Whale Watching with Mariner Cruises
Disclosure: Our family received tickets to go whale watching in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are our own.
“This is the most amazing thing ever! I can’t believe how close we are to nature!”
“You can’t do or see anything more amazing than this!”
That’s what my kids thought about whale watching with Mariner Cruises this summer!
We have gone whale watching a few times before and try to go every couple of years, so when our family was visiting here from the UK we decided to make a big group trip.
No matter how many times you go whale watching, it is still as amazing as the first time. It never gets tiring!
We arrived on Brier Island at 11am (see below for specific directions on how to get there). We immediately went to check in with Mariner Cruises.
It’s easy to spot as you turn left off the ferry.
Inside, we met the friendly staff who provided us with all the details for our day’s cruise, and information about what else we could do on the island.
In fact, this was only one of many of the encounters we had with staff. Even before coming, they sent us explicit details on how to get to Brier Island, and all the information of what to wear and bring. They were so helpful and friendly! We love great customer service!
While you are checking in for your tour, the kids can play outside!
We boarded the Chad & Sisters Two for a 12:30 cruise.
Immediately,we were greeted by staff. Everyone was so friendly and extremely knowledgeable about marine life. Throughout the tour, they gave us so much information on the whales, seabirds and other mammals we saw. It was fascinating!
The kids even got a tour of the control room!
We spent an amazing 3 hours on the water and saw puffins and porpoises.
There were dozens of white-sided dolphins playing in the waves!
We also saw about 7 humpback whales, and followed a set of 2 and another group of 3 for a long time. They came right up to the boat!
“Can we come every week?” asked my son.
I think we ordered the perfect day!
There is a balcony on the boat, and kids who are tall enough can climb up with an adult to have another perspective on the whales.
What makes whale watching so special is that you never know what you are going to get. Every day is completely different. We know that when we go again, it might not be as spectacular as this, but every tour is amazing to enjoy and appreciate these incredible creatures!
The 3 hours just flew by, and we can’t wait to go back again!
Daniel and his cousin Erin have made a great YouTube video outlining our trip and what we saw!
Mariner Cruises offers whale and seabird tours from early June to mid October every year. Each cruise is from 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours in duration and departs from Westport on Brier Island, the Gateway to the Bay of Fundy.
Tours Depart Daily at 8:30 am, 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm. (subject to change)
Per Person Whale Watching Tour Fees – June through October (subject to change)
Adult – $49.00
Senior – $41.00
Student – $41.00
Children (4 – 12 yrs) – $27.00
Children (3 and under) – FREE
Tips for your Trip
Dress warmly. Even though it might be warm on shore, it will be cold on the boat. You will definitely need long pants and a sweater.
Bring sunscreen. The sun off the water, even on foggy days can still burn you!
Go more than once. We have these amazing mammals right in our backyard. Don’t take it for granted, and make the effort to go more than once either for
Plan your trip. Everything on the islands revolve around the ferry schedule. You must plan ahead.
How to Get There
Mariner Cruises runs from Brier Island and you have to take 2 ferries to get there. From Kentville, it takes about 3 hours to get to Brier Island.
Other Things to do on the Islands
Make a mini-vacation out of your whale watching trip and stay overnight. Book an accommodation here.
Or, take some extra time to explore some other things on the island.
Seal Cove: is a 20 – 30 minute hike along the rugged Atlantic coast from Brier Island Lodge or a 10 minute walk from the Coast Guard station located at Northern Light. Low tide is the best time to find a party of grey and harbour seals basking on the rocks which form a horseshoe inside the cove. Check with the staff at the lodge for tide tables and directions.
On the Southern tip of the island is a great place for a picnic and bird watching spot. There is one picnic table.
This is quite near the place where you board the boat, so makes a great place to hang out until time for your cruise.
There is also a monument to Joshua Slocum – He was the first man to sail solo around the world by himself!
There is so much more to do and see on both Brier Island and Long Island, that you could definitely spend a few days here exploring the sights and sounds!
Just make sure you go!
When to Go
Whale watching runs until the end of September or early October depending on the migratory patterns of the whales.
Didn’t have time to go in the summer? Make a weekend visit in the fall. It makes a great adventure to ease out of summer and relax after the hustle and bustle of school starting up again.
Add Mariner Cruises’ whale watching tour to your family’s must-do list!
Just take it from Daniel who wrote this on our last whale-watching trip…