Frequently Asked Questions

What types of trip are available?

We offer three types of trip from Whitstable each carrying a maximum of 12 passengers.

Seal Safari
On this trip lasting at least one and a half hours we take you to visit our local colony of Harbour Seals. Trip also available as a “Whole boat charter”

30 minute “Round the Bay” trips
Spend a leisurely half an hour seeing the Whitstable and Tankerton coastline from the sea.

Trip also available as a “Whole boat charter”

Private Charter
Have your own idea what you would like to do? We can offer trips to mark Birthdays, Anniversaries, Engagements and also Ashes internments. Please contact us to discuss your wishes.

Will we definitely see seals on our Seal Safari?

Whilst we have always seen seals so far on these trips they are wild animals in their natural environment and we can offer no guarantee that we will see them.

Do we have to book in advance?

We strongly recommend booking our very popular Seal Safari trips in advance.

Our round the bay trips are generally “turn up and go” on the day but we can reserve places for those who may wish to do so for special occasions.

Private charters should also usually be booked in advance.

How do we book?

You can enquire about availability and book your tickets by either visiting us at our ticket hut on the harbour (open subject to weather and tides during the season), via Facebook messenger (our preferred method of contact) or by emailing us at We do not operate telephone booking.

How do we pay?

We usually take payment at our ticket hut just before we sail and you can do so by card or cash. Whole boat charters may be subject to payment in advance via BACS.

How much does it cost?

Our Seal Safaris are priced at £30 per person and our round the bay trips are £10 per person. Children 5 and under are half price and infants up 1 year are free.

We also offer “Whole boat Charters” which cost £300 for the Seal Safari and £100 for the Round the bay trip.

The maximum number of passengers we can take on any of our trips is 12.

What happens if the trip is cancelled?

Safety is paramount to us and this means that unfortunately during certain weather conditions it may be necessary for us to cancel trips right up to the point of sailing. We do not cancel trips due to rain.

We do however try to give as much notice as possible and endeavour to do so by the evening prior to your trip.

If we do cancel your trip, you will receive a full refund and we will do our best to offer you an alternative date.

What happens if I cancel the trip?

Whole boat charters which have been paid for must be cancelled more than seven days in advance in order to receive a full refund. No refund is given for less than seven days’ notice.

Are children half price?

Children 5 and under are half price and infants up to 1 go free.

Are there any facilities on board?

“The Chieftain” is an open decked vessel with no shelter or toilet facilities available. A public convenience is located close to our embarkation point for use prior to sailing.

Is there an age restriction on children?

Our Round the bay trips do not have an age restriction but on our Seal Safaris we strongly recommend that you consider whether younger children will be comfortable at sea for up to two hours with no shelter available.

Age-appropriate Lifejackets are provided for all passengers and we ask that those children under ten wear theirs at all times whilst aboard.

What if I have mobility or health issues?

If you have any concerns about access or personal safety on board please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss them. Access to our boat is via a sloping gangway followed by two or three steps across and in to the boat.

We are unfortunately unable to offer wheelchair access due to the design of our boat.

Can we bring our dog?

Well behaved sea dogs are welcome on our Round the Bay trips but we do not take dogs on our Seal Safaris.

Is food and alcohol allowed on board.

Passengers are welcome to bring food and drink on board in moderation but anyone appearing to be inebriated on arrival will be refused permission to board and may not be refunded their ticket price.

Will we get wet ?

Hopefully not but The Chieftain is an open boat with no cabins. Some of our trips can be a bit choppy leading to spray coming onboard. We recommend bringing a water proof top and also a warm layer with you as it can sometimes be chillier at sea than on land. We do carry spray jackets for everyone if you get caught out.

How safe is it?

Safety is our top priority and our boat is fully compliant with all required safety legislation. She is equipped with a life raft and age appropriate lifejackets for all persons onboard and carries an extensive list of additional safety equipment.

Your skipper is fully qualified for commercial operations and has over forty years experience of operating in the seas around this coast including 38 years on the crew of the local Lifeboat.

If you have any other questions then please get in touch. The easiest way is to send us a message by Facebook Messenger, the icon to which you will see on our page.