Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I come on Imagine?

We have a passion for our local marine environment and sailing and we love to share it, with over 20years of experience within Port Stephens. We always have your safety and comfort in mind and always have time for a chat, so in no time at all you will feel like you're part of the family... welcome onboard! Our Vision: We are a unique, boutique operation with ongoing efforts toward the protection of Whales and Dolphins and to help make Port Stephens a model of Ecotourism. We are comitted to long term growth, improving our skills, Imagine, sailing and our services, to give our guests fun, educational and personal cruises and friendly professional charters at best value. Imagine, is dedicated to the protection of Dolphins and Whales…

Where is Envision Located?

Envision is located on dock C at the d’Albora Marinas, which is on Teramby Road in Nelson Bay. Dock C is opposite the Aqua Blu Café (closest to the waters edge.) We are on the left hand side just near the entrance ramp, opposite Bay Booking Office.  The Big Red Boat. You can find some maps and other information by clicking here

Where is Imagine located?

Imagine is located on dock C at the d’Albora Marinas, which is on Teramby Road in Nelson Bay. Dock C is opposite the Aqua Blu Café (closest to the waters edge.) We are 60m from the Dock C entrance, half way down the dock. Please do not ask directions at the floating ‘Boat Hire and Cruise Bookings’ office on the dock as we are just 50m further: The big white sailing cat with blue carpeted steps. You can find some maps and other information by clicking here

Is there car parking available?

4 hour car parking is available at the d’Albora Marina and also Victoria Parade. The car parking must be paid for between the hours of 8:30am – 4:30pm (after 4:30pm FREE) at a cost of between $2.20 - $3.00 per hour depending on the time of year / holidays etc. Car parking is FREE in some streets of Nelson Bay just a short stroll from the Marina eg: LAMAN st or CHURCH st

How can I make an Enquiry or Booking? & How do I pay?

If you are making an enquiry you may like to fill out our email enquiry form here or call us directly on 02 4984 9000. There are a few options to book: Phone 02 4984 9000 - if there is availability for your chosen cruise & time, you will be required to purchase your tickets over the phone with VISA or MasterCard, & supply us with a contact mobile phone number. In exchange for a ticket number &/or confirmation email with your details to quote when boarding. To Pay Cash/Eftpos: You can call into our office 17 Port Stephens Dr Anna Bay to purchase tickets, or into one of our three agents Visitor Information Centre, Bay Booking Office & Cruise Booking Agency- all three of these agents sell tickets on our behalf and can accept cash/eftpos. Online Booking: You can purchase your tickets by clicking: http://book.tourmanager.com.au/?q=16385 & selecting date, pax & cruise you would like to book onto. You will recieve an email confirmation which is your itinery/ticket for your cruise. If you are overseas when making your booking you may like to use our direct online booking service. We suggest you research your cruise on our website and then click the Book Now button- please be aware of where Nelson Bay d'Albora Marina (our departing address) is in traveling time to & from your place of accommodation.

What if I need to cancel my cruise?

CANCELLATION POLICY Please note that Imagines cruises depart at the time specified with boarding being 15 minutes before. Arriving late for a cruise will result in FULL FARE being charged. Imagine Cruises takes no responsibility for the weather. Cruises cancelled as a result of Bad weather are done so for safety reasons. In the event of a cruise being cancelled due to bad weather as much notice as possible will be given. We will then offer you a full refund or an alternative day you can transfer your booking to. Imagine requires minimum of  8 full fare paying customers for a cruise to run, cruise will be cancelled if this quota is not met. If you change your mind & wish to cancel your cruise (please phone 49849000)  a 20% handling charge will incur  however if you cancel within 24hours of your departure time  or you fail to notify us of cancellation- Full Fare will be charged & NO REFUND will be given- you will then be issued an open ticket to the value of your booking to be used at a later date.

What if my cruise is cancelled?

Imagine will try to give you as much notice as possible if we need to cancel a cruise, this is why we ask for a mobile phone contact number on booking. CANCELLATION POLICY Please note that Imagines cruises depart at the time specified with boarding being 15 minutes before. Arriving late for a cruise will result in FULL FARE being charged. Imagine Cruises takes no responsibility for the weather. Cruises cancelled as a result of Bad weather are done so for safety reasons. In the event of a cruise being cancelled due to bad weather as much notice as possible will be given. We will then offer you a full refund or an alternative day you can transfer your booking to. Imagine requires minimum of  8 full fare paying customers for a cruise to run, cruise will be cancelled if this quota is not met. If you change your mind & wish to cancel your cruise (please phone 49849000)  a 20% handling charge will incur  however if you cancel within 24hours of your departure time  or you fail to notify us of cancellation- Full Fare will be charged & NO REFUND will be given- you will then be issued an open ticket to the value of your booking to be used at a later date.

What if the weather is bad? rain, storms etc?

