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“Saw everything promised - a real expert on the helm, too”

Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The crew of Monarch Wildlife Cruises and Tours take great delight and pride in getting our guests closer to our unique southern ocean wildlife, and to our glorious scenery.The Otago Peninsula and harbour is renowned for it's breeding populations of Northern Royal Albatross, Yellow-Eyed Penguins, Little Blue Penguins, furseals, sealions, and many other birds and mammals.Cruising on the MV Monarch is a great way to see them.
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
326 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Saw everything promised - a real expert on the helm, too”
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Definitely recommend this, depending on weather and sea conditions of course.

Our day was perfect - we saw three kinds of albatross, a sealion, dolphins, seals and many other seabirds. Plus, it's just the most exciting way to view the dramatic coastline. Our skipper spoke knowledgeably and with evident passion for his job.

This was an unexpectedly good hour's voyaging!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Roy and Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MonarchWildlife, Owner at Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours, responded to this review, 23 March 2014
Thanks RoystonSas It's great to hear from a Kiwi traveller (who make up just 30% of our guests).
Otago's coast and creatures are wonderfully different from the far North and worth seeing when you're down here. As you say it helps if you are OK with wind and waves, though we do have warm coats and a covered area. Part of the magic is finding something different every trip and that's what keeps our crew enthused - if it's windy albatross will be flying magnificently - if its calm there's more chance of seeing marine mammals - we even saw a humpback whale last week. Cheers.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
228 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“and the whales came free!”
Reviewed 22 March 2014

We went out on an hour's cruise to see albatross and penguins and ended up spending most of the time watching a young hump back whale, who decided to play with the boat! He was swimming around and under the boat and was clearly visible beneath the surface, as well as when he came up. We were all thrilled. The albatross were seen, along with other sea birds, and also a penguin swam right past us as we headed home. Our guide was very knowledgeable and just as excited as we were to see the whale. Excellent hour of my life!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Trangmard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durango, Colorado
Level Contributor
74 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great way to see the Otago Peninsula attractions”
Reviewed 20 March 2014

We signed up for the full day tour with the castle. We started with a coastal drive and saw a wonderful array of birds. We made several photo stops. We moved on to Larnach Castle, where our driver conducted a private tour for my husband and I. We were then dropped off at the Royal Albatross colony where we were given admission for the next guided tour. The weather had deteriorated rapidly by that time, which was great for the albatross, because we saw them fly in great numbers. From there we were taken to Penguin Place, where we saw the yellow-eyed penguins. We were a little late in the season and the adult birds were molting. We did see several youngsters, very close up in their hospital, that had been brought to them from around the South Island.These young penguins had been abondoned by their parents because the parents needed to feed themselves before the molt. Penguin Place is trying hard save this declining variety. From Penguin Place we were taken to the boat dock where we were to catch the 2-1/2 hour evening cruise. The weather by that time was horrible and we begged off the cruise. (We will save it for next time.) We instead rode back on the bus with the same driver we had had in the morning. She remembered us and drove back a different way, so that we would see more of the area.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank diannecarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orpington
Level Contributor
245 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience and well worth the money”
Reviewed 19 March 2014 via mobile

We had booked an hour boat trip around the end of the Otago Peninsular and arrived just as the mist was really descending and visibility was getting really poor. This was enough to put off a bus load of tourists who cancelled at the last minute. We were told by the crew that we would certainly see some wildlife so we decided to tough it out. This meant that there we were the only passengers apart from the guide and the pilot. Well, we had a fantastic time. We were provided with warm jackets and binoculars and they even have wifi on board, as well as two loos! Our lovely friendly guide Suzanne was really knowledgeable and we saw an amazing array of wildlife. We saw two species of albatross flying low over the water, several spotted shags, a flock of red billed gulls and many seals. We even saw three seals swimming together behaving a bit like dolphins. Overall a fantastic experience and well worth the money. A must to do even if you are only in Dunedin for one day...

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank CriticP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MonarchWildlife, Owner at Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Thanks CriticP
Your experience really points up the unique nature of our tour. What many people regard as "bad" weather is great weather for our southern ocean wildlife - they are here because of the cool sea, strong winds, cloud and rain. That's when we have our best trips with the most magical viewing of albatrosses flying. If it is calm the skipper goes out further to seek the smaller albatrosses and petrels and marine mammals.
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York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Excellent trip.”
Reviewed 16 March 2014

The tour guide, Suzanne, was well informed. Saw seals, albatrosses and lots more wildlife. Great value for money.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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