A few key points to consider before we head off on the day.

Remember, any time you are out on the water the weather can change quickly! We recommend that regardless of the weather forecast you always bring a rain jacket, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Wear comfortable shoes. Its not fun walking in those beautiful high heels on a moving boat deck! Regardless of how good the shoes look, you run the risk of looking less than steady on your feet! Think and plan ahead and give us the best chance to make sure we can do our thing to make sure you enjoy your time with us to the max!

We have been lucky enough to have won the Mooloolaba Boat Parade in the category of Commercial Vessels.

This evening is one that everyone seems to want to be a part of and books out very early.  As soon as the date is announced, the bookings roll in.

We do spend days preparing for this event.  Jerry, the director & Skipper made the present, refurbished the reindeer and thought of the theme.

It simply would not be the special night that is is without all the help and ideas from our wonderful crew who actually volunteer their time to make this event special for our guests.

This year we were surprised by “The Grinch” who got up to some antics but everyone seemed to have loved it.

If you are here on the Sunshine Coast during December, why not join us on this special night or one of our evening Christmas Light Cruises.





As the festive season approaches, excitement is building in anticipation of the Christmas Light displays along the river and canals of Mooloolaba.

Thanks to the Mooloolaba canal residents for putting in an enormous effort and dressing up their houses for Christmas at their own expense.  Every year more homes come alive with lights and everyone wants to stand out.   We offer evening cruises daily from early December through to January.

This spectacular annual event sees Mooloolaba’s canal homes decorated with millions of illuminated Christmas lights and amazing Christmas themed-displays creating a Christmas wonderland on the water.

Ever popular, these delightful cruise experiences becomes increasingly beautiful each year. Dress for the occasion, sing along with the Christmas carols and bring your Christmas cheer. This is a very special tour at a special time of year.

The best way to watch this spectacle is from a boat. As you drift down the canals by boat you will be immersed in the kaleidoscopes of colour as you make your way through the waterways. Ornately decorated homes, and pontoons shimmering with millions of Christmas lights. The elaborate installations cast brilliant bursts of colour and reflections across the channels.

Each year we proudly host thousands of families and people of all ages to share in this festive extravaganza.

We present Mooloolaba’s Christmas lights from a safe and comfortable vessel.

Dress in your festive best, sing along to Christmas carol favourites and join in colourful Christmas cheer – all in the spirit of Christmas.

Once aboard, you’re whisked away to gently cruise the canal waterways.  Enjoy the festive atmosphere, celebrate with a drink from our fully licensed bar. A special experience that can only be seen by boat.

This is a truly spectacular way to unwind with friends and family!

The Christmas lights cruises only come around once a year and are a perfect way to spend our hot Sunny Coast summer nights.  Come float down the Mooloolah River with your best mates, loved ones, sweetheart, or work buddies!

you can enjoy a glass of wine, beer, spirits, soft drink or one of our special “Christmas” drink offerings while you soak up holiday spirit.

Experience the magic of Christmas with your friends and family as you cruise through the wonderland of Christmas Lights

The start of our 2023 Humpback Whale Watching season was been quite different to past years where, at this time of the year, we usually see quite a lot of bulls making their way north and in a hurry.

This year we have seen so many Mum’s and calf’s, and some only a few days old.

They still seem to be travelling north but we are not sure how far they will continue their journey.  Possibly to Hervey Bay.

Watching a mother and it’s baby that is so young that the mother has to continually

lift it’s head up so it breaths is such a special moment.  The devotion of a mother.

The mother is usually rather still & quiet in these moments either feeding or assisting the baby.  This is called logging as they look like a log in the water.

Whales are voluntary breathers and cannot sleep as we do. Scientists believe they rest part of their brains through logging while the active portion of their brain keeps them aware of the environment.





Mooloolaba’s Christmas Light Cruises 2020

No doubt some of you might be wondering IF in fact the Christmas Light Cruises will be happening this year.

YES!  More than ever it is important for all of us to embrace the festive season, dress up, be silly and E-N-J-O-Y Christmas.

Christmas light canal cruises have been a tradition for Mooloolaba for years now and we have it on good authority that the Christmas spirit will be in full force this year, despite covid-19.

