Travels With JB

Travels With JB

Travel news and reviews

The decision to pay extra for a VIP Captain’s Lounge upgrade on Sea World Cruises’ Whale Watching cruise proved a wise move.

One of the whales we saw on our Sea World Cruises whale watching cruise.

Rough seas resulted in a number of the passengers on our two and a quarter hour Gold Coast cruise suffering from sea sickness.

However, given there were only 12 passengers in the Captain’s lounge and all remained ‘healthy’, our seating area didn’t resemble a sick bay unlike some other areas on board!

The ‘Spirit of Migaloo II’.

Furthermore, while initially the offer of $4 for two sea sickness tablets seemed expensive, those of us who took advantage of the deal agreed it was money well spent.

As well as a dedicated seating area, Captain’s Lounge passengers also get first access to the viewing area on the bow of Sea World’s three level purpose-built whale watching vessel ‘Spirit of Migaloo II’. This ensures uninterrupted views of the horizon (always a recommendation for those suffering from sea sickness) and more importantly the whales.

Fortunately, the rough weather (which resulted in the cruise after ours being cancelled) didn’t affect our whale watching experience thanks to a few juvenile whales who took great delight ‘playing with the boat’.

A close encounter with one of the whales we saw.

At times they were so close you could just about touch them.  Then they would swim off and exhibit all the moves that make whale watching so popular.  Only breaching was missing.

Due to the weather the boat’s underwater hydrophone couldn’t be used. However, hearing the whales breathing and watching them happily frolic so close to the boat ensured a memorable cruise. The appearance of a pod of bottlenose dolphins added to the enjoyment.  Seeing the expanse of the Gold Coast from the water was an eye-opening experience.

The Gold Coast as seen from the water.

An informative commentary provided by marine experts ensured everyone on board had an understanding of the behaviours of the estimated 40,000 whales who travel up and down an area of Queensland water aptly named ‘Humpback Highway’ from late May to November.

As well as seating in a dedicated lounge those in the Captain’s Lounge also receive snacks which in the case of our lunchtime cruise comprised sandwiches, mini muffins and fruit and a mini bar stocked with soft drink. Given how quickly the food and drink disappeared, and that the area was only half full, those considering the lunch cruise may want to eat first – but then again, if seas are a little choppy, maybe not!

Our pre cruise briefing

At the start of the journey we received a briefing from one of the crew while our knowledgeable and experienced captain enthusiastically answered our questions after the cruise.

While the Captain’s Lounge experience was more expensive at $149 (compared to $89 for general seating which was on offer at the time of booking) on our cruise at least, given the weather conditions, it was money well spent.

Visit the Sea World Cruises website for more information on whale watching cruises.


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