The Dolphin and Whale Holiday of a Lifetime!
“One of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins”
We offer weekly whale watching holidays with flexible arrival and departure dates. We also offer our Blue Whale Ocean Giants Tours in May which have some special added extras as well as the trips to sea.
The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see Whales and dolphins. It is remote and the waters are rich in nutrients which attracts huge numbers of Whales and dolphins. This is a very exciting opportunity and it is common on all trips to sight Sperm Whales and a variety of other cetaceans. There is a good chance to see Blue Whales (the biggest mammal on earth!) as well as Fin Whales and Humpback Whales in the spring. There are at least 15 different species frequently sighted. Our guests are blessed with seeing huge numbers of whales and dolphins throughout the season.
“The numbers of boats are well regulated and the animals are approached responsibly with minimum disturbance”
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 one of the most established on the islands and offers a wealth of experience and expertise. Our local boat company have been taking people to see the whales and dolphins for 20 years and are regarded as the “experts”. The skippers have great skill and sensitivity in approaching the animals and you will learn a lot from the resident marine biologist.
Boats and how we find the whales
Choose from either a large stable catamaran for great vantage points, toilet facilities and indoor/outdoor seating. Alternatively, our faster hard hulled rigid inflatable boat (RIB’s) for a exhilarating ride and to get close to the action quickly. These have cushioned seats and almost “fly” through the water.
We offer flexibility when booking these holidays to fit with your timing and preferences. Most people take a 7 day package with 3 whale and dolphin watching trips to sea, but you can add more trips on as you choose. Just let us know at the time of booking how many nights and trips you require. Land tours can be booked with our boat base when you are there.
Vigia “look out”
Whale watching in The Azores is unique and offers some of the best sightings in the world not only because of the location but also because we are assisted by the “Vigia”, local land based lookouts. 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. We are lucky to have some of the most skilled and experienced Vigia working with us to help find the dolphins and whales quickly. This guarantees more opportunities to encounter the animals and spend time with them. This is a very exciting – we see dolphins and whales on 99% of our trips to sea!
When to go
There is no ‘best time’ to see whales and dolphins in the Azores as many species are encountered year round. The large Baleen Whales (Blue, Fin and Sei whales) migrate past the islands in the spring. Statistically, over the last few years most of the sightings of Blue Whales and Fin Whales have been in April and May. You also have a good chance to see them in June. We offer 2 tours in early May (The Blue Whale Tour ‘Ocean Giants Azores’) which you can join if you want to be part of a group with a UK expert group leader. Or you can visit any time in April, May and June.
Sperm whales are resident around the Azores Islands and it is considered one of the best places in the world to sight them. They feed on squid which are in abundance here with perfect conditions close to shore for diving in the deep water. They are often seen in large groups with their young and stay on the surface breathing for up to 20 minutes before they make the iconic tail fluke dive ( the moment that everyone is poised with cameras at the ready! )
“The isolated archipelago of the Azores has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best whale watching destinations in the world. Lying about a third of way across the Atlantic between Portugal and North America, its permanent or temporary home of more than a quarter of all known cetacean species”
Mark Carwardine, whale watching specialist
Late July and August are peak season in the Azores, so prices rise and tourist numbers increase, but great encounters can be had throughout the summer. Many of our clients choose to visit the islands out of high season, either to see the migrating whales in the spring, or in September and October when prices drop but sightings are still great.
What happens if my whale and dolphin watching trip is cancelled due to bad weather?
If weather or sea conditions restrict your dolphin and whale watching programme, you will be offered a sea trip on another day or a land based tour instead. If we are unable to reschedule or rebook another trip (either sea or a land based alternative) you will receive a refund of the money you paid for your sea based tour.
What if I do not see any dolphins or whales from the boat?
In the unlikely event that you do not have any sightings during your trip to sea you will be offered another trip free of charge by our local boat company.
Example whale and dolphin watching in the Azores itinerary
|Day 1:||Arrival. Transfer from the airport to your accommodation where you can settle in and get to know the local area. Depending on your arrival time, make your way to our whale watching base where your boat trip schedule can be discussed and you can meet the team. BELOW IS A SAMPLE ITINERARY which you can add to with sea or land based tours as you choose:|
|Day 2:||After breakfast, make your way to the base, a leisurely 10 minute stroll away. There will be an audio-visual briefing about the whales and dolphins of The Azores either on the boat or in the base followed by a trip to sea in the morning or the afternoon.|
|Day 3:||Breakfast. Morning boat trip 2 – Whale watching activity. The afternoon can be spent relaxing on the beach or snorkelling time in the lagoon.|
|Day 4:||Breakfast. Morning boat trip 3- Whale watching activity. Optional afternoon Jeep tour of the Island to see the islands stunning scenery, lakes and forests. Hiking is also available. Visiting famous sightseeing spots revealing the island’s history.|
|Day 5:||Breakfast. Boat trip 4 – Whale watching activity. Optional excursion to the geo thermal craters and geysers to see the steam rising from the rocks and sample the local cuisine cooked under ground. Visit to the local botanical gardens close to the hotel. You have the opportunity to visit the vineyards with an exceptional wine tasting activity|
|Day 6:||Breakfast. Morning boat trip 5 – Whale watching activity. In the afternoon you can make an optional visit to the Vigia, the lookout who can spot the whales from 30 km, try your own spotting skills! Nature walks, exploring the wildlife inland, or free time relaxing. Completion of holiday!|
|Day 7:||Breakfast. Depending upon the time of your flight you may have some time for some souvenir shopping. Departure with transfer.|
Location of our whale and dolphin watching tours in the Azores
Our whale and dolphin watching tours in the Azores take place in Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel. Ponta Delgada is the cosmopolitan capital of Sao Miguel Island which is the largest and most populated island in the archaepelago. The delightful traditional Portuguese architecture and cobbled streets retain the elegant charm of bygone years and Ponta Delgada is just 15 minutes away from the wild and beautiful countryside with its mountains, lakes and hot springs.
We have chosen 4**** hotel accommodation with excellent facilities and a great location for our guests on this tour. More details here…
How to book
Please visit the links on the left to view our accommodation, prices and how to book page. You can also check availability online here.
If you would like to contact us please click here or telephone +44 (0) 1273 882778