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Take a Tour of Sea Shepherd's Ships
Update: As Seaworks in Williamstown is now the Southern Operations Base for the Sea Shepherd ships, tours are often available when the ships are in port. See the events page for up to date information on ship tours and other Sea Shepherd activities.
Three of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's fleet are currently docked in Williamstown. The Steve Irwin, Bob Barker and Sam Simon recently returned from their Operation Zero Tolerance campaign in the Antarctic defending the whales in the Southern Ocean. Describing themselves on their website as "the Whales' Navy" you can read more about the aims and results of Sea Shepherd's campaigns here. They are offering free tours (although donations are appreciated) of the ships from March 29 until April 14, 2013 between 10am and 5pm.
Sea Shepherd is a global not-for-profit marine conservation organisation. While mammal protection was the original aim they now have a long history of protecting all kinds of marine life and habitat. Captain Paul Watson founded the organisation and he was also a co-founder of Greenpeace.
Showing damage sustained during their latest campaign against the Japanese whaling fleet the three ships will be in Williamstown while repairs are undertaken. Sea Shepherd announced last October that Seaworks in Williamstown will be their ongoing southern operations base.
Having toured the Steve Irwin on its last visit to Melbourne, I found it an amazing experience to get an insight into the operations of the ship, the way the crew live and learn more about Sea Shepherd's conservation work in Australia and internationally. The crews come from the four corners of the earth and they are pretty much all volunteers. You'd go a long way to find a bunch of people more passionate about their cause and with such fascinating stories to tell about their life on the high seas.
The ships are docked behind Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown. By car Williamstown is approximately 15 minutes drive from the city. By public transport take the 471 bus towards Williamstown from Newport Railway Station and get off at Nelson Place, or you can walk from Williamstown Station (approx 10 minutes) or Williamstown Beach Station (approx 15 minutes).