Throughout December, we offer a 1.5 hour evening river and canal cruise to view the Christmas lights, displays and decorations of homes and boats along the canals in this festive season.

These popular, family-orientated cruises are an ideal way to enjoy the evenings with family and friends on board Crusader 1.

Join in the Christmas cheer, dress up, sing along to carols and admire all the wonderful effort people have gone to decorating their houses and pontoons.

Lights on the canals of Mooloolaba

This light spectacular of the Mooloolaba, Minyama & Buddina canals is something not to miss

If you would like to check out our availability, head over to Sunshine Coast Afloat

Unfortunately the Boat Parade has been cancelled this year but we will still be doing our Christmas Light Cruise on that evening.

Hens Parties

With longer days, balmy nights and spring weddings just around the corner, what better way to celebrate a Hen’s Party than on board Crusader 1 with Sunshine Coast Afloat.

Whether they are called Bachelorette parties (USA), Doe parties (Canada) or Kitchen teas (South Africa), the idea is to honour the bride-to-be with a girls gathering just before “tying the knot.” In Australia, we tend to use the term “hen’s party” for an exclusive ladies party before the bride walks down the aisle. There are two theories as to where this term originated. Some believe it comes from the word “henna” which is a pre-wedding custom in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, while others believe it comes from 14th Century English word “hen” which did not just refer to birds, but rather all female of a species.

Today, hen’s parties offer spa treatments, male strippers, winery tours and art classes as a treasured rite of passage with girlfriends before the “big day.” But if you are looking for something different and affordable with a bunch of friends on the Sunshine Coast, we can tailor a celebration to suit your needs.

You can book “Crusader 1”, our 55 foot open deck vessel, exclusively for your group to drink, dance and laugh the evening away. Enjoy the views of the Mooloolaba Bay, Mooloolah River or canals while partying and playing games to enjoy pre-wedding festivities. Flexibility is the key with a range of different seating, times and decorations available. A fully licensed bar is available or BYO, along with food and music. Endless possibilities exist to celebrate that special time with a bride-to-be. Contact us for a quote.

If you’d like to experience any of our other activities or make a booking,  feel free to give us a call on 0412 155 814 or email us on – info@sunshinecoastafloat.com.au.  You can also book online if you wish.


What does the latest science and research reveal about Humpback whales?

“Megaptera novaeangliae” or the Humpback whale, has definitely increased in numbers on its migratory path past the Sunshine Coast, but what do we know about these creatures and how?

They are probably the most watched and well studied species of whale. With a group of dedicated students and marine biologists joining Crusader 1 every whale watching season, we are able to assist with this research program.

Dr. Olaf Meynecke from “Humpbacks and Highrises”, along with many organisations all over the world, are contributing to the growing body of research, conservation and management of these majestic creatures.



A variety of methods has been used in the past to study whale biology, ecology and evolution. Boat surveys study distribution and habitat use, but they are not reliable 24/7, whereas photo identification helps recognise individual whales by their unique serrations and patterns. Just as Migaloo isn’t hard to spot, so too, thousands of whales have now been tracked using their distinct features.  Because humpbacks are so active in their “surface behaviour”– leaping clear out of the water, flipper and tail slapping – they are easily photographed and identified from year to year.


Satellite tagging and time-depth recorders

Satellite tagging and time-depth recorders are other methods (attaching small devices that send the whales’ GPS position to satellite receivers) which allowPreview researchers to track their movement, behaviour and migrations over a long period of time. Using time and distance between different transmitted positions, scientists have been able to determine when and where whales are swimming quickly and where they slow down to feed, rest or socialise. Time–depth sensors can measure the depth and duration of whales’ dives and provide important information on their feeding locations and behaviours. Whereas acoustic monitoring is useful when they cannot be visibly observed. Underwater microphones called hydrophones can be used to detect and record whale vocalizations or song.


Genetic sampling can also be used to collect data 

Using a hollow tipped dart that collects a small plug of skin and blubber from the whale the sample can help determine the sex and relationship it has to other whales in the group. It can recognise whether it is a parent, offspring or sibling and whether the group are related to a Previewneighbouring pod or whether they comprise a discrete or isolated population.

