BLUE WHALES, FIN WHALES, SPERM WHALES
EXCLUSIVE SMALL GROUP TOURS
Horta, Faial Island, Azores
2019 AVAILABLE DATES: 27 April – 04 May 2019 (04 -11 May and 11 – 18 May NOW FULL)
2020 AVAILABLE DATES: 02 – 09 May and 09 – 16 May
- Four full day excursions 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.
- Exclusive small group tour (max 12 guests) with expert marine biologist Lisa Steiner on sturdy catamaran boat with 2 observation decks.
- Charming 4* hotel, breakfast, complimentary welcome drinks, group meal at the beginning and end of holiday and airport transfers included
“This tour was quite simply astounding….epic….beyond belief…..” certainly some very happy people!
In addition to our regular weekly whale-watching holidays from March to October, we offer this special small exclusive group tour in May with a program of talks and activities led by our expert guide Lisa Steiner. The dates coincide with the annual migration of the blue whales and fin whales. During May, you can join this special small group tour for a more informative experience and get to know others in the group in a sociable way. You will be part of a small group on our sturdy catamaran which is the boat used for research, accompanied by our expert resident marine biologist guide, Lisa Steiner (renowned naturalist and sperm whale researcher in Horta). Lisa guides the tours on the remote islands which offer 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.
This is a comfortable and relaxed exclusive small group tour that involves four full-day trips to sea on a catamaran (exclusive use). You will stay in the harbour-front Hotel Do Canal with breath-taking views over the bay and to Pico Mountain. Our large well-equipped catamaran is suitable for guests of all ages and has toilet facilities and safety railings. It offers a great vantage point from which to see the whales and take great photos. Your hotel is ideally located – everything is within easy walking distance from where you can explore the delights of this lively harbour town which is an international port of call for transatlantic yachts.
“We were on the cat and a huge gasp went up from everyone on board; a fin whale had swum in front of the boat and opened its mouth out of the water to feed. It was only a split second but that sight is engraved on my memory.” Margaret Merris May 2018
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 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. The base uses rigid hull inflatable boats with comfortable seats to get us close to the action quickly. The boats are very sturdy and can move easily even if the sea is choppy. Lookouts, the “Vigia” 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.