Hermanus Whale Watching on the Ivanhoe

The Ivanhoe is a boat-based Hermanus whale watching charter that operators along the Cliffs of De Kelders, launches from the harbour of Gansbaai and travels towards Hermanus.  We afford passengers the opportunity to get up close and personal with our whales and other marine life in their natural habitat.

Since boat-based whale watching doesn’t disturb whales, this gives us the ideal chance to observe their many natural behaviours – such as breaching, spyhopping, lobtailing, and sailing. No boat is allowed to approach our whales within 200mtrs, except permitted charter boats like “The Ivanhoe” that is allowed to approach whales to 50mtrs, the Southern Right Whales are a curious animals and it is not uncommon for them to take an interest in human vessels and their occupants, and to approach the boat – sometimes putting on elaborate displays which will delight seasoned and new passengers alike.

If you’re a photographer looking to nail that perfect whale or dolphin shot, Hermanus whale watching is not something to miss out on! Whether or not you take photographs, you will still come away having gained an unforgettable experience as well as plenty of interesting trivia on every species seen on the trip, since all guides are highly educated and eager to share their knowledge on our marine wildlife.


During Hermanus whale watching season, which runs from June to December, you can expect to see Southern Right Whales aplenty. Year round, you can also expect to see some of the following: Bryde’s whales, pelagic seabirds, penguins, cape fur seals, and dolphins. If you are extremely lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive Great White Shark – which while common off our waters, is seldom seen on Hermanus whale watching trips.


In order to get the most out of a whale viewing trip, there are a few things that you should remember to bring with you. These will enhance your experience as well as keep you comfortable. In order to make things easy for you this whale season, we have compiled a few helpful suggestions below that you can keep in mind when getting ready for a trip. The first item you should definitely pack is sunscreen – despite it being winter, the sun can be harsh on the water and getting

sunburned can be a reality. Consider a pair of sunglasses and a hat too as part of your sun protection. Besides sun protection, something warm to wear is a must, particularly in the evenings, as it can get very cold on the boat. Our other recommendations are to make your trip even more enjoyable, and as such we recommend binoculars, a camera (photographers should pack long lenses). Although we do not go out on rough seas and our trips are only two hours long, those who are very prone to seasickness should remember to consult their GPs for a prescription medication so that they can confidently enjoy the trip. The last thing to remember is to arrive at the harbour 30 minutes before launch time in order for everything to run smoothly.

Boat based whale watching is one of the best ways to experience the joy of Hermanus whale watching, and armed with the information in this guide, you are now prepared to enjoy Hermanus whale watching from aboard the decks of The Ivanhoe!