“The Ivanhoe”

Best Whale Watching Hermanus on the Queen Of The SA Whale Watching Fleet

The Ivanhoe is a 42 ft. catamaran, which was specifically designed and custom-built for whale watching.  Our extensive experience gained from over 8000 close encounters with our majestic southern right whales was our inspiration for the design of the Ivanhoe.  The most experienced whale skipper in South Africa specifically designed the “Ivanhoe” to provide an exceptionally safe and stable vessel from which to view hermanus whales.

From the Ivanhoe our guests have an unobstructed view of the Hermanus whales and our guests will never get wet – even in inclement weather conditions.  While the Ivanhoe is capable of carrying 40 passengers comfortably, for the indulgence of our guests, we limit passengers to 25 for every trip.  This means that all our passengers can be seated at all times making the trip far more pleasurable.

The Ivanhoe is extremely comfortable, dry and most importantly stable.  Our guests have the advantage of looking down at the Hermnaus whales from the upper viewing bridge, giving them a great perspective.  Other amenities specifically designed with the guest’s pleasure in mind are large, dry cabins on the lower deck as well as toilet facilities.  The Ivanhoe is equipped with two 4-stroke 250hp petrol engines that make the trip exceptionally quiet and pollution free.

We conform to the highest safety standard and The South African Maritime Safety Authority surveys the Ivanhoe annually.

Southern Right Whale Facts

These days, southern right whales delight whale watchers with their peculiar looks and crowd attracting antics, like breaching and headstands. They are increasingly seen on the NSW coastline from June to the end of November. You can spot them off the shore of a beach, on a boat or venture into a NSW national park. Southern right whales can be found in very shallow water including estuaries and bays. They have even been known to swim into the surf zone, but are not known to strand. If you are lucky enough, you may even delight in watching the mothers and calves playing together. This is a very important time for the calf, as the mother is teaching its young the life skills it will need before it returns to the Antarctic.

11 hours ago

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
Happy Heritage Day South Africa! We hope that wherever you are in the world you are celebrating our breathtaking country and cultures with those you hold dear. We are a vibrant, resilient, beautiful people and we have so much to be thankful for. South Africa also has some of the most extraordinary natural heritage in all the world. When most of us consider our natural heritage, our thoughts may turn towards Kruger, the Big 5 and the rolling savannah. Our natural heritage however spans into our incredible oceans and along our coastline, from the coral reefs in Sodwana to the Great African Sea Forests of the South. Our oceans boast a biodiversity that is almost un-paralleled. Our Heritage Day wish for you all is that spend some time getting to know your ocean heritage in this coming year. Walk the beaches, swim the seas, learn to scuba dive, come and meet our gentle giants. The ocean is boundless and ever changing and she is as much a part of our heritage as the rhino and the baobab.We hope that if you don’t already, that you come to consider our seas as intrinsic to our South African identity, our history and the future of our beautiful land. Here's a couple of clips from Wednesday's trip to celebrate just a small part of our South African seas.082 926 7977info@whaleviewing.co.zawww.whaleviewing.co.zaFollow us on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/ivanhoeseasafaris/Subscribe to our Youtube Channel Here: https://bit.ly/3lZVrrl#wewatchwhales #gansbaai #whalewatching ... See MoreSee Less
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12 hours ago

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
Happy Heritage Day South Africa! We hope that wherever you are in the world you are celebrating our breathtaking country and cultures with those you hold dear. We are a vibrant, resilient, beautiful people and we have so much to be thankful for. South Africa also has some of the most extraordinary natural heritage in all the world. When most of us consider our natural heritage, our thoughts may turn towards Kruger, the Big 5 and the rolling savannah. Our natural heritage however spans into our incredible oceans and along our coastline, from the coral reefs in Sodwana to the Great African Sea Forests of the South. Our oceans boast a biodiversity that is almost un-paralleled. Our Heritage Day wish for you all is that spend some time getting to know your ocean heritage in this coming year. Walk the beaches, swim the seas, learn to scuba dive, come and meet our gentle giants. The ocean is boundless and ever changing and she is as much a part of our heritage as the rhino and the baobab.We hope that if you don’t already, that you come to consider our seas as intrinsic to our South African identity, our history and the future of our beautiful land. Here's a couple of clips from Wednesday's trip to celebrate just a small part of our South African seas.082 926 7977info@whaleviewing.co.zawww.whaleviewing.co.zaFollow us on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/ivanhoeseasafaris/Subscribe to our Youtube Channel Here: https://bit.ly/3lZVrrl#wewatchwhales #gansbaai #whalewatching ... See MoreSee Less
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1 day ago

