The Passage Provider leaves the port of East Ferry twice a day, at 9:30am and at 1:30pm.
Each cruise lasts about 3 hours but could stretch to four.
The morning cruise offers a refreshing start to the day. The birds are out hunting for food and sometimes you get the added pleasure of watching the mist lift from the water. When the whales come into the Bay of Fundy they are hungry. They have just come north after a long journey and after a winter of not eating. They do not feed when they are in the calving grounds off the coast of Florida and Georgia. When they get to the cooler grounds of the Bay they are feeding constantly, morning, afternoon and evening.
Sometimes the whales are close to shore, one or two miles off, sometimes it may be fifteen. There are specific feeding grounds where we search to see if the whales are present. The Bay of Fundy is a large area and the whales can be just about anywhere, but they like us are a creature of habit and they are always looking for food. If we can find the food then usually there are whales around. Below is a dramatic video of a breaching whale taken by a recent guest.
Some of the whales that are most likely to be seen are the Humpbacks, the “clown of the sea”. They breech (jump out of the water), flipper slap and tail lob (bringing the tail out of the water and slapping it on the water) the most. They also sky hop (that means that they come out of the water nose first and look at us watching them). Whales are very curious animals. All whales are mammals, giving birth to live offspring and feeding their young. Whales stay in family units, mostly mothers and calves, for up to two to three years or more.
You also may see the rare North Atlantic Right Whale, so named because it was the “right” whale to kill. Like no other whale, the Right whale will float after it is killed, allowing the hunter to leave the first strike and move on to the next before hauling a killed whale onto the boat. When other whales were killed the hunters had to take them back to the boat or else they would sink and the catch would be lost. There are only about 510 Northern Right whales still living. There has been an increase in the birth rate in recent years which is a good, hopeful sign...
Minke (mink-ee) whales are the smallest of the group of whales in the Bay of Fundy. They grow to about thirty feet in length. They do breech but not often; they are very friendly and often will “close approach” (come close) to the boats.
Finback whales are one of the largest, second only to the Blue. The normal size of the males ranges from 60 to 80 feet. They are present in the Bay even in the winter, and have been sighted by lobster fishermen tending their traps.
Along with the whales, you may encounter an abundance of marine life: seals and dolphins and porpoise. There are two kinds of seals that are most likely to be seen in the Bay of Fundy: Grey Seal and the Harbour Seal; the Grey is larger than the Harbour and has a noticeably square head. Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins are most abundant in the Bay; at times they “run with the boat”, swimming along side, jumping in and out of the water, pure delight.
You will be able to watch a number of different birds during the cruise... Cormorants and Shearwaters for sure, possibly Puffins Gannets and Petrels. Ducks like common Eiders and American Blacks are found along the shores. There is so much to see, making the trip go quickly and you soon find yourself back on shore. Whale watching is truly an adventure of a lifetime.
Be sure to bring:
- Warm Clothing! (The air temperature changes only a few degrees from winter to summer – which makes it a great way to escape the summer heat!)
- Binoculars / Camera
- Sunglasses / Sunscreen
- A taste for adventure!