Ocean Discovery (ADOCEAN)

Azores Ocean Discovery

Last-minute availability 2021, booking now!

2022 & 2023 Dates: Year round 

(Flexible arrival/departure dates to fit with flights)

 

Take a voyage of discovery beneath the ocean, cultivating your thirst for knowledge. On this holiday you don’t just go out on the open ocean to meet our resident whales and dolphins you will learn all about the biology of this incredible ocean, the creation of these volcanic islands and their geothermal activity.

Azores Ocean Discovery

From £760 pp.

An Abundance of Wildlife

Spring is the time to see the many Blue, Humpback and Fin Whales. In summer you are certain to see many species including Sperm whales, Beaked whales, Orca, Pilot whales and super pods of dolphins!

Discover Sao Miguel Island, Azores

One of the best places to see dolphins and whales in the wild. Visit geysers deep in the island’s interior and swim in hot thermal pools.

Underwater Encounters

Take a journey into underwater world of the Azores and come eye to eye with playful and inquisitive dolphins.

About this holiday

 

Discover marine wildlife and fresh sea air

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feeding baleen whale AzoresYou’ll leave bursting with facts about the world’s largest whales and the unique biodiversity of the islands. We hope you will deepen your passion for the natural world and more importantly return home with memories that will last a lifetime.

“We were on the cat and a huge gasp went up from everyone on board; a Fin whale had swum in front of the boat and opened its mouth out of the water to feed. It was only a split second but that sight is engraved on my memory.” Margaret Merris, May 2018.

Best place to see dolphins and whales in the wild

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The Azores archipelago is renowned as one of the best places to see dolphins and whales in the wild, teeming with resident and transient species. March to October is the best time to visit for abundant sightings and diversity of species. The whale numbers and sightings seem to be increasing around the Azores, as are the super pods of various species of dolphins riding in the bow wave of the boat, leaping and twirling with joy. All our trips are with responsible operators who have sensitivity and respect for the wellbeing of the whales and dolphins. The ethos on the islands is to preserve the natural environment and develop responsible and sustainable tourism that contributes to conservation.

These fascinating islands are easy to reach from Europe on a direct three hour flight. 

Island tour included in your holiday

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Furnas hot springs AzoresOur knowledgeable local guides will be with you at sea and on land so that you have a truly authentic experience. They will take you to the geysers deep in the island’s interior at Furnas and teach you about the geothermal activity. Your visit will include a swim in hot thermal pools and lunch (cooked underground) in a local restaurant. Free time can be spent exploring the island at your leisure (on foot, on bike or by kayak), visiting the stunning botanical gardens, enjoying presentations from our marine biologist guides or simply relaxing by the pool.

 

Swimming with dolphins

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Under water swimming with dolphins AzoresDolphins tend to prefer the calmer waters closer to the shore and in the summer months the Atlantic Spotted dolphins come in huge pods, bringing their calves to safe waters to feed and play.

Don your mask and snorkel and enter the underwater world of the Azores. Our expert guides will assist you all the way – they will advise you on the best way to get in and out of the water, how to behave once you are in water, and they will be in the sea with you. It is a good idea to practice with a mask and snorkel before your holiday to help build your confidence in the water.

You can swap a half day excursion whale watching for a half day swim with dolphins or add it as an extra excursion. You could also opt to join the boat for the trip and not get wet. Please discuss with us for the full details.

 

 

 

Choice of accommodation

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You can select the style and budget of an accommodation option that suits your needs. Our standard 4* hotel is included in the package price and you can upgrade to a boutique 5*hotel. There is a budget option to reduce the cost of your holiday.

Location and Flights

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores. The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, are an archipelago of 9 islands in the mid-Atlantic. Our holidays are based in Ponta Delgada, the capital of Sao Miguel Island – the largest island in the archipelago. The abundance of dolphins and whales around the islands make the Azores one of the key locations worldwide for whale and dolphin watching. Few locations in the world offer such immaculate landscape and exceptional marine wildlife. Read more about the Azores here

The following is information about DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM UK TO PONTA DELGADA:

Flights

Flights are not included in the cost of our holidays. This holiday takes place on Sao Miguel island, Azores and you will be staying in Ponta Delgada, a 15-minute drive from the airport.

From April to June 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From July to August 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights from Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL) with British Airways

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From September to October 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

There are also flights from regional airports to Ponta Delgada via Lisbon/Oporto. Check all options for flights to Ponta Delgada at www.skyscanner.net

For ease we have a dedicated flight agent who can help arrange and book flights (except Ryanair) for you. Please contact Rupender.Bhoday@flightcentre.co.uk or call Rupender on 0207 925 1114

Marine Biologist Azores
BE A MARINE BIOLOGIST FOR THE DAY

£124 (adult) £62 (child 12yrs and under)

All of our holidays offer the once in a life time opportunity for you to “Be a Marine Biologist for a Day” – the perfect program for those with a keen appetite to learn. You will enjoy a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologist before spending a full day with them on a small RIB learning research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone. You will get away from the main tourist trail and have opportunities for a lot more contact with the animals. This a fully immersive day allowing you to step inside the shoes of our marine biologists and learn about their research. This activity can be added onto your holiday program.

