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“Whales came up to (and under) the boat”
Review of Whale Samana

Whale Samana
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A unique opportunity to observe humpback whales in their natural calving and mating grounds here in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic. Listen to the male humpback's solitary courting song and witness incredible displays of flippering, tail lobbing and breaching by the most active species of whale in the Atlantic. On board, a Marine Mammal Specialist narrating and answering questions. An experience of a lifetime, not to be missed! Dates January 15th to March 25th Departure Samana: From January 15th to January 31st; depart daily at 10:00AM from the main town dock and picks up passengers on Cayo Levantado 30 minutes later on the public dock, by reservation only. February 01st to February 06th departure; 9:00AM with pick up Cayo Levantado at 9:30AM 07th of February to the 07th of March; two trips daily at 9:00AM and 1:30 PM with pick ups on Cayo Levantado 30 minutes later. 08th of March until the 14th of March; departure 9:00AM Cayo Levantado 9:30AM 15th of March until the 25th of March; one departure daily at 10:00AM with pick up on Cayo Levantado at 10:30 each morning, On board Pura Mia, 55' Custom Whale Watch vessel VHF Radio, approved life jackets and rain gear Capacity 65 persons, with lots of space to move around We comply with the Samana Bay whale watch regulations Services Sound system with underwater hydrophone Two modern bathrooms with running water Souvenirs/snack bar /educational material Marine Mammal specialist Scientific data collection on every trip Narration in two languages and interpreters available on board. Includes Soft drinks, water, crackers, and mints Booklet "Whales of Samana" (spanish, english, german or french) Dramamine tablets
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Waterloo, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Whales came up to (and under) the boat”
Reviewed March 16, 2013

What a life experience: to see 2 adult and baby humpbacks come right up to - and then under the boat. They are such gentle giants - I can't believe anyone would hunt whales (damn Japan and Greenland). The PhD biologist on board was so excited about the whales going under the boat.

We've been whale watching several times in Atlantic Canada. This trip was better than anything we've experienced. Kim is so knowledgeable and we learned a ton about whales. She's been doing this for 30 years and encourages a respectful whale watching industry in the area. It was a beautiful day and see saw 2 groups of whales: female and her calf, and then up close, a female, calf, and male adult.

You're on a good sized boat with 2 levels so there was lots of space the day we went. The narration was in English and French. And you get a booklet that explains alot about the humpback whales.

Be cautious about using the locals from the dock - you're in a tiny boat and I don't know how ethical they are in terms of chasing and hassling whales.

I had to contact them several times about getting a reservation, but I'm glad I persisted. I will remember this for many, many years. If you're going whale watching in Samana, be sure to go with Kim. Take your camera! These are magnificent creatures to see and observe.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank wloo_andrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“Truly a Must-Do”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This many reviews can not be wrong, Whale Samana is a great outfit, and you will see whales with them. I like that they promote responsible viewing, not driving over them in a motorboat (like I saw someone else do) or charging full speed in the direction of a breaching whale to get far too close to them. You'll get close enough for some good pictures, and you'll see your fill, they don't short your time even if you are lucky enough to not even get out of the harbor before they appear-they'll still venture out for more sightings. One word of advice...take the dramamine. I was fine until about 30 minutes before we turned to head back, and it started to hit me, being out there in the choppy water, sitting still in the boat, yeah, it got to me, and I took mine at this first sign but I should have been smarter not to even take the chance.
One final word to the wise, if you take a morning tour, side on the right side of the boat (facing the bow), as this is the way the captain will turn every time in order for the pictures not to have glare. Otherwise, you will be left out a bit. Our boat had not problem with people up and about the whole time though, this isn't assigned seating!
Oh, one more thing...we had messed up and misjudged the time change from our flights, and actually missed the outing on our scheduled date, so they were kind enough to let us on for the following day with no hassle (we felt pretty bad, and a bit stupid already).

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank DanStac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Amazing experience!”
Reviewed March 12, 2013

We signed up for a tour before we left for our trip from the website. They responded back right away and we had our tour paid up by paypal.
We chose a morning tour so we can lounge at the beach in the afternoon and because we heard that the water might not be as rough in the morning (not sure if that is true or not).
The boat (Pura Mia) arrived on time at the public dock at Cayo Levantado where we were staying. The boat was large enough to accommodate all of the passengers comfortably.
It had an upper and lower deck. We had little kids with us and opted for the lower deck to get some shade.
On the way to find the whales we received a lot of information that was also translated in french and spanish. We learned a lot of things about the whales and the rules about viewing them.
Kim and her crew were extremely professional and seemed very knowledgeable. She would point which direction to look at and because of the spacious boat we could move around a bit for a better viewing position.
We saw many of whales and what an awesome sight they were!
Our friend that joined us on the tour felt sick after a while. The crew was very nice providing her with bags and tissues and water.
They do have dramamine for those that are interested in taking it early on.
On the way back they handed out saltines to everyone.
We had a fantastic day out with Kim and would highly recommend this tour!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank l00ly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
471 reviews
115 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,664 helpful votes
“Must do”
Reviewed March 6, 2013 via mobile

Well passionate cruise with very knowledgeable Kim which explain everything you need to know about whales. I have been out with them a few days ago and have seen multiple whales, two of which came out about 10 meters high. Amazing. Really amazing. Even if nature and whales are not decided to come out by Kim or the cruise, I would have considered this trip a well worth to do for about 2000 DOP.

Helpful?
4 Thank Elmunyoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haddonfield
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Whale Museum”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

Well done and informative.

Small but easy to woak and easy to look at displays.

Only problem was descriptions were all in Spanish, so the sights and commentary by guide, who was excellent by the way, were what you could learn from.

Worth the visit.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lovecruising98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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