Renowned Gold Coast whale watching company Whales in Paradise will notch up 10 years as pioneers of the industry on the verge of this year’s annual whale migration season.
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Now known as Whales in Paradise, a decade ago, Anthony Ardern was the youngest in the world to establish a formal whale watching venture at 23, with the enterprise launching and establishing the industry on the Gold Coast.
An industry leader in the field, the owner of Whales in Paradise is also an outspoken whale advocate, conservationist and Federal Government marine environment consultant.
Mr Ardern said that he was immensely proud of the company reaching double digits and was now focussed on the season ahead.
“We’ve been doing what we love since 2005 and have always had pride in providing not just tours, but real experiences to every person that steps foot on our vessel,” Mr Ardern said.
“We have survived a long arduous decade and have ridden the ups and downs of what can be a complex and challenging tourism industry.
“So far this year the whales are steadily tracking north and our expectations are very high for some amazing experiences with them when they reach our warm waters with approximately 20,000 whales making the long journey every year.”
The very first 45-passenger Whales in Paradise vessel took the first whale watching group out on June 4 2005, where they witnessed magnificent humpback whales frolicking in the shores off the Coast.
The Sea Watch was upgraded to the Mahi Mahi, a 48 passenger luxury catamaran that immediately provided a more intimate whale encounters due to quieter engines and a more acoustically absorbent fibreglass hull.
In 2008 the vessel was upgraded again to the current 69 passenger capacity with full 360 degree view, walk around decks and water level viewing.
Mr Ardern has participated in tours and research trips throughout the world including Canada, Hawaii, and New Zealand exploring the latest research technologies and refining international best practice methods for the business and custodianship of the whales and marine environment.
“We take our responsibility as conservationists and carers for our marine life very seriously so we will continue to be vigilant in our monitoring of unsafe sea practices and standards this season as well as lobbying for the improvement of any initiatives that may be harmful to whales,” he said.
“We know that the design of Mahi Mahi provides the ultimate whale watching experience with an exclusive number of passengers on board allowing the closest encounters that are exciting to be a part of while still safe for the whales.”
To celebrate its 10th birthday Whales in Paradise will run adults at kids prices from 1-14 June when booking tours via the website using the online code – Birthday.
To be part of 10th birthday celebrations and for more information please visit www.whalesinparadise.com.au