It’s not simple to pick a whale-watching excursion from the variety of possibilities available online or in brochures at your local hotel or tourism office. Your final decision may be based primarily on location and convenience. Still, you will ideally also want to choose a responsible operation after seeing what we have to say about these types of tours.
The following questions will assist you in making the best decision possible. By directly asking these questions to tour operators during your email booking, visiting their office, or having phone conversations, you will demonstrate that consumers value responsible behaviour. This will encourage tour companies to offer more than just the excitement of getting up close and personal with whales in their natural habitat.
How Do You Make Sure You Are Not Disturbing the Animals?
A good operator should be able to give you specific examples of measures they take to avoid disturbing whales when whale watching in Narooma. These include things like maintaining specific nearing distances, not approaching groups of whales that are already surrounded by others, limiting how much time they spend with an individual whale or group, and taking extra precautions around mothers and calves, among other things.
Remember that studies suggest that vessels that respect approach distances and allow whales and dolphins to select how they interact with the boat have more satisfying and longer experiences with the animals than those that approach too soon, chase, or crowd the animals. You have significant leverage as a potential client to demonstrate that you are aware of this truth and that you will want your operator to be aware of it too.
Does Your Crew Include a Guide or a Naturalist?
A naturalist may provide running commentary and facts over a loudspeaker system for bigger trips, while the skipper might guide very small vessels. You should be capable of learning about the animals you’re viewing and the ecosystem in which they live, regardless of the information offered.
Even if you don’t see whales, a trip with a knowledgeable guide can be educational and pleasant. It is vital to remember that not seeing the animals you are looking for is always a risk on guided tours. The guide should be able to identify the marine fauna you see, including birds and fish along with whales and dolphins.
They should also be able to share some interesting facts about the area’s marine and coastal ecology. Along with being able to explain the behaviour of the creatures you’re viewing, they should provide information on the conservation concerns they face.
What Safety Measures Do You Have in Place?
Tour guide operators must be able to reassure you that they have a qualified and licensed boat captain and crew, as well as that the vessel is legally registered, licensed, and inspected in accordance with local regulations. Not just to navigate but also to transport visitors. All passengers on board should be provided with life jackets, and the tour must always begin with a thorough safety briefing.