Your day starts at our local boat base, walking distance from your hotel, with a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologists. You will then board the sturdy RIB zodiac boat and spend a full day at sea, travelling further along the coast to rich feeding grounds, giving you a closer look into the lives of the whales and dolphins you’ll meet – some are even known by name!

You will be accompanied by our expert local guides and marine biologists who love sharing their extensive knowledge of these incredible creatures. They will teach you research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone.

You will break for lunch, on land, joined by your marine biologist so be sure to ask lots of questions!

You’ll learn about the biology, habitat and behaviour of the cetaceans and participate in valuable research and conservation initiatives helping to preserve the oceans for future generations.

This is a superb addition to any trip and is ideally suited to adults and children who are keen to get hands on in the world of conservation.  

 

Whale research holidays
Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day – You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2

After a leisurely morning exploring the local town with its stunning architecture and walking around the botanical gardens, head down to the boat base for your first half day whale and dolphin watching trip to sea. You will be given the onboard briefing all about marine life in the Azorean Ocean, how we work and how best to spot the whales.

Days 3-4

Days 3 to 4 inclusive: Overall itinerary of the week will be announced when you arrive to fit with best weather. Each day will be either morning or afternoon boat trip. If there is any weather disruption your trips will be moved to another day or later in the day so that you go out during the best possible weather and conditions.

Day 5

Free day to add on an activity that suits you. Join a walking or mountain bike tour, try kayaking or SUP on the lake, or take the plunge and go canyoning.

Day 6

Full day Geothermal tour to Furnas : You will be taken to see the Island’s hot springs, geysers & hot bubbling mud. Take a dip in the hot thermal lake surrounded by the tropical plants and trees of a magnificent Garden which was planted by Kew gardeners 100 years ago!

Day 7

Free day or take another half day at sea whale and dolphin watching giving you more chances of sighting the giant whales or visit the local lava caves.

Day 8

Departure. If you have time before your flight you can do some souvenir shopping. You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport

Highlights

 

Best time to see an abundance of whales and dolphins

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Giant pods of dolphins, AzoresThe Azores islands attract huge numbers of whales and dolphins throughout the year. In the spring you can see the mighty Blue whales, the largest whales on the planet as they migrate past the islands. In the summer there are many species to be seen too -superpods of dolphins with their babies, as well as the resident sperm whales. You will get amazing photos of their iconic tail fluke as they dive down to feed on the squid. During your time at sea in the Azores our expert team will ensure you get the most amazing sightings, making memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.

 

 

Expert guides

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Marine BiologistYou will be accompanied by our expert local guides and marine biologists who love to share their extensive knowledge on the whales and dolphins you’ll meet – what they don’t know isn’t worth knowing. There will be talks and presentations before heading out to sea so you will be well prepared.

 

 

Education and conservation

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Marine research centreOur whale watching company has a research base offering a wealth of information and resources. It is possible to learn about the many research projects being conducted around the Azores which contribute to marine conservation.

 

Great choice of boats

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Catamaran holiday AzoresYou choose your preference of boats from the large stable catamaran with excellent viewing platforms, railings and a great vantage point for taking photos. There is plenty of space to walk around outdoor or indoor seating and toilet facilities. Alternatively, choose our smaller RIB zodiac hard hull boats with comfortable seats for an exhilarating ride to get you close to the action. The boats are very sturdy and can move easily even if the sea is choppy.

 

Best sightings

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Hump back whale watchingThe ‘Vigia’ (land based lookouts) on the shore guide us by radio contact to direct the boats to the whales and dolphins. This makes for consistently excellent sightings, said to be the best in the world. We see whales and dolphins on 98% of our trips to sea. Our guests are very impressed by the high standard offered by our boat company who are dedicated to offering you the best experience – nothing is too much trouble.

 

Overview

Azores Ocean Discovery
(code ADOCEAN)

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island - Azores

What’s included:  

  • Three half day trips to sea dolphin and whale watching
  • Full day geothermal tour to Furnas with “Cozido” lunch included
  • Talks and presentations from local marine biologists
  • 7 nights accommodation 
  • Services of local personnel at our boat base who co-ordinate your entire holiday program
  • All airport transfers from/to Ponta Delgada airport

Optional activities: Book additional trips to sea and land tours

Nights: 7

Extra nights: Option to extend your stay in the Azores, with extra nights at your hotel, visit another part of Sao Miguel or visit other islands

Accommodation: Standard 4* B&B hotel, with budget and upgrade options available

Meals: Breakfast included. Lunch included during full day tour to Furnas. Self catered options available

Price: From £760 per person. See below for details.

