Trip Status

The Welcome Whales Celebration

Come and join in the festivities at the first Welcome Whales Celebration taking place this June.

The event is hosted by a collaboration of whale-fanatics, guru’s, scientists, and locals that have teamed up to showcase the areas diverse marine life, honour the whales and celebrate the Ocean.

The three-day event will be held in the New Harbour from 6 – 8 June 2021 and each day will be dedicated to one of the three whale species that visit Walker Bay annually – the Southern Right, the Brydes and the Humpback whale.

Coinciding with World Ocean Day 2021, the worldwide movement for a sustainable society and a healthy blue planet. This year’s theme of ‘One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together’ will be at the core of the celebration.

An array of activities and festivities featuring: informative talks & visual presentations; interactive displays, ‘adopt’ a whale, photographic marine walks, whale watching, abalone tours and tasting, kayaking, seafood and crafts will take place daily.


See the full programme below:



Day 1 is devoted to the Southern Right Whale!  Hermanus is lucky enough to host the bulk of these majestic mammals that migrate to the South African coastline annually from roughly June to December.

9h00 – 11h30 | ACTIVITY | Whale watching Boat tour
Explore the Hermanus coastline and possibly spot the first Southern Right Whales of the season!
Hosted by Southern Right Charters

12h00 – 14h00 | ACTIVITY | Meet & Greet
‘Appointment ceremony’ of the new Hermanus Whale Crier, Interactive displays, Craft & Exhibit, Food & Drinks
Hosted by Various, Lower Quay, New Harbour

13h00 – 14h00 | KIDS ACTIVITY | Fun Pollution Awareness Art Class – “Create your own art piece” from Beach Plastic
**Ages 7-11 years
Presented by Janet Ormond – Environmental Artist, CURB Beach Plastic

14h00 – 15h00 | TALK | A Photographic Journey with Southern Right Whales – Inspirational presentation showcasing over a decade of whale photography.
Presented by Dave De Beer, Hermanus Whales

15h30- 16h30 | TALK | South Africa’s southern right whales – Fascinating facts based on over 40 years of research and annual studies of the whales in Walker Bay and beyond
Presented by Dr Els Vermeulen, Mammal Research Institute – Whale Unit


BRYDES WHALE DAY ~ 7th June 2021


Day 2 will showcase on the Brydes whale, the lesser known, often seen & practically resident whale of Hermanus, which is easily distinguished by their sharp dorsal fin.

9h00 – 11h00 | ACTIVITY | Sea Kayaking – Paddle across Walker Bay and come face-to-face with the diverse marine life of Hermanus.
Hosted by Walkerbay Adventures

9h30 – 11h30 | ACTIVITY | Photographic Marine Walk – Pack your camera for this guided walking tour of the Hermanus coastline.
Hosted by Southern Right Charters

11h00 – 13h00 | ACTIVITY | Abalone Tour & Tasting – Boot-up & explore a working Abalone farm, informative guided tour and tasting experience.
Hosted by Heart of Abalone

15h30 – 16h30 | TALK | The secret whale of Hermanus – A Skippers Log: Interesting visual presentation and introduction to the lesser known, often seen & practically resident whale of Hermanus.
Presented by Ashley Appleby, Southern Right Charters

17h00 – 18h00 | TALK | Brydes Whale Conservation Programme – An in-depth presentation on the inshore population of Bryde’s whales in South Africa
Presented by Dr Els Vermeulen, Mammal Research Institute – Whale Unit


HUMPBACK WHALE DAY ~ 8th June 2021


Day 3 is all about the Humpback whale! This event marks the inclusion of Hermanus in the Humpback Migration Route which is coordinated by Baywatch Projects and is supported by the World Cetacean Alliance. The route spans the coast from Swakopmund all the way to Watuma, Kenya.

9h00 – 11h30 | ACTIVITY | Whale watching Boat tour – Experience boat-based whale watching from Hermanus, South Africa’s Whale Capital.
Hosted by Southern Right Charters

11h00 – 13h00 | ACTIVITY | Abalone Tour & Tasting – Boot-up & explore a working Abalone farm, informative guided tour and tasting experience.
Hosted by Heart of Abalone

14h30 – 15h30| TALK | Whale Disentanglement – A first-hand account.
Hosted by National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), Station 17

16h00 -16h30| ACTIVITY | WELCOME WHALES WAVE, a fun cliff-top event –
Welcoming the Whales with a big Wave (‘human chain’) on the Hermanus Cliff Path between the Amphitheatre and Gearing’s Point
Hosted by Hermanus Tourism

16h00 – 17h00 | TALK | The Humpback ‘Supergroups’ – which visit the coastal area of Cape each year.
Presented by Dr Elisa Seyboth, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

17h30 – 18h30 | TALK | The Southern Hemisphere Humpback Migration – the remarkable recovery of this species.
Presented by Lloyd Edwards, Baywatch Research Project & World Cetacean Alliance

Free admission for talks and special rates for activities. All events (paid & free) require a valid ticket for admission, to book, visit: Welcome Whales Celebration- or WhatsApp +27823530550

Talk the talk & Walk the walk

Greater Oceans Initiative at Southern Right Charters

September is always an exciting month at Southern Right Charters, not only is it the middle of our peak whale watching season but also a month of celebration, with Heritage Day, International Coastal Cleanup Day and the annual Whale Festival all coinciding.


Harbour Clean up, Lets Go Go #GOWalk!

As part of our ongoing Greater Oceans Initiative (#GO), Southern Right Charters have taken the helm on harbour clean ups in the New Harbour.

Let’s be honest, cleaning up 1 day a year is good start, but consistency and mindset change is what’s required here. So for the month of September we have intensified our regular #GOWalk Harbour Clean-up’s  and have committed to ‘A clean up a Day’ in the spirit of International Coastal Cleanup Day which falls on the 21st of September 2019.

A big part of the Ocean Conservancy’s founded International Coastal Cleanup Day is to go beyond picking up trash but to record each item collected in order to identify ways to eliminate ocean trash in the future. They have made it easier than ever with the launch of their super cool CleanSwell app, which tracks time spent, distance covered and weight collected.


Harbour Cleanup Hermanus 2019



Earlier this month we collaborated with White Shark Projects and their #21daysfortheOcean Campaign .We hosted the Shark Team volunteers on Day 6 of their crusade, where they spent the day along the Hermanus Cliff Paths conducting a Whale count and Coastal Clean-up.

The evenings event saw sustainable seafood snacks, refreshments and engaging talks from our Whale specialist guides, as well as local expert Meredith Thornton. Meredith gave an open and frank discussion on the devastating effects pollution has on our seas and Cetaceans – but highlighting that with a positive mind-shift, we really can make a difference, leaving all that attended with a sense of hope and determination to make a change.


Talk on Whales 2019 Hermanus

Southern Right Charters’ Great Oceans Initiative (#GO) is all about making a daily difference by reducing the amount of litter that ends up polluting our oceans READ MORE

The latest from Instagram


02 Mar 2024

Hermanus: End of the Southern Right Whale Season 2023

For more info on the current Humpback Season on the West Coast with Whale ExpeditionSA

Contact us

+27 82 353 0550

Contact Us

* Trip status is updated daily around 16h00 SAST.

* Subject to unforseen circumstances.