With the recent easing of restrictions, Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours are looking forward to recommencing our tours, albeit in a very different way. In order to minimise risks, Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours are closely monitoring all updates on the global effects of the Corona Virus and as such are following the advice and precautions suggested by health and government authorities including the World Health Organisation and Australia’s Dept of Health.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Australia has brought with it many changes to the way we conduct our business and to our lives in general. Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours is dedicated to the health and safety of all customers, our crew and our community. We have taken additional precautions to create a safe, clean and enjoyable environment while on tour with us.
We are receiving enquiries regarding our tours and how they may be affected by COVID-19. We’ve taken this opportunity and listed our responses to some frequently asked questions and to address any concerns our potential passengers may have going forward:
Are Kings Ningaloo Reef Tours Open?
We will be available for bookings from the 15th May 2020. At this time we do encourage potential customers to utilise our online booking service and secure payment methods. We have had a fabulous return to the water with several Whale sharks spotted and swum with each tour we’ve had so far. The Humpback Whales have also made an appearance, not to mention a few dugongs as well.
At this point in time our tours are available for Gascoyne residents and travellers already within the region until regional and interstate borders are re-opened for leisure travel. We look forward to welcoming travellers from other parts of the state soon.
Ensuring we have the latest information from the most qualified sources, we aim to keep you safe and our tours running, while implementing strict hygiene standards for the safety of all passengers and crew. During this time of uncertainty, we will do everything we can to support our community and our passengers to get out into nature and enjoy an adventure in their own backyard. Should current conditions or regulations shift, we will update all our passengers as required.
Operating processes in place during COVID-19?
We continue to monitor recommendations from the WHO, CDC, and state and federal governments so we remain up-to-date on the latest information and safety protocols and ensure we follow all regulations for the safety of our passengers and community.
- All our crew have completed training courses in regards to COVID 19. They have completed the mandatory AHA Hospitality & Tourism COVID-19 Hygiene Course as well as the Infection Control Training – COVID 19 as facilitated by the Dept of Health.
- While not mandatory, we do recommend that all our passengers upload the COVID Safe app
- We have completed our registration as a COVID Clean Practicing Business through the Tourism Council WA
- A non contact Infrared Thermometer will be utilised to ensure all passengers are screened prior to boarding the bus or if meeting us at Tantabiddi, boarding the vessel.
- Passengers are requested to follow the physical distancing guidelines of 1.5m unless from the same household.
- All crew will increase hand washing frequency and will use gloves when appropriate to do so. Alcohol based Hand Sanitiser will be available for both passengers and crew within our vehicles and on board our vessel.
- Common contact surfaces will be sanitised frequently throughout the day, in our office and on board- tables, door handles, benches etc. A cleaning register has been implemented to record frequency.
- We maintain our current standards for disinfecting all snorkel equipment. We understand that some people may feel more comfortable using their own gear which is absolutely fine.
- Good hygiene practices are displayed and encouraged for all passengers to follow
- We ask that passengers, along with their personal belongings also bring their own water bottle with them that can be refilled onboard.
- Online booking information has been amended to include each passengers responsibilities in regards to hygiene and Covid 19 contact tracing
We ask that if any passenger is experiencing any signs or symptoms of illness, or have been in close contact with a confirmed case, you follow government’s regulations and do not attend our tour at this time.
How will the tour be different during the pandemic?
Kings will continue to offer the same high quality tour experience as always, although there will be a few differences to our tour product.
While our local caterer will remain closed at this time, we will also be preparing meals on board, freshly made right before your eyes. Dietary requirements will still be catered for, please just advise at time of booking. Other than that we are still offering the same quality tour that we are renowned for.
Is it safe to go on the Boat?
Kings have always maintained a high standard of hygiene with surfaces wiped down regularly and all snorkel equipment washed in antibacterial wash after use. This will be continued and monitored as per our OSH policy.
We never had the opportunity to commence our normal season before our operation went into hibernation due to the pandemic, so there have been no commercial passengers on board our vessel since last year. The Magellan is pristine, sparkly clean and ready to go.
The boat has a large deck area with passengers able to access areas on the bow, the back deck and fly bridge. Physical distancing will be respected on our vessel and all our crew members regularly use the hand sanitiser, following the strictest hygiene practices. There is plenty of space on board to enjoy fresh ocean air and respect personal space.
Is it safe to go on the Swim with Whale sharks?
All of our stringent safety measures in regards to our activities are still in place. We will still utilise a spotter plane to assist with locating the Whale sharks. Not only do we have our eyes in the sky, but we also have our Skipper, Deckhand, Guide and Photographer watching over you at all times. With over 30 years experience conducting our tours, you’ll be in good hands!
I am booked to go on tour in the coming months, what should I do?
We understand that the pandemic has changed the lives of many people at this time. While some may no longer be in a position to join us for a tour due to restrictions or personal circumstances, there are options available for you. Our standard terms and conditions still apply, you’ll find them on our website and at the bottom of your booking confirmation email. Basically if you have a booking with us within the coming months, you have up until 7 days prior to your scheduled tour date to cancel or postpone your tour without incurring any cancellation or admin fees. So if you wanted to wait and see what restrictions may be lifted and you are in a position to travel again, then you have some time to consider your options.
We are happy to postpone and transfer tour dates to another time or offer you a gift voucher that can be used when booking in the future. Of course if your circumstances have changed and a refund is preferred then we can facilitate this as well, within our standard terms and conditions of course.
Should I go on a Whale shark Experience at this time?
We ensure all our operations are safe and in line with the governments most up to date regulations and advice. After a period of lockdown our tour can give you a dose of adventure and nature in a safe and healthy way. As mentioned, we have plenty of open space and getting out in nature is a great boost for your immune system. Supporting local business also helps our local economy. You don’t have to give up on your holiday, simply find an adventure to enjoy in your own backyard.
Our local wildlife sure know how to make you forget about the worries of the world and offer an amazing experience during these challenging times. While open just to Gascoyne residents and travellers already in the region at the moment there is speculation that regional borders will be opened in time for the July school holiday period. Bookings are open and for some that may have previously missed out, this is the perfect opportunity to secure your spot.
Local businesses across Western Australia are now dealing with the uncertainty associated with the current coronavirus. We encourage WA to support local business at this challenging time, to get out there for some vitamin D and fresh ocean air and to stay safe. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us on 08 9949 1764.
These are challenging and uncertain times, but we feel confident that as a company and community, we can get through this together. Thank you for your support.