Hermanus Boat Based Whale Watching (June-December)

  • About 2 hours


Experience a close encounter with the Hermanus whales by joining us on an informative and educational whale watching trip.

Our permit entitles us to approach the whales up to 50m and then we stop to observe, it is then up to the whales to approach closer. Being naturally curious, the whales often come right up to the boat. It is definitely a magical experience to be treasured.

The peak whale season runs from June to mid December, annually. The exact date all depends when the star performers arrive and depart.

From June to mid August you can expect to encounter Humpback & Southern Right whales. From June to December you can expect to encounter Southern Right Whales. Bryde's whales can be spotted all season. There is also a good chance of seeing dolphins, seals and a large variety of marine birds including the African penguin.

Our purpose built catamaran ensures maximum passenger comfort and superior stability. The different viewing levels offer spectacular viewing opportunities, with the side and front deck giving that up close view of the whale and sun deck above giving you that panoramic view of the entire whale.

We depart daily at 09h00; 12h00 and 15h00 from the New Harbour in Hermanus.

Arrival time is 30 minutes before departure for check-in and the on-land safety briefing led by our whale specialist guide.

The trip duration is 1h30 - 3hrs, dependent on marine life encountered. Average trip time is about 2 hours.


Your whale watching tour begins with an on-land briefing presented by our whale specialist guide before heading down the jetty to our boat. We then set off from the Hermanus New Harbour in search of the ‘gentle giants.’

During the tour our friendly, knowledgeable crew adds that personal touch to ensure an all-round great experience, from ensuring you don’t miss the perfect photo opportunities to serving complimentary light refreshments. Our whale specialist guide keeps you informed via our on board PA system ensuring your whale trip is informative and educational and our videographer will ensure that the best footage is captured.

After the boat tour, you can order your souvenir USB Movie of you trip and peruse our local craft & souvenirs on offer or simply relax at our outdoor seating on the water’s edge, enjoying a coffee whilst reading up on the area & surfing the net on our complimentary Wi-Fi.

Two acclaimed restaurants and a pub are within easy walking distance of The Whale Shack.

Good to know

  • Face masks to be worn, at all times, by guests & crew
  • Short questionnaire & screening on arrival
  • Full Covid-19 Protocol to be shared with guest prior to trip
  • Daily departures
  • Average trip time is 2 hours
  • Trip times 09h00, 12h00 & 15h00
  • Arrive 30 minutes before departure
  • Weather dependent activity
  • This activity is not suitable for persons with reduced mobility
  • All ages are welcome (we have kids rates)
  • No prams are allowed on-board the boat


  • Support Passenger Crew
  • Specialist commentator
  • Complimentary Bottled Water


  • Return Transfers from Cape Town & Hermanus
  • Entrance fee into the harbour (R5)


  • Sea sick tablets (if necessary)
  • Camera (drones not permitted)
  • Sunscreen


  • Face Mask (in accordance with authorities)
  • Weather appropriate clothing and a windbreaker
  • Beanie & Scarf (weather dependant)
  • Sensible footwear (flat shoes are recommended)
  • Cap

Secure Payments
Safe, simple payment. We never store your credit card details.
Easy Cancellation
Full refund on cancellations up to 24 hours before activity starts.
Friendly Help
We're available 24/7 to make sure your experience is amazing!

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September, 2020

We were very happy with their service from the very beginning.
Clear website and easy to make reservation. Nice staff, both on the shore and on the ship. The ship itself is a catamaran, and therefore is very stable on a wave. Quite comfortable and easy to walk around the ship to find a best place for the whale observation. The guide was amusing and easy to listen, as well as very knowledgeable about the marine life.
It was a fantastic experience! Very recommended for everybody visiting Hermanus.

September, 2020

These people are amazing. Very professional and very passionate about the whales and the ocean and surroundings of hermanus. We had a blessed morning sighting about 10 to 12 whales and a school of dolphins. The movie is a must to buy as its shot with a drone and you can see it from a different angle and also show your family and friends. I have a fantastic time. Our guide was so humorous and made the trip all that much fun. The ladies in charge of the bookkngs are such darlings. Thank you all for an amazing morning and an unforgettable experience🙏🙏🙏🐳🐋🐋🐋🐋🐳🐳🐋🐋🤗🤗🤗😍🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦

November, 2020

Amazing experience.. Definitely recommend.
We did the whale watching tour and got to see lots of whales up close.
My only recommendation would be to have an age restriction for the children as we had 2 really young children on board who were continuously distracting us and kept crying. But that was obviously no fault of the charter company. Thanks for the great trip!

October, 2020

Wonderful caring and attentive staff. Guides really love what they do. Were as excited as us to see whales. Got sea sick but highly recommend

September, 2020

First time as regulars to Hermanus that we have taken the boat to watch the Whales..
Well we weren't disappointed..it was superb..
From booking to reception to professional staff and the way they coped with the Covid Protocol was amazing..stress free ..
It was certainly the highlight of our trip to Hermanus..
Lovely to see such well behaved children on board too..
I would recommend this company and give them full marks for everything..and Josh really made the day with his passion and insight of the gentle giants ..
Thank you

June, 2022

We had the most amazing experience, seeing 6 whales (2 different species) with 2 close-up encounters. We also saw seals playing around, my first penguin actually swimming in the sea, and an albatross sweeping across the ocean surface. Our host was very informative, giving lots of additional information about the species that we saw.

July, 2022

Undoubtedly the best whale watching experience I have ever had. The guides are very knowledgeable and they have found whales both times we went out. The boat is clean and the refreshments are free. No better way to encounter the southern right whale than with Southern Right Charters in Hermanus.

August, 2022

We went as a family of 4. 2 adults and 2 teenagers (13&15).
The tour is very well managed and the skipper was nice & knowledgeable but easy going. The boat is good and safe.
We got lucky and saw plenty.

July, 2022

First of all, take something to deal with the nausea, don’t just deny it. Besides that the guide was amazing and all the stuff were really kind and helpful. We saw a lot of different whales in groups. We saw different species and a mating group of 8 whales. It was definitely something I wouldn’t want to miss. If you’re in the area you must take this tour. There’s also toilets on the boat and on the deck and you can get water or some light drinks and muffins before the tour starts. In reference to the video of the tour, I think it’s really awesome angels to see the whales and the boat with the people with the drone, it really takes beautiful videos of all the experience, but it’s still a little pricey to get it on hard drive after the tour, It costs 360R.

July, 2022

Great experience! All workers are extremely kind and knowledgeable. Saw two kinds of whales and a lot of seals. Highly recommended!

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Light Cancellation Policy

The guest can cancel free of charge until 24 hours before arrival. The guest will be charged the total price if they cancel in the 24 hours before arrival.

Terms & Conditions

The beauty of Table Mountain, Lions Head and the Atlantic Sea Board coastline from the comfort of our kayaks is unrivalled. Dolphins, seals, penguins, Sunfish and occasionally whales frequent our Cape Town.

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R1,122 per person
403 reviews
R1,122 per person
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