FAMILY BLUE WHALE BONANZA!
EASTER WEEK 13 – 20 APRIL 2019
MAY HALF TERM WEEK 25 MAY 01 JUNE 2019
Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores
From: £625 adult, £495 child, £605 teen
Prices based on children/teenagers sharing a room with 2 adults. Child age 12yrs and under. Teen age 13-17 years. Scroll down for holiday prices and accommodation options.
“One of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins”
- Full day “Be a Marine Biologist for the day” whale and dolphin research trip to sea at the optimum time to see Blue Whales (or if you prefer, take 2 half day whale and dolphin watching trips to sea instead)
- Full day geothermal tour to Furnas (includes swimming in hot thermal pools and lunch cooked underground!)
- Half day whale and dolphin watching
- Talks and presentations from local marine biologists
- Choose from our family friendly accommodation options (4****, budget, boutique/5*****)
- All airport transfers included
“I want to do this for the rest of my life!” Connor age 12, London
Join us on the May half term week for the optimum time to see the Blue, Humpback and Fin whales migrating past the islands. Take a voyage of discovery beneath the ocean as our local marine biologists turn your young “Octonauts” into apprentices for the day, cultivating their thirst for knowledge. This holiday takes you out to the open seas to see these ocean giants and teaches you all about the biology of these incredible waters and the creation of the islands, that took place over 20 million years ago.
Our “Be a Marine Biologist for the day” programme includes talks and presentations before heading out to sea to put into practice all that you have learnt. Our local guide will take you to the geysers deep in the islands interior and teach you about the geothermal activity. Your visit will include a swim in hot thermal pools and lunch (cooked underground) in a local restaurant. Free time can be spent exploring the island at your leisure, on foot on bike or by kayak, visiting the stunning Botanical gardens, enjoying presentations from our “mad scientist” or simply relaxing by the pool.
Make play dates between your little explorers and catch up over breakfast with others from you group as you all stay in our family friendly 4* hotel. You’ll all come away bursting with facts about the world’s largest whales and the unique biodiversity of the islands, a passion for the natural world and more importantly memories that will last a lifetime.
The Azores archipelago is renowned as one of the best places to see dolphins and whales in the wild. Throughout the year, March to October being the best time to visit for abundant sightings and diversity of species. The temperate spring waters of the Gulf Stream create a phytoplankton bloom attracting a unique gathering of huge, ravenous blue, fin and humpback whales, the largest baleen whales on the planet. These whales migrate past the islands and can be seen in April, May and June, close to land as they stop to feed on their way to the northern Atlantic. This is one of natures great events, the whale equivalent of an all you can eat buffet – this is why we call it the “Gulp Stream”.
The whale numbers and sightings seem to be increasing around the Azores, as are the super pods of various species of dolphins riding in the bow wave of the boat and leaping and twirling with joy. All our trips are with responsible operators who have sensitivity and respect for the wellbeing of the whales and dolphins. The ethos on the Islands is to preserve the natural environment and develop responsible and sustainable tourism that contributes to conservation.
“It was a magical moment as the children squealed with delight as the largest animal on the planet broke the surface of the water. They won’t stop talking about it!”
Rosie De Vier
You will be accompanied by our expert local guides and marine biologists who love to share their extensive knowledge on the whales and dolphins you’ll meet – what they don’t know isn’t worth knowing.
Our whale-watching company has a research base offering a wealth of information and resources and it is possible to learn about the many research projects being conducted around the Azores. Our boat company use a large stable catamaran with excellent viewing platforms and toilet facilities or our RIB hard hull boats with comfortable seats for an exhilarating ride to get you close to the action. The boats are very sturdy and can move easily even if the sea is choppy. Lookouts, the “Vigia” on the shore guide us by radio contact to direct the boats to the whales and dolphins. This makes for consistently excellent sightings, the best in the world some say! Our guests are very impressed by the high standard offered by our boat company who are dedicated to offering you the best experience, nothing is too much trouble.
“Be a Marine Biologist for the Day”
All of our family holidays offer the once in a life time opportunity for you and your children to “Be a Marine Biologist for a Day” – the perfect program for those with a keen appetite to learn. You will enjoy a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologist before spending a full day with them on a small RIB learning research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone. You will get away from the main tourist trail and have opportunities for a lot more contact with the animals. This a fully immersive day allowing your children to step inside the shoes of our marine biologists and assist them in their research. Imagine the stories your children will tell when they get back to school (min age 7). This activity can be added onto the week program or exchanged for 2 half day regular whale watching trips.
Day 1: Arrival day – You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: After a leisurely morning exploring the local town with its stunning architecture, walking around the botanical gardens and playing in the local childrens’ play park, head down to the boat base for your first half day whale and dolphin watching trip to sea. You will be given the onboard briefing all about Marine life in the Azorean Ocean, how we work and how best to spot the whales. With help of land based lookouts we see whales and dolphins on 98% of our trips to sea! Listen out for the latest sightings of Blue whales, Fin whales and Humpbacks as you are visiting at the time they pass the Islands.
Day 3: Today you have a choice. You can do the full day “Be a Marine Biologist for the Day” whale and dolphin research tour led by our resident team which includes learning about the whales and dolphins and observing research techniques used by the scientists. If you prefer to just take a half day to see the big whales in their ocean habitat you can opt for that with another half day later in the week
Day 4: Free day – Have a relaxing morning in the hotel pool meeting up with some of the other children, do some of the marine themed activities that are provided and watch our on line presentation “Discover Sperm Whales” where you will learn fascinating facts about the lives of these incredible mammals who are resident around the Islands and dive deep to find prey ( squid) and also learn about the challenges facing the world’s Oceans.
Day 5: Free day and if you feel like being active there is a big choice of extra activities. Join a walking or mountain bike tour, try kayaking or SUP on the lake, or take the plunge and go canyoning.
Day 6: Full day geothermal tour to Furnas: You will be collected at your hotel and taken to see the Island’s hot springs, geysers & hot bubbling mud. You will learn about the volcanic origins of the Island. Take a dip in the hot thermal lake surrounded by the tropical exotic plants and trees of a magnificent botanical garden which was planted by Kew gardeners 100 years ago!
Day 7: Free day or take another half day at sea whale and dolphin watching giving you more chances of sighting the giant whales or visit the local lava caves.
Day 8: Departure. You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport
Activity level: Medium
All airport transfers
7 nights accommodation (see below for accommodation options)
Full day “Be a Marine Biologist for the day” activity including lunch or 2 half day whale and dolphin watching trips to sea
Half day whale and dolphin watching
Full day geothermal tour to Furnas including lunch and pick up/drop off at your hotel
Full services of our local guide at the boat base
Talks and presentations from our local marine biologists
Full welcome pack
Flights (guidance on booking these can be found here) additional excursions, meals (except breakfast) and beverages.
2019 prices and accommodation options
Prices for our FAMILY BLUE WHALE BONANZA holiday with accommodation options can be found by visiting this link here.