Flights: Not included. We give you guidance on booking flights to Ponta Delgada (PDL) Sao Miguel Island, Azores. See location and flights above

Dates 2021: These holidays operate year round

Flexible dates: This holiday can be arranged to start any day of the week to fit with flights

What people said!

“Seeing the ocean giants so close was amazing. I recommend booking this experience, and think about adding an extra week to visit the other islands.

The company carries out research and raises awareness of the whales and dolphins and how amazing they are. The information given by the guides was fantastic They work with the university, helping with student research as well as taking out holiday-makers. An excellent holiday.” Sarah Grandy

 

“Seeing far more whales, and more closely, than I ever expected. I think it supported conservation. A wonderful experience.” Anne Whittle

“The whole trip was an adventure. The boat trips were amazing. We were lucky enough to see three different types of dolphin on each trip and a manta ray on one of the trips.

The operator minimised environmental impacts and supported conservation. The animals’ welfare was always taken into account on our approach. The guides were very knowledgeable and answered any questions we had.
This was a truly amazing holiday!!” Stewart Sinclaire 

“The way the operator looked for the dolphins and whales was very sensitively done, there was no chasing or harassing the animals – it was completely on the animals’ terms at all times and carried out with respect. I was very impressed.

Also the staff were all very knowledgeable and able to answer all questions, as well as provide very interesting info throughout the trips. They were great! This was a fab holiday and experience. To experience these animals in their natural environment was just amazing. We also saw flying fish, turtles, three types of dolphins and a fin whale – wow!!” Denise Watson

“We thoroughly enjoyed our whale-watching trips where we saw many sperm whales and several different types of dolphin, and also a trip to Furnas where we spent an hour or so in the hot pool there. Worth a visit, and the gardens are lovely.

Take advantage of the island tours on offer, to see as much of the island as you can as the scenery is spectacular. The local travel guides are very knowledgeable and provide a lot of background information on the island. The boats were careful not to get too close to the whales or disrupt their activities. I am sure the local economy is benefitting from the tourist trade, helping local people and employment.

A very memorable trip – all the locals we met were extremely nice and helpful and we were very lucky with our whale and dolphin sightings.” Mary Gardener

Prices for this Holiday and Acccommodation

 

 Our holiday prices below include accommodation at our standard 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

You can also upgrade to a boutique hotel or 5* or you can opt for budget options to reduce the cost of your holiday.

 

A beautiful 4-star hotel with excellent location and facilities. It is a 15-minute walk to our base for the boats and the city’s beautiful botanical gardens are close by. The rooms are light, quiet and well-ventilated. Even though the hotel has great access to our boats, the hotel is far away from the noise of the seafront or busy city areas.

The hotel is ideal for families or large groups and rooms can easily accommodate up to two extra beds. Spacious rooms are sound proofed with air-conditioning and equipped with TV and fridge. There is the option to upgrade to sea/city view rooms (ask us for details). The hotel has a gym, indoor and outdoor pool with sun loungers, sauna, jacuzzi, games room, bar, restaurant with sea views and free parking for guests. A buffet breakfast is included. 

Azores Ocean Discovery Holiday Prices

 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

 

Mid Season • 01 - 30 April & 01 - 31 October

  • Solo traveller (single room) £1015
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £760
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £790
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights

 

High Season • 01 May - 30 September

  • Solo traveller (single room) £1195
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £850
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £790
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights

Upgrade Accommodation Options

All of the accommodation featured has been visited by us and checked for quality, good reviews, facilities and distance to our boat base and the harbour (5-20mins walk). They are also a short walking distance to good restaurants and shops. 

 

Budget and Self Catering Accommodation Options

All of the accommodation featured has been visited by us and checked for quality, good reviews, facilities and distance to our boat base and the harbour (5-20mins walk). They are also a short walking distance to good restaurants and shops. 

 

Blue Whale Ocean Giants Small Group Tour Sao Miguel Island Azores (OGPDL)

Ocean Giants, Exclusive Small Group Tour

Blue Whales, Fin Whales and Humpback Whales

Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores

2022 DATES: 30 Apr –  07 May, 07 – 14 May, 14 – 21 May

2023 DATES: 29 Apr –  06 May , 06 – 13 May, 13 May – 20 May

Join this exclusive small group tour to witness one of nature’s great events, huge gatherings of the biggest whales on the planet visit these unspoilt Islands to feed in the nutrient rich waters – a breath taking spectacle!

Ocean Giants, Exclusive Small Group Tour

Prices from £1190 pp.

Blue Whales, Fin Whales and Humpback Whales

May offers a unique opportunity for you to come and see these Ocean Giants during their Mid Atlantic annual migration.

Incredible Sightings

With help of land based lookouts we see whales and dolphins on 98% of our trips to sea.

Sao Miguel Island, Azores

Explore the island and swim in the hot thermal pools.

