Winter Wildlife Boat Trips See Multiple Whales While Underway!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The numbers speak for themselves - since January every Winter Wildlife Boat Trip has seen whales. And most trips see more than one whale. This past week each trip saw at least five humpback whales. The “Best Trip of the Week” saw pairs of humpback whales breaching all around the boat for an extended period of time. Another boat trip saw a few breaches from one of four pairs of humpback whales that they spotted.

Revised Season highlights include:

  • To date, the Aquarium has had 56 boat trips, 12 were cancelled due to poor weather conditions.
  • All boat trips have seen magnificent winter sights as well as incredible bird activity, especially from the gannets dive-bombing to eat the menhaden bait fish.
  • All but three boat trips have seen whales and those trips were at the beginning of the season, the last week in December. Most have seen more than one whale.
  • Not only have guests seen whales, but their activity has been amazing as well. Observed behaviors include lunge feeding, tail slapping and breaching out of the water.
  • Even dolphins have gotten “into the act” by making a few unseasonal appearances.
  • Nearly all of the whales are humpback whales. Also sighted were a fin whale and a minke whale that has surfaced several times.
  • 42 individual humpback whales have been identified by the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response Team in collaboration with Allied Whale and Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies.
  • As of last weekend, nearly 3,000 guests have enjoyed the Virginia Aquarium Winter Wildlife Boat Trips this season.

General information about Virginia Aquarium Winter Wildlife Boat Trips:

Winter obviously changes our familiar landscape but the sea offers some amazing differences as well. To get a different perspective, the Virginia Aquarium offers two hour Winter Wildlife Boat Trips. Guests will find on the 65-foot catamaran Rudee Whaler or Rudee Flipper, a heated cabin as well as outdoor seating on both the upper and lower decks. Guests can sip a hot beverage as they cruise along with knowledgeable Virginia Aquarium educators and scan the horizon looking for birds, harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and whales.

The Virginia Aquarium has extended its Winter Wildlife Boat Trip season through April 1. Trips typically run on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and the upcoming holiday Monday,February 20. The two hour adventure costs $28 per adult (ages 12+) and $24 per child (ages 4-11). Tickets may be purchased at Aquarium Guest Services or at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center. Call (757) 385-FISH for more information and/or visit for a complete boat schedule. Boat trips may be cancelled due to weather which may affect safe boating conditions. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.