New for September & October 2014 & for 2015! Swimming with Wild Dolphins Tours on Sao Miguel Island, Azores. Click here for further details.
These are exciting adventure holidays to discover the underwater world of the dolphins. You will observe dolphins and whales around the boats and also enter the water to watch them and swim with them using a mask and snorkel.
Looking into the crystal clear ocean depths wearing a mask and snorkel you can have encounters with these very curious and playful mammals. Watching their exquisite movements and listening to a symphony of sound you feel part of their magical world. On this program you will also have many opportunities to see the big whales from the boats when there has been a sighting.
Our trips are arranged from the base for observation cetacean’s in the Azores. These trips allow you to be quite independent. The local hosts assist you in arranging your activities and all boat trips are taken as a group and there are various optional activities available.
You will be hosted by the local team on the water with the dolphins and whales. This holiday adventure is with one of the most established whale and dolphin companies on the islands They have been taking groups to see the whales and dolphins on the Azorean Ocean for 20 years and offer a high standard of professionalism and expertise. You will be hosted by the local team including the resident marine biologist and be part of a group on the boats.
We offer departures every Saturday from May to October. Our trips are 7 day, 7 night duration, offering 5 boat trips to swim with the dolphins accompanied by an expert dolphin swim guide.
You will be given assistance to develop competence and confidence in the water with the dolphins by our guides. We approach the dolphins in a sensitive and non- intrusive way. You will be with a small group of 8 people on the boats and we enter the water in pairs so our guides can see swimmers from the boat at all times and to minimise the impact on the dolphins.
You will need your own mask, snorkel and fins for the trip. Wet suits are recommended and can be brought with you or you can buy a new wet suit at the base for 37 euros.
We assume you have a good swimming ability and of average fitness. It helps if you are familiar with using a mask and snorkel.
People travel in couples, alone, with friends or family. The groups are very diverse and sociable, a great way to meet new people.
Click Link to sample itinerary swimming with dolphins
Other activities around the islands are optional with plenty of time for relaxation and reflection
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.
In the Azores sighting the dolphins and whales is easier than in many other locations due to the assistance of the “Vigia” or “look-out”. These are the men who traditionally used to act as land-based lookouts for hunting whales. Now they use their remarkable tracking skills to scan the sea, identifying and locating different species, and, through radio contact, direct our boats to them. This guarantees more opportunities to encounter the animals and spend time with them. We see dolphins and whales on 99% of our trips to sea!
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 7+, great family experience. Bring your own life jacket if you need one for snorkelling. Life jackets are provided on the boats.
The trip includes 5 boat trips each of 3 hours duration.
This provides plenty of opportunity for developing confidence in the water and lots of time with the dolphins. The dolphins are very curious, playful and sociable. However they are wild animals and we always respect their moods and behaviour and let that determine when and how long we stay in the water with them. Sightings of sperm whales are common. We also see many other species of whales and dolphins, turtles, Manta Ray, sea birds and much more.
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.
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.
Talks on marine biology and conservation about the dolphins and whales in the Azores 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 the eco-tourism. The populations of whales is growing steadily now they are no longer hunted and we see more of the larger males which used to be killed.
The experiences people have after swimming with dolphins and the ways these beautiful sentient dolphins and whales touch us is very moving and inspiring so we welcome your stories and many we publish.
Dolphins & Whales
There are phenomenal numbers of dolphins and whales in the Azorean waters. The islands are a major meeting place for both humans and cetaceans & attract scientists, naturalists, international photographers and divers as well as some tourists. It is also a port of call for transatlantic yachtsmen.
Conversations on land buzz with tales of recent adventures and discoveries. In the ocean there is a similar rich exchange of communication, as the many different resident and transient species of dolphin & whale converge at what is sometimes referred to as “The Cetacean cross-roads of the world.” It is not uncommon to meet pods of dolphin of between 50 and 200, leaping with exuberance and vitality around the boats.
Some species display a delightful curiosity and are very sociable with us above and below the water! Our whale and dolphin watch company is the most established on the islands and offers a wealth of experience and expertise. Sighting the dolphins and whales is easier in the Azores than many other locations due to the assistance of the Vigia. These are the men who traditionally used to act as land-based lookouts for hunting whales. Now they use their remarkable tracking skills to scan the sea, identifying and locating different species, and, through radio contact, direct our boats to them. This guarantees more opportunities to encounter the animals and spend time with them.
Click here to book this holiday or call 01273 882778 for more information