Is the Penguin & Sea Lion Cruise suitable for me?
It’s perfect for everyone and a great way to see a lot in a short time. The cruise stays within the sheltered waters of Shoalwater Bay so it’s smooth sailing and sea sickness is highly unlikely. It’s suitable for all ages and people with limited mobility. Our gangways and glass bottom boat are wheelchair and pram friendly.
What should I wear?
On the boat, it’s important that you are adequately dressed because it can be cold, even in summer. A warm weather proof jacket is essential. Gloves, scarves & beanies for the colder days are a good idea.
For Penguin Island, wear comfortable footwear. Most visitors wear thongs or sandals. Hats, sunscreen and a long sleeve or UV resistant shirt are recommended for sun protection. Bring swimmers and towels if you are planning water activities. A warm weather proof jacket is recommended even in summer as the afternoon sea breeze can be cold.
What wildlife will we see?
We visit the wildlife sanctuary zone of the marine park which has the best viewing opportunities including the Australian Sea Lion! There can be up to 30 sea lions ‘hauling out’ on the beach at Seal Island but numbers vary especially during the breeding season. There’s lots of sea birds and we typically sea pelicans, ospreys, terns and cormorants most days. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to see the dolphins but this can’t be guaranteed. If you really want dolphins then consider our Adventure Cruise or Swim with Wild Dolphins Cruise!
What will we see through the glass bottom?
Beneath the surface Shoalwater Bay has an interesting diversity of marine habitats including seagrass meadows, limestone reefs and sandy sea beds that are home to plenty of fish, crabs, stingrays, rock lobster, octopus and more. Our guides will endeavour to share the best underwater viewing on every cruise, however, visitors should not expect brightly coloured tropical reef and fish that they may have experienced on other glass bottom boats. The colours here are more subdued as we’re operating in temperate waters and we also don’t feed the fish to attract them under the glass (it’s bad for their health and the environment!). Viewing Shoalwater’s underwater world is just one component of our Penguin and Sea Lion cruise and some days limited visibility can make it difficult. Most of the local wildlife and scenic highlights are above the water so this is where our guides will focus your attention.
We’ve been to the penguin feeding before, can we buy a ticket that doesn’t include the entry fee?
Yes you can, but unfortunately tickets can only be purchased for this at our front counter on the day of your cruise. Costs are $33 adults, $30 concession and $25 for children 3 to 12 years and include your ferry transfers.