BOSTON—Offering what they describe as an “unforgettable” opportunity to get “up close and personal” with the region’s marine life, sources confirmed this week that Boston-based cruise line Harbor Excursions has begun operating daily whale ramming tours.
Representatives for the company say that its newest expedition allows customers to marvel at the beauty and sheer size of finbacks, minkes, and several other species of whales native to Massachusetts Bay as they are spotted, pursued, and violently slammed into by the company’s 45-foot, diesel-powered tour boat.
“Our new tour gives passengers the chance to observe firsthand some of the ocean’s most majestic animals as we relentlessly bash into them at speeds up to 40 miles per hour,” said Captain Richard McDermott, noting that the shoals off the coast of New England rank among the world’s best places to view and subsequently blindside whales as they engage in their annual migration through the region. “While out on the open water aboard our fully equipped ramming vessels, passengers will be able to relax, enjoy breathtaking views of the shoreline, and marvel at the sight of beautiful, majestic whales taking direct hits square in the ribcage.”
“Witnessing violent high-speed collisions with these awe-inspiring creatures is an experience like no other,” he continued.
Departing from Boston Harbor at 9 a.m. every morning during the peak whale ramming months of March through October, the three-hour outings reportedly showcase the grace and abject fear of the region’s whales as they are plowed into by the ship’s steel-reinforced hull and left incapacitated a handful of miles off the Atlantic coast.
According to the Harbor Excursions website, ticket holders will enjoy a complimentary light continental breakfast on deck as crew members navigate the bay’s krill-rich feeding grounds in hopes of barrelling directly into a 55-foot-long humpback whale’s spinal column the moment it breaches the water’s surface.
Additionally, officials confirmed that onboard experts will explain to passengers how gravely battered whales produce complex vocalizations, or “songs,” in an attempt to warn their pods of danger as they vainly attempt to evade the tour company’s sonar-equipped watercraft.
“I always knew these animals were impressive, but there is nothing like being out on the water and seeing these enormous creatures get run over right in front of you and actually feeling the deck shudder when their bodies get caught on the ship’s prow,” said Wellesley, MA resident Loretta Foy, 46, who noted the company’s guarantee that customers will see at least one whale bashed into unconsciousness or they will receive a voucher for a future trip. “And on the way back to shore, we even got to plow full speed through an entire group of bottlenose dolphins.”
“I just wish I had gotten some better pictures,” she added. “All you can see in mine is a severed tail.”
McDermott told reporters that the 120-person tours tend to fill up quickly and are typically booked by families, corporate retreats, and elementary school field trip groups, all of whom he said are left completely in awe when watching whales take the full brunt of a fast-moving five-ton vessel directly to their midsections. He also explained that customers are free to roam both the ship’s upper and lower decks, allowing them to get the best view of the whales’ crumpled bodies.
The captain cautioned, however, that the tour may not be ideal for those who are easily made seasick.
“It’s always a special moment to watch our passengers’ eyes light up when they see their first whale struck head-on and then get dragged underneath the boat,” McDermott said. “Sometimes we’ll come upon a mother nursing her calf and we’ll max the engines to take them both out in one charge, and on other days we’ll get really lucky and a whale will spout its blood right onto the deck. It’s a new experience every time.”
“These animals are so magnificent,” he continued. “Everyone owes it to themselves to see them now before they’re gone forever.”