FAQ –Frequently Asked Questions
When and how can I make a reservation?
Trips can only be booked a few days in advance, as due to the changing weather and sea conditions, we are only able to schedule departure times when we have a reliable weather report..
For online reservations please use our form. However, we recommend that you make a reservation by calling (0034) 956 627 008, so we can give you recommendations for the calmest excursions in terms of sea swell. All our employees speak English fluently.
Payment will be made on the day of your departure at our harbour office.
Until when can I cancel free of charge?
Free cancellations are possible until the departure of the boat. However, we ask you to inform us as early as possible so that we can assign the places to other guests.
Can travel times change even though I have made a confirmed booking?
Travel times can change at any time (even on the same day). Sometimes we even have to cancel a trip at short notice because of the weather. In our overview you can see the current status of your trip. If it appears in yellow or red, please call us at (0034) 956 627 008. All our employees speak English fluently.
Do I get my money back if a tour is cancelled?
The payment always takes place on the day of the journey in our office. It is therefore unlikely that you have already paid for a cancelled trip.
However, if a trip is cancelled after payment, you will get your money back. Please report immediately to our counter. You are then welcome to change your booking if there are more tours on the same day or on the following days.
Where is the meeting point respectively the departure point?
The meeting point is the harbour office (marked MEETING POINT in the flyer). Walk into the harbour. Our office is on the right hand side, next to the diving school. (see map in the footer of the website)
Please park your car outside, it is not allowed to park in the harbour itself. (see "Parking")
When do the trips take place?
As our activity is completely dependent on weather and sea conditions, there are no fixed time table. The departure times are adapted daily to wind, swell, tides, etc. in order to always guarantee the best possible tours. The planned trips for the next days can be found in our overview on the website. For more detailed information, we always recommend that you contact us by phone.
How long do the trips take?
There are 2-hour and 3-hour boat trips. We meet one hour before departure for an interesting information talk. (For early departures at 8:00, 9:00 or 10:00 it is sufficient if you arrive 30 minutes before departure. In these cases we will give the information talk after the trip.)
The 2-hour trip takes place throughout the entire season in the Strait of Gibraltar. The special 3-hour trips are only offered in July/August when there is the possibility of Orca sightings.
As these are wild animals, we of course cannot guarantee sightings, even if we see whales and dolphins with a chance of 99 percent based on our experience.
Why are there only 3-hour trips in summer?
The special 3-hour trip is only offered in July/August, as long as there is the possibility to spot Orcas. The Orcas come into the Strait of Gibraltar during the migration of the large bluefin tunas. There is no exact date or guarantee for Orca sightings. In general, however, the possibility exists from the beginning of July to the middle/end of August.
On the three-hour trip, we drive further in the direction of the Atlantic Ocean in search of Orcas. If we are successful, we stay with the Orcas. In this case you will probably not see any other marine mammals on the trip. However, if we don't find any Orcas, we would go to another area to look for other whale or dolphin species.
Why are there no excursions on some days?
On days with strong winds, excursions are not possible due to the usually very strong swell. The weather can change at any time; the wind can last for several days.
For detailed information on the possible travel times, please call +34-956-627008
What can I expect?
We'll meet at the harbour office an hour before departure. There you will get your tickets. (For early departures at 8:00, 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. it is sufficient if you arrive 30 minutes before departure. In these cases we will give the information talk after the trip.)
In an approximately 30-minute multilingual introduction (at least offered in German, English and Spanish, introductions separated by language) you will receive interesting information about the Strait of Gibraltar, the whale and dolphin species found here and the work of our foundation. This feature of our trips is very much appreciated by firmm-visitors.
A firmm-guide will then accompany you on the boat and will be available at any time during the trip to answer your questions and/or help you with any problems. During the observation trip you will receive information about all sightings in German, English and Spanish (occasionally also in French) via loudspeakers.
Which animals can I see on the tour?
All year round there are Common Dolphins, Striped (Blue-white) Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Pilot Whales and Fin Whales in the Strait of Gibraltar. In spring and autumn we also meet Sperm Whales from time to time. In July/August Orcas could also be present. Information about the different. species can be found on our subpage Whales and Dolphins.
