A Whale watching tour “without the crowds”.

Looking for a Whale Watching experience you will remember and rave about for a long time? Sure, its always amazing when you get to see the whales. But lets face it, doing so while trying to catch a glimpse over the top of 2 or more people in front of you isn’t really that much fun. How much better would it be if you always had an uncrowded rail-side position?! Always able to take pictures or video without the heads of other people in the way?! Yep, I am sure ou agree, it would be perfect!  Afterall. if we all loved being crowded with others that much, public transport would be WAY more popular! But reality is that we all prefer our own space – like in our own car – whenever possible. Well, this whale watching tour is exactly what you are looking for! The luxury of no crowds. The ability to see the whales properly the way you imagined it should be!

Crusader 1 is a large, open deck vessel which allows full walk around access. Even to the bow of the boat, where you can often watch the dolphins play and follow our path. You will ALWAYS have that rail side position. Ready for that perfect photo or that unobstructed view. With a maximum of 23 passengers at any time, our guests enjoy total visibility and proximity to whales, dolphins, as well as the many other kinds of marine life we encounter. And with the undoubtedly the most up-close and close-to-the-water viewing decks of any vessel on the Sunshine Coast, this tour offers a very special and personal day out on the water with these inquisitive, majestic animals. Add to this our friendly and professional staff, and we can guarantee you will enjoy an incredible day of whale watching. Come and get up close and personal with these gentle giants of the sea. Encounter pods of dolphins and turtles that are regular sightings here on the Sunshine Coast.

Humpback whales are not only beautiful but also playful and curious creatures. You will be in awe of the spectacular breaching, close encounters, magical songs and tail slapping.

Light refreshments and non alcohol drinks are included

Key Details:

Please note- This tour operates from 1st July to 20th October only!

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATIONThe Coast Guard Pontoon, 50 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba ( Sunshine Coast ), Queensland. Australia
DEPARTURE TIMEPlease arrive 30 minutes prior for a prompt departure.
RETURN TIMEVaries based on departure time. Tour is 3 hours long.
WEARComfortable clothing, enclosed shoes, hat and sunglasses. Bring a rain jacket just in case. Don’t forget your CAMERA! Alcohol is on a BYO basis.
Professional crew.Marine Wildlife
Light Refreshments.Rail side position guarantee
Alcohol (BYO OK)

Our entire focus and goal is to give you a truly intimate encounter with these gentle giants of the ocean.

Please note that no funds will be deducted until we have been able to also confirm the availability of the requested charter. This because other impacts such as phone and agent bookings, weather and other unforeseen things  could impact on the availability at the same time as you are requesting the charter online. Our Terms and conditions are available on this webpage ( Click here to view them now ) and will also be emailed to you as part of the booking confirmation.

The “Coast Guard & Boat Ramp” Pontoon (located between the 2 boat ramps),
51 Parkyn Parade Mooloolaba Qld.

(Click on the RED 
icon on the above map for more information)

We depart from the “Coast Guard & Boat Ramp” Pontoon. (Pontoon is located between the 2 boat ramps).

For a GPS use 51 Parkyn Parade Mooloolaba Qld. These are the units across the road from the ramp.

Please DO NOT park your car in the Boat trailer areas here but rather find a park along Parkyn Parade where parking is free and unlimited in time. Cars parked incorrectly in the Boat ramp car park are likely to be towed.

Once parked please wait at the top of the ramp to the pontoon until instructed by the crew that it is safe to come down the ramp and board the vessel.

Departure location for Sunshine Coast Afloat (includes Fish n Crab Charters and Coastline Cruises).


 Please arrive 20 to 30 minutes PRIOR to your noted departure time. We would hate for the tour to depart on time should you be late and we have not heard from you! Depending on the departure time you may need to ensure you have enough time to find a car park.
Please do not wait on the pontoon itself as the crew will be mooring the vessel on its arrival and we safety is paramount for all.


Once securely and safely moored, the crew will ask you to board the vessel. Make your way up towards the cabin, placing any bags in the locker seat that will be open and waiting.


We are heading out to sea so each and every person aboard must sign in on the ship register, and marked off by the crew. To this end see the skipper (at the cabin window) and he will indicate the passenger log for you to complete. Have a balance to pay for the day? This is where and when you do that part too.


Most tours have Coffee and tea provided aboard. Once the paperwork has been done for you, make yourself a coffee or tea (all waiting for you on the large table) and have a look about the boat to get comfortable. The Coffee and tea will be put away by the crew as we exit the river so make sure you have yours well before that!

Safety First

As required by maritime legislation, the crew will have to do a safety briefing before we hit the open ocean. Much like on a plane any time you fly, we do need your attention for the couple of minutes it takes. We all hope and expect the information we are providing never to be needed, but its always best to be forewarned and prepared.

Pushing off

One of the few times we need you to be seated, out of the way of lines and other items. Just until the crew have cleared them away and the skipper is heading forward.

Crossing the Bar

Recognised in maritime as one of the potentially more dangerous things that happens aboard a vessel, this is the 2nd time the crew will ask everyone to be seated. Once through (It only takes a minute or 2) the ocean conditions will take effect.

Searching for whales

We only really run our tours in the most active period of the whale season. Afterall we all want to be watching whales, not searching for them the entire time. Of course they are underwater for most of the time, and the Coral Sea is a large area. We ask all passengers to join in to keep an eye out for the distinctive “Blow” that is usually the first sign of whales.

First sighting!

The first of what will often be 2 or 3 different pods on the tour. The crew will provide information on the whale behavious and other relevant facts during the tour. We cannot get closer than 100m to the left or right of the pod, or 300m to the rear of front of them. Once we are in position the hope is that the animals natural curiosity will bring them to us!


All good things must come to an end. We try to keep the return trip as short as possible to give us as much time with the whales as possible. On average the return trip takes about 30 minutes all up. Make yourself comfortable on the lounges ort seats, or ask the skipper if you can sit on the bow of the vessel. In the right conditions you will often see dolphins swimming along with Crusader 1 in the bow wake.

Back home

Of course as we re-enter the bar, and during the mooring of the vessel, the crew will ask all passengers to be seated again for safety. Once moored securely back on the pontoon the crew will assist you to disembark the vessel.

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 2 reviews
October 18, 2016

“Whale Watching Privilege”
Reviewed on trip advisor on the 26th August
An amazing experience. The charter boat is 55 ft which sounds quite big but, when you are 15 nautical miles out to sea, past the huge tankers and cargo ships, it seemed pretty small.
We had checked the marine forecast and the sea conditions seemed a bit marginal but the trip was on so off we went at 8am.
We travelled a good hour without seeing any thing and a few people got a bit seasick. The boat was rocking and rolling by this time. Disappointment was about to creep in when the skipper said “whales 200 metres ahead”. All seasickness was instantly forgotten as everyone oohed and aahed at a display put on for us by a mother and her calf. These humpback whales are enormous. 40 tonne whale, 23 tonne boat. Get the picture!
For at least a half hour these whales put on a display we will never forget. Tail flukes crashing, spouts showering everyone on board ,heads out of the water in unison and even swimming under the boat.
The mother and calf didn’t leave us! We had to return to port as we were already at least an hour over time.
The skipper said he had not encountered such an interactive pair of whales in a long time. As we headed back to shore, I looked back and I’m sure those 2 big spouts from their blow holes was a farewell.
And then the tears started!

October 18, 2016

“Absolutely amazing whale watching experience”
Reviewed on trip advisor on the 18 August via mobile
We went whale watching mid August for the hubby’s birthday and had such an amazing time. The guys on board really knew their stuff and were able to find the whales quickly and bring them super close to the boat. We had about 5 whales around the boat doing all sorts of tricks for most of the duration out at sea. The whales really put on a performance and there were happy smiles all around. Very relaxed environment, beautiful boat and the perfect size to feel safe but still get very close. Sunshine Coast Afloat only take a maximum of 22 people which allows for a more personal experience and plenty of room to view the whales from either side of the boat. The guys on board had coffee waiting which was a bonus and put such a lovely spread of food out for lunch. I really can not thank them enough for making our day as special as it was. We had two small children with us aged 10 and 11 and they had such a great time. My husband has been whale watching 3 times before with a different company and said they did not even come close to being as good as this one. True value for money. Highly recommended. Could honestly go on for days on how awesome they are.

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