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The Tour Collective

The Tour Collective is Southeast Queensland’s premier marine ecotourism provider, offering exceptional experiences such as whale watching, sightseeing, dining cruises in calm waters, snorkeling day cruises to Moreton Island, and the Gold Coast City Ferry service.

Founded in 2019 through a strategic merger of two long-standing Gold Coast tourism businesses, Whales in Paradise and Wyndham Cruises (now Sea World Cruises), The Tour Collective quickly established itself as a leader in the industry. In the same year, the company acquired the trading license from Village Roadshow to operate Sea World Whale Watching and Dining Cruises.

The following year, in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast, The Tour Collective launched Hopo, a ferry service for the growing city. The newest edition to the product collection is Arro Jet, a world-class Jet boating experience departing from Sea World.

Under the leadership of Anthony Ardern and Ben Manns, who each bring over 25 years of experience in successful tourism operations, The Tour Collective continues to deliver world-class experiences and benefits for the industry and community.

Anthony Ardern and his brothers shared a strong love for the ocean, which motivated them to establish Dolphin Wild tours, taking visitors from Redcliffe, Brisbane to Mulgumpin, Moreton Island. With their entrepreneurial spirit, they successfully navigated the waters of marine tourism, allowing Anthony to fulfill his dream career for more than twenty years.

Whales in Paradise started in 2005 as the first whale watching operator on the Gold Coast. The company’s owner and managing director, Anthony Ardern, was 23 at the time which made him the youngest person in the world to set up a whale watching venture. He is now recognised as being an innovator in the field, and the founder of the whale watching industry on the Gold Coast.

Ben Manns acquired Wyndham Cruises in 2012, operating Sightseeing Lunch and Dinner Cruises on the Gold Coast.  Ben’s commitment to excellence and talent for creating exceptional experiences, has revitalised the waterways and created a renowned tourism attraction.  Many guests come back year-after-year to enjoy the luxury buffet dining, freshest trawler prawns, great service and unforgettable scenery.

In 2016, he launched Spirit of Elston, a purpose built dining vessel designed for the Gold Coast waterways, further establishing the product as a unique and unparalleled Gold Coast experience.

The Tour Collective was formed in 2019 with two best mates Anthony Ardern and Ben Manns, joining forces and merging their tourism businesses, Whales in Paradise, Dolphins in Paradise and Wyndham Cruises.  Their aim was to grow tourism sustainably, with a high-performing team and a collection of world-class tours that showcased the best of the region.

In the same year, the company acquired the trading license from Village Roadshow, to operate Sea World Whale Watching and Sea World Cruises.

The dedicated team and long-term industry partnerships, helped the group to thrive during the unprecedented growth.

The flagship vessel Spirit of Migaloo II was commissioned in July 2019 ($4M) to operate luxury whale watching experiences from the Gold Coast.  The purpose-built vessel was built in Brisbane by Aluminum Marine, and proudly carried over 30,000 guests in it’s inaugral whale watching season.

The groups co-directors have a vision for the Gold Coast waterways, that includes making travel affordable and fun for everyone.  They believe the stunning natural vistas that abound the Nerang River and Broadwater should be experienced by locals and visitors to the glitter strip.  So in the summer of 2019/20 they launched the City’s first dedicated hop on hop off ferry service, Hopo.

In partnership with Local and State Governments, they created a ferry service that is uniquely Gold Coast. Hopo is the perfect blend of transport and tourism!

In August 2020, the team bounced back from the pandemic with 2 brand new custom-designed ferries ($1.2M) that were proudly built on the Gold Coast.

The Tour Collective suite of amazing experiences, would not be complete without the high-octane fun of jet boat rides, say hello to – Arro Jet!

The two twin jet boats were launched in summer 2023/24 to take guests on the thrill of a lifetime.  The jet boats also open up more career pathways for our valued team members, as they progress their skills through our fleet of custom-designed vessels, to become masters of the seas.

In 2024, the group is set to undertake their biggest project yet, building a 22 metre custom-designed luxury catamaran at the Gold Coast City Marina!

The new vessel ‘Spirit of Mulgumpin’ will whisk passengers from the heart of Brisbane to the island paradise of Mulgumpin, Moreton Island.

Since 2019, the popularity of the See Moreton day trip has grown, and will operate year-round from 2025.  The idyllic island is only 1 hour from Brisbane and offers a range of amazing experiences in the pristine Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Our award winning experiences