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Awesome time sailing the Indian Ocean!

I sailed with Sail Lanka twice and it was wonderful each time! The staff was super kind and they... read more

Reviewed 7 August 2018
Carly N
Excellent Experience. Only book w them!

If you can splurge for this experience, absolutely do! We took out the Jade for a day of whale... read more

Reviewed 2 May 2018
San Diego, California
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All reviews overnight trip dietary requirements paddle boarding breakfast and lunch these wonderful creatures few hours whale sharks see whales an amazing experience tourist boats jade anchored ensuite lanka deck sri passengers
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Reviewed 29 May 2017

I booked an overnight trip on a catamaran, to include early morning whale watching, after reading reviews on tripadvisor. This was to be the final day and night of our family Sri Lanka holiday over Christmas and New Year, and expectations were high. The booking process was clear and efficient - leave from Mirissa mid afternoon, afternoon sailing, gourmet meals, morning whale watching, return to Mirissa after lunch. Unfortunately the reality was somewhat different.

I received an email the day before, explaining where to meet. The tuk tuk driver thought we were mad going to the harbour in the heat of the afternoon! It took some time to find the catamaran, and the driver dropped us at the entrance to the harbour so we had a very smelly walk past all the fishing boats. Maybe including pickup in the tour would solve this problem?

The catamaran was beautiful, only three weeks old. The crew were incredibly welcoming and efficient, and we felt very excited as we sailed out of the harbour. We had a great time swimming and paddle boarding and watched an amazing sunset. Our 'gourmet' dinner was cooked by the captain - very capable but definitely not gourmet. Sliced white bread when we had passed a fresh bread cart on the way to the catamaran. We were told that we would be transferred to another catamaran in the morning as the new one did not yet have a licence, so would have to return to the harbour for the whale watching. We would however have exclusive use of this catamaran, which had been pointed out to us as we left Mirissa. Not what we expected, but things happen and we were OK about being flexible.

After a very hot and uncomfortable night we were offered hot drinks and cream crackers (?). We were transferred to a different catamaran (not the one that had been pointed out earlier, which we spotted heading out to the whales with other guests), which was taking a group of about 50 people from one of the hotels in the area. So now we were part of someone else's tour - what a let down. The tour was fine, just not what we had been told to expect. Disappointing for our last experience in Sri Lanka, and I felt I had let down the rest of my party.

One final point on safety. After whale watching, we anchored off a beach and could go swimming. After getting in the sea we were told to move away from the boat, and off it went, crew waving, leaving about 6 of us in the sea not having a clue what was happening. We swam to the shore (I am not a strong swimmer and would not have chosen to do this). The boat returned, and to get back I fortunately managed to hang on to a kayak that someone had brought, but this was a very frightening experience for me. Another lady banged her head on a metal beam as she stood up, when asked for an ice pack the crew seemed to have very little first aid knowledge or sympathy, and definitely no ice pack.

Not 5 star.

3  Thank ann756
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2017

We had booked an Mirissa overnight cruise with sail lanka charter and what a trip it turned out to be.Had the time of our lives.we had boked jade 25 for April 27th and every moment was memorable ..from boarding till we disembarked. IN the evening after yummy snacks prepared by chef Dimutha (very talented). we had fun time in the water with some swim and splashing jumping off board.the ensuite cabins were very comfortable despite the very hot weather.Later in the morning we had a thrilling ride chasing giant blue whales and got to see 8-9 whales and at one point our catamaran was surrounded by at least a hundred bottle nose dolphins which happened to be highlight of our srilankan trip.
Captain Ahura,chef Dimutha and crew Dinnsas and Chamal we very friendly and warm and made our stay on the catamaran very comfortable.
Highly recommend this to anyone looking for a once in a life time experience in sri lanka
cheers guys keep up the good work!

Thank AsmaN122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2017

In February I booked the 2 days east coast cruise starting in Passikudah for mid-April, for me and my girlfriend. Immediately after booking, the communication was very slow and unprofessional. I was in contact with Jeroen, their general manager. It took him quite some time to respond. Furthermore, he forgot to delete their internal correspondence from our emails and multiple times he referred to attachments which were missing from the email.

All this is annoying, however the real problem started when I had contacted them again a week prior to the cruise for information about the pick-up. A day before the cruise was supposed to start I finally received an email giving departure details from Mirissa, whereas we booked from Passikudah (which is on the other side of the island!). I immediately reached out to Sri Lanka Charter for clarification, I hoped they had just send me the wrong email.

However they claimed to have made a mistake in their booking system and booked a 2 days cruise around Mirissa for us. I find this very hard to believe since the invoice stated ‘2 days east coast’ and you cannot even book a 2 days cruise starting in Mirissa via the Sri Lanka Charter website! Therefore I am under the strong impression they didn’t get any other bookings for a trip from Passikudah and pretended to have made this mistake.

When I spoke to the general manager, his response was: “we work a lot with interns” and “the sailing season hasn’t started in Passikuddah” (strange, because on their website they state that the Passikuddah sailing season starts in April). He could not give an alternative or think of any solution, so we had to book a new hotel and change our travel schedule last-minute. After our phone call I received an email with apologies and the promise that I would receive a full refund.

Unfortunately the problems didn’t stop here, a week went by without hearing from them, so I reached out to Sri Lanka Charter again to remind them of my promised refund. To my surprise nothing had been done yet and apparently he needed more information from me to do for the transfer. In the end I did receive my refund, but they didn’t refund the banking costs (30 euros).

Given this bad experience I would not recommend anyone to book with Sri Lanka Charters. If you still decide to make a booking, double check everything they do and negotiate a very small advance payment since it seems they cancel tours when they don’t get enough bookings.

1  Thank cvanheemst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2017

An overnight cruise and stay on a catamaran with friendly capable crew proved to be a fabulous option for seeing whales as well as just appreciating the South Sri Lankan coastline. Much better than joining the hordes of people who go out on the packed to the rails 'whale-hunting' boats from Mirissa each day, with Sail Lanka you will already be floating out there while you enjoy a leisurely breakfast on deck looking out for dolphins. Our 24 hr cruise, alternately using sails and engines, included 3 meals (with the option to buy drinks) and plenty of time for swimming or stand-up paddling. Accommodations are fine for one night, and our only complaint is that we found our cabin rather too hot and ended up lying up on the deck for a few hours instead. But still this was definitely a terrific experience - fun and great value!

Thank Roshea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2017

Found this on Tripadvisor and booked a morning-lunch sail out of Mirissa to watch whales. The family and friends (total 8 persons) were met with tea/coffee early morning and then heading out. Fresh breakfast was served en route.The place of whale watching is of course a bit of a crowd, but we felt very privileged to be on board spacious and carefully (and respectfully!) navigated catamaran "Pearl", seeing these fantastic animals. We were seeing whales as long as we wished. Then heading back around lunch time, anchoring for a swim outside Mirissa .We had delicious tuna steak lunch and dessert before going back to harbour. I warmly recommend this trip ,- the staff was very good, on board a safe and well steered ship, and we all had a great experience seeing the whales!

1  Thank jmb20002015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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