About this holiday

 

We take care of all the logistics so that you can relax and enjoy the experience

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blue whale tail in AzoresFrom the moment you step off the plane, our team will ensure everything is taken care of. You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel where you will meet you expert guide over welcome drinks.  Your guide will be with you throughout the duration of your holiday ensuring you get the best experience possible. There will be regular briefings and updates with plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Be part of an exclusive small group tour

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We offer this special, small exclusive group tour in May which is popular with whale enthusiasts and those who want to see whales for the first time. There is a programme of talks and activities led by our expert whale researcher and marine biologist guides. The dates coincide with the annual migration of the Blue whales, Fin whales and Humpbacks. This is a unique opportunity for you to view these Ocean Giants in their Mid Atlantic feeding grounds – sightings have been exceptional over the last few years. Being part of a special small group tour gives you a very informative experience which you can share with others in the group – the whole experience is fun and sociable. Some meals are included for the  group in local restaurants with your guide.

You will be accompanied by expert guide and whale researcher

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whale research holidays AzoresThe guide will be with your small group, ensuring you don’t miss any sightings and that you have a great vantage point for taking photographs and viewing the animals. His explanations really add another dimension to your understanding of the behaviour of the whales. He will also ensure you go out to sea at the optimum times for best sea conditions and weather to maximise your enjoyment.

“Our tour was led by expert guide, Rui, a whale researcher who collaborates with whale researchers worldwide, which is vital for this species protection. Passionate, hardworking, sharing and kind sums Rui up to a tee. He is literally the nicest guy you will ever meet! The guide and the local team were always caring, smiling and super enthusiastic. The trips out to sea were utterly amazing with many sightings of Blue, Sperm and Fin whales together with several dolphin and turtle species. There were numerous other creatures all expertly described by Rui (the man’s knowledge is unbelievable).We were also educated as to the role of the spotters (locally known as the Vigia) and we were fortunate to meet one who guided us to the animals. Learning about this was a real pleasure.

We were given short seminars after the trips, recapping what we had seen and allowing us time to consider these sightings so we could ask Rui questions. He was always passionate about sharing his fascination for these animals and all things nature in general.

I was very worried about getting seasick as I’m not good on the water, however, just taking some travel sickness pills sorted that out and I had no issues at all.” Richard Christie

Why are the Blue Whales ‘Ocean Giants’ choosing the Azores?

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Cetaceans are drawn to the Azores by the fertile water, rich in phytoplankton, which is the perfect place for a stopover to feed en route north.

Every year, a  spring phytoplankton bloom warmed by the temperate waters of the gulf stream around the Azores archipelago attracts a unique gathering of huge, ravenous Blue, Fin, Sei and Baleen whales (largest whales) on their migration routes to the feeding grounds of the northern Atlantic. Their numbers are increasing around the Azores.

“This tour was quite simply astounding….epic….beyond belief….it was one of the best days of my life to see and feel these giant whales close to the boat.”

 

 

Best time to go

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May dates have been chosen as statistics show that this time will offer you the best chance to see these migrating whales when they stopover and spend a few days to feed on the rich food source here. This is something unique in the whole of Europe. May also offers better sea conditions than March and April with warmer temperatures.

 

 

Direct flights from the UK and mainland Europe

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It is easy to get to The Azores on direct flights from the UK, many European cities and the USA. You can also travel via Lisbon and Porto from mainland Portugal. See our getting there section.

 

Location and Flights

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores. The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, are an archipelago of 9 islands in the mid-Atlantic. Our holidays are based in Ponta Delgada, the capital of Sao Miguel Island – the largest island in the archipelago. The abundance of dolphins and whales around the islands make the Azores one of the key locations worldwide for whale and dolphin watching. Few locations in the world offer such immaculate landscape and exceptional marine wildlife. Read more about the Azores here

The following is information about DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM UK TO PONTA DELGADA:

Flights

Flights are not included in the cost of our holidays. This holiday takes place on Sao Miguel island, Azores and you will be staying in Ponta Delgada, a 15-minute drive from the airport.

From April to June 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From July to August 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights from Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL) with British Airways

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From September to October 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

There are also flights from regional airports to Ponta Delgada via Lisbon/Oporto. Check all options for flights to Ponta Delgada at www.skyscanner.net

For ease we have a dedicated flight agent who can help arrange and book flights (except Ryanair) for you. Please contact Rupender.Bhoday@flightcentre.co.uk or call Rupender on 0207 925 1114

blue whale azores
Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in the Azores. Transfers to hotel. Welcome briefing and introductions, complimentary drinks, orientation in the local area. You have time for a rest! Schedule of whale-watching boat trips will be discussed and you will have a chance to meet the whole team and your guide during your complimentary dinner a local restaurant with group in the evening.

