Where exactly are the Azores? + Weather
They are a mid-atlantic archipelago of 9 islands between Europe and America. There are 3 groups of Islands. It takes 1 hour to the eastern group and 2 1/2 hours to fly to the central group of islands where we are based . They are part of Portugal.
Average monthly temperatures are given below for the Azores
Who comes on the holidays?
Our guests vary from couples, friends and families to independent travellers. We usually recommend holidays that are most suitable for children and those that are more adult- focused.
What can I do to prepare for the holiday?
Gen up on your whale species so you know what you are spotting from the boat! Practise using your binoculars! Get excited!
Can you tell me more about the guides on the boats and your team at the boat base?
All of the dolphin and whale watching trips are hosted by our local team: marine biologists, guides on boats and
front desk team. This means that any queries you may have can be discussed with the front desk and any extra trips can be booked directly. Before going out to sea you will be given an informative presentation all about the marine life in the Azores from the resident marine biologists.
When on the boats the guides and marine biologists will ensure you get information about the sightings as well as supporting you to get the best sightings possible.
The local team love what they do with a passion and are very enthusiastic to ensure you have the best possible time.
What boats are used for the whale and dolphin watching trips to sea?
Choose from either a large stable catamaran for great vantage points, toilet facilities and indoor/outdoor seating. or our faster hard-hulled rigid inflatable boat (RIB) for an exhilarating ride and to get close to the action quickly. The RIB’s have cushioned seats and almost “fly” through the water. We offer flexibility when booking these holidays to fit with your timing and preferences. You can add on more trips to your holiday as you choose.
Do the boats disturb the whales and dolphins?
In co-operation with the local Azorean authorities, a recognised code of conduct and ethics on the water has been established. These regulations ensure the whales and dolphins, people and the environment are respected. The dolphins love the boats and play in the bow waves. We would never endorse anything that disturbed them. There is a wonderful spirit of co-operation and mutual respect out on the water. We keep a specific distance away from the big whales, although the incidence of whales approaching us, with engine off, has been increasing and is very exciting.
What if there are adverse weather conditions that prevent us going out on the ocean?
Safety is our prime concern and, on occasion, boat trips must be postponed. As the Azores is an oceanic climate, we cannot determine the weather. Although the seasons we choose are the most favourable, adverse sea conditions, caused by winds, may mean a boat trip is unexpectedly postponed. We have made allowances for the weather by advance provision of additional trips, so we can be flexible to fit in with the weather. In the unlikely event of your trips being delayed due to bad weather, alternative activities will be arranged and replacement tours will be re-booked for later in the tour. Even with some bad weather, it is extremely rare to not have all scheduled trips.
I suffer from seasickness – what do you recommend?
Few people on our trips have been affected by seasickness, but if you think you might, please bring your preferred treatment, as we do not supply any medication. There are local pharmacies on the islands.
How about travel to the islands, being met at the airport and general holiday logistics?
We will talk you through all the travel details and recommend the best flights to book for your holiday. Our representatives will be there to meet you on arrival at the airport and accompany you to your accommodation. You will have a program of sea/land trips for your week with full details and instructions about what to take, hotel pick up times for land tours and the location of our boat base for boat check-in. On departure day, we will collect you from your hotel and take you to the airport in good time for your flight home.
Are special diets catered for?
In the hotel, good vegetarian food is available. Non dairy milk alternatives are also available (just request this when you book). Gluten free options can be catered for – again, just let us know at the time of booking.
It is not always possible to cater for specific dietary requirements like food allergies, so please discuss these with us when you book. The standard of cuisine is excellent, offering Portuguese and a mixture of other international influences. There are many local fish and meat specialities.
Local supermarkets stock vegan/gluten free food in the town centre.
Toilet facilities on the boats.
The large catamaran has toilet facilities at the rear of the boat. There are no toilet facilities on the RIB boats. If anyone urgently needs to use the toilet there is a bucket at the back with a privacy screen (guests and skipper all look to the front). If necessary, the skipper can come back to the marina.
The local language is Portuguese, although most people we work with speak excellent English. The currency is in Euros. There are cash machines in town. You can pay by credit card for food at the hotel and for souvenirs at the whale-watch base or hote, or carry some cash.