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Whale Watching Excursion FAQs

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QUESTIONS ABOUT TICKETS/POLICIES

  • Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?

    Advance purchase is recommended, and trips can sell out. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please buy your tickets well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Advance purchases and reservations are held up until 30 minutes prior to departure. Arrival after 30 minutes to departure can result in loss of reservations and forfeiture of advance purchase tickets. Ticket purchases are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • What happens if it rains?

    We sail rain or shine. In the event of extreme weather (such as a hurricane) that would force us to cancel the trip, you would be able to reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future trip. In all other weather conditions, we will run trips as scheduled!
  • Are children allowed?

    Of course! Children of all ages are allowed on our cruises. Children ages 7 to 12 have a reduced priced ticket, and children 6 years of age and under are free with an accompanying adult (one free child per adult). Keep in mind that strollers are only permitted on the main deck.
  • Is this cruise suitable for pregnant women?

    The boat is extremely stable and should not pose any problem for pregnant women. In fact, we have had many pregnant women cruise with us in the past without incident! If you are in the last trimester of your pregnancy, we usually suggest checking with your doctor prior to sailing just to be safe.
  • Are there any group discounts?

    Yes! You must have at least 25 people in your party to qualify for a group discount (no matter what age). The discount will be applied automatically when you purchase the tickets. Special private group charter pricing is available for this trip as well. Click on the "Contact this seller" link to find out more about private charters.
  • If this trip is sold out can I get on a waiting list?

    Unfortunately we do not have waiting lists for our trips. If the date and time you want is sold out, please choose another date and time from the schedule for this activity.
  • How early should I arrive to check in before the trip?

    For all of our trips, arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before departure. 60 minutes is preferred. Allow for traffic when traveling a distance during peak times. The ship departs promptly at the scheduled start time!

QUESTIONS ABOUT DOLPHIN & WHALE WATCHING

  • Am I guaranteed to see marine life?

    If marine mammals, including dolphins OR whales OR porpoises, are not sighted during your trip, you will receive a free pass for another trip! The pass does not expire and can be used on any of our regularly scheduled marine mammal cruises. The guarantee does not entitle the ticket holder to a refund. No we do not guarantee only whales.
  • What is the best time of the year for whale watching in order to see whales?

    In Cape May we see whales every month of the year, although we run our trips from March to December. There is no peak or best time of the year to see whales. The Delaware Bay is a large fishery, and is rich in marine life, so whales come and go at will to feed. The whales we see are largely not 'migrating' - they are often immature (sub-adults) or adults not on a migratory pattern. The species we see are primarily Humpback and Finback with the occasional Minke.
  • What is the best time of the day to see whales?

    Whales and dolphins are both marine mammals and must surface to breath air, so they can be seen all day long. Our trip schedule primarily focuses on the middle part of the day that provides the best conditions for spotting whales.
  • How close do we get to the whales?

    We obey the North East Whale Watching Guidelines as set forth by the National Marine Fisheries and NOAA. We are member of Whale SENSE, a voluntary program for whale watching companies’ committed to the highest level of safety for Marine Mammal & Whale Watching. We never get closer than 100 feet for no longer than 15 minutes. However, there have been rare cases when, at a full stop with all engines shut off, Humpbacks have come so close that they were almost touching the boat - merely feet away!
  • What happens if I don't see a whale or any dolphins during my trip?

    If you don't see a marine mammal (whale, dolphin OR porpoise), then you will receive a Free Pass to come back for any of our regularly scheduled marine mammal watching cruises.
  • How far does the boat go out?

    The whale and dolphin watch typically begins with dolphin watching near shore. Then we head offshore in search of Humpback and Finback whales. These journeys can lead us offshore anywhere from 5 to 20 miles.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BOAT

  • Which boat will we be going on?

    We will be going out on the Cape May Whale Watcher, the largest, fastest, cleanest, and most comfortable boat in New Jersey that provides whale and dolphin watching. The boat is 110 feet long and can carry up to 405 passengers, with upper deck seating for 220 passengers, and 360 degree views! It features a climate controlled main salon, over 350 feet of viewing rail space, and a full snack bar. 
  • What’s the Difference between the Cape May Whale Watcher and other Whale Watching companies in NJ?

    The Cape May Whale Watcher is the largest and fastest Dolphin and Whale Watching boat in NJ. Her Coast Guard Document states her waterline length at 85 Feet in length, where as other boats USCG Documents state their length at 80 Feet or less. That’s a difference of 5 feet in length on the waterline. Her overall length of 110 feet in length far surpasses all other vessels in similar businesses. Her beam of 28 feet is larger than all our competitors. Due to this extra length and beam combined, she is the best riding sea boat in the industry, on the east coast. She is specifically designed to go through any weather conditions. In addition to size she is fast and economical. She can go over 22 Knots if she has to, and she can achieve this with her small 700 HP engines, carrying over 200 people. This is why we nick named the Cape May Whale Watcher, Super Boat. She is specifically designed for sightseeing and marine mammal watching from day one. In fact, unlike other boats in the area, she is not a dual purpose fishing boat and sightseer. The Cape May Whale Watcher is not a fishing boat. Also, unlike other boats in the area, she is certified to carry up to 405 passengers, instead of only 149. This makes a huge difference in availability of tickets, space on board the boat for you and your family or group, etc. Space is important when it comes to your comfort. There is nothing more comfortable than Cape May Whale Watcher in New Jersey for Dolphin and Whale Watching and Sightseeing and cruising the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Will I get seasick?