PLEASE DO NOT ASSUME A CRUISE IS CANCELLED IF IT IS RAINING If you have concerns about the weather please ring our office on 02 4984 9000 for weather updates. Imagine Cruises has your safety in mind at all times. There are Wet weather jackets on board and Imagine is the only boat in the Port to have a covered foredeck and aft deck as well as our fully enclosed cabin area. Envision has ample shelter with clear plastic sides & roof at the back of the vessel. CANCELLATION POLICY Please note that Imagines cruises depart at the time specified with boarding being 15 minutes before. Arriving late for a cruise will result in FULL FARE being charged. Imagine Cruises takes no responsibility for the weather. Cruises cancelled as a result of Bad weather are done so for safety reasons. In the event of a cruise being cancelled due to bad weather as much notice as possible will be given.. PLEASE DO NOT ASSUME A CRUISE IS CANCELLED IF IT IS RAINING, If it is raining please ring our office on 02 4984 9000. If you decide on the day you do not wish to come on a cruise at least 4 hours notice needs to be given by calling our office on 02 4984 9000 (if the number is not answered you may leave a message). Imagine reserves the right to cancel a cruise if there are less than 8 paying passengers per cruise.

How big is the vessel? Is it Safe?

Capable of long ocean crossings, Imagine is very safe and stable in offshore waters. ‘Imagine’ our 15.8 metre, ocean sailing catamaran built using modern construction methods to enable her to sail well with a full guest compliment of 50 passengers offshore nd 60 inside the bay. Imagine’s inherent safety and stability is achieved by bulb bows, an extreme beam of 9 metres and a very low centre of gravity. Her draft of just 1 metre enables operation in Port Stephens shallowest waters, perfect for Dolphin Watching in the bay. Suited to people of all ages there is room to fit prams/strollers in the main cabin. With its single level main deck and handrails higher than recommended and incorporating an extra intermediate rail Imagine is both comfortable and safe for families. The fore & aft decks offer sun protection as well as the main cabin. Envision is a 12 meter power cat designed to deliver guests directly onto beaches/land. Our vessels have been specially tailored to deliver the best possible experience.

Is the boat Wheelchair friendly / accessable?

Having friends with disabilities, Imagine Cruises wanted to create a wheel chair friendly access, but being a sailing boat, providing access has been more difficult than previously thought. Unfortunately we do not have 'stay in chair access.' Still people with limited movement / disabilities are very welcome, our crew are experienced and the boarding is easy – it is just a few steps that separate the dock from the “queen seat” at the stern and toilet facilities close by. Chairs or walkers can be stored in the main cabin area while on board. Envision is all one level with ample room for wheelchairs to be set up (provided functioning brakes are working), although vessel does not have wheel on access due to the size of the vessel doors, it is flat entry with no stairs- our crew are experience and willing to assist passengers from dock wharf to chair on vessel with one step.

Are there toilets?

Yes, on Imagine there are two toilets onboard. All effluent is stored in holding tanks on board and safely pumped out at onshore facilities. Envision also has one portable toilet onboard- however it is recommended to use facilities before cruising on Envision.

Is there food and drink available? Can I bring my own?

Imagine provides FREE tea, coffee, drinking water and biscuits.  Soft drinks, Alcohol, Fruit, Potato chips (crisps) and Chocolate can be purchased from the bar. As we are licensed there is NO BYO Alcohol. You are quite welcome to bring food onboard ( fruit, sandwiches, snack bars recommended) Please remember there will be other people on board the vessel with you and it may not be possible to have a seat at a table for a 3 course meal! If you have not travelled offshore previously and are worried about the possibility of motion sickness we recommend eating lightly and staying away from orange juice and coffee before & during your cruise. Unfortunately Envision does not have facilities, other then complimentary bottled water, You are more then welcome to bring other food & drinks on board Envision.

What should I wear & bring with me?

Flat shoes  (NO high heels permitted) thongs / flip flops are OK.  Something warm in case it gets cold. If you are going in the water swimmers and towel, camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat for sun protection, binoculars. You are quite welcome to bring food on board but no Alcohol. Whale Season? It is heavily recommended that you dress in layers & bring warm appropriate jackets. Although it can be a nice & sunny day within Nelson Bay, offshore conditions are quiet different- sometimes with quiet "wintery" conditions.

What if I get seasick?

Motion sickness or ‘Sea sickness’ can be different for individuals. Generally we have a close to zero rate of motion sickness during inshore cruises. Portions of the Snorkelling cruise, Fingal Island, Broughton Island and Whale watch tours are conducted in the open ocean and sea conditions vary from day to day and even hour to hour. PREVENTION is better than CURE.  If you are susceptible to motion sickness or feel you may need remedies we strongly recommend you consult a pharmacist before any tour as there can be side effects if you are taking other medication or pregnant. In the case that you are unable to consult a pharmacist we offer motion-sickness prevention for free onboard before the tour,  but pharmicists recommend taking them 1 hour before the cruise. These tablets are NOT a cure for motion sickness.

Am I guaranteed to see a Whale or Dolphin?

Whales are wild animals so there is no absolute guarantee. However, Imagine Cruises has an extremely high success rate in finding whales from mid May – mid November. Dolphins live in Port Stephens all year round and it is highly unlikely not to see them. In the case of a 'miss' or poor sightings we will offer you a free return ticket to use at a later date.

What happens if I don’t see a Whale or Dolphin?

If your tour does not see a whale on a Whale Watch cruise (both Imagine & Envision) or a Dolphin on a Dolphin Watch or +Snorkelling Cruise we will offer a return ticket. We do not give cash refunds. If the tour is cancelled, a full refund will be provided. Separate refund conditions apply to Combo Ticket passengers. *Please note that the Seafood Dinner Cruise, and all Envision Cruises are not classed as Dolphin Watching cruise.