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Ensuring Safety: A Guide to Whale Watching Tours

a small boat in a large body of water

Whale watching tours are a popular activity for tourists and locals alike. The opportunity to see these majestic creatures up close is an unforgettable experience. However, with any activity involving wildlife, safety should always be a top priority. In this guide, we’ll discuss the safety measures that should be taken on whale watching tours and provide tips for choosing a reputable tour company.

Are Whale Watching Tours Safe?

The short answer is yes, whale watching tours can be safe. However, as with any outdoor activity, there are risks involved. It’s important to understand these risks and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

The most common risks associated with whale watching tours include:

  • Rough seas and inclement weather
  • Accidents on the boat, such as falls or collisions
  • Sun exposure and dehydration
  • Seasickness
  • Interaction with wildlife

While these risks may seem daunting, they can be mitigated with proper safety measures and preparation.

Safety Measures on Whale Watching Tours

To ensure the safety of passengers, whale watching tour companies should have the following safety measures in place:

  • Life jackets and other personal flotation devices should be readily available for all passengers.
  • The boat should be equipped with necessary safety equipment, such as life rafts, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits.
  • The captain and crew should be trained in emergency procedures and have a plan in place in case of an emergency.
  • The boat should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure it is in good working condition.
  • The captain should be monitoring weather conditions and make the decision to cancel or postpone the tour if necessary.
  • The boat should not exceed its maximum capacity.
  • Passengers should be briefed on safety procedures before the tour begins.

Tips for Choosing a Reputable Tour Company

When choosing a whale watching tour company, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable company that prioritizes safety. Here are some tips for choosing a reputable tour company:

  • Read reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family who have been on a whale watching tour.
  • Check the company’s safety record and make sure they have all necessary permits and licenses.
  • Inquire about the experience and training of the captain and crew.
  • Ask about the safety measures in place on the boat.
  • Find out the company’s policy for inclement weather or rough seas.
  • Inquire about the boat’s capacity and make sure it is not overcrowded.
  • Ask about the company’s refund policy in case of cancellation.

Safety Tips for Passengers

While the tour company is responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers, there are also steps that passengers can take to ensure their own safety and enjoyment on the tour.

Dress Appropriately

Dressing appropriately for a whale watching tour is crucial for both safety and comfort. Here are some tips for dressing for a whale watching tour:

  • Wear layers to prepare for changing weather conditions.
  • Bring a waterproof jacket or poncho in case of rain or sea spray.
  • Wear non-slip shoes to prevent falls on the boat.
  • Bring a hat and sunglasses to protect against the sun.
  • Apply sunscreen before the tour and bring extra to reapply throughout the day.

Stay Hydrated

Spending hours on a boat in the sun can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to bring plenty of water on the tour. Some tour companies may provide water, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own as well.

Listen to the Captain and Crew

The captain and crew are there to ensure the safety of all passengers, so it’s important to listen to their instructions and follow their safety procedures. This includes staying seated while the boat is in motion and following any emergency procedures.


Respect the Wildlife

Whale watching tours are a unique opportunity to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. However, it’s important to remember that we are visitors in their home and should respect their space. Here are some guidelines for interacting with wildlife on a whale watching tour:

  • Do not approach the whales or any other marine life.
  • Keep a safe distance from the animals, as recommended by the tour company.
  • Do not feed or touch the animals.
  • Do not throw anything into the water.
  • Do not make loud noises or sudden movements that could startle the animals.

Whale watching tours can be a safe and enjoyable experience when proper safety measures are in place and passengers take necessary precautions. By choosing a reputable tour company, dressing appropriately, staying hydrated, and respecting the wildlife, you can ensure a safe and unforgettable whale watching experience.

If you’re looking for a reputable whale watching tour company, consider Dana Wharf Whale Watching. With over 50 years of experience and a commitment to safety, they offer a variety of tours to see whales, dolphins, and other marine life in their natural habitat. Book your tour today and experience the wonder of these magnificent creatures for yourself.