How to swim with wild dolphins ( best practice )
We offer our swimming with wild dolphins activity to ensure the highest level of safety and responsible practices are followed to ensure you get the best experience possible seeing these magical creatures underwater.
Our swimming with wild dolphin’s program is done with respect and sensitivity which is non-intrusive to the wild dolphins. You will have time to learn the best way to encounter the dolphins and approach them in a relaxed way.
We avoid individual trips as they do not give enough time for adequate preparation and put pressure on the team and the dolphins. These holidays are very suitable for children aged 7+ and are a great family experience.
Responsible boat approaches and finding the dolphins
You will see the dolphins very close through the clear water from the boat. It is very exciting to watch their movements at speed as they get a free “massage” in the bow wave.
We see dolphins and whales on 99% of our trips to sea!
Swimming with dolphins in the Azores is unique and our expert skippers know the best way to approach the dolphins and line up the boat for our guests to get in the water at the perfect time for the best encounter.
The skippers know the best time to enter the water with minimum disturbance to the dolphins and our guides will support you getting in and out of the water.
What do our dolphin encounters actually involve?
The emphasis is on spending a lot of time at sea, taking time to free-swim with the dolphins. We are assisted by local lookouts to spot the dolphins and direct our boats to them. This guarantees more opportunities to encounter the animals and spend time with them. Entering the water and swimming with the dolphins requires an average level of fitness. There will be snorkelling practice from the boat on the first day and time to learn our ‘in-water encounter’ procedures. You will develop confidence, skill and sensitivity with dolphins in the open ocean. These holidays are very suitable for children aged 7+, great family experience. Life jackets are provided on the boats but please bring your own buoyancy aid if you are not a very confident swimmer.
Talks on marine biology and conservation about the dolphins and whales in the Azores are given by local experts and our guides. You can learn about the whaling history of the islands which stopped 20 years ago and has been replaced by eco-tourism. The populations of cetacean is growing steadily now they are no longer hunted. The experiences people have after swimming with dolphins and the ways these beautiful sentient dolphins touch us is very moving and inspiring so we welcome your stories and publish many of them. However, we also invite you to help us by ensuring all regulations are strictly followed by all operators you see. Please report back to us if there is anything that you feel compromises the welfare of the animals and your experience.
Contact with the dolphins
This involves swimming together or perhaps just floating above them witnessing their exquisite movements and sounds in the big blue as they swim beneath us. Some species display a delightful curiosity and are very sociable with us above and below the water! Sometimes they gesture and play with us and occasionally an inquisitive dolphin will come up close and look us in the eye or swim around us in playful curiosity. People travel in couples, alone, or with friends or family. The groups are very diverse and sociable – a great way to meet new people. You can book other activities around the islands as you wish with plenty of time for relaxation and reflection. Sightings of sperm whales are common. We also see many other species of whales and dolphins, turtles, manta ray, sea birds and much more.