There were so many memorable moments: seeing five sperm whales “socialising” together and swimming in a perfect line, almost managing to synchronise their “blows”, catching a great picture of the tail fin of the massive blue whale, seeing the huge side fins of the humpback just under the water giving them an eerie blue colour, or probably the best of all seeing first a pod of ten orca cavorting in front of us, the male one with a massive fin of more than two metres in height, and then about an hour later seeing either the same animals again or a different pod, this time as two smaller groups. This is not to mention all the amazing pods of dolphins we saw, common, bottlenose, risso and striped plus false orca which we did not even know existed until the scientist on board identified them.
We could honestly say we were “reborn” but this has certainly been the holiday of a lifetime. We were very lucky with the sightings we had; literally being more or less in the middle of the Atlantic, which is vast, and being able to “find” these creatures is amazing in itself; the scientist on board was very knowledgeable, friendly and keen to share her knowledge. The animals’ well being was always the most important factor and so we did not stay long at each siting to allow the whales the freedom to continue with their journey. Overall the holiday was brilliantly managed.
We were lucky enough to see our first blue whale within an hour of setting out in the catamaran. Then seeing over 50 whales (blue, fin, sei, sperm ) and over 100 dolphins (common, bottlenose, rissos) over the three days was amazing.
Fantastic holiday! We saw everything we hoped for…and more. The Azores are an amazing holiday destination – we enjoyed seeing the interior of the island with its lakes, mountains and geo-thermal activity. As plant lovers, we particularly enjoyed the botanical gardens. We will be back.
Seeing so many whales and dolphins, the group I was with, the fantastic hotel I stayed in. The holiday benefitted local people and supported conservation. A magical holiday.
Pick the exclusive small group tour, I think there is a bonding when there are only 12 people, compared with having a lot more people. Also you get longer at sea, and as for Horta – it was so beautiful! For all that you get, it works out so cheap. I don’t understand how they can give you so much for that price!
Seeing far more whales, and more closely, than I ever expected. I think it supported conservation. A wonderful experience.
Seeing the ocean giants so close was amazing. Book this experience but think about adding an extra week visiting the other islands.
The company carries out research and so raises awareness of the whales and dolphins and how amazing they are. The information given by Lisa and Norburto was fantastic They work with the university and so are not just taking out holiday-makers but informing student research as well. An excellent holiday.
This was a very special holiday. Crystal blue seas and skies – Seeing so many whales and dolphins in their natural habitat and on their own terms, with human beings having to play second fiddle for a chang. The passion, knowledge and genuine love of their work shown by all the guides – The group bonding that derives from a common shared experience.
All the guides at the base were local people who had a deep commitment to animal welfare and to minimising the environmental footprint of our holiday. Trees are planted to offset the fuel used by the boats. We witnessed tagging of turtles, research into the behaviour of Risso’s dolphins, photo ID of whales to monitor their migration routes, and the clearing of debris from the waters to keep the ocean clean. In addition the holiday boosts the local tourist trade through restaurants, bars and taxis etc.
This was the most wonderful week ever. I cannot thank the operator enough. I would not hesitate to go back again, and very much hope to do so in the future.