Please note, however, that these are animals in the wild. Even if we sight whales and/or dolphins on 99 percent of our trips, there is never any guarantee that we will be successful and/or what species we encounter.
Is it allowed to swim/dive with the animals?
Swimming or diving with whales or dolphins is prohibited by law in Spain. Furthermore, this would be extremely risky due to the high shipping traffic and the currents in the Strait of Gibraltar. It is also not our philosophy to disturb the animals unnecessarily.
Is it allowed to touch the animals or feed them?
Under no circumstances should food or other items be thrown overboard! The animals could suffer great harm as a result.
What if I haven't seen any dolphins or whales?
In the extremely rare case that we don't see any dolphins or whales on a trip, you get a free ticket for a 2-hour trip. This ticket is valid for an unlimited period and can also be transferred to other persons. Please note, however, that you must reserve a seat for the desired alternative trip by telephone.
How many people fit on the boat?
We have 2 boats: The firmm-VISION has room for up to 100 people and underwater view. The smaller firmm-SPIRIT offers space for up to 60 persons, but without underwater view.
Are there life jackets on board?
Of course there are life jackets on board for all passengers, including children and babies. The life jackets are not distributed automatically, only in an emergency.
Where can I park?
Please park your car outside the harbour, there is no parking in the harbour itself.
In Tarifa there are several parking areas outside the old town (at a fee). Plan enough time for parking, especially in high season!
Do people get seasick?
How quickly one gets seasick depends. Every person is different. Our staff will be happy to assist you with any problems you may have.
If you know in advance that you are prone to seasickness, you can buy tablets at the pharmacy. You should take them at least one hour before departure so that they can take effect. We are not allowed and cannot distribute medicine!
firmm-advice: Breathe in and out deeply (take in a lot of oxygen) and look at the horizon.
Is the trip suitable for children?
Our trips and lectures are suitable and interesting for children of all ages. Prams cannot be taken on board, but you can leave them in our harbour office.
Is the trip suitable for people with disabilities?
Our trips are of course also suitable for people with disabilities and are enthusiastically appreciated by them. Passengers with intellectual disabilities must, however, be accompanied. People with walking disabilities or wheelchairs should only take part in the excursions when the sea is calm.
Each boat has room for one wheelchair.
You are welcome to leave your wheelchair in our harbour office during the boat trip. On request, a firmm-employee will take the wheelchair from the jetty to the office and bring it back to the pier when the boat returns.
If you have any further questions, just give us a call and we will be happy to advise you:: (0034) 956 627 008 (all employees answering the phone speak English fluently.)
Can I be on the boat if I'm pregnant?
In general, pregnant women are of course allowed to take part in the excursions, but please inform us of your pregnancy when making your reservation.
From the 7th month of pregnancy, in the case of high-risk pregnancies or heavy swell, participation is unfortunately not possible for safety reasons. In individual cases or when the sea is rough, the captain can decide this even at short notice before departure.
Are dogs allowed on board?
No, sorry. Dogs aren't allowed on the boat.
Are there toilets on board?
Of course there's a toilet on board. Before and after the trip you can also use our guest toilet in the harbour office.
Are there meals and drinks on board?
We do not offer meals or drinks on board. You can buy water at the harbour office. Of course you can bring your own food on board.
Do I need special clothing?
We recommend comfortable clothing, non-slip shoes and sun protection. Since it can always be cooler at sea than on land, you should bring a jacket with you, especially in spring and autumn.
Is it allowed to smoke on the boat?
Smoking is not allowed on our boats. Even in open areas smoking is absolutely forbidden.
Is it allowed to take photos?
Of course you are very welcome to photograph and film the animals. However, the use of drones is prohibited.
Is there WIFI on board?
There is no WIFI on the boat. Furthermore, it is very likely that we will get into the Moroccan telephone network during the trip - no European roaming!
We therefore recommend that you switch your mobile phone to flight mode during the trip.