OCEAN GIANTS BLUE WHALE TOUR
EXCLUSIVE SMALL GROUP TOUR
Pico Island, Azores
2019 DATES: 04 – 11 May and 11 – 18 May
2020 DATES: 02 – 09 May and 09 – 16 May
Prices from £890 per person
- 5 half day excursions on a research boat at the optimum time to see blue whales, fin whales and humpback whales migrating past the islands and also the resident sperm whales – often seen in large nursery groups.
- Expert whale researcher Rui Santos on board who will take you to areas off the traditional tourist trail and involve you in his research during the trip.
- Exclusive small group tour (max 16 guests)
- Choice of accommodation with breakfast in a luxury hilltop villa, 3*** village hotel or one bedroom apartment with sea view. Option to upgrade to 4**** village hotel with pool for a supplement.
- Group meal at the beginning and end of holiday with our expert guide
- Island land tour included to explore the stunning landscape of Pico Island
- Return airport transfers
“What I liked about this tour was that often we were the only boat out with the whales – we felt privileged to have so much time with the whales”
On this exclusive tour you get a rare opportunity to go out with a whale researcher. The trips will respond to local sea conditions – our guide will alter the time spent at sea during the week to ensure you get the best opportunity to encounter dolphins and whales. On the boat you will get close contact with the cetaceans (dolphins and whales) learning about their behaviour, up close and personal, observing their feeding, hunting, socialising. The research boat will go to areas off the main whale watching trail and will frequently be surrounded by curious dolphins and whales. Often, our boat is the only vessel around the animals which is very special and unique. Our research boats with knowledgeable guide will approach dolphins and whales respectfully and responsibly to ensure their is minimum disruption to the animals.
In addition to our regular weekly whale-watching holidays from March to October, we offer this special small exclusive group tour for one week in May with a program of talks and activities led by our expert guide Rui Santos. The dates coincide with the annual migration of the blue whales and fin whales. This tour, on the remote island of Pico, offers a unique opportunity for you to come and see these Ocean Giants in their Mid Atlantic feeding grounds where the sightings have been exceptional over the last few years. Joining this special small group tour gives an informative experience and you will get to know others in the group in a sociable way.
You will be part of a small group on our hard hulled RIB boat used for research, accompanied by our expert resident marine biologist guide, Rui Santos (renowned whale researcher in Pico). Rui has been guiding tours in Pico for many years. He is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, engaging the interests of his guests and involving them with his scientific data collection for research.
This is a comfortable and relaxed exclusive small group tour that involves 5 half day trips to sea on a hard hulled inflatable RIB boat (exclusive use). The boats are very sturdy and can move easily even if the sea is choppy. You will stay in accommodation near the harbour in either our hotel or hilltop villa (depending upon your choice).
During our last trip in May 2017 we were blessed with some exceptional sightings. The first group saw blue whales, fin whales and humpback whales on many occasions. Even when the weather was a bit challenging we were still able to replace any cancelled boat trips. The second and third groups had a week of calm seas and saw blue whales, so close to the boat you could smell their “exhale” which had the aroma of their over-indulgent feeding on the krill. There were many excellent sightings throughout the week of other species including a large pod of orca (killer whales)!
Why are the Blue Whales “Ocean Giants” the choosing the Azores?
Cetaceans are drawn to the Azores by the fertile waters, rich in phytoplankton.
For the past three years, a spring phytoplankton bloom warmed by the temperate waters of the gulf stream around the Azores archipelago has resulted in a unique gathering of huge, ravenous blue, fin, sei and baleen whales (largest whales) on their migration routes to the feeding grounds of the northern Atlantic. Their numbers are increasing around the Azores.
We have chosen May dates as statistics show that this time will offer you the best chance to see these migrating whales where they spend a few days to feed on the rich food source here, something unique in the whole of Europe. Our look-outs can spot them from land and direct the boats as they pass close to the volcanic islands. The abundance of dolphins are a delight riding in the bow wave of the boat and leaping and twirling with joy! It is also possible to observe short finned pilot whales, orca, seven species of dolphin and of course sea ibrds, and marine life such as turtles and manta ray Our whale-watching guide 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. Lookouts, the “Vigia”Â on the shore guide us from the local harbour out into the ocean on the south side of the Island. They direct the boats by radio contact to locate the whales. 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