Day 2

Board the catamaran for morning whale-watching. At convenient times during the week you will be given audio-visual briefing about the whales and dolphins of the Azores, with lots of visuals and information about the history of whaling and whale-watching in the Azores. Your on board guide will provide in depth information about the wildlife, discuss the sightings, share details on current research and help you get the best shots of the whales!

Days 3-5

Days 3 to 5 inclusive: Overall itinerary of the week will be announced when you arrive to fit with best weather. Each day will be either morning or afternoon boat trip. There will be opportunities for excursions around the island to fit with your five half-day trips to sea. If there is any weather disruption your trips will be moved to another day or later in the day so that you go out during the best possible weather and conditions. Evening meals will be a combination of eating in the hotel restaurant and eating with the group and guide (subject to group preference). There will also be further talks and presentations from the marine biologist giving you a rich understanding of the whales of the Azores, local history and culture.

Day 6

You will be collected from your hotel this morning for a full day tour to the village of Furnas on the East of the Island (approx. 45 mins journey time). One of the most active thermal locations on Earth with steaming fumeroles,  the Valley of Furnas is a volcanic crater which has been dormant since 1630, the date of the last eruption. The most popular attraction for most visitors to Furnas is no doubt the thermal baths and you will enjoy bathing in water from the interior of the earth, charged with minerals at the thermal pool of Terra Nostra Park. You will also sample the local “Cozido” at lunch time in a local restaurant – a meat or vegetable stew cooked geothermally underground. 

Day 7

An opportunity for an additional trip to sea or another land tour. The evening will be an opportunity for a celebratory drink in the bar where you can share some of the photos taken and remember your highlights of the holiday followed by a complimentary meal with your guide.

Day 8

Departure day. Transfer to airport from hotel.

Highlights

 

Excellent boat

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Catamaran whale dolphin watching holidays AzoresThis small group tour takes place on a large stable catamaran that has other passengers on board. The catamaran has excellent viewing platforms, railings and a great vantage point for taking photos. There is plenty of space to walk around, outdoor and indoor seating and toilet facilities. Your group will be together accompanied by your expert guide who will be there to ensure you are looking in the right places to see the whales.

“We were on the cat and a huge gasp went up from everyone on board; a Fin whale had swum in front of the boat and opened its mouth out of the water to feed. It was only a split second but that sight is engraved on my memory.” Margaret Merris, May 2018.

Exceptional sightings

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Hump back whale AzoresIn recent years, we have been blessed with some exceptional sightings. Our groups have seen Blue, Fin and Humpback whales on many occasions, some so close to the boat you could smell their ‘exhale’ which had the aroma of their over-indulgent feeding on the krill. Even when the weather is challenging, we are usually able to reschedule cancelled boat trips to another day.

“We saw Humpbacks on our trip and to our astonishment, 50 metres from the boat one leapt out of the water and crashed backdown with a mighty splash! We really got an idea of just how ginormous these animals are.”

 

Land based lookouts to locate the whales

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Vigia Azores Whale Watching holidaysOur expert lookouts or ‘Vigia’ can spot the whales from land as they pass close to the volcanic islands and they direct the boats by radio contact to locate the whales. This makes for consistently excellent sightings, said to be some of the best in the world. It is a much more efficient system than searching for whales when out at sea.  The lookouts were historically used to sight whales for hunting which was banned in the Azores nearly 30 years ago. The lookouts are employed by the whale watching companies instead for tourists to appreciate the beauty of these magnificent creatures rather than killing them – a true win for conservation.

Responsible boat operators

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Catamaran holidays in AzoresOur whale watching company has a research base offering a wealth of information and resources for our guests. It is possible to learn about the many research projects and conservation efforts being conducted around the Azores. Our guests are very impressed by the high standard offered by our boat company who are dedicated to offering you the best experience, as well as ensuring that all boat approaches are done in a responsible way where the welfare of the whales comes first.

 

Luxury harbour view accommodation

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Hotel Marina AtlanticoYou will stay in the harbour-front Hotel Marina Atlantico in a superior ocean view room with balcony. A delicious breakfast buffet is included as well as two group evening meals with your guide. The group are all in the same place making it a good place for a social drink in the bar as well as informal group meetings. There is a single supplement for solo travellers to suit all budgets.
Your hotel is ideally located – everything is within easy walking distance from where you can explore the delights of this lively harbour town which is an international port.

 

 

Have an authentic experience on the Sao Miguel island tour

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Furnas thermal hot springsYour tour includes a full day island tour. Our local guides will take you to the hot thermal pools and geysers deep in the island’s interior at Furnas and teach you about the geothermal activity. Your visit will include a swim in hot thermal pools and lunch (cooked underground) in a local restaurant. Free time can be spent exploring the island at your leisure (on foot on bike or by kayak), visiting the stunning botanical gardens, enjoying presentations from our marine biologist guides or simply relaxing by the pool.

