longest-running Swim with Whale operator (formerly as
Undersea Explorer and for the last 15 years as Eye to Eye Marine Encounters),
we have spent hundreds of hours facilitating interactions with these incredible
animals and our family-run team loves nothing more than sharing our passion,
knowledge and experiences with others.
As always, our itinerary will include snorkelling and SCUBA
diving at some of the best sites on the Great Barrier Reef - the Ribbons,
while prioritizing in-water encounters with our favourite little whales,
the dwarf minkes!
But you don't have to be a SCUBA diver to enjoy this trip - in fact,
the majority of our in-water
minke whale encounters are done with snorkel. So even if you
have never snorkelled before, or regardless of your diving qualification, this
trip is for everyone!
After last year's epic trip, we
will once again be staying aboard MV Argo - a 27m motor yacht able
to spaciously accommodate 14 passengers. A large and comfortable
saloon area allows guests to spread out and have their own space
when not enjoying the outdoors. The aft deck space is well-appointed
for a BBQ lunch or dinner, and the duckboard provides plenty of
space for preparation before your next snorkel or dive. And of
course, there are plenty of viewing areas to spot whales and watch
all the action.
Dr Dean Miller will be leading the expedition on his
24th consecutive year with the minkes. Having worked with the
legendary JR and Dr Alastair Birtles for most of these years, as
well as providing research and footage to the Dwarf
Minke Whale Project. Filming these curious little whales for the
likes of Sir David Attenborough, Dean has an incredible
understanding of these animals and how to get the most out of our
unique in-water encounters.
Jenna Rumney Bsc (Hons) literally grew up alongside
the whales, having been on countless expeditions since the age of
12. She brings a passion and knowledge of all things marine, along
with experience in providing personalised service and logistical
support for extended reef adventures from many years of working in
the family business.
To get a better idea of what our minke whale expeditions look like,
please check out this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahlj8cPX-J4
To see Dean behind the scenes working on the Sir David Attenborough
Great Barrier Reef series filming the minke please click here: https://vimeo.com/user6651123
DAY 1 - Trip Begins
Enjoy an evening meal, meet the
other guests and receive a briefing
at the iconic Pier Bar Cairns. At
7pm you will board your beautiful
home for the next 6 nights "Argo"
and steam overnight to our
DAY 2-5, Great Barrier Reef
Wake up to the Ribbon Reefs
stretching out before you. Guide Dr
Dean Miller will provide an in-depth
briefing on minke whale guidelines
followed by your first snorkel/dive.
Afterwards, travel to your next reef
site, searching for whales whilst
underway. If whales are eager to
interact, don your wetsuit and enter
the water, ready for the experience
of a lifetime. Watch as their
confidence and curiosity
grow, bringing them eye to eye. If
no whales are found, continue your
adventure by exploring beautiful
coral gardens and pinnacles. In the
evenings, Dean will give an
interpretive talk or video screening
on the Minke Whale Project as well
as other marine topics.
Having a flexible itinerary will
allow us to maximise time spent with
whales while also experiencing some
of the Great Barrier Reef's best
dive sites including the
world-famous Cod Hole, Pixie’s
Pinnacle, Steve’s Bommie and Temple
DAY 6 – Lizard Island
After enjoying your last
dive/snorkel of the trip, head to a
beautiful and calm anchorage at
Lizard Island. If weather permits
spend the remainder of the day
exploring the island with the
possibility of a hike up to historic
Cook’s Look, which reveals
breath-taking views of the Reef.
DAY 7 – Trip Ends
After a light breakfast, your crew
will transfer you to Lizard Island
where a scenic low-altitude flight
will take you back to Cairns
touching down around midday.
*Please note that our itineraries
are flexible and adaptable so that
we can create the best experience
possible for our guests based on
factors such as animal sightings and
Code of Practice for dwarf minke
Eye to Eye also
offers private swim-with
Minke whale charters
across a range of
Why choose us?
The Marine Encounters team - researchers and crew - have been running swim with minke whale trips for 25 years and pioneered the swim with whale experience in Queensland. They were also instrumental in the development of guidelines that ensures
all encounters are carried out on the whales’ terms and have now been adopted by industry as World’s Best Practice.
We believe in connecting people with nature in a profound and meaningful way. Our aim is to create the best minke experience along with excellent reef snorkelling and diving.
What make Eye to Eye Marine Encounters unique?
Minkes are our priority. We maintain a flexible itinerary in order to maximise the time and quality of whale encounters.
Dive sites are selected based on weather conditions and seasonal marine attractions, not on a predetermined timeframe
Researcher presence. Our scientists actively conduct field work while on board and appreciate and encourage guest involvement (i.e. by contributing photographs and behavioural observations to the Minke Whale Project)
Our dedicated and highly skilled crew has worked with us for years and shares our passion, values and thirst for adventure and fun.
We believe in the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge as a means of enriching the marine experience.
We want to give YOU the best wildlife experience possible in the hope that it will inspire you to protect our marine treasures. Our ethos and reputation has made us the first point of call for documentary film crews, universities and marine institutes around the world. We have been fortunate enough to introduce the beautiful minke whales to IMAX, Galatee (Oceans), National Geographic and the BBC and wish to continue sharing one of world’s most incredible wildlife experiences with others.
YOUR PARTICIPATION HELPS SUPPORT THE MINKE WHALE PROJECT
Eye to Eye Marine
Encounters is still
available for private,
whole boat Minke whale
charters on a variety of
Please contact us for
more details including
prices, dates and your
For private yachts, Eye
to Eye offers the
highest level of Great
Barrier Reef and Coral
Sea guides including the
Swim with Minke Whale
For more information,
please don't hesitate to