a Specialty Cruise Policy which specifically relates to fireworks cruise. Our policy page must be read and agreed to in order to complete an online sale.

Even though our policy states that tickets are Non-transferable, we gave each patron from the July 4, 2014 Fireworks Cruise Four options to utilize. We called approximately 268 guests in order to reach all parties involved as well as sending follow up emails. Many patrons opted for the July 5, 2014 Fireworks Cruise and had a very positive experience.

We hope that you make it back to Cape May in the future and come aboard for one our other cruises so that we may provide you with the positive experience we want you to have.

Captain Jeff Stewart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Took a gamble...mostly lost.”
Reviewed July 8, 2014

The boat's nice, the staff's friendly, everything is pretty well-run and professional. We saw plenty of dolphins which was fun, and the captain does a good job of steering the boat so that everyone gets a chance to see as much as they want.

But after seeing our fill of dolphins we embarked on a three hour voyage to see nothing except one ocean sunfish. My boys fell asleep, and they didn't miss much.

The fundamental problem is that you're basing your experience on seeing wild animals swimming in a very large ocean who don't really care about how much you paid to have them swim by your boat at just the right moment. It's a gamble. Some may win, but I have a hunch most will lose. It's up to you if you want to try your luck...

Thankfully, everything else about the experience was positive, so personally we didn't have regrets.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank nshorb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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