Have any Questions?
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Before you fill the contact form below or reach out directly please take your time and see if some of your concerns are already answered below.
All guests above 6yrs and in good health are welcome to our dolphin expeditions tours in Lisbon and we have most of the conditions to meet our guest’s needs. However in the absence of a request from the guests, we will proceed with the standard expedition’s module. Under customised conditions, we had guests from 6 months old to 85 years old, but these extremes usually have some issues to cope with.
Most of the restrains of the standard expedition modules are the boats. Guests that can’t take an impact, like back problems and pregnant women (specially earlier stages) are the usual guests that are not recommended on on the ocean tours. The rides are usually soft and upon request we can save the most comfortable seats. But we might encounter an unpredictable rough wave, that might deliver a stronger hit, these guests should keep to the shorter tour. We remind that the usual boats don’t have toilet and the tours can take up to 3 hours. If you have either of these issues, contact us before booking, to assess the conditions and we might arrange to go on a bigger boat.
We usually say that: all guests that are capable of being seated for 3h on a bus, are ready for the expedition! But we will go in detail on the ones that need adult supervision.
The standard boats are not adapted for motor incapacitated guests, it will depend on the disability degree and the capacity of the guest to adapt. Contact us before booking.
Guests with developmental disorders, like children, will need to be accompanied all the time by an responsible adult. And applies the “rule” if they are capable of being seated for 3h on a bus, are ready.
Children are the most important guests! This experiences are safe for children if their movements are supervised. Mind that even if you’re from Iceland and you’re coming in August, the ocean is cold, their small bodies cooldown faster, we had to turn back twice in 2023 because of hypothermic kids, so bring proper clothing.
Children and teenagers require to be accompanied all the time by a responsible adult, but the ocean tours are long and keeping them entertained might be a problem. On average the children over 6 years old are mature enough for these experiences, but we recommend that this is not their first time on a boat! In these cases the shorter tour is better suited. If your child is under 6yrs and you still think that they are capable, contact us before booking, to ensure that we go on a boat that takes guests younger than 6 and has small life-jackets available.
Pets are allowed under the standard conditions, always contact us before booking. The pets need to be socialized, well behaved and nails trimmed to avoid damaging the boat’s floats. We recommend that this is not their first time on a boat! If so you should keep on the shorter tour.
No. We and everyone else, can not grantee the dolphins (not even the zoo does). We do offer partial refund some time, but that’s because in previous tours has been very easy to find dolphins.
Dolphins are completely wild animals and in most of the cases they are just visitors of the Lisbon area. We have no control over them, there are no GPS trackers on them, no spotters on land, we just rely on the crew knowledge and experience to find them. This basically is a safari on the Sea, with some possibility of not finding the dolphins (2% in 2023).
In case of not finding the dolphins, we can ensure that before giving up looking, we will put extra effort and time in finding them. Doing so, the the costs of the trip will increase two times the average, resulting in the complete incapability of refunding the tickets. But everything else is still included, the sightseeing, the boat ride and the explanations.
This can feel unfair, but we are no different from other bookings. Picture a sunset tour or a week on a beach hotel, there will not be a compensation in case the sun does not shows up. Dolphins are just like the Sun, but it is more likely to find dolphins than getting a clear sky for the sunset.
On average the expeditions are planned to be 2h long, but usually goes over. In case of being difficult to find the dolphins we can expand to 3h, in the ocean tour.
The shorter tour will take on average 1h30, but you should count with 2h if on a tight schedule.
If the expedition will be in the alternative areas, transport included will not take less than 4h.
No, the usual boat is a speed boat, but we used to have a sailboat before the pandemic and we’ll have one in the future. Our experience is to meet the dolphins, the boat experience is secondary. We can arrange a sailing tour with dolphins on request. In sailboats comfort comes first, meeting the dolphins is second, as looking for dolphins often require covering many miles and sailboats are very slow and very prompt to seasickness.
The used boats are the best type to prevent motion sickness (boats, not ships). However some guests are just too sensitive, specially during the dolphin observation. We have some of techniques to cope with seasickness, notify the crew as soon as possible. If you already know that you’re prompt to motion sickness, we have pills to be taken before departure.
Prevention pass through avoiding liquids during and 30 min before departure and definitely avoiding partying to late hours on the day before the experience.
The usual boat do not have shelter yet. When rain is forecasted, we will notify the guests and schedule a new date. Consistent and long lasting rain can be predictable with days in advance and we will not confirm expeditions under this type of rain. However we will confirm most of the expeditions under showers regime, this rain can last only for 5-10 minutes and usually can be avoided during the expedition by the crew.
We have an established limit around 2.5 m high waves to cancel the tours in Lisbon Bay and go for the alternative areas or schedule a new date. This is not due to safety reasons (the boats are safe), but due to low chances of dolphin spotting and increased chances of seasickness. Most of the uncomfortable waves where the Tagus river meets the Sea, when few guests (children) might find this environment overwhelming.
Cancelations due to weather conditions or internal logistic problems will always be full refund and are free of deadlines.
Tours have a minimum booking number, which if not met there will be no tour and you’re fully refunded. Usually 5 is the minimum booking needed, but can be less depending of how close dolphins are.
Guests will get full refund if cancelled 48h before the experience.
Cancellations within 48h and 24h from the experience are illegible to 50% refund.
Cancellations with less than 24h before the experience or no-shows, will be no refund. However you might reschedule the experience.
Some times we offer up to 50% refund if no one sees dolphins or other cetaceans on the tour. The percentage might differ on the platform you’ve booked and time of the year.
This refund isn’t available all year as it was the main reason for our unsuccessful tours. When dolphins are hard to find we were forced to give up from the search sooner, to avoid going too high on the fuel expenses. With no refund we can extend the search to 50 or even 60 miles.
This refund is only available when the tour goes as planned. It isn’t applied when:
- We have less than half of the boat‘s capacity booked
- The tour is not on our own boat, Rorqual
- The tour is on a date that we advised to change from, but the guest didn’t allowed a rebook
- A particular guest doesn’t see the dolphins
Mind that this is a safari, the tickets are priced just to look for the dolphins and some times that isn’t possible due to environmental reasons. Refunding for no dolphins is the same as refunding for a cloudy sunset tour or refunding the flight tickets for a rainy beach trip in Portugal.. it just doesn’t happen. Why should we do it? Well we only to show directly serious we are in finding the dolphins.
Our expeditions aren’t commercial dolphin watching tours. We designed a true experience and our target costumers hope to hear more than they already know about dolphins and are looking for more than a transportation service to the dolphins.
Dolphins can present themselves in many ways, our behaviour around them is the one that shows the best results, but thei mood is out of our control. Check our encounter rating, to know more how the dolphin encounters could go.
We have 2 types of tours, standard route and no route.
- Standard route, we have a set of locations that we’ll visit, always looking for dolphins in between. These are more reliable, less exigent and more weather proof.
- No route tours, we’ll travel where is more likely to find the dolphins and keep everyone as comfortable as possible. These maximizes the chances of finding dolphins, but are very dependant on good sea conditions, as we travel to open ocean.
Our no route expedition tours are divided in 4 main steps:
Travelling to the spotting areas, usually with a small briefing.
Dolphin searching where the guide will not speak and will be fully dedicated in looking for the dolphins.
Dolphin observation which by law are restricted to 30 minutes for each group. Additional information will be given regarding the species found and the behaviours that are being observed. If we find the dolphins soon, we might look for other groups, sightseeing the place or stop for a bath. If takes too long to find them, we will initiate the return soon after leaving the dolphins.
And travelling back, after leaving the spotting areas, the guide will deliver more scientific information like anatomy, behaviour and evolution (regardless of guest’s beliefs). He often will start with a pertinent question to trigger an interactive discussion before giving the answer (definitely will be a break on your vacations!). Meanwhile we usually approach the coast for some sightseeing.
We understand that some guests have the simple goal of just seeing dolphins. Or that disagree with the information given (like the evolution of the dolphins). We will stop giving the information upon request, but if there are other interested guests, we will not deprive them from the information.
If you're still having some doubts
or just want to talk something over please fill the form below. We will reply as soon as we dock!