WILD ABOUT WHALES
Guest experience testimonial
As a mother raising teenage children in the age where ‘technology rules’, to be able to share real-life wildlife experiences and connect with nature in such a personal and specialised way was an exceptional experience for our whole family.
We recently experienced the BelugaX MINKE ENCOUNTERS expedition which run June/July each year out on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. There are few words to describe having a close encounter with these streamlined beauties. On our first snorkel they kept their distance, flickers of their white underbellies in the deep blue below promised of something special. I could hear gasps of excitement from my children through their snorkels. Then by our second snorkel they became so curious and started to seek us out and at times were only an arm’s length away. Beluga is one of a small number of boats that have the special licence to offer these extraordinary wildlife encounters. As a private charter, we got to share this moment just with a small group of family and friends. To be this close to such magnificent creatures and to experience nature at its very best is humbling and inspiring.
During our time on Beluga some of us completed our Open Water Dive Course with Beluga’s dive instructor Tom Lang. The Beluga is fully fitted with excellent dive equipment and easy access dive platform for families. As brand-new divers, we were lucky enough to be on one of the best dive sites on the GBR out at Ribbons, diving on Lighthouse Bommie. Tom, was incredibly knowledgeable and pointed out all the different species of fish and corals and we were visited by sea turtles, small reef sharks, Dwarf Minke Whale, schools of barracuda and countless other species.
Those in the family not diving, were able to go fishing on Zulu, a 54ft Assegai and another member of their fleet. Our youngest son ended up catching a 20kg Spanish Mackerel. The Zulu team, led by Captain Casey Dent and client experience manager Amanda Haines seem to have eons of fishing knowhow running through their veins. They always found the fish and spent quality time teaching young fisherman the tricks of the trade. All fishing was sustainably done and we got to enjoy the catch of the day later back on board with exquisite Spanish Mackerel sashimi.
Beluga-X provided such an exquisite on-board experience, sumptuous food and dining, luxurious cabins, creature comforts on request, both private and family friendly spaces and extraordinary natural wonders, wildlife encounters and cultural exchanges on some of their other itineraries.
If they could award Michelin stars to super yachts, Chef Danny would certainly earn quite a few stars. Every meal was a feast of the senses, exquisitely presented and even had 14-year-old boys eating her salads. Who could resist. Superb variety and freshness and when hungry teens needed something extra, a 5-star club sandwich was whipped up in no time at all. Megan (Megs) Belugas chief stewardess was incredible. Nothing was too much trouble, she could read our minds and created such a perfect ship board experience that clearly demonstrated 9 years’ experience working on super yachts around the world. All of the crew under Captain Peter’s watchful eye were brilliant and made the whole experience exceptional.
It’s might seem like an unexpected trip for a family being on board a superyacht but actually it couldn’t have been more perfect. Pure luxury with lashings of creature comforts, sumptuous dining, fabulous crew providing an exceptional on-board experience while visiting extraordinary places and having life changing encounters.
Oh, and there is wifi on board but kids were too busy enjoying the very best of what nature can provide.
Thank you Beluga.
Wild About Minke’s