in other parts of the world, there are areas where whale watching is not enforced and is a “free for all” with nothing to prevent irresponsible operators from continually harassing the whales in an attempt to get closer to the whales as quickly as possible.
ask the operator questions to show that you are aware of applicable regulations,
don’t be afraid to speak up and tell someone, if you feel that a boat captain is not behaving responsibly and putting the needs of the animals first.
Have adequate safety provisions
A safe whale watch boat should have:
an experienced skipper; crew who are well-trained in first aid and rescue skills;
appropriate safety equipment;
be Transport Canada Certified
a maximum number of passengers;
and a properly prepared safety briefing for all passengers
Offer superior standards of customer service & care. This includes honest advertising of what passengers can expect from the trip whale sightings, guarantees, overall quality of product and true safety records. Every aspect of the trip should be professional, which means a fair ticket price relative to the experience: “you get what you paid for.”
many extras provided
comprehensive wildlife viewing experience
a clean vessel
the crew should be friendly, knowledgeable, and polite.
cancellations due to adverse sea and weather conditions (be careful, some companies will not cancel trips.),
find out whether there is a policy of refunding fares or offering free places on a future trip.
Have an on-board biologist/naturalist
This is really important and can make the difference between just a “boat ride” and a really memorable experience! Your tour guide should offer you:
a lively, entertaining & educational commentary on the various species of whales you are hoping to see, as well as the other marine wildlife in the area.
be a passionate conservationist
be knowledgeable about any threats facing local marine wildlife or their habitat.
will also be able to interpret the behavior of the whales and wildlife being observed and this can really add to your understanding and enjoyment of the experience.