Whale watching tours are great fun no matter how you enjoy the trip, as you get to enjoy the water and see mammals that are rarely spotted from land. With these tips, though, you can get the most out of a whale watching tour and have the maximum fun possible.
Come Prepared for the Weather
Most whale watching tours will spend several hours on the water, and you'll enjoy that time if you're prepared for whatever the day's weather is.
Check the weather and dress appropriately -- layering in comfortable clothes that include a jacket is usually best. Temperatures are often a little cooler on the water, and wind speeds can be higher. Layers will allow you to adjust your clothing as conditions change when the boat is going out and coming back from the sea.
Also make sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Sunlight can be much brighter out on the open water, as rays both shine down and reflect off of the water's service. Even if the weather is overcast on land, it could be bright and sunny several miles from the coastline. Being properly equipped will ensure you can stay protected -- and not have a peeling sunburn the next day.
Sit Outside Even When Coming and Going
Choose a seat outside, even if the protected cabin would be more comfortable. Positioning yourself outside will ensure that no glass will cloud up your pictures. You'll also be able to quickly move to the best vantage points, as crossing an outdoor deck is much faster than going through a crowded doorway and then finding the best spot.
Invest in a Good Camera
A quality camera will provide much better photographs than something that's lower grade, and you might even get a picture worth framing if the whales cooperate. You don't want to miss that once-in-a-lifetime shot just because your camera wasn't capable enough.
Depending on what camera you primarily use, you can upgrade it a few different ways:
- Additional lenses can be purchased or borrowed for DSLR cameras
- A phone with an excellent camera can be purchased if you're upgrading your phone anyway
- An aftermarket phone lens can add zoom capabilities to a smartphone's camera
If possible, look for a camera solution that has extensive zoom and image stabilization. Taking clear pictures at a distance can be difficult on the water, as the boat's motion may make holding a camera still rather difficult.
Contact a whale watching tour leader to get more tips.