Whale Shark Tour, important safety info

Discussion in 'Cancun Forum' started by 212eric, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. 212eric

    212eric Guest

    +0 / 0
    I just spoke to one of the tour operators for a whale shark tour to Isla Mujeres. I wanted to learn more about the tour and asked several questions. One of my questions is what makes their tour different from the others. One thing really stuck with me that I HAVE TO CONVEY:

    She mentioned that while most of the tours are the same and take guests to the same spots, many of the boats that take people on this popular tour have been known to over book. However this doesn't mean that they will turn people away and lose their money. What it means is that they will cram more people on their boats, above and beyond what the legal limit allows. Yes, I know it may come as a surprise to many but there are some rules in Mexico and these tour operators must obtain licenses to do what they do. The problem is she explained to me is that enforcement is nearly impossible when the boats are out on the open water. Therefore most over book and some don't even have the proper license to do the tour in the first place.

    The woman I spoke to works for the tour that is booked via Entertainment Plus 2x1 Discounts. I realize that there will be some who would consider this to be an endorsement for EP 2x1 and the whale shark tour company they book with. To that I wholeheartedly say I agree, that's what it is. This is not to say that there aren't other reputable tour companies doing the whale shark tour, it's just that this is the one I know about that is. That being said, this company does not have the problem of overbooking and subsequently putting people in danger by over populating their boats. This is because they have 4 boats and rent space on others if needed. For my money, especially when on vacation in a foreign country, safety comes before fun. In both instances it would be unsafe and unfun to be shoulder to shoulder with people on an over packed tour boat.

    Finally, if anyone notices what I have mentioned here, and finds other reputable companies, or unsafe ones, please mention them by name on this bulletin board?

    212eric V.P.
  2. Laura Mapchick

    Laura Mapchick Guest

    +0 / 0
    I don't know anything about the company that Brant uses, but I am sure if he uses them they are reputable.

    I want to mention a very good friend of mine who does whale shark tours from Isla Mujeres, his name is Ramon Guerrero Garcia, and is a lifelong resident/fisherman of Isla.

    For the next two years Ramon will be in charge of inspection in the
    National Subcommite for the conservation and managment of the Whale shark and its Habitat. This man is awesome, I have personally gone on the whale shark tour with him. On our tour was also a biologist with Sermant. If you have the opportunity to be in the area during whale shark season definitely go!
    Check out Ramon's website, and read the rules on his website. The amount of people on a tour is by the size of the boat.

    Also if anyonoe tries to sell you a tour for less than $125 per person they are probably not a legal operation. I know the Temptation to go cheaper, but, we want the whale sharks to keep coming to this area, and unlicensed operators who are not educated and don't know what they're doing can cause great harm to the whale sharks. So, please fight the urge to save some bucks.
  3. Laura Mapchick

    Laura Mapchick Guest

    +0 / 0
    also, these tours don't go to Isla Mujeres, they go further out towards Contoy island
  4. Cancun Fun

    Cancun Fun Guest

    +0 / 0
    Whale Sharks by Entertainment Plus

    Thanks Eric! The company we use goes to Holbox and they only allow 10 people on each boat. Each pair of snorkelers goes into the water (with the guide) to swim with the Whale Sharks for 5-10 minutes at a time, until everyone gets a turn, each person getting 2-3 turns.

    I totally agree with Mapchick about the Temptation to go cheaper (these are expensive tours), but it is really importation to go with only a licensed tour operator. Thanks for mentioning that.
  5. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

    Feb 14, 2003
    Likes Received:
    +7,195 / 14
    I agree that if Brants using them with Entertainment Plus then he will have checked out that they have all the appropriate permissions first.

    I think you'd find though that if you called any of their competing operators and asked them questions about the same issues you'd have a hard time finding one who said "yeah we overcrowd our boats and dont have the proper licenses".

    I'm not convinced an international telephone chat with a company rep qualifies as a valid endorsement. I'd rather hear direct from people who have actually used a company for the services they offer and listen to what they actually experienced.

    Also Eric, please dont link to cancuntop100 (using your ref code) as a means of people finding the Entertainment Plus link, there's a link in every footer of every page on the forum already. Please refer them there.
  6. Penny Penguin

    Penny Penguin Guest

    +0 / 0
    We have booked this tour through Entertainment Plus for next week. I'll report back how fabulous everything was. Hopefully I'll have some great pics too.
  7. 212eric

    212eric Guest

    +0 / 0
    Steve, you are right on two fronts and probably more. What I can tell you is that from my conversation, the boats that are supposed to be only allowing 8 passengers were described as taking as many as 12. I agree though, it would be nice to get an eyewitness account from someone other than one of the operators.

    As for Entertainment Plus, I forgot that there's a banner link at the bottom, I apologize about that.

  8. Laura Mapchick

    Laura Mapchick Guest

    +0 / 0
    I'll add one more thing, only a limited amount of operators were given permits to do these tours.

    I'm not saying that over loading boats would never happen, but getting these permits to do the whale shark tour is a privilege they don't want to lose. It's very good business to have.

    The main thing people need to watch for is illegal operators . The authorities are patrolling the waters, this is serious stuff.
    If you are on an unlicesend boat, you will probably lose your money and not get to see any whale sharks.
    So, book with soemone reputable like Brant or my friend Ramon. I know there are other good operators out there, but I feel confident recommending these 2.
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