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
Better late than never from yesterday’s trip update.Yesterday was a perfect day! we had 3 fantastic trips with the whales really putting on a show for us. We started off our day with a lobtailing baby whale having some fun just behind the breakers, much to the delight of all on board. This mom and calf were super relaxed, so we travelled along with them for a bit before spotting some more blows in the distance. Here we had a mating group of around, we watched them as they rolled about and followed the girl, noticing one of the whales had the most prominent callosities we’ve seen in a long time. We were also treated to the sights of one of these gentle giants diving, showing off their massive tail and leaving us all a little awestruck. We finished off this tour with a sighting of a little African Penguin before making our way in. Trip 2 had a fabulous close encounter with a mom and a calf that came right up to the boat to say hello, delighting all on board. We then found yet another mating group with one female showing off her belly for ages, which got the crew super excited and we don’t often see them keep this position all that long. She had some beautiful white marks on her belly and we admired her flippers and chunky form for ages as she relaxed next to us. In this mating group, we were also super lucky to encounter the brindle male that has been about the last few days. We’ve decided that in the absence of knowing his real name (likely given by the whale unit), we are going to call him Brinjal the brindle after some misunderstandings, innuendos and fun on board Ivanhoe. As we were leaving this mating group, we got a quick look at an absolute stunner of a female with a white chin, also not something we see every day. I was really hoping we would catch up with her on trip 3 and sure enough, she was there and gave us a real show. We found lots of single adults on trip 3, with a real superstar among them. This female with the white chin and blaze spanning her whole tummy was just an absolute whale watchers dream. We got to watch her spyhop and roll about, she slapped her flippers against the water, showed off her belly to rival the beauty on trip 2 and gave us some lovely close encounters, all the while keeping the male whales about equally as enchanted. With the sun beginning to set, we head back to shore in awe of an unbelievably perfect day at sea. 082 926 7977info@whaleviewing.co.zawww.whaleviewing.co.zaFollow us on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/ivanhoeseasafaris/Subscribe to our Youtube Channel Here: https://bit.ly/3lZVrrl#wewatchwhales #gansbaai #whalewatching ... See MoreSee Less
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3 days ago

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
Blessed with another 3 trip day, with another on the way tomorrow! We’re absolutely stoked to be heading out to sea so often, and the whales have been treating us with gorgeous views on all of our tours! We had a little swell about today which made for some dramatic photos and some adventurous whale watching, making us wonder a bit about what it must be like for our whales in the Sub Antarctic. Cape Cormorants where a plenty today, gracing our bay with their ethereal presence as they descended on the water in their thousands to fish. We also got to watch them travel in their charismatic v shaped flight pattern and do a bit of feeding a long with a couple of other seabirds. We had a little Penguin on two of our tours and spotted some cheeky Cape Fur Seals on trip two. On our first tour, we had 4 cow calf pairs about, mot of which were hanging out in such shallow water, that we were unable to pay them a visit as the Ivanhoe doesn’t make for the most practical of surfboards. The whales were relaxed and slowly moving along, but our patience was rewarded when we came across a massive baby and his even larger mom. This baby looks like he’s almost ready to begin the long trave home, fat and healthy as we hope for all our whales to be. He also showed off his gorgeous tail to us, doing a little lobtailing to finish off a delightful tour. Trip 2 was graced by a rather cheeky baby, who gave us all a wonderful surprise. We’d been watching him and mother whale amble along, with mom keeping herself between us and baby as they moved into deeper water. This pair enjoyed slightly deeper dives, which is typical of a travelling mom and calf. At first, mother seemed uninterested in our vessel and kept her distance, and we were content with watching as they moved parallel to us. On their next deep dive, we thought it might be the end of our encounter, so we went about chatting until suddenly, baby popped up below us on the bow! We were all in awe of this brave little man as he looked straight up at us, with mom waiting patiently below the boat on the other side. We could not have asked for a more wonderful sighting, and set back soon after. Trip 3 saw us spending only a touch of time with a cow calf pair after encountering a wonderful mating group of 3 very playful individuals. We had the best time watching them ad they flirted with each other, and the boat, between the beautiful backdrop of Die Plaat and the swells that not even our south easter was able to tame. We had a ton of spy hopping on this tour, much to the delight of all aboard (and perhaps some more than others). It was the sort of tour where time and words melted away to leave only us in awe of these gentle giants with whom we share a home. All in all, the most wonderful, fantastical day out at sea, and with another 3 tours tomorrow at 10am, 1pm and 3:30pm, we cannot wait to see what the ocean has in store. 082 926 7977info@whaleviewing.co.zawww.whaleviewing.co.zaFollow us on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/ivanhoeseasafaris/Subscribe to our Youtube Channel Here: https://bit.ly/3lZVrrl#wewatchwhales #gansbaai #whalewatching ... See MoreSee Less
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3 days ago

