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“Relaxing Cruise, but Where Are the Whales?”

Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center
Reviewed August 14, 2012

We booked the 3-hour whale/dolphin cruise for the afternoon of August 9th. The reservations were easy to make by phone and they requested that we arrive by 12:30 pm for a 1:00 pm departure. The marina is under a bridge on NJ Route 109 and was a bit difficult to find. Free car parking is available at the marina but you must park behind a long line of cars of the other passengers on the cruise.

The folks at the ticket booth and all of the boat's crew members were pleasant and helpful. The boat was clean with both inside and outside seating available. Our cruise was about half-filled so there were plenty of seats available. The boat has a snack bar for water, soda, chips, sunglasses, suntan lotion, etc. The cruise left promptly at 1:00 pm and arrived back at the marina about 4:05 pm.

The cruise started near the Cape May shore where we saw several groups of playful dolphins in the water. The boat then proceeded for a 45 min. trip to 7 miles off-shore into the Atlantic Ocean. This part of the trip was relaxing, but a bit boring. The boat then spent about 30 min. searching for the whales but none were to be found, so we spent another 45 min. back to the marina.

One of the crew members said that most of the whales spend their summer at Stellwagen bank off the coast on New England, so whale sightings are somewhat rare off of Cape May during the summer months. [ We believe this is true because we took a similar whale watch cruise out of Boston in July 1990 and saw many whales off the New England coast]. The whales start to migrate south in September-October which is a much better time for whale watching off of Cape May.

We were disappointed that we did not see any whales, but we still had a nice afternoon on the water.

Thank UBHappyToo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 - 195 of 220 reviews

Reviewed August 7, 2012

Upon making reservations for this whale watch I asked if the morning or afternoon trip was more likely to see whales. I was informed the afternoon trip was best because it went out farther so that is what I booked. There was in fact a whale spotted that day by two other boats that we saw on the way out to the open water. This boat was so slow that by the time we arrived the whale was no where to be seen! On the way back we asked how often a whale is seen and the naturalist told us in the summer the average whale sighting on the trip is one per month!! Had I been told this on the phone I would have just booked the morning trip that mainly focused on dolphins! We were due to be back at 4:00 and our boat didn't get back until 5:30!! Possibly because we were waiting and hoping for the whale to surface again but the ride back was very long and boring with very little commentary from the Naturalists and very little shade on a hot day. The best part of the trip was seeing dolphins in the water about 10 minutes after we left. If you go with this company stick with the dolphin cruise. Don't waste your time on the whale watch.

Thank kklammers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2012

We have gone dolphin watching and whale watching before and know that it can be hit and miss as to what you see and this is not in the control of the captain. However, this particular tour was the most boring tour we have ever been on. The tour company barely commented on anything we were seeing or anything we were doing. There was no music to listen to and there was complete silence from the captain for about two hours.

The first hour we were lucky enough to see about twenty dolphins swimming around which we followed for about a half hour. That was great! Then we headed out for deeper water for the whale sighting. I had asked the captain at the beginning of the tour our chances of seeing a whale. He said the last time he saw one was a week ago. The website leads you to believe that you will see whales but when on the boat, the crew could have cared less. The website also said we would see a lot of birds. We saw one nest when we were heading out and that's it. We had no idea we were heading directly back to the dock after they basically gave up on looking for whales.

I have never seen so many bored people. People actually fell asleep. The company should figure out a way to entertain their guests. Put on some music.; bring around some appetizers or popsicles for the kids; have someone come around and answer questions. Add some life to this tour, after all we just paid $40 per person. The biggest joke was they hyped a "touch tank" which was a black plastic kiddie pool with a few crabs in it. Sad.

Do not spend your hard earned money on this trip; you'll see more dolphins from the beach.

2  Thank Dwayne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2012

This past weekend, i had attended the sunset dolphin watch cruise. it was a great start to the trip as we were tired from driving and we got to relax and float into the sunset. the captian was great and very knowledgeable and we were literally surrounded by dolphins at one point! they were all just hanging right off the shore line. what i liked best about this cruise was that it was late in the day so not too hot at all...and also that we went all the way around cape may. it was my first time visiting so it was nice to learn about it a little more. they also feed you, seemingly any time you go so the price is right for what you get. i really enjoyed myself and when we go back, we plan on trying a different type of ride!

Thank Erin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 13, 2012

Staff was great, We had a wheelchair bound person who they helped on a off the boat by lifting the chair up and down. It was scary for the person in the chair but the dolphin watch calmed her fears. Live narration throughout the ride was very informative. Go to this one and you won't be disappointed.

Thank Chuckowzky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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