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Whale Watching AZORES: Dolphin and whale

hOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME             

Why The Azores ?

The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins.

Whale watching in The Azores is unique and offers some of the best sightings in the world 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 they direct the boats to a sighting that can be 20 km away!.

This is a very exciting opWhales with seabirdsportunity - we see dolphins and whales on 99% of our trips to sea!

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.

Click here for Azores location

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, 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.

 

Dates: Trips run weekly from April - October, start day is Saturday

Choose a date that suits you

(April - Octt)

One week holidays - Start Saturday

Cost from £560 (excl flights)

7 nights hotel with breakfast

Airport transfers

5 whale watching trips and local guide, marine biologist talk 'Dolphins and Whales of The Azores'

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Accommodation

Click here for info on accom options

Sperm WhaleSee a Blue Whale!

Whale watching in the Azores gives you a good chance to see the Blue Whale, the biggest mammal on earth! More information here

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.

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Spyhopping Whale

"Spyhopping" sperm whale next to boat Best Whale Sightings

 

 

 

 

 

The Azores is renowned for the abundance and diversity of marine life . 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 offers a wealth of information and resources with resident marine biologist and it is possible to learn about the many research projects being conducted around the Azores. They have their own look out or vigia which means they ensure you have 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.

See BELOW for a sample itinerary :

Rare bottlenose Whale photo Madruga

 

 

Whale Watching Sample Itinerary

( You are free to plan your own free time around the boat schedule - see Other Activities around the islands)

 

Day1 

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.

Day 2 

  

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.

Day 3 

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

Day 4 

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.

Day 5 

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)

Day 6

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.

Day 7 

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

Best Sightings for Blue Whales in the Azores!

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.

"Once upon a Blue"

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.!

New You Tube link to see some stunning underwater footage with the dolphins

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

Testimonials

***** 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

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