Established over a decade ago by Professor Vic Cockcroft, a well-known and respected marine biologist, Ocean Odyssey was the first close encounter whale watching operation in Knysna.
When Evelyn Pepler took over the helm in 2012 from Dave Huyseman, there was only one 12 seater vessel offering tours. Over the course of the next three years, Evelyn has grown the business to include an additional two 12-seater commercial vessels, a dedicated research & volunteer vessel, a retail outlet selling locally sourced souvenirs & clothing and Vanhunks SUP boards for sale or hire.
Whale-watching permit holder
Ocean Odyssey is the only close encounter whale watching permit holder for the greater Knysna area, which extends from the western side of the Robberg Peninsula to Gericke’s Point in Sedgefield. The permit, which is issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs, allows us to approach marine mammals to within 50m, and if whales approach us we are permitted to stay and observe.
Our fleet of vessels have been carefully fitted with the latest technology motors from Honda Marine. The new four-stroke outboard motors were specifically chosen as they deliver ultra-low emissions and improved fuel technology. The variable air intake systems include a silencer which minimises the impact our vessels may have on the animals. Preserving the marine environment is a critical factor in our business.
Each of our vessels accommodates 12 guests comfortably in cinema style seating giving all guests an unobstructed view of any wildlife. All our vessels are SAMSA approved and are inspected regularly to ensure our guests safety and comfort.
Ocean Odyssey has a crew of skilled and dedicated skippers who have a passion for the environment and enthral guests with information on species encountered as well as the unique coastline that we operate within.
An integral part of our success is our dedicated whale spotter, who spends the day at two look-out points directing skippers via radio to sightings of whales, dolphins and other marine life.
We are conveniently located at Thesen Island with walk-on jetty access to all vessels and within 5 – 10 minute walking distance from Knysna central and various hotels. We have a retail outlet filled with amazing oceanographic memorabilia supporting local businesses and artisans.