Ningaloo Humpback Whale Swim on a Sailing Catamaran
- Duration: 7 Hours (approx.)
- Location: Exmouth, WA
- Product code: HW WC
Ningaloo Discovery is excited to announce that we’ve been selected by the Department of Parks and Wildlife to operate in the first ever in water Humpback Whale Swim Tours conducted from the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Marine Park, from Exmouth. This is the first time this exciting opportunity will be trialled in Western Australia with only a handful of other locations around the world commercially licenced to offer this amazing experience. The Ningaloo Marine Park is recognised as one of the major migratory routes for these magnificent creatures on their annual journey from Antarctica to the Kimberley region with an estimated 30,000 passing by and resting in the sheltered waters in 2016.Ningaloo Discovery offers guests a Humpback Whale experience on-board a very stable, spacious 58ft sailing catamaran, which provides a 360-degree viewing platform and the opportunity to lounge and relax on the comfortable day beds, bow nets and various seating spots while soaking up and enjoying the beauty of the Ningaloo Marine Park and all the amazing wildlife we may encounter. With the use of our very own spotter plane, our pilot will direct us to pods of whales and any other marine life spotted from above.
Swimming with a Humpback Whale in their natural environment is an extraordinary life changing experience, one not to be taken for granted, and as such is conducted with the utmost respect to the whales. Each day presents a unique experience, and some whales are more interactive than others. Humpback Whales are very inquisitive creatures and it is quite possible they will seek interaction with humans and swim close to us. Ningaloo Discovery will do absolutely everything possible to have guests swimming in the water with a Humpback Whale!
The crew of Ningaloo Discovery are very experience in reading the whales behaviour and interaction viability. Your small group of 5 and your guide will slide into the water and aim to swim with a majestic Humpback Whale, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Guests who book on as "Observers" are welcome to participate in all itinerary activities except for entering the water with a Humpback Whale.
You will experience warm friendly staff, fun activities, delicious food and memories to last a lifetime from the minute we pick you up to the moment we say goodbye. Our priority is making your day the best we possibly can!
Our amazing itinerary for the day:
- Starting from 7:45am, you will be picked up from your accommodation and taken out to the Windcheetah sailing catamaran where you will be greeted by our friendly crew and fitted with masks, snorkels, fins and wetsuits.
- Moments later immerse yourself in the crystal clear waters of Ningaloo Reef at one of our beautiful snorkel spots in the sheltered lagoon. Here you will see an array of corals and colourful fish, sometimes even turtles and rays! Take this time to ask questions, get snorkelling tips, make sure your gear fits and practice getting on and off the boat before your whale swim.
- Now you can enjoy morning tea as our plane gets searching for Humpback Whales. Once located we will get nice and close with the boat to observe these gentle giants as they cruise the reef. The pilot, skipper and crew will asses the whales behaviour and then whale swimming guests will be directed to put their snorkel gear on and we will do our best to get you interacting with them in the water! Observers will watch the action from the comfort of the Windcheetah's bow. If these whales are not viable to swim with, our pilot will find us more!
- After we have spent as much time as possible with the Humpback Whales you will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch as we cruise the reef in search of any other wildlife. Manta Rays, Dolphins, Whale Sharks, Turtles and anything else that may be around.
- Now we head back inside the lagoon where the water is turquoise blue and anchor up at a new special spot on the reef for another snorkel. Weather and time permitting try your hand at one of our Stand Up Paddle Boards or a Glass Bottom Kayak during the afternoon snorkel for a different view of the reef.
- Relax with some refreshing afternoon tea and a glass of sparkling wine on our way back to shore before the crew return you safe and sound and full of smiles back to your accomodation.
- The experience lives on as we will provide you with access to all the photos of the day taken by our professional photographer free of charge!!!
- Full day tour, 7:45am - 4pm
- Complimentary bus transfers from your accommodation in Exmouth to the boat ramp and return. Flying in to Learmonth on the early flight? No problem, for an extra fee we can pick you up form the airport and take you directly to the boat. You could be swimming with a Humpback Whale the same day!
- Experienced, professional award winning crew on board and supporting you in the water as much as you need. Interesting informative spiels about the area and the marine life will keep you entertained too.
- Spotter aircraft to ensure best possible opportunity of sighting and swimming with Humpback Whales
- Maximum of 5 swimmers in each group
- In water experience with the Humpback Whales and close up views for Observers
- Snorkelling on the Ningaloo Reef
- Quality snorkel equipment including mask, snorkel, fins of all sizes
- Wetsuits of all sizes
- Flotation aids and life jackets available on board if required
- Marine specialists onboard to answer all your questions and guide you
- Opportunity to assist with hoisting the sails or relaxing on the bow nets, daybeds or bean bags
- Stand up paddle boards and kayaks for use in afternoon snorkel (weather and time permitting)
- Yummy Morning Tea, Buffet Lunch and Afternoon Tea provided, we can cater to dietary needs
- Sunscreen, water, dry area for your belongings and shade on board
- Boom net for towing along behind the vessel through the shallows of the lagoon (weather and time permitting)
- All government fees and charges included in the price and NO credit card fees! (Visa and MasterCard accepted)
- Complimentary Professional Photography Package of the day. Thats right, ALL THE PHOTOS FOR FREE!
What should I bring?We provide so much that all we recommend you bring is the following:
- Your excitement and positivity!
- Warm clothes for after snorkelling
- Sea sickness medication if you feel like you may need it
See what our guests say about us!Don't take our word for it! Check out our Tripadvisor Page and see what other travellers have said. We pride ourselves on all our amazing reviews and would love you to take a look for yourself!