Through the use of such devices, some amazing new discoveries have been documented. Robert Pitman, a marine ecologist, using satellite tags has collected evidence to prove that whales migrate from the cold Antarctic seas so they can moult and therefore avoid the build up of potentially harmful bacteria on their skin. . “You can track humpback whales migrating up Australia’s eastern coast just by following the trail of raining epidermal cells they’re shedding,” Pitman says.


Other forms of research

Dr Vanessa Pirotta, a Macquarie University Marine Biologist has used a waterproof drone fitted with a petri dish to collect samples from humpback’s snot to do health checks and even identify if whales are pregnant, based on blowhole sprays. By collecting these fresh samples, rather than those from stranded or dead whales, is proving to be more effective, non invasive and safer.

Cameras on the backs of baby humpbacks have now captured a rare glimpse of mothers nursing their calves – a sight rarely visible on the surface. In addition to a camera, the suction-cup tags also carry an acoustic recorder, depth sensor and accelerometer, which together, collect data on the behaviour, movement and breathing patterns of the whales.

And in the latest research that relates to climate change, Antarctic scientists are looking at the role whale poo plays in keeping ocean acidity levels low enough to allow marine life to survive and thrive. It seems that whale faeces helps absorb carbon dioxide on the sea bed and might help keep acidification in check.

The specialist equipment, constant monitoring and highly experienced personnel are all part of the whale watching season here on the Sunshine Coast. Their research plays a major role in helping to determine more knowledge about these majestic creatures as well as how best to protect and conserve the whales that visit how waters.

If you’d like the chance to experience the magic of humpback newborns playing alongside their parents this whale watching season, and also the older humpbacks breaching and tail slapping, feel free to give us a call on 0412 155 814 or email us on – info@sunshinecoastafloat.com.au.  You can also book online if you wish.



Scattering Ashes in Whale season

Some people so enjoy cruising, fishing, surfing, swimming or walking the beach that it seems a fitting end to their life to scatter their ashes at sea. This is possible on the Sunshine Coast with a customised ceremony of your creation.


After cremation, many store the ashes of their loved ones in urns, however there are many other creative possibilities including jewellery, tattoos, fireworks and coral reefs.

Because scattering does not have one simple meaning, you can do much more than simply “let go”. You can also hold on and remember the love and life that you shared together. Really celebrate the life of a loved one.

Scattering the ashes of a loved can be a deeply emotional experience. Making you feel closer to the deceased because you are doing something so personal and meaningful.  Knowing you are fulfilling a loved one’s last wish helps deal with the loss of that person.  It can strengthen the emotional bond.

If considering scattering of ashes at sea, there are a variety of containers that are made specifically for this purpose. Some are designed to sink and slowly dissolve to disperse the ashes while others float before slowly sinking to the seabed. Crematoriums and funeral homes can provide both options.

In Australia, scattering ashes are allowed and do not require a permit or licence. It simply requires the permission of the vessel which Sunshine Coast Afloat can accommodate. Crusader 1 can accommodate up to 23 passengers and be as intimate or personal as the ceremony requires. It can be fully customised to allow for a loving and memorable farewell from family and friends.

If contemplating scattering ashes, there is no better time than to be out at sea when the whales are around.  What better way to be “one with nature” than to be part of the whale migration.

If you wish to discuss how we can tailor your trip to suit your ideas and budget, give us a call on 0412 155 814 or email us on – info@sunshinecoastafloat.com.au. 


EOFY Celebrations!

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and end of financial year looming, it is time to consider celebrating!

Who does not enjoy a EOFY celebration?

This time of year is traditionally one of financial pressure and stressful deadlines, and with the uncertainty of recent lockdowns, the last few months have been a roller coaster ride. So why not reward your staff and recognise the achievements of your company in coming through this crisis. A well deserved “thank you” to your team or clients can involve a cruise on the waters of the Sunshine Coast aboard Crusader One.

Forget the traditional EOFY ideas of corporate retreats, Christmas in July dinners, karaoke performances, ten pin bowling or cooking classes. A tailor made cruise to suit your business can be arranged for lunch, twilight or sunset, cruising the Mooloolaba canals. BYO food is the best option while certain restrictions remain, but a fully licensed bar on board can help with the celebrations of individual employees and their milestones.