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
We've got a busy 3 trips today, so while we're out at sea, we thought we'd share some footage of South Africa's only resident pinnipeds! Cape Fur Seals are a common sight on our tours. They mostly hope that we're a fishing boat and lose interest once they realize that we are not, but we love them anyway! What we don't love is when our poor seals get entangled in ropes and looped packaging, which is why we always try to pick these dangers up when we find them out at sea. A couple of ways that you can help Cape Fur Seals is by participating in regular beach clean ups, making sure you cut all the loops and rings from your waste and last but certainly not least, support Sea Search in their quest to have their research inform policy to better protect seals from ocean pollution. 082 926 7977info@whaleviewing.co.zawww.whaleviewing.co.zaFollow us on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/ivanhoeseasafaris/Subscribe to our Youtube Channel Here: https://bit.ly/3lZVrrl#wewatchwhales #gansbaai #whalewatching ... See MoreSee Less
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4 days ago

Jax Bath
Celebrating getting Ivanhoe Sea Safaris to 1000 followers on Instagram. I fundementally still don't understand the app, and I don't think that chasing followers is a healthy thing, but at the same time, I understand that visibility in marketing is important. There are all these tips and tricks to crack the system, but I think it's important to do what's authentic to you and your product.My way has always been to lean into story and the photos I love to capture. To tell the magic as I feel it. It's not Paul Nicklen or Jean Tresfon level stuff, but it's real and true and something I hold very dear. ... See MoreSee Less
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4 days ago

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
A lucky gap in the weather!Yesterday, we had an out of this world whale watching experience just before the westerly wind came in! We set out at 8:30 to beat the blow in and succeeded marvelously, spotting over 10 Southern Right Whales, 2 large rafts of Penguins and some Cape Fur Seals. After Johan did his safety briefing, we rounded the harbour wall and protected area, moving along towards the limestone cliffs of Die Plaat. We were really hoping that the whales would be a little closer than Sopies Klip, and we were granted our wish when we spotted the first cow calf pair just off the beach.This mom and baby were moving a little deeper out and we watched as they traveled through the swell. Baby rolled over and showed off his gorgeous little flipper before the whales begun to move again. With the wind still holding off, we tried our luck and moved a little further along, soon spotting more blows. This time, a group of 3 single adults having a sultry Sunday morning. One of the whales was super distinctive with a head shaped sort of like that of a dinosaur, we watched them roll about and give the girl a little chase. Soon realizing that we had yet another mating group down the beach. With only around 40 adults up the coast to mate, to have 6 or 7 of them around in one area is super special. We never rush between whales, so we kept watching our current group and were rewarded with a mugging, resulting in us staying a little longer than planned until they allowed for us to move off. Once we begun, they seemed to have the same idea and also slowly made their way to the other group. Here is where things got a little raucous as the whales picked up on the new company and begun to enjoy it accordingly, there was a lot of PDA as the whales rubbed up against one another, with up to 4 whales tangled together at a time. The whales rolled beneath the boat and surface next to us again and again, giving all aboard some serious thrills! For some on board, this was after a long wait due to weather or no sightings in previous years, but we all agreed that this was worth the wait. As we were watching, we realized that once again, luck was on our side with a beautiful brindle bull pulling up to the party. Only around 4% of Southern Right Whales have this brindle coloration. The whales are born white in colour, with this fading to gray as they age. Mr brindle also gave us a super close pass to our delight. The photos of the whales today truly do no justice to just how spectacular our viewing really was. On our way back to the harbour we had lots of African Penguins to our absolute delight! We don’t often see large rafts here but were treated to the sight of two, which makes one especially hopeful after the tragic loss of African Penguins at Boulders beach over the weekend (which was most likely due to bee stings).We have 3 trips tomorrow (Tuesday) and would love to do 3 on Wednesday if you’d like to join us. 10am, 1pm and 3:30pm launches. Unfortunately the weekend weather looks awful, so celebrate heritage day with us early on Wednesday if you were hoping you might do so over the weekend.082 926 7977info@whaleviewing.co.zawww.whaleviewing.co.zaFollow us on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/ivanhoeseasafaris/Subscribe to our Youtube Channel Here: https://bit.ly/3lZVrrl#wewatchwhales #gansbaai #whalewatching ... See MoreSee Less
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