Trip Status

Hermanus Whale Season 2019

Skippers’ Log: Hermanus Whale Season 2019

Since kicking off our whale season back in June, we have had one of the most spectacular and varied seasons on record. (Let’s not dwell on the abundance of long cold fronts and ‘no sea’ days)

Our Hermanus whale season begins in June, annually and this year the Humpback whales were ever present from the start, we probably had the most Humpback whale sightings during the months of June and July than any other year of operation.

The Southern right whales made a slower than usual arrival and we had our first sighting on the 14th June 2019. Since then we have been humbled daily, watching these gentle giants of the ocean. Although most articles of 2019 have spoken about low southern right whale numbers, what’s overlooked is the marine expo on offer right here on Hermanus’ doorstep – Brydes whales have been a staple for both the beginning and end parts of the season, going against the grain several times becoming curious and interacting with the vessel as guests onboard get an awesome experience and photographic opportunity.

The semi-resident Bottlenose dolphin pod has been witnessed regularly, a couple of sightings of humpback dolphins as well as some spectacular mega-pods of common dolphins in the bay, setting into motion a ‘boiling water’ effect around the boat.

In August, while watching one such mega-pods, we were then distracted by the arrival of a pod of Orca, setting crew and guests alike into a frenzy with excitement, no one onboard wanting the magnificent spectacle to end, guests of that trip became immediate “SRC” family, sharing with us one of the highlight sightings of the decade.

Great white sharks, Cape fur seals, birds and the African penguins were among other sightings of the 2019 season as well as Mola-mola sunfish. One sunfish, in particular we saw so regularly and could be easily distinguished by its noticeable scar tissue,  the crew even named him Donald!

It is amazing how much nostalgia each season brings, how many memories and people from across the globe we meet but this year has been particularly special as we celebrate our 20 Year Anniversary! That said all good things must come to an end, yesterday’s 9h00 departure marked the end of our 2019 peak whale watching season. As after much thought, a week of mixed viewings in the bay and some strong westerly winds forecasted over the coming days, it was decided it’s time to call it a wrap!

During yesterdays trip, guests onboard chatted with crew about the season and, after a 2-hour search were lucky when we encountered a large Brydes whale and 10 minutes later, most fitting to see the season out – one of the last Southern Right Whales in the area. Perfect way to end the season.

We look forward to sun filled summer season offering our Marine Safari tours and wish all a Happy Festive Season!


Fabulous August 2018 | Whale Season Hermanus

The whale season in Hermanus is in FULL swing: with nearly daily sightings from the land and 100% success rate for sightings on all of our whale watching boat trips this past month, the coastline is beaming with activity.

The Whale Unit of the Mammal Research Institute took to the skies to conduct an aerial count of the Southern Right Whales along our coastline, the total count was 1347 whales between Hawston and Witsands. This jaw-dropping count is triple what it was this time last year!



Hello Humpback Whales!

Winter in the Cape is synonymous with hot chocolate at a roaring fire but in fact it is time to don a warm jacket and head out onto the blue yonder as it just also happens to be the time of the year when Humpback whales are migrating past the Hermanus coastline on their way to warmer waters.

These mammoth mammals are known as the acrobats of the ocean, you will fully understand why, when you witness this enormous animal breach (jump) out of the water with agility and true acrobatic form.

Humpback whales breach

HUMPBACK WHALE – Megaptera novaeangliae


Between June and August sightings of the Humpback whales in Hermanus are common as they follow their migratory path towards their breeding grounds in the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean.

The Humpback whale is a Baleen whale, and is further classified as part of the Rorqual family which includes whales such as the Bryde’s whale, Blue whale & Fin whale, the rorqual whales are also gulper feeders as opposed to only skimmer feeders such as the Southern Right Whale.

Humpback whales


  • The humpback displays over 300 baleen plates on either side of its mouth.
  • Like the Southern Right, this whale feeds on krill, copepods & also feeds on small pelagic fish
  • Humpback Whales are easily recognizable by their long flippers, humped back with a dorsal fin, and the distinctive white markings on the underside of their flukes (tails)
  • Of all the whale species the Humpback has the longest flippers, with the length of one third of their total body length.
  • The white markings on the underside of a Humpback whales fluke (tail) are unique to each whale, much like the callosities, and a human’s fingerprint.
  • The Humpback whale displays a very impressive ‘breach’
  • Humpback whales can grow up to 16metres (52ft) with weights that exceed 40 tons.



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23 Jul 2024

09h00 and 12h00 – Good to Go

15h00 – to be confirmed on updated forecast

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* Trip status is updated daily around 16h00 SAST.

* Subject to unforseen circumstances.