Whales and Wildlife Catamaran Style
Set your course for a unique ocean wilderness. By comfortably going further faster our catamaran expeditions routinely deliver a higher rate of breathtaking whale and wildlife encounters.
Established in 1995, Quoddy Link Marine is St. Andrews most experienced whale & wildlife cruise company. We know that to consistently deliver awe inspiring whale and wildlife encounters you often need to go the distance, spending less time in transit and more time in potential whale feeding areas. Once you understand that the number and variety of whales and wildlife you may observe is directly influenced by the range of your cruise, you will also understand why we see more kinds of whales more often. Having the ability and will to go where others may not or can not brings the benefit of more variety and less boat traffic. This not only enhances your experience and odds of success, but also puts less pressure on the whales and wildlife we observe. From our home port of St. Andrews’ the catamaran’s size, speed, comfort, range and legal operating limit just provide more options. If you think bigger boats mean more people and less service – consider this. We have limited our passenger capacity to be similar to competing vessels that provide almost half the space. You will be able to move freely from side to side and from lower deck to upper deck. Our cruises also include experienced marine biologists to ensure an educational excursion that will be second to none.
When we set course for tide washed islands and the open sea, as the catamaran comfortably and safely navigates the world’s highest tides, you will begin to understand the freedom and anticipation of a “True Bay of Fundy Whale and Wildlife Expedition”.
Departing from historic St. Andrews by-the-Sea we traverse Passamaquoddy Bay entering the West Isles by one of three passages, Little L’etite, Big L’etite or Western. Once among the islands and passages where the tidal currents are the strongest, wildlife increases. Several species of bird life can be seen in the waters and on the islands. We will often visit with Bald Eagles and sea bird colonies ( Guillimonts, Kittiwakes, Eider, Gulls, Cormorants, Razor Billed Auks). Both ancient and modern methods (weirs and aquaculture) of harvesting sealife from these waters are seen and explained enroute through the islands. Marine mammals such as seals and porpoise take advantage of the rich feeding areas amongst the islands. While seals can be seen all year, porpoise numbers increase in late June and throughout the summer. Minke whales are frequently encountered in these confined and protected waters. Once we enter the open Bay of Fundy and set course for waters adjacent to the Wolves Islands and Grand Manan Island the opportunity for large whale sightings increase significantly, this is especially true for humpack whale sightings. The huge Finback and smaller minke whales are the most common from late June to October. The popular humpbacks generally arrive in late summer, but have known to make appearances much earlier. Bird life on the open sea varies from the islands and during our offshore excursions we often sight shearwaters, terns, petrels, gannets, and puffins. Several scenic lighthouses are located on the islands and prominent points of land seen during this cruise. Our cruises cover the largest operating radius from St. Andrews – over 25 nautical miles.
A Note on Sighting Success and Guarantees
Our cruises have averaged between a 90% and 100% sighting success rate during the last 22 seasons. Several environmental factors impact our sightings and therefore we cannot guarantee the type of whales or number of sightings. Impaired visibility due to fog, poor sea conditions and whale distribution all impact success. While we cannot control any of these factors, we have taken several measures to reduce their impact on success. These include more time in potential whale feeding areas by reducing time in transit, a vessel designed to operate comfortably in typical open water conditions and when needed our own scout boat.
It should be noted that marketing claims that promote whale guarantees do not actually guarantee a whale sighting. Its important to understand the fine print. Our cruises include more than just whales and therefore should a whale not be sighted we provide a voucher for a free cruise. These vouchers have no expiry date, however they are non transferable and a reservation is required.