 

Overview

Blue Whale Ocean Giants Small Group Tour, Sao Miguel Island, Azores
(code OGPDL)

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island - Azores

What’s included:  

  • 2 Full day and 1 half day trips to sea
  • Expert marine biologist guide and whale researchers to accompany guests on the boat
  • Maximum small group of 14 guests with guide onboard large catamaran boat (there will be other guests onboard that are not part of our small group).
  • Sturdy catamaran boat (40 - 60 capacity) with spacious viewing decks, tiered seating and toilet facilities. 
  • Full day geothermal tour to Furnas with "Cozido" lunch
  • 7 nights accommodation 
  • Group meal with guide at the beginning and end of the holiday
  • Welcome drinks on arrival
  • All airport transfers from/to Ponta Delgada airport

Optional activities:  Option for an additional half day trip to sea with your guide and land tours to explore this stunning island.

Nights: 7

Extra nights: Option to extend your stay in the Azores, with extra nights at your hotel, visit another part of Sao Miguel or visit other islands

Accommodation: Luxury harbourside 4* B&B hotel with sea view room with balcony. Budget options available

Meals: Breakfast included. 2 dinners and 1 lunch group. Self catered options available.

Price: From £1190 per person. See below for details.

Flights: Not included. We give you guidance on booking flights to Ponta Delgada (PDL) Sao Miguel Island. See location and flights above

Dates 2021: 01 –  08 May,
08 – 15 May, 15 – 22 May

Dates 2022: 30 April - 07 May, 
07 – 14 May, 14 – 21 May

Flexible dates: This holiday can also be arranged to start any day of the week to fit with flights

What people said!

“Seeing the ocean giants so close was amazing. I recommend booking this experience, and think about adding an extra week to visit the other islands.

The company carries out research and raises awareness of the whales and dolphins and how amazing they are. The information given by the guides was fantastic They work with the university, helping with student research as well as taking out holiday-makers. An excellent holiday.” Sarah Grandy

 

“Seeing far more whales, and more closely, than I ever expected. I think it supported conservation. A wonderful experience.” Anne Whittle

“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!” Alice Caldwell

 

“We were lucky enough to see our first blue whale within an hour of setting out in the catamaran. Then seeing over 50 whales and over 100 dolphins over the three days was amazing. We saw blue, fin, sei and sperm whales.

Fantastic holiday! We saw everything we hoped for and more. The Azores are an amazing holiday destination and 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.” David Turley

 

“The whole trip was an adventure. The boat trips were amazing. We were lucky enough to see three different types of dolphin on each trip and a manta ray on one of the trips.

The operator minimised environmental impacts and supported conservation. The animals’ welfare was always taken into account on our approach. The guides were very knowledgeable and answered any questions we had.
This was a truly amazing holiday!!” Stewart Sinclaire 

Prices for this Holiday including Acccommodation

Over looking the harbour with views out to sea and just a few minutes walk from our boat base, this contemporary 4**** hotel has excellent facilities and spacious, well equipped rooms. Facilities include a modern health suite with indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and gym. The restaurant has views over the harbour and serves a delicious buffet breakfast. Free WiFi is available in all areas of the hotel. Rooms are sound proofed and come equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, minibar and en-suite facilities. Guests on our Ocean Giants Small Group Tour are allocated sea view rooms with a balcony.

Ocean Giants Exclusive Small Group Tour, Sao Miguel Island, Azores Prices

Including 4* Superior BB at Hotel Marina Atlantico

£1190 per person

Single person supplement £440

 

2022 available dates:

30 April – 07 May, 07 – 14 May, 14 - 21 May

 

2023 available dates:

29 April - 06 May, 06 - 13 May, 13 - 20 May

Our solo travellers have the option to stay at our smaller (39 rooms), family run Hotel Camoes. This 4**** town hotel is centrally located just a short 5 minute walk to the boat base and harbour. The hotel is set in a traditional building that has been tastefully restored with an underlying theme of Portuguese overseas exploration. There is a restaurant, bar and free WIFI throughout. Rooms come equipped with TV, mini bar and air conditioning. Buffet breakfast is included.

Ocean Giants Exclusive Small Group Tour, Sao Miguel Island, Azores Prices

Including 4* BB at Hotel Camoes

£1190 per person

Single person supplement £80

 

 

2022 available dates:

30 April – 07 May, 07 – 14 May, 14 - 21 May

 

2023 available dates:

29 April - 06 May, 06 - 13 May, 13 - 20 May

 

Blue Whale Ocean Giants Small Group Tour Pico Island Azores (OGPICO)

Ocean Giants, Exclusive Small Group Tour

Blue Whales, Fin Whales and Humpback Whales

Pico Island, Azores

 

2022 DATES: 23 – 30 April, 30 April – 07 May, 07 – 14 May

2023 DATES: 22 – 29 April, 29 April – 06 May, 06 – 13 May

Join this exclusive small group tour to witness one of nature’s great events, huge gatherings of the biggest whales on the planet to this remote and unspoilt Island to feed in the nutrient rich waters – a breath taking spectacle!