    The Cape May Whale Watcher is the largest ship in New Jersey that provides whale and dolphin watching. It is extremely stable which means it moves as little as possible. However, it is still afloat, and will move depending on the weather conditions and state of the sea. All boats and ships move, from small dinghies to cruise ships. We do, however, have the lowest percentage of seasickness of any boat on the East Coast! If you are particularly prone to motion sickness, consider taking preventative measures beforehand. Seasickness medications such as Dramamine and Bonine are available at our gift shop and cost around $5.
  • Are there restrooms on board?

    Yes, there are separate men's and women's restrooms on board, both upstairs and on the main deck. We also have restrooms at the Marina.
  • Is there shade on the boat?

    Yes. The boat boasts expanded under cover seating for over 150 passengers and an enclosed climate controlled main salon with large windows for viewing in any weather.
  • Is smoking allowed?

    No - it is a state law in New Jersey that smoking is banned in public spaces.
  • Is the boat safe?

    Yes, the boat is US Coast Guard certified and features state of the art electronics and safety features.
  • Is the boat wheelchair accessible?

    The boat is wheelchair friendly. Our ramp has been accessed by passengers in wheelchairs since day one of our opening and to date has carried over 10,000 passengers in wheelchairs. The entire lower deck is accessible - open air, cabin, or partially enclosed areas with excellent views from all locations. Our doors do not have sills for easy entry to the Air Conditioned cabin. The restrooms are not wheelchair accessible, but you should be able to access them with some assistance. If you have further questions to see if you can be accommodated, please click on the "Contact this seller" link and explain your situation!
  • Are there life jackets on board? Do I have to wear one?

    The Cape May Whale Watcher is United States Coast Guard certified and inspected on an annual basis. We have more than enough life jackets aboard at all times for both adults and children. All life jackets are inspected and stowed by the Coast Guard annually. They are aboard in case of an emergency and are designed to withstand the rigors of extreme emergency situations. Life jackets are not required to be worn by passengers aboard our vessel during our trips. The railings aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher are some of the highest in the industry and are extremely safe.
  • Will there be room on the boat to stow my belongings?

    The Cape May Whale Watcher is a large vessel - the largest in the state. There is more than enough space for a small bag or light jacket. Keep in mind that all belongings are subject to inspection. Please also remember it is still a boat and has limited space like any other, so larger items such as luggage would be better off stowed in your car for the duration of the trip.
  • Is there parking available?

    Yes, there is free parking available at the marina.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING

  • Can I bring my own food and/or beverages?

    Yes. However, no alcoholic beverages or coolers or large bags are permitted aboard the ship. All bags and personal belongings are subject to search.
  • What kinds of food and beverages are available at the on board snack bar?

    There will be hot and cold beverages available, including cold soda, bottled water, draft beer, wine by the glass, mixed drinks, signature cocktails, frozen drinks, hot chocolate, tea and coffee. Food items include hot dogs, pizza, candy, ice cream, and other snacks. Cash and major credit cards are accepted at the snack bar.
  • How much money should I bring?

    It depends on the size of your family or group. Prices at the snack bar are higher than at a convenience store, but lower than a movie theater, concert or sporting event (around $10-20 per person should suffice). Binoculars are $3-$5 to rent.
  • Are there any souvenirs available on board?

    Yes, there will be hats, postcards, t-shirts, and sweatshirts available for purchase at the Gift Shop. Prices range from $5-50 (e.g. a sweatshirt goes for $39.95).
  • How much should I tip the crew if any?

    All crew members aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher are compensated for their ability and loyalty. We do not request or require our crew to be tipped. Tipping is permitted, but not encouraged.
  • Can I bring an ice chest?

    No, coolers and ice chests are not allowed on board.

PRIVATE CHARTERS/GIFT CERTIFICATES/SEASON PASSES

  • How do I book a ticket with a season pass or gift certificate?

    If you have a gift certificate or a season pass and would like to book a trip, please click on the "Contact this seller" link and let us know when you'd like to attend.
  • Can I book a private charter?

    Yes, private charters are available for large groups 30 persons or more. Charters are available for up to 680 passengers and are great for any special occasion! If you're interested in a private charter, please click on the "Contact this seller" link to let us know what you're interested in.
  • Are gift certificates available?

    Yes, gift certificates are available either for the 2 hour dolphin watching, 3 hour dolphin and whale watching, or a season pass to go on any marine mammal trip all year. Gift Cards are also available if you want the recipient to be able to choose a cruise of his or her choice. Please click on the "Contact this seller" link and let us know what you're interested in getting.
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