Questions and Answers
How Long is the Tour?Our tour departs Exmouth from 7:45am and returns at approximately 4pm. We make the absolute most of the day to ensure we maximise our time on the water to get you swimming with a Humpback Whale!
Where does the tour go?Ningaloo Discovery operates from Tantabiddi Boat Ramp on the western side of Exmouth Cape, right in the middle of where the whales pass Ningaloo Reef. Our travel time between picking you up and being in the area where the whales are is the absolute shortest possible. We arrive in the area where the whales are early and can stay there longer due to our short travel times. The western side where we operate from is also the location of the Ningaloo Reef snorkel sites and home to all other wildlife such as turtles, dolphins, mantas and whale sharks! Anything around on the day will also be part of your tour.
Where do we snorkel on the reef?There are endless beautiful snorkel sites on Ningaloo Reef. Our Skipper and crew will take the Windcheetah to somewhere that they know will be spectacular on the day based on the wind and tide. You will see coral gardens and hundreds of beautifully coloured fish. Keep your eyes open for a friendly turtle or a sleepy reef shark too. You never know what you will see.
Tell me about the Free Photography PackageAs our gift to you, all guests, including those not swimming, will receive all of the professional photographers photos of the day free of charge! A wonderful keepsake to remember the whole experience. Our photographers are very experienced using high quality underwater camera gear to give fantastic clear photos both from above and below. After the tour you will be given link, simply open it up and download!
Swimming with Humpback Whales, how is that done?
Ningaloo Discovery is allowed to get nice and close to the whales due to special permission from Department of Parks and Wildlife allowing us to view them perfectly from the deck of the Windcheetah. By approaching them as close as 30m, you will be able to enter the water with our experienced in water guides and enjoy them from above and below the surface. We will do all that we can to maximise your chances of an epic swim with a Humpback Whale. With the help of our spotter plane we can find whales that are the most likely to be comfortable with us in the water with them. Swimming with mothers and calves is not allowed but observing them from the boat is a wonderful sight.
All of our crew have participated in Department of Parks and Wildlife Humpback Whale Swimming Training Program so they are very qualified and experienced in how to swim with a Humpback Whale. The crew will explain to you how to best swim with a Humpback Whale to increase our chances of a perfect experience.**Please note that you must have basic swimming ability to participate in water activities.**
Observers? What does that mean?As an alternative, you can also join the tour as an Observer. Observers are encouraged to participate in all activities such as snorkelling the reef, riding the boom net, relaxing on the day beds, use of the Glass Bottom Kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards or even swimming with a Manta Ray if we find one. An Observers only restriction is that they will not enter the water with a Humpback Whale, but rather observe the action from the bow of the Windcheetah. Observers will get a wonderful up close view of the Humpback Whales from the surface and if you decide on the day you would like to try swimming with a Humpback Whale after all, just have a chat to the crew. If there are spaces available you can upgrade! *Please note that there are only limited spots available for swimming with a Humpback Whale. If these are all filled, Observers will not be able to upgrade on the day.
Do I need to book?It is absolutely advisable to book in advance. Ningaloo Reef is the only place in Western Australia where you are allowed to swim with a Humpback Whale so demand is high! Spots are limited and groups are small to keep the tour intimate and enjoyable so you could miss out if you don't book in advance! To book now, simply click HERE
What is the policy if I don't swim with a Humpback Whale?
While Ningaloo Discovery will do anything and everything in their power to provide you with an in water experience, we cannot guarantee the whales will be viable to swim with on the day. If you don't get to see a Humpback Whale from under the water while snorkelling we will provide you with a 50% off voucher* that can be used on another Humpback Whale Swim Tour valid for the remainder of the current season. *This voucher is non transferrable between individual persons or companies.
Why Ningaloo Discovery?
Ningaloo Discovery prides itself of 5 star service, quality and experiences. Here are a few things that make us special:
- No age limit! All ages welcome to participate.
- Only sailing catamaran offering this experience
- Our swim platform is the lowest, below the water level, making it the easiest vessel to get off and on when snorkelling
- The catamaran is the most stable style of vessel, less likely to feel the effects of sea sickness
- Our crew are all qualified, trained, experienced and incredibly passionate! They will treat you like royalty!
- We are a multi award winning company. Multiple WA Tourism Awards, Tripadvisor Certificates of Excellence and we have been awarded certification in Advanced Eco Tourism by Eco Tourism Australia
- No hidden costs. Our tour is all inclusive of government fees and charges!
- Family owned and operated. The owners of Ningaloo Discovery have years of experience, hold an Honours Degree in Marine Resource Management, have worked in Marine Safety and have travelled the world operating vessels and working in marine tourism.
What if I get Sea Sick?Sea sickness is always a risk when spending a day on the water. Our sailing catamaran Windcheetah is the best option for anyone worried about feeling unwell on the tour due to its twin hull design. Catamarans are renowned for being the most stable on the water which helps to keep motion sickness away.
Ways that you can avoid illness form affecting your day are:
- Avoid drinking alcohol the night before your tour
- Eat a small non greasy breakfast prior to arriving
- Purchase yourself some sea sickness medication from a pharmacy and take it as per the instructions
- Once onboard, sip water and keep your eyes on the horizon as much as possible
- Sit out in the breeze, don't confine yourself inside
- Try not to think about it, sometimes your own mindset is the best preventative
We offer water and assistance on board to anyone who may feel unwell.