If you are interested in making the EOFY 2020 more memorable, keeping your staff motivated or celebrating your company’s success, consider Sunshine Coast Afloat.

If you wish to discuss how we can tailor your trip to suit your ideas and budget, give us a call on 0412 155 814 or email us on – info@sunshinecoastafloat.com.au. 



Are you singing with joy post covid crisis and rejoicing in the easing of restrictions?

Well, it won’t be long before the giant humpbacks will be joining us in song.

The Sunshine Coast offers amazing opportunities to see these “marine composers” up close and personal.  With many breaching, waving and singing inshore. Famous for their underwater communication, humpback sounds have been described as a combination of moans, grunts, blasts and shrieks.

Their songs are the longest and most varied in the animal world.  Australia’s humpbacks communicate further than any other whale on earth. But we can’t hear all of their majestic sounds. At least 34 different vocal sounds have been identified ranging from low frequency (20Hz) to typically 3000Hz (like a bird chirp) and occasionally as high as 8000Hz.   We can only sense sounds between 150 and 16000Hz so many low frequency noises are out of our range and yet they have no vocal cords. Humpbacks produce these sounds by moving air back and forth through body passages.

Experts believe their complex sounds are used mainly for sexual display rather than simply for joy or personal satisfaction. They are relatively quiet in summer but during winter migration and breeding activities, they sing long patterns of sound.  Only the male of the species, sings.  So when the whales reach here next month, there should be plenty of singing in anticipation of mating en route.

Marine biologist Philip Clapham has described whale song as “probably the most complex in the animal kingdom.” It is made up of a series of repeated themes which can last up to 30 minutes long and some sing for hours at a time. They can be heard kilometres away, both underwater as well as above the surface. An interesting new discovery has found that while all males in a group will sing the same song, note for note, whales change their song as they travel.

Originally, it was believed that humpbacks would only sing the one song, but it has been found that as they migrate, their song changes at different locations and from year to year. As they travel, they change their song to match those coming from other nearby whales.  That way, all males in a certain population will sing the same local song.  Indeed, Indian Ocean humpbacks sound very different to Pacific Ocean humpbacks or those in the Atlantic.

There are still many unanswered questions about their song, but let’s hope we get to enjoy many of their voices this whale watching season.

If you’d like the chance to experience the magic of humpback newborns playing alongside their parents this whale watching season, and also the older humpbacks breaching and tail slapping, feel free to give us a call on 0412 155 814 or email us on – info@sunshinecoastafloat.com.au.  You can also book online if you wish.



Seafood Cruises now available

Are you ready to get back out on the water after isolation? We at Sunshine Coast Afloat have the perfect cruise for you!  Come alone or bring your partner and join us for a  1.5 hour lunch or twilight seafood cruise!

Before you come aboard you’ll get to choose what fresh seafood you would like to indulge in while cruising. Select your favourites or choose to be surprised by a platter chosen for you and a partner or friend made fresh from the trawlers.

Once aboard you will be welcomed by the friendly staff on Crusader 1 and listen to a quick safety briefing. Now head straight to the fully licensed bar on board and get yourself drink! Choose from a selection of beers, wines, champagne, spirits and even a couple of speciality cocktails! No need to carry cash on you either, the bar has full eftpos facilities!

The wonderfully relaxed atmosphere aboard makes cruising along the canals a dream, walk all around the open air deck or head up the bow and sit in the bean bags, enjoy the sun and really take in the views, there really is so much to see!

Can’t make lunch and would prefer a twilight cruise?   The magic of the lights glistening on the water as the sun sets is really something you have to experience!

Once your full of seafood, drinks and amazing memories you will dock back where you boarded and all you have to do is walk off and remember the amazing time you had, the staff on board will do everything else and the best part is no clean up for you!

If you’d like to join us on one of our cruises, feel free to give us a call on 0412 155 814 or email us on – info@sunshinecoastafloat.com.au.  You can also book online if you wish.   

You don’t have to order seafood, other options are also available.