What is the difference between the zodiac and the research vessel?

The difference is in size and ride. Our 12 passenger Zodiac is smaller and faster, almost like a roller coaster ride (depending on the weather). It is very popular and exhilarating but there are a few restrictions. If you have back or neck problems, pregnant, or under 3 years old, it is not recommended. On board our 28 passenger Research Vessel, there is the captain, guide and 2 researchers. This boat is more family-friendly with no restrictions.There is also a washroom on board and more room to move around, whereas in the zodiac you are required to stay seated for most of the trip.

Do we get wet on the boat?

You can get wet on either boat depending on the weather and waves. You have more tendency of getting wet on the zodiac because you’re at sea level and you are going at a faster speed. It’s actually a fun part of the experience. It is also recommended that you bring water resistant clothing and footwear for the tours.

What kind of whales do you see?

We are fortunate to have numerous whales visit our shoreline. In June, the Fin & Minke whales frequent our area. By July, Pilot whales migrate here in great numbers and they stay until October. At the end of August through September, Humpback whales and Dolphins come close to our shores since they follow a bait fish that arrives at that time of year.

How close do you get to the whales?

We let the whales come to us. We never chase them or harass them. They usually come as close as a few feet from us.

Which boat gets closer to the whales, the zodiac or the research vessel?

The whales approach both types of boats at the same distance. However, since the zodiac is closer to the water's surface, you're at the same eye level as the whales.

Do the zodiac and research boat go to the same areas?

Yes, they both go to where the whales are, but the zodiac can go farther to seek out other types of whales. It can cover more territory with its speed.

What time of the day is best for going whale watching?

In the 23 years that we have been operating, we have noticed that there are no 'best' times of the day to see whales. Any time of the day is good. The times when there are less people are in the morning or evening, and that’s usually when the weather is calmer as well.

Do you have washrooms on board?

We have a washroom on the research vessel, but not on the zodiac.

How far in advance do I need to reserve?

Generally, in the busy season (July to August) reservations should be made at least 5 days in advance or earlier. In the off-season (June & September), you should be ok to reserve the day before. However, the season could be busier than expected and it is difficult to predict how long in advance you should book. Reservations are definitely recommended as soon as you know when you wish to come.

How long do the trips last?

The trips last approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.

Do you guarantee your whale sightings?

We have one of the highest success rates in the world (92% in 2017)! As of 2018, we no longer offer a whales guaranteed policy. We go the extra mile to make sure your experience with us is professional and educational, and worth it even if no whales are seen.

Will I get seasick?

Most people don’t get seasick. Those who do are the ones who are prone to car sickness, air sickness, etc. 

Do you allow dogs on the boat?

Yes, we do allow only small lap dogs on the research vessel as long as they stay on your lap attached to a leash. Unfortunately, from experience, larger dogs who need to be on the floor pose a danger to themselves and people once the passengers move around to watch whales. The zodiacs cannot accommodate any dogs because of the inflatable pontoons. We do have a spot at our office where they can be kept outside in the shade. The person at the office can keep an eye on him or her. All of us are pet lovers.

What do we need to bring?

You need to dress according to weather, and wear sunscreen. You should bring a camera, sunglasses, binoculars, hat & shoes with good soles to maintain your sea legs. You may also bring a backpack with drinks & snacks if you wish since we are not permitted to sell food and drinks at the harbour.

Are your boats wheelchair accessible?

Since we do not have government approved standards, our boats are not recommended for wheelchairs.

Do you contact us if the trips are cancelled due to weather?

Yes! When taking a reservation, we ask for your email and a phone number where you can be reached in case we need to cancel. We need to follow Transport Canada's strict wind regulations and in some instances, we may have no choice but to cancel as late as at time of departure without notice. Please note that there is no cell service in Pleasant Bay, so if you are staying overnight you should let us know where you're staying so we can contact you there.