Ocean Giants, Exclusive Small Group Tour

Prices from £890 pp

Blue Whales, Fin Whales and Humpback Whales

May offers a unique opportunity for you to come and see these Ocean Giants during their Mid Atlantic annual migration.

Pico Island, Azores

Take a step back in time and explore the history of the island. Marvel at the views from the top of a volcano.

Incredible Sightings!

With help of land based lookouts we see whales and dolphins on 98% of our trips to sea.

About this holiday

 

Pico Island Ocean Giants

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Sperm whale Pico islandOn this exclusive tour, you have a rare opportunity to go out with a whale researcher and expert guide on one of the more remote islands of the Azores, Pico. Spending time on Pico gives a real taste of the traditions and heritage of the Azores as it is one of the less populated, more isolated volcanic islands of the archipelago. Enjoy breathtaking views of the dramatic geological formations and caves surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean crashing on to the black craggy cliffs of volcanic rock below.

The sightings here are exceptional with very few other boats. Pico Island formed from a volcano and the majestic Mt Pico stands tall above the island, luring many people to make the ascent to the top, above the clouds. The sides of the mountain also descend deep into the ocean on the south coast of Pico which sets up the perfect conditions for an upswell of the phytoplankton where the whales can feed. Our whale expert chooses to conduct his research here as the sightings are so exceptional.  You will be given talks about whale behaviour and recent discoveries, with opportunities to observe their feeding, hunting and socialising. The research boat will go to areas off the main whale watching trail and will frequently be surrounded by curious dolphins and whales.

We offer this special small exclusive group tour for two weeks in April and May. The tour dates are set at the best time to get some excellent sightings of Blue whales, Fin and Humpback whales when they stop over to feed on the nutrient rich-water close to shore.

We take care of all the logistics so you can relax and enjoy the experience

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From the moment you step off the plane, our team will ensure everything is taken care of. You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel where you will meet your expert guide over welcome drinks.  Your guide will be with you throughout the duration of your holiday ensuring you get the best experience possible. There will be regular briefings and updates, with plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Small group tour and guide

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whale research holidays AzoresYou will be part of an exclusive small group tour where you will meet other like-minded whale enthusiasts, accompanied by our renowned whale researcher and expert guide, Rui Santos. Rui has been conducting research and guiding tours in Pico for many years. He is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He provides a programme of talks and activities, as well as ensuring everything goes smoothly and you get the best opportunities for sightings. Some meals are included for the  group in local restaurants with your guide.

“Our tour was led by expert guide, Rui, a whale researcher who collaborates with whale researchers worldwide, which is vital for this species protection. Passionate, hardworking, sharing and kind sums Rui up to a tee. He is literally the nicest guy you will ever meet! The guide and the local team were always caring, smiling and super enthusiastic. The trips out to sea were utterly amazing with many sightings of Blue, Sperm and Fin whales together with several dolphin and turtle species. There were numerous other creatures all expertly described by Rui (the man’s knowledge is unbelievable).We were also educated as to the role of the spotters (locally know as the Vigia) and we were fortunate to meet one who guided us to the animals, learning about this was a real pleasure.

We were given short seminars after the trips recapping on what we had seen and allowing us time to consider what we had seen and to ask Rui questions. He was always passionate about sharing his fascination for these animals and all things nature in general.

I was very worried about getting seasick as I’m not good on the water, however just taking some travel sickness pills sorted that out and I had no issues at all.” Richard Christie

 

Why are the Blue Whales ‘Ocean Giants’ choosing the Azores?

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blue whale tail Pico island AzoresCetaceans are drawn to the Azores by the fertile water, rich in phytoplankton, which is the perfect place for the ‘baleen whales’ to stopover to feed en route north. Every year, a  spring phytoplankton bloom warmed by the temperate waters of the gulf stream around the Azores archipelago attracts a unique gathering of huge, ravenous Blue, Fin, Sei and Baleen whales (largest whales) on their migration routes to the feeding grounds of the northern Atlantic. Their numbers are increasing around the Azores and Pico Island which boasts some exceptional sightings.

 

Exclusive Boat

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Beaching whale next to RIBThe boats used are hard hulled inflatable RIB boats (exclusive use). The boats are very sturdy and can move easily and reach the whales swiftly, even if the sea is choppy. However, there can be some jerky movements on rougher seas. If you have back problems, or feel you prefer a boat with toilet facilities, we recommend you go on the Ocean Giants small group tour on Ponta Delgada as this tour uses a large stable catamaran.

Often, our boat is the only vessel around the animals which is very special. The research boats go to the best places to see the whales and approach with minimum disturbance in order to see as much natural behaviour as possible.

“We were on the boat and a huge gasp went up from everyone on board; a Fin whale had swum in front of the boat and opened its mouth out of the water to feed. It was only a split second but that sight is engraved on my memory.” Margaret Merris, May 2018

 

Island tour included in your holiday

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volcanic vineyards Azores walking holidaysIncluded in the holiday is a full day tour of Pico Island. Exploring the history of the island from the first settlers to modern day, you’ll see that many aspects of life have remained the same. A gentle walk up the slopes of Mt Pico, the tallest mountain in Portugal, will give way to breath taking views across the archipelago and the Atlantic Ocean. Pico boasts one of the largest colonies of Cory’s Shearwater, known locally as ‘Cagarra.’ Marvel at the daily spectacle as the birds come home to feed their hungry chicks, nestled in the hillsides. You can also treat yourself to a delicious glass of wine whilst we visit one of the islands many volcanic vineyards.

 

Flights from the UK and mainland Europe via Lisbon or Porto to Pico Island

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It is easy to get to The Azores on flights from many UK and European airports, as well as from the USA. You can also travel via Lisbon and Porto from mainland Portugal.

 

Pico Island, Azores
Location and Flights

Location: Pico Island, Azores. The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, are an archipelago of 9 islands in the mid-Atlantic.  This holiday is based on Pico Island, Azores (part of the central group of the islands). The abundance of dolphins and whales around the Azores makes Pico Island one of the key locations worldwide for whale and dolphin watching.

The following is information about DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM UK TO PONTA DELGADA:

Flights

Flights are not included in the cost of our holidays. This holiday takes place on Sao Miguel island, Azores and you will be staying in Ponta Delgada, a 15-minute drive from the airport.

From April to June 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

From July to August 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights from Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL) with British Airways

From September to October 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

There are also flights from regional airports to Ponta Delgada via Lisbon/Oporto. Check all options for flights to Ponta Delgada at www.skyscanner.net

For ease we have a dedicated flight agent who can help arrange and book flights (except Ryanair) for you. Please contact Rupender.Bhoday@flightcentre.co.uk or call Rupender on 0207 925 1114

Giant Whales Azores
Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in the Azores. Transfers to hotel. Welcome briefing and introductions, complimentary drinks, orientation in the local area. You have time for a rest! Schedule of whale-watching boat trips will be discussed and you will have a chance to meet the whole team and your guide, Rui Santos, during your complimentary dinner a local restaurant with group in the evening.

Day 2

Board the RIB Zodiac for morning whale-watching. At convenient times during the week you will be given audio-visual briefing about the whales and dolphins of the Azores, with lots of visuals and information about the history of whaling and whale-watching in the Azores. Your on board guide will provide in depth information about the wildlife and will be available to discuss the sightings, share his research and help you get the best shots of the whales!

Days 3 to 7

Overall itinerary of the week will be announced when you arrive to fit with best weather. Each day will be either morning or afternoon boat trip. There will be opportunities for excursions around the island to fit with your five half-day trips to sea. If there is any weather disruption your trips will be moved to another day or later in the day so that you go out during the best possible weather and conditions. Evening meals will be a combination of eating in the hotel restaurant and eating with the group and guide (subject to group preference). There will also be further talks and presentations from the marine biologist giving you a rich understanding of the whales of the Azores, local history and culture.

Day 8

Departure day. Transfer to airport from hotel.

Other activities

A full day tour of the island is included to give you a chance to appreciate the island’s rugged beauty and charm. Learn about the local culture, the volcanic origins of the island and see the vineyards, caves and mountain villages There is access to swim in the sea from a sheltered lagoon (temperature permitting), nearby walks, bird watching, snorkelling and diving. We also offer talks and presentations on marine and land birdlife. There is a whaling museum giving the history of the old whaling culture which stopped 25 years ago.

Highlights

 

Your expert whale watching guide in Pico

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whale research holidays AzoresThis exclusive small group is led by expert whale researcher and guide, Rui Santos. He has worked as a whale watching guide for the last 12 years and is always very popular with the guests. He is very enthusiastic and passionate about dolphins and whales – you will certainly learn a lot. He genuinely wants to do everything to ensure you have the best experience possible.

Rui Santos has a masters in Marine Biology and has been conducting his ongoing research in Pico since 2008. He has had several publications and lectures about some of his discoveries on this remote location. On this tour, you will have a chance to assist him with his research: for example, photo ID, acoustic sampling with the hydrophone and data collection.

View the whales underwater in ‘real’ time using an underwater Go Pro as they pass beside the boat.

Exceptional sightings

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baleen whale feeding AzoresIn recent years, we have been blessed with some exceptional sightings. Our groups have seen Blue, Fin and Humpback whales on many occasions, some so close to the boat you could smell their ‘exhale’ which had the aroma of their over-indulgent feeding on the krill. Even when the weather is challenging, we are usually able to reschedule cancelled boat trips to another day.

 

 

Land based lookouts to locate the whales

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Vigia Azores Whale Watching holidaysOur expert lookouts or ‘Vigia’ can spