“Encounter an astonishing aggregation of marine wildlife on an unforgettable oceanic expedition.”
From January to April, our full day expeditions visit one of the least explored places on earth, and the only place in Australia you can reliably encounter killer whales (orca), the ocean’s undisputed apex predator.
As the pristine and scenic bays and cliffs of one of the worlds most ancient coastlines slip from sight, the sparkling turquoise waters change to the deep blue of the southern ocean. Seabirds fill the sky as we leave the continental shelf behind and the sea floor plummets, now up to 3.5 kilometres below our keels.
Many dreams come true as tall black dorsal fins scythe the surface of the Southern Ocean. Orca families (pods) often approach and surround our vessel, playful giants just as curious as their human observers. If encountered hunting, be awed at the transformation to deadly black and white missiles that rocket through the ocean. The boiling mass of bodies and blood as they make a kill will take your breath away. You may even experience the wonder of seeing a newborn calf, or feel a profound sense of privilege as the pod engage in social behaviour, unconcerned by your delighted observation.
Your experience has another unique and special dimension. Our expedition voyages provide and important opportunity to learn more about these southern ocean stars. Photo identification is a non-invasive technique that has been used by scientists around the world to study whale and dolphin populations. Each animal within a population is unique, and has characteristics and markings which distinguish it from other individuals. Individual orca have variations in the shape of the dorsal fin, the white eye patch, and the grey marking on the back (the saddle). These are as unique as a human fingerprint!
Our photographers capture photo ID shots of the animals we encounter to contribute to the growing database of individuals. As a citizen scientist, your ID shots also make a valuable contribution to this important research, conducted by Project Orca. View the catalog and meet the orca of the Bremer Canyon here.
In addition to the incredible experience of seeing orca in the wild, you may also be able to hear them if conditions permit. Killer whales spend their entire life in a family pod, and communicate with a complex language of sounds. The language of each pod is unique, so recording vocalisations also helps researchers learn more about the lives of this iconic species.
The Bremer Canyon teems with life that is weird, wonderful and mostly unseen due to distance and depth, and our expeditions also collect information about this abundance of life, big and small, helping unlock the mysteries above and below the waves. Pelagic seabird surveys, plankton surveys, shark research and collection of water quality data are conducted on expeditions.
Your expedition may see pods of long-finned pilot whales, sperm whales, a rare beaked whale and the largest animal to ever have lived, the blue whale. You can also admire the acrobatics of large pods of bottlenose, striped, and common dolphins, and encounter shark species that include great whites, whaler sharks, and the beautiful oceanic blue, a species never seen from shore. Enormous oceanic sunfish surface, disc shaped bodies sometimes 2 meters across. The remains of giant squid sometimes float on the surface, a predator of the deep reduced to scraps, squabbled over by an astonishing array of pelagic seabirds including albatross, shearwater and petrel species. Rare species are sighted each season, including the Barau’s and Black-Bellied Storm Petrel. The Bremer Canyon is a place like no other on the planet. Your experience like no other in your life.
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Bremer Bay Canyon Killer Whale Exhibitions
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