Maybe don’t take a toddler whale watching.
Sometimes activities sound like they’ll be an amazing experience, but then end up feeling like a complete disaster.
I LOVE WHALES. They are one of my favourite mammals. I’m not about to start collecting whale figurines, but given a chance; I’ll linger the longest at the whale exhibits. Being the indecisive person I am, I refused to pull the trigger on the whale watching adventuring in Prince Rupert with Prince Rupert Adventure Tours. My dear husband did. He booked the tickets. We only visit Prince Rupert once, right? #wewillbeback
I’ve gone on a whale watching tour before in Victoria. I think. I have some vague memory which may or may not be made up. I remember a very different experience. This whale watching trip with Prince Rupert Adventure Tours was in a MASSIVE catamaran with three levels (2 of which have inside cabins). Tiny children were welcome on board. Better yet, kids ride free.
But just because you can take your kids, doesn’t mean it is a good idea. The decks don’t have lips, and minimal railings – perfect for a toddler to slip and fall into the big bad ocean. The inside spaces have seating and tables, but not the space for running and burning off energy. When you have a high energy toddler, space is necessary because some little feet just don’t like to be contained. I have one of these kids.
If you decide you still want to watch the whales with your toddler, here are a few tips I’ll share.
How to go Whale Watching with a Toddler
I wasn’t expecting to wear the toddler, and we left the second carrier in the vehicle during our adventure, but my toddler was worn the most. Because the decks were perfect for slipping, falling and running around, the best way to contain a rambunctious toddler is with a containment device such as an SSC. This way you can enjoy the view without having an anxiety attack he’ll fall over and without having to hold a screaming child on your back. There’s something about a baby carrier to bring a little wave of calm over your child.
- Meals, Drinks & Snacks.
Depending on the length of your tour, you’ll want to bring all the snacks. The Prince Rupert Adventure Tour is 4 hours with a check in time of 12:30. I recommend bringing lunch, snacks and then DOUBLING IT. We plowed thru the cookies (yes, I bribe my child) within the first hour, and suffered the rest of the journey. There is a small counter on board to purchase snacks and refreshments.
- Boredom Busters.
4 hours is a long time on a boat. We watched whales for about 90 minutes and the rest of the time is just boat riding without a car seat. Bring it all. The boat did have colouring sheets and pencils, but pack your favourite busy toys, maybe some tech?
- Dress Appropriately.
It was an anomaly the day we visited Prince Rupert with a high of 27C. Don’t forget a light sweater/jacket for the cool breeze when boating, and your rain coats if it’s raining. Shoes with a good grip will also help.If it’s hot like when we went, you’ll want sunscreen and a sunhat to prevent a burn. We all came off the boat with sunburns!
- Plan the Day.
The 1 pm departure worked perfectly for us since our toddler normally naps from 10 am – 12 pm. We hit up Buntze Rapids at 7 am to a hike and play, returning to our hotel for a nap before our big day. Ensuring your toddler is well rested for the adventure makes a world of a difference. Was he well rested? No, because of course he fought sleep and only had an hour nap.
I am so happy I went whale watching in Prince Rupert. The Humpback whales were spectacular. Prince Rupert Adventure Tours was an amazing company to travel with. I loved the mini-history lesson, the knowledge of the staff on board, and the beautiful photos the ship captain shared of the whale at the end of our trip. The catamaran was comfortable and easy to maneuver, and it was just awesome.
However, I’m less than impressed with the chaos of bringing a toddler on board. Our baby (6 months) was a breeze. She napped, ate, and did her thing. Traveling with a 6-month-old is easy.
I wouldn’t go whale watching with a toddler again.
Next time, I’ll go alone and enjoy some well-deserved me-time.
I wonder if a ferry ride would be a better adventure with kids? Or? Any tips for boating and sight seeing with kids?