A recent survey ranks whales' bellies ahead of safety deposit boxes and mattresses as the preferred place to store valuables. Experience one of nature's most priceless resources with today's Groupon: for $20, you get one admission to a three-hour dolphin- and whale-watching tour from The Starlight Fleet (a $25 value for juniors 6–12, a $40 value for adults), located in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. Children under six are admitted free when accompanied by an adult (one child per adult).
The Starlight Fleet embarks on voyages through the Atlantic Ocean for up-close views of whales, dolphins, and birds. Up to 170 passengers can crabwalk onto the Atlantic Star, which supports bronzers with a large sundeck and upper-deck seating to ensure glimpses of tails, breeches, and the belly flops of intoxicated merpeople. Ships exchange heartfelt goodbyes with the dock at 1 p.m., packed with the guidance of an experienced marine biologist who distributes helpful information and directs eyeballs toward serendipitous action. Although not included in the Groupon, the ship's galley spouts beverages, snacks, and candy, ideal for bribing children fluent in the language of the dolphins.
The Starlight Fleet
The ships that comprise The Starlight Fleet's squadron of vessels each transport passengers across the waves on a variety of sea adventures. The Starlight ferries fisherman on four-hour excursions to hook sea bass, flounder, croakers and triggerfish, the captain using sonar, GPS, and a knowledge of the currents to identify prime fishing real estate. The Atlantic Star typically serves as a whale-watching vessel and is kitted out with a snack-filled galley and a touch tank filled with horseshoe crabs and other local sea life.
The company even boasts its very own pirate ship, The Dark Star, a custom-designed vessel built by Naval Architect Michael LeMole. It takes passengers on swashbuckling adventures during which they learn what a swash is and how to buckle it, as well as participate in treasure hunts and face painting.