Frequently Asked Questions.
Get the answers to frequently asked questions about Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Watch tours in Newfoundland.
We know you have lots of questions and we’re only too happy to answer them as best as we can. Responses to a few of the more common questions are provided below – be sure to click the load more button at the bottom for full list of FAQ’s. Of course if you have a specific question that is not listed, please feel free to reach out to us directly by email, social media or by phone.
Do we need a minimum number of people?
Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Watch features scheduled tours throughout the entire season that operate regardless of the number of persons booked. You can reserve from one to fifty persons directly online. For larger group bookings please reach out to our friendly and helpful staff.
Do we need to book ahead?
The number of people on any trip can vary and cruises can sell out at any time so reservations are recommended. Tickets can be purchased on-line for any of the scheduled departures which indicate availability (just click any BOOK NOW button on our web site to check available date & sailing times). While we sail rain / shine, we recommend that you keep some room in your schedule in case weather requires a change in plans.
How long is the tour?
Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale cruises are typically between 90 to 110 minutes in duration. Actual tour time & route can vary depending on weather conditions and presence / location of whales and or icebergs. Gatherall’s can travel further in less time than any of the other large tour boats (and many of the smaller ones too), so more of your tour time is spent with the wildlife and not just getting there.
Is safety equipment provided?
Safety is our foremost priority. Vessels are equipped with required life saving equipment including life jackets, inflatable life rafts, fire fighting systems, etc. and is inspected annually by Transport Canada. Vessel crew certified in accordance with Transport Canada requirements and trained in Marine Emergency Duties and First Aid. AED’s are maintained both on board and in our reception area.
Is the boat wheelchair accessible?
We do not promote our service as being “barrier free” or “accessible”. Unfortunately too many companies take great liberties with such wording (e.g. vessel washrooms are not accessible, stairs / door sills hinder independent accesses, etc.). Gatherall’s tours are open to persons on board with mobility issues and physical limitations (e.g. persons requiring the use of canes, walkers, wheelchairs / etc.). Parking is available dockside and the access to the vessel berth is by way of a ramp.
For the safety of our guests we do not permit the use of scooters / motorized wheelchairs on board. Wheeled platforms are not sufficiently stable while on a moving platform. Scooters / motorized wheelchairs can be used from the parking lot through to the vessel boarding gate. Manual wheelchairs are available on site to accommodate our guests who require assistance boarding.
The crew are quite aware of persons on board who may have mobility issues / limitations and as such will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the vessel is positioned in such a manner throughout the voyage as to provide all passengers with an opportunity to view the sights and wildlife encountered. We have numerous guests with mobility issues who visit each season. Our staff and crew are there to assist all guests as required and take great effort to ensure that all persons are treated with respect and dignity – help and assistance is always available if warranted and or requested.
Please note that our shuttle van is not wheelchair accessible. GO Bus provides accessible transportation (chair lift capability) throughout St. John’s and area while several cab service providers offer accessible vans (City Wide Taxi / Jiffy Cabs).
Is there an indoor area on the boat?
Gatherall’s cat features a cabin large enough so that all guests can be sheltered inside in the event of rain. There are two washrooms onboard as well as a simple canteen / bar facility. Your safety & comfort are top priorities.