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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

When should I arrive?

We advise that guests should arrive approx. 30 minutes before their departure time.

Where do your cruises depart from?

Our cruises depart from both our Sea World Cruises Main Beach Terminal and Surfers Paradise. See more about the departure locations here.

Please see the product pages for further details of the departure locations.

Cancellation Policy

Please see the Travel Conditions page for information regarding cancellations.

Can I reschedule my cruise?

Tickets are fully flexible as long as you notify us more than 24 hours prior to your scheduled cruise. This is not applicable to group bookings over 10 passengers.

How do I find accessibility info?

Please see our Access Guide for accessibility information.

Whale Watching

What should I bring?

We suggest wearing flat enclosed shoes and bringing a warm jacket, sunglasses, camera and seasickness remedy (if required).

Will I get seasick?

Seasickness, also known as motion sickness, travel sickness, airsickness or carsickness, may occur in response to certain types of movement, such as the rocking of a vessel on the ocean. Seasickness is treatable in the vast majority of individuals. For seasickness advice, visit our seasickness page.

Do you operate in the rain?

Whale watching tours operate in the rain. Rain does not affect the whale’s behaviour, and the vessels have large covered decks for passenger comfort. On rainy days bringing a raincoat is recommended. Ponchos are available to purchase at check-in, subject to demand.

Do you operate during rough sea conditions?

If the sea conditions are expected to be rough, we will notify you at check-in. You will be given the option to proceed with the tour, reschedule for another day, or receive a full refund.

What happens if my tour is cancelled?

In the unlikely event that your tour is cancelled, you will be notified by SMS at least 2-hours before your departure time. You will be given the option to reschedule to another day or receive a full refund.

What food and beverage options are available?

A cafe located at the Sea World Cruises Terminal offers a selection of sweet and savoury treats, cold drinks, alcoholic beverages (served after 10:00 AM), tea, and Merlo brewed coffee. Kindly note that we do not serve barista-style coffee. You are welcome to take away items from the cafe with you onboard.

Snacks, cold drinks and alcoholic beverages (served after 10:00 AM) are available to purchase on board the vessels, with both cash and card payments accepted. Kindly note that we do not serve hot drinks on board due to safety reasons.

When is the whale watching season?

The Gold Coast enjoys Australia’s longest whale watching season, from late May to early November.

How close can will we get to the whales?

As a responsible whale watching operator, we follow the Rules for Watching Marine Mammals as established by the Queensland Government. This means that the closest we will approach a whale is 100 metres. However, the whales can come as close to the vessel as they wish and frequently choose to do so. This type of behaviour is known as mugging.

Is the tour infant and child friendly?

Infants and children of all ages are welcome with responsible adult supervision. We recommend that children not travel during rough sea conditions. We kindly ask that you store prams at the check-in terminal.

What is your 100% Whale Sighting Guarantee?

In the unlikely event your tour doesn’t see a whale, you will be provided with a free return tour valid for 12 months.

How long is the tour?

We ask that you allow up to approx 2.5 hours for the tour.

What is the Humpback Highway?

The Humpback Highway is an ancient migration corridor that the humpback whales travel along during their annual journey between their feeding grounds in Antarctica and their breeding grounds in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

How long does it take to travel to the Humpback Highway?

Our departure location is located just 20 minutes from the Humpback Highway.

Can I purchase photos from the cruise?

A dedicated photographer will capture your group’s boarding photo and the whales from your tour. These can be purchased as prints with complimentary digital files onboard on your return journey, with the proceeding helping to support our marine conservation programs.

Can I travel whilst pregnant?

We welcome guests who are pregnant to join us whale watching. We suggest speaking with your doctor prior to booking your cruise to discuss any concerns you may have including motion sickness.

Dining Cruises

Where can I find the dining menu?

The menu can be found on each products page.

Dietry requirements

We cater to a wide range of dietary requirements. You can find menus on the individual product pages for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose free options and those items which may contain nuts and eggs.

Can I bring my wheelchair?

Spirit of Elston is wheelchair accessible, however, this needs to be noted at the time of the booking. Kindly note – there is no accessible toilet on board.

Will I get seasick?

Our sightseeing and dining cruises stay in the canals / rivers and do not go out to open water. Because of this it is unlikely that you will get seasick. However, the boat is still in motion and seasickness may still occur depending on the sensitivity of the customer.

Does the cruise still operate if it is raining?

In the case we have minor bad weather such as rain or minor winds and we are still able to operate, we will have our passengers sitting inside downstairs in the fully enclosed area.


Can I purchase a gift voucher?

Gift vouchers are available to be purchased online here.

Companion Card Holder

National companion cardholders who purchase a ticket can receive admission for their companion at 50% RRP. Excludes VIP Captain’s Lounge experiences. Companion card bookings can only be made directly with the operator over the phone. A valid National, State or Territory companion card must be presented at check-in.


Seniors must present an Australian or New Zealand Government issued Senior Card at check-in. Applies to Dining Cruises only.

Children Tickets

Children tickets are avaialble for those 3 years – 13 years old.


Infants are ages 0-2 years old. They can travel for free but require their own ticket.


Can I bring my pram onboard?

Yes, we are able to accommodate prams on board on our dining cruises, however due to safety and customer comfort, please do not block walkways or doorways. We usually prefer prams to be folded down.

Due to the nature of the activity, we can’t accommodate for prams aboard our Whale Watching Cruises.


Spirit of Elston and Spirit of Migaloo II are both wheelchair accessible. Please notify our reservations team at time of booking if you require wheelchair access.

Parents room

There is a baby changing table located in accessibility toilet at the Sea World Cruise Terminal.


There is free, all-day parking at the Sea World Cruise Terminal.
There is no onsite free parking for departures from Surfers Paradise. We recommend parking at Bruce Bishop Carpark.

Are there toilets onboard?

All of our vessels have access to marine toilets.

Can I bring my assistance animal?

Yes, assistance animals are allowed on board. The carer must carry any certificates / IDs that are appropriate for the animal at all times. This does not include an emotional support animal.