Points to Consider
- Dress warmly, there is limited shelter from the wind and it can be cold (even in summer). Bring a rain jacket if there is a chance of rain. We do have weather proof ponchos for our passengers to wear onboard that protect from the rain and spray but nothing is ever as warm as your own jacket!
- Wear a hat and sunscreen to protect you from the hot Aussie sun.
- Comfortable shoes or sandals, bathers and towel are recommended for Penguin Island and you are welcome to bring your own snorkelling equipment.
- There are no shops on Penguin Island so any extra food or drinks must be purchased before you go. Pengos Café is located next door to Rockingham Wild Encounters on the mainland where our cruises depart. They have a range of picnic style options to enjoy at Penguin Island, alternatively, your ticket allows you to use the ferry service all day so feel free to come back to the mainland for a dine in meal. You are also welcome to bring your own food and drinks. There is limited storage space on the Dolphin Watch Adventure Cruise boat, however eskies and picnic hampers can be stored on our ferry and then delivered to you on the Penguin Island jetty at the conclusion of your cruise.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. I’m nervous about going on the Dolphin Watch Adventure Cruise
is it dangerous?
Our cruise is adventurous- but not a thrill ride! Although our boat is exciting to ride in, passenger safety and comfort is our primary concern. There are more sheltered, comfortable seats towards the rear of the vessel that we recommend for families with infants, passengers who are pregnant or have a history of back injuries or passengers who are anxious. Our vessel is licensed and surveyed annually by the WA Department of Transport. It carries all the life rafts, life jackets and other essential safety equipment required for a vessel of its class. Our staff are also trained to constantly assess passengers comfort and safety and to take action to ensure your tour is exciting but comfortable.
2. Will we get wet on 100% Wild?
Although it is more exposed to the elements, this style of boat delivers a surprisingly stable and relatively ‘dry’ ride. We have covered seating which gives some protection from the rain, however, to get you ‘closer to nature’ there are no side curtains so expect to get a bit wet if it’s raining or a bit of spray if it’s choppy. To combat the elements all passengers are provided with a water proof poncho. They have a hood and cover all of your upper torso as well as the top of your legs. They come in a ‘one size fits all’ for adults and children. However if it is cold or there is a chance of rain we recommend you dress accordingly- our ponchos are good but nothing is ever as warm as your own jacket.
3. I get sea sick- is it rough where we are going?
Most of the waters we work in are classified as partially smooth. They are mostly located within sheltered bays, so we are not always exposed to the open ocean. However it does get choppy at times and everyone’s susceptibility to sea sickness is different. We have also noticed that due to the open and stable nature of our boat, few people get sea sick. If you suspect sea sickness will be an issue for you we recommend the following:
- Visit a pharmacy a few days prior to your cruise to find a remedy that is suitable for you. Read the directions carefully as there are some very effective ones that are required to be taken 24 hours prior to your cruise.
- Select a seat in the back third of the boat (there is a lot less movement up the back of the boat)
- Keep your body temperature on the cooler side
- If you wear glasses or sunglasses keep the lenses clean at all times
- Avoid looking through cameras, binoculars etc
- Stay away from acidic foods before the cruise such as orange juice and coffee
- Avoid going into the toilet to be sick. Confined spaces will only make you feel worse.
- If you start to feel sick, let our crew know so we can assist.
4. Can we touch the dolphins & how close will they come?
They come incredibly close- they often enjoy ‘surfing the bow’ of the boat where they sit in the pressure wave created by the movement of the boats hull through the water. To ensure that we do not harm the dolphins in anyway by transmitting skin diseases or damaging their protective skin layer we adhere to a strict ‘no touch policy’.
5. Can we feed the dolphins?
Definitely not- it’s terrible for their health and would ruin the unique friendship we have with the dolphins which is based on a mutual curiosity and enjoyment of one another’s company, rather than food. Most people are not aware that feeding wild dolphins (and most other species of wild animals) results in an increase in mortality rate and decrease in reproductive success. We have set up a project especially to raise awareness and combat this problem- for more information see our Keep Perth’s Dolphins and Sea Lions Wild- An Envirofund Project
6. Will I have to sign a waiver of liability?
As with all adventure activities there is an element of risk in participating. To keep our insurance company happy we require you to sign a waiver of liability at our shop prior to joining the tour. Click here to view a copy of the waiver of liability.
7. Do you ever go out and not see any dolphins or sea lions?
Occasionally it does happen- as with any operation that works with wild animals you can never guarantee that the animals will perform on cue every day of the year. We are very lucky in that the dolphins we visit are territorial so they are very consistent (we work on a better than 99% success rate) and it is highly unusual for us not to find someone who will interact with us.
The sea lions we visit also have an unusual breeding season. Every 17.5 months they swim north to breed at islands approx. 600 kms north of Perth, returning approx. 5 months later. Only the really old or immature male sea lions stay behind, so during breeding times there may be cruises where we won’t view any, or perhaps only see a couple of sea lions.
Our commitment to passengers is to do our very best to provide the best possible wildlife experience on the day, according to the opportunities available. In the unlikely event that we don’t see any dolphins during a tour, we always offer passengers the opportunity to rebook another cruise on another date. Sorry there are no refunds.
8. What if the weather is no good on the day of my tour?
We keep a very close watch on the weather and may have to cancel your tour if we believe conditions are going to be unsuitable to operate. When you book your tour it is important that you leave us with a contact number for where you are staying in Perth (preferably a mobile that you will be carrying with you on the day of your tour). If we need to cancel we will contact you to see if you can reschedule for another date.
On rare occasions we have to cancel a tour due to weather at the very last minute. This means our office may be trying to contact you from 8am on the morning of your tour so it would be helpful if you could have your mobiles switched on just in case.
There is no charge to you if we have to cancel due to weather.
9. Can we take photos/ film?
For the Amateurs-
You are welcome to take photos or film for your own personal/ non commercial use- we just ask that you don’t use a flash as it startles the dolphins.
For the Professionals-
If you are filming for commercial purposes we need to speak with you to fill out the appropriate paperwork prior to the tour. Please contact email@example.com to discuss your project.
10. I have a disability- can I join the
Dolphin Watch Adventure Cruise
We have worked with many people with disabilities over the years and we will always do our best to cater for everyone. Our boarding facilities prevent wheelchair access so as long as you don’t mind being physically assisted then we are happy to help. Please contact us to discuss the nature of your disability so that we can ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.