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“Albatross, Fur Seals and fantastic commentary!”

Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The crew of Monarch Wildlife Cruises and Tours take great delight and pride in getting our guests closer to our unique southern ocean wildlife, and to our glorious scenery.The Otago Peninsula and harbour is renowned for it's breeding populations of Northern Royal Albatross, Yellow-Eyed Penguins, Little Blue Penguins, furseals, sealions, and many other birds and mammals.Cruising on the MV Monarch is a great way to see them.
Reviewed 7 April 2018

We booked this tour as recommended by a friend who lives in Dunedin and we were not disappointed.

We started our afternoon with a lovely drive along the Otago Peninsula. As we were the only two in our groups, we had a great time with David who had driven us. He was full of knowledge about the area and it was one of the highlights of our time in Dunedin- an absolute credit to your company!

David took us to where the wildlife boat was moored. We then braved some high swells (be warned for those who get sea-sick! Advisable to take some medication in precaution) to the Albatross viewing areas. Our boat driver Nigel gave us wonderfully interesting facts about the albatrosses and seemed able to spot things without binoculars.

The Monarch company kindly provided rain jackets and binoculars for everyone on board. They provided a fab bit of extra warmth.

We managed to spot loads of baby fur seal pups lounging on the rocks and even saw a few sea lion. after approximately an hour of wildlife spotting, we meandered back to Dunedin harbour whilst Nigel and his team arranged teas, coffees and continuing commentary about places of interest along the way. We were treated to one of the best sunsets I've ever seen in NZ during my 17month stay here!

Thank you very much to David, Nigel and the whole Monarch team for a wonderful experience!

Thank mishacam07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 60 reviews
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43 - 47 of 780 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

We had a great trip with Monarch Tours. They a very knowledgeable and professional. On board we were provided with binoculars and warm waterproof jackets free of charge. We saw 3 different species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, gannets and more. Wee had a clam day but I believe the best time is in rough weather. Well worth the money

Thank AndyM3714
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018

We’ve been on many such tours and would rate this as OK. As a tour, it is just adequate, but it does provide the opportunity to get some photographs that you just can't get any other way (see attached).

A small boat tour took us and a few dozen others out into the harbor for about an hour, but it was not until we reached the end of the Otago Peninsula that we saw anything of note. The ship’s captain was also the tour’s very low-key narrator. The first wildlife of interest he brought to our attention was the rare tiny blue penguin, the world’s smallest penguin, which in fact is so small that you can’t see them in the water at a distance of more than a few yards. So we took the captain’s word for it;-}

The scenery did pickup once we reached the lighthouse at the end of the peninsula and began to see albatrosses in the air and on the water. The captain was able to navigate the boat so that everyone could get closeups of the albatrosses that were in the water. All-in-all, I presume the trip was worth the time and money.

FYI, we took this cruise as part of the Royal Albatross Centre’s Sundowner package. Monarch offers the tour standalone, but other providers, such as the Centre or Elm, also include it as part of more comprehensive tours. Our tour was in January and the boat was crowded with just enough seating for everyone, although, most people were on their feet moving side to side, so seating was not an issue. Because different people had different arrangements, everyone had to pay attention to instructions to stay with their group.

Thank IN_Travelers47906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

We spent a great afternoon taking a boat ride and then onto the albatross centre for a viewing and dinner and penguin viewing

All staff were friendly and knowledgable

Thank Laura F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

The coach tour was really nice. We were taken around by David and he took care of our family for the time we rode with him. We got dropped off at the penguin reserve before going to the wildlife cruise.

The cruise was amazing for the birders in our group, but it was a really horrible experience for those who were seasick. (Note: We travelled as a group of 21 with an age range of 2 to 88)

Thank MarianL743
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MonarchWildlife, Owner at Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2018

Thanks - it is good to take precautions against sea-sickness if you are prone to it. The boat is at sea for only about 45 minutes, so even sensitive people usually do OK - and most people are excited to be out there!,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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