From: $66 USD
Duration: 2.5 Hours (approx)
Type: Groups, Shared.
Departs: Daily at 10am & 2pm.
Interests: Marine Mammals.
Price per adult. Black-out dates may apply. Pricing is subject to availability and all prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Currency fluctuations may affect prices as quotes based on AUD. Prices are current at time of posting (1/4/2022) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details*
This epic marine adventure departs at either 10am and 2pm from the Pro Fisherman’s Boat Ramp in Dunsborough. Guests will board a luxurious and spacious vessel, purpose built to observe the incredible marine life iconic to the area. The passionate and expert crew will commence an exciting and informative presentation, delving into the biology and ecology of the great whales that are migrating through the area, as well as information about the other marine and birdlife that visitors are likely to encounter.
Cruising past pristine beaches (including Meelup Beach, Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay) and ancient cliffs, travellers will be on the look out for the migrating whales, with calves often in the protective care of their mothers, as they make their first journey from the north west of Western Australia to the Antarctic waters for the first time. Geographe Bay is an idyllic location for the whales to rest, as they summon up the energy to cross one of the world’s most formidable oceans for the first time. Guests may have the opportunity to experience the calves in close proximity as their curiosity draws them to the vessel or shallows, with the sheer size of the mammals and their sounds simply awe inspiring.
“Blue Whales are the largest animal on the planet – bigger than dinosaurs,” she says. “And learning more and more about them every day is both thrilling and rewarding. We watch the Blues in the shallow, gentle waters of Geographe Bay, and usually they don’t do very much because they’re so incredibly large."
Pia Markovic - Marine Biologist
As the boat cruises near the coast, guest should be on the lookout for Long-nosed Fur Seals hauling out between fishing expeditions on the rocks along with several species of seabirds, that frequently drop from the sky to capture fish in dramatic fashion. Pods of Common and Bottle-nosed dolphins often escort us on the adventure, surfing the bow wave and treating guests a stunning aerial display.
Naturaliste Charters is the longest running whale watching company in the Southwest and all crew are experienced in finding wildlife and managing interactions with care borne of deep respect and long experience. These majestic marine mammals unconcerned with the vessel’s presence due to the careful and respectful approach. Be enthralled as curiosity outweighs caution and a calf approaches our vessel, or nurses in the shallows as you watch.
On board, guests will also enjoy complimentary warm beverages and snacks, with soft drinks and bottled water available to purchase; however we encourage guests to bring their own reusable bottle so we can minimise single use plastic.
Pricing: from $90 AUD per person (adult), $50 (children aged 4-17 years)
Vessel Details: The beautiful Alison Maree is a modern, spacious and luxurious 20m catamaran, providing the ultimate in stability, comfort and safety. A long range expedition vessel purpose-built for the Southern Ocean she is immaculately presented, with three spacious viewing decks.
Group Size: We have only a maximum of 90 passengers on board
Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Pro Fisherman’s Boat Ramp, Geographe Bay Road, Dunsborough
Pick-up and Drop-off Time: 10:00am & 2:00pm - Please ensure passengers arrive at the departure point 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time so we can board all passengers and depart on time. Cruise duration is approximately 2.5 hours,
Please note: All cruises are subject to minimum numbers & weather conditions. 7.30am departure is available on demand (minimum of 10 adults or equivalent required to confirm this early tour). 4.30pm Sunset Tour – mid-September to end of November (minimum of 10 adults or equivalent required to confirm this tour)
As a globally-recognised innovator in the industry, Naturaliste Charters supports numerous projects, collaborations and also facilitates independent research onboard throughout the year. The team has been collaborating with Geographe Marine Research (GMR) for over a decade and among other projects, submit images daily, especially of endangered Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales.
The team also supports guests to get involved with Citizen Science via eBird Australia, iNaturalist and the HappyWhale platform.
With a variety of seasons comes different data collection opportunities. Dunsborough and Augusta have longer term data that is very specific, versus the relatively new Bremer Bay Killer Whale Expedition (that Naturaliste Charters founded) where scientists are only just beginning the research journey to understand this incredible ecosystem.
The marine biologists at Naturaliste Charters also conduct regular presentations for children from kindergarten through to the final year of schooling, as well as being involved in University and TAFE case-studies.
Each year during the Bremer Bay Killer Whale expedition season, the organisation welcomes marine interns onboard, that have started out studying Marine Biology or a science degree. These students support onboard Marine Biologists with skills such as data collection and collation, photo-identification, public speaking, scientific writing and reporting.
On board the Alison-Maree vessel, guests will not find any single use plastics. In 2018, Naturaliste Charters committed to being plastic free, replacing disposable coffee cups and lids with bio-cups which are compostable and manufactured sustainably, and replacing plastic bottles with a hydration system to serve fresh, filtered and chilled water. Any cans that the organisation sells or other recyclable items are dropped to Containers for Change, who cash in 10 cents per item, which is donated directly to local environmental organisations and charities.
Naturaliste Charters is a national leader in supporting projects, collaborations and facilitating research onboard, regularly hosting active researchers and partnering with institutions and organisations to publish papers.
Research groups and academics supported in the Dunsborough region include: