The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins. Our 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 approachig the animals and you will learn a lot from the resident marine biologist.
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, with May and June being a great time to spot them on our trips. Sperm whales however are seen throughout the year, being a 'resident' species, as are many of the dolphin species. 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 in shoulder season, either to see the migrating whales in the spring, or in September and October when prices drop but sightings are still great.
This is a very exciting opportunity - we see dolphins and whales on 99% of our trips to sea!
Choose a date that suits you
(April - Sept)
One week holidays - Start Saturday
Cost from £560 (excl flights)
7 nights hotel with breakfast
5 whale watching trips and local guide, marine biologist talk 'Dolphins and Whales of The Azores'
- low, medium and high season prices available
You will be part of a european group ( English, French, Dutch, German etc) lled by our local team who are very experienced and work with our guests throughout the season.
Whale watching in the Azores gives you a good chance to see the Blue Whale, the biggest mammal on earth! as well as fin and sei whales. Several other whale species and 5 different species of dolphin live whoin these waters during the summer months too. Our trips are arranged from the base for observing cetaceans in the Azores.
This holiday adventure is with one of the most established whale and dolphin companies on the island offering a high standard of professionalism, sensitivity and expertise on the water. You will be hosted by the local team including the resident marine biologist and be part of a group on the boats .
Whale watching in The Azores is unique and offers some of the best sightings as we are assisted by the "vigia", local land based lookouts. Before the ban on whale hunting , these look outs were used to hunt the whales. However now they are employed in ethical tourism and we can meet the animals as they pass the island as the lookouts will direct the boats to a sighting that can be 20 km away!.
See BELOW for a sample itinerary :
Whale watching in the Azores in the early summer months is the best time to see the " Baleen" Whales (largest whales) on their migration routes to the feeding grounds of the northern Atlantic passing close to the islands of the Azores. It is possible to observe Sei, Fin and Blue Whales, at this time, as well as Short Finned Pilot Whales, orca and of course Sperm Whales (many of whom are resident species here), 5 species of dolphin, Sea Birds, and Marine life, such as Turtles and Manta Ray.
"Spyhopping" sperm whale next to boat Best Whale Sightings
The Azores is renowned for the abundance and diversity of marine life there to discover on safari!! It is extremely rare to not see dolphins and whales on your trips to sea. We can provide a data list of May and June observations by our whale watch company 2003 - 2009 for full records of sightings. We shall work with the team at the Whale Watch Base using their knowledge and skill to gain the best advantages to see the Whales.
Our whale watching company has a research base offering a wealth of information and resources and it is possible to learn about the many research projects being conducted around the Azores. The Base use Rigid Hull Inflatable boats with comfortable seats to get us close to the action quickly.The boats are very sturdy and can move easily even if the sea is choppy. Lookouts, "the Vigia" on the shore guide us from the local harbour out into the ocean on the south side of the Island. They direct the boats by radio contact to locate the whales. This makes for consistently excellent sightings, the best in the world some say! Our guests are very impressed by the high standard offered by our boat company who are dedicated to offering you the best experience.
( You are free to plan your own free time around the boat schedule - see Other Activities around the islands)
Rare bottlenose Whale photo Madruga
Arrivals Welcome briefing and introductions, complimentary drinks, orientation in the local area. You have time for a rest! Schedule of whale watching boat trips discussed and meeting the team.
Audio-visual briefing about The whales and dolphins of The Azores, with lots of visuals and information +history of whaling and whale watching in the Azores
PM Boat trip 1 Whale watching activity.
AM Boat trip 2 Whale watching activity
PM Visit to the Sperm whale museum ( optional - seasonal opening times ) run by marine biologist and whale expert ( €7 + transfer ). A fascinating museum with models of whales and squid and lots of in depth, fun to learn knowledge. Or extra snorkelling time in the lagoon.
Rare bottlenose Whale photo Quaresma
AM Boat trip 3- Whale watching activity
PM Optional Jeep tour of the Island (4 hours, euros 35 per person ) to see the islands geology, the volcano and caving and climbing, Visiting famous sightseeing spots revealing the Island's history. Both tours have a visit to the vineyards with an exceptional wine tasting activity included serving local culinary delicacies, a cultural museum and activities for the children, see other activities around the islands.
PM Boat trip 4 Whale watching activity Afternoon excursion to the caves ( €7 + transfer) You are taken underground to a tolkein 'esque land with an expert guide. ( those wanting to do a volcano climb could also fit this in to the itinerary at this time)
AM Boat trip 5 Whale watching activity.
PM You can make a visit to the Vigia, the lookout who can spot the whales from 30 km, try your own spotting skills! A also to learn about the history of whaling in the Azores at local whaling museum newly built and information centre.
Nature walks, exploring the wildlife inland, nature reserve or free time relaxing.
Dinner at hotel, socialising with other group members OR if available Evening Presentation slide show by local Nikon prize winning skipper/ photographer of beautiful marine photography taken in the Azores. Completion of holiday.
Departures in the pm can take an opportunity of
another boat trip or you can choose to add on
an extra night. Boat trip 6 ( euros 50 )
( or a replacement trip if any days lost due to weather)
Any other catch up activities or extra
activities such as donkey rides,
full cave expedition or full/part climb
up the volcano for really active guests!
or souvenir shopping. Afternoon departure
May 2010 has been an amazing month for Blue Whales. We have had sightings almost every day !! Our guests are having a "whale" of a time and are very happy.
The statistics charts have shown more Blue Whales this year than we have known in 20 years! Every season during the months of April and May, the baleen whales are migrating from the warm waters in the south, were they mate and have their young, to the cold north waters were they feed. During this migration they pass in the Azores.....We think there is alot of Krill ( the food of the largest mammal on earth ) So they are staying near our island for longer to feed before continuing their migration.!
See in main body of text under unforgettable experience
We are offering an exciting new program of swimming with dolphins holidays and whale and dolphin observation. Prices range from £790 for a week. Click holidays tab above for more info
***** I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on! do it and enrich your life! I returned home feeling more alive and inspired than ever before.
Dawn McClean, London
****"The Dolphin Connection team were great, the skippers had a lot of sensitivity to the animals and guided us to have some sensational encounters underwater and from the boats with so many dolphins and whales. I will be back!!" The company has a very responsible ethos and this this precious, unspoilt part of the world is being well preserved.
Howard Brown- Cheltenham
*****Simply being in the boat with just sea and sky, waiting for a whale to surface is a memory in my top drawer. It was at those times I felt closest to my late husband. The highlight of the week, for me and my children, was seeing orcas. Magical.!
The whole holiday made me realize how little we all need to enjoy life.
I loved the fact that all the drinks were in glass bottles. Pulling large pieces of plastic out of the sea while out on the trips was a surprisingly powerful experience of caring for our ocean. There are so many environmental issues to consider. We have been organic, vegetarian recyclers for many years now. This holiday helped take us one step further.
Vivien Ryder and family, Yorkshire