Seal Island Wildlife Cruise
(Available early June – September 14 only)
60 minute glass bottom boat cruise to see: Dolphins, Sea Lions, Pelicans & Ospreys

       
 
Departs Shoalwater:
Daily 10:45am & 1:15pm
Extra Cruises at 12pm and 2:30pm on busy days
Returns:
Approx. 1 hour after departure
 
Costs Adults Concession* Child**
Seal Island Wildlife Cruise $39 $35 $25
Fish & Chips Lunch $13.50 $12.50 $8.50
Coffee & Muffin $8 $7.50 $7

*must present a valid student card, health care or pension card.
**3 – 12 years of age

 
 

Description

Enjoy the scenic highlights of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park and keep a look out for the wildlife! This 60 minute cruise onboard our glass bottom boat takes in the ruggedly spectacular coastlines of Penguin, Seal & Bird Islands and takes advantage of the best wildlife spotting opportunities of the day. Wild dolphins, rare Australian sea lions, pelican rookeries and nesting ospreys are regularly sighted and our friendly crew will get you right amongst the action!


Includes

  • 60 minute glass bottom boat cruise through the wildlife conservation zone of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park

Highlights

  • Seeing wild dolphins at play in their natural environment (although sightings are regular, they’re not guaranteed as our cruise is restricted to inside Shoalwater Bay)
  • Seeing rare Australian sea lions on the beach at Seal Island
  • Exploring the rugged islands and viewing nesting pelicans, cormorants and spotting other sea birds that live in the park
  • Visiting the osprey’s nest on Gull Rock
  • Drifting over sea grass meadows and limestone reefs spotting fish and other marine life through the glass bottom
  • Visiting ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ to view the fossilized remnants of ancient tuart forests
  • Enjoying fascinating facts & entertaining stories from our friendly local skippers
  • Enjoying a yummy lunch or coffee at Pengos Cafe before or after your cruise



Essential Info

Tickets and Reservations

Bookings are highly recommended as seats are limited or purchase on the day from our gift shop. 
Call our Reservations team on +618 9591 1333 or Book Now

Is This Cruise Suitable For Me?

This is a leisurely 60 minute cruise onboard our glass bottom boat through the calm, sheltered waters inside Shoalwater Bay. It’s ideal for everyone, especially those who don’t like boats or are concerned with sea sickness and is a great way to see some of the best parts of the marine park and it’s wildlife in a short space of time. Although we make the most of the underwater viewing through our glass bottom, the visibility within Shoalwater Bay can be limited on days where swell has stirred up the bottom. Luckily, the main attractions on this cruise such as the sea lions, the islands and the sea birds are above the water and on days when visibility is limited, your skipper will focus more on these features rather than the underwater viewing. Basically, we make the best of the wildlife and scenic opportunities that are presented on the day and there is always something interesting going on!

There is some parking space for strollers and smaller wheelchairs although these may need to be folded up and passengers assisted when boarding the vessel.

Numbers

Our glass bottom boat is licensed to carry 49 passengers.

What to Wear

Dress warmly! Our glass bottom boat has a full length roof to keep the rain out. It also has clear vinyl windows that we keep open as much as the weather permits to ensure passengers get the best views possible so a warm weather proof jacket is highly recommended.

Weather

Cruises are subject to weather. When you book your tour it is important that you leave us with a contact mobile phone number. If we need to cancel we will contact you to see if you can reschedule for another date. There is no charge to you if we have to cancel due to weather.

How come we can’t visit Penguin Island this time of year?

Between June and September 14, the little penguins are nesting so the Department of Parks & Wildlife close Penguin Island to ensure they are not disturbed during this critical time. Our cruise takes in part of the coastline of Penguin Island to see the nesting pied cormorants and pelican rookery and you will learn all about the little penguins from our guides onboard.

Dolphin & Sea Lion Sightings

If you’re hoping to see wild dolphins, your chances are very good! A few groups of the local dolphins are regularly sighted inside Shoalwater Bay and our crew will make every effort to spend some time enjoying their company during your cruise, however, there are days when the dolphins won’t be inside the bay. As our glass bottom boat is restricted to operating inside Shoalwater Bay, we can’t guarantee dolphin sightings as we do with our Dolphin, Penguin & Sea Lion Adventure Cruise and Swim with Wild Dolphin Cruises which we operate from September 15 to early June. Visitors should also be aware that the sea lions we visit are seasonal. Every 17.5 months they swim north to breed at islands approx. 600kms north of Perth, returning approx. 5 months later with only the older and immature sea lions continuing to use Seal Island. During breeding times there may be cruises where we won’t view any, or perhaps only see a couple of sea lions. 

Our commitment is to provide the best possible wildlife experience on the day, according to the conditions and wildlife viewing opportunities on the day without compromising passenger safety. Please note no refunds or rebooks are offered if we don’t see dolphins or sea lions during a cruise.

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’. 

Can we feed the dolphins?

Definitely not! It’s terrible for their health and would ruin the unique friendship we have with which is based on a mutual curiosity and enjoyment of one another’s company, rather than food. 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 

Sea Sickness

We have noticed that due to the open and stable nature of our boat, few passengers get sea sick, however everyone’s susceptibility to sea sickness is different. 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 half 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.

Disabled 

We have worked with many people with disabilities over the years and we will always do our best to cater for everyone. Our glass bottom boat has limited wheelchair access, however if you don’t mind being physically assisted then we are happy to help you get onboard the boat. Please contact us to discuss the nature of your disability so that we can ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Cancellations & Conditions

It is the responsibility of the person booking the tour on behalf of others passengers to ensure all of those passengers are aware of the following cruise conditions and cancellations policies:

  • Bookings of 3 or less passengers - cancellations within 48 hours of departure are charged 50% of tour cost. Cancellations within 24 hours or failure to attend are charged at 100% of tour cost.
  • Bookings of 4 or more passengers - cancellations within 7 days of departure date are charged at 50% of tour cost. Cancellations within 48 hours of departure or failure to attend are charged 100% of tour cost. 
  • Cancellations must be made in writing (post, fax or email) and received by Rockingham Wild Encounters before the time constraints detailed within our Cancellations & Conditions policy. To avoid any miscommunications, requests for cancellations or amendments over the phone will not be accepted. In the event that a passenger fails to abide by these Cancellation & Conditions Policies, then the person who booked the tour gives their consent for Rockingham Wild Encounters Pty Ltd or their affiliated companies (Rockingham Dolphins WA Pty Ltd, Dolphin Watch Pty Ltd or Penguin Island Cruises Pty Ltd) to charge the appropriate amount to the credit card details used to secure the booking.