COVID-19 - a new way of cruising
Coronavirus health and safety is top priority for Whalesong Cruises
Update: May 20th, 2020
With the ever changing situation, we'll keep you posted with updates. In the meantime, if there's anything else we can help with, please let us know. Remember, from June 13th, we're cruising again and if you live within a 250km radius of Hervey Bay (that's you in Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Gympie, Monto, Noosa, Mooloolabah and Central/North Brisbane) and we'd love to have you on board to help you enjoy living again.
Update: May 15th, 2020
We know things are never going to be the same again. Travel and tourism isn't excluded from this. Whalesong Cruises has had to adapt (and quickly) with the changing COVID-19 situation to ensure the guaranteed health and safety of our guests, crew and the wider community. Rest assured, the team at Whalesong are still dedicated to providing incredible and unforgettable experiences as in the past...we've just needed to make a few modifications.
When are you operating again?
We will begin cruises again from June 12th, 2020 with limited capacity.
The Queensland State Government roadmap states:
- from June 12th - we can have up to 20 guests on board.
- from July 10th - we can have up to 100 guests on board (we wouldn't take that many under 'normal' circumstances anyhow)
- we must maintain social distancing regardless of maximum group numbers allowed
From June 12th:
- we will commence our 1.5 hour Hervey Bay Sunset Cruise (departing Urangan Marina at 4:30pm) for Friday and Saturday nights for the public, up to 20 guests. We can run this as a private charter so please contact us for more information, if you're interested.
From June 27th:
- we will run our 5-6 hour Whale Search/Dolphin Watch cruise (departing Urangan Marina at 8am and returning between 1pm and 2pm). This is our pre-guaranteed Whale Watching cruise and is fabulous for getting out on the water and being some of the first people to spot the first whales of the season. We will take up to 20 people until July 9th, then potentially increase capacity from July 10th until July 17th.
From July 18th:
- we'll be operating our twice daily, Guaranteed Whale Watch Cruises. We normally take up to 60 guests on board, but with social distancing and the square meterage of MV Whalesong, we'll have around 35 guests on board. This season will offer a unique opportunity to view whales all season, with highly limited capacity. Even better news for our guests, our prices will remain the same, so you're still getting the same wonderful inclusions and an even more exclusive cruise. There's no better value for money! The two daily cruises are:
- 5 hour Extended Morning cruise from 8am-1pm
- 4 hour Afternoon + Sunset cruise from 2pm-6pm(ish) sometime back around 6:30pm (this cruise commences on July 25th as we tend to spend more time in the mornings on the whales)
Our unique half-day Fraser Island Beach + BBQ cruise won't be running again until November.
What is Whalesong doing to ensure safety of guests and crew?
Prior to the shutdown due to COVID-19, Whalesong Cruises had already produced a basic document for the health and safety of everyone on board. Of course, now there's a much more rigorous COVID Safe procedure we've developed to ensure the safety of everyone on board. This enhanced procedure which is fully compliant with Queensland Health guidelines, will be made available to all our guests.
Please note: our cruises are the only half-day cruises to offer meals. These have typically been served buffet-style. There are changes being made to the way we serve our delicious food, but don't worry, you'll still be receiving the same great food onboard and in a safe and sustainable manner, as you always have done!
What is Whalesong's cancellation policy for COVID-19?
Our cancellation policy has always been very flexible. We generally require 48 hours notice prior to the cruise departure, for you to receive a full refund. This still stands. Also, there are no cancellation or change of date fees. If you need to postpone or cancel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, you'll know well within 48 hours of travel and Whalesong Cruises will postpone or cancel your booking as you need.
How can we be sure that Whalesong's cleaning are best practices?
Whilst we've not been cruising, we've been taking the time to research and develop new business procedures. This includes our hygiene and cleaning standards (which will be attached above before we commence cruising again on June 12th). In addition to training crew in health and safety, Whalesong Cruises is also developing a COVID-19 SAFE plan which will be reviewed and approved by Queensland Health. This will ensure we're meeting best practise standards and continue to offer a safe environment to travel.
How do I know if I'm doing the correct thing in terms of COVID-19 on board Whalesong?
When you embark the vessel, you'll be marked off the manifest, asked a few health questions and receive explanation about social distancing and sanitisation on board. In our general safety briefing, the skipper will remind you of what you can do. There will also be signs around the boat to outline what you can do to keep yourself and everyone else on board, safe. If you're ever in doubt though, our crew are still friendly, helpful and dedicated to showing you the best time on the boat, so please just ask one of them. Whalesong Cruises is committed to keeping everyone safe during (and beyond) COVID-19, as it always has done.
Whalesong Cruises - Hervey Bay, Queensland's premium mid-sized, modern, environmentally friendly and multi-functional boat, providing unforgettable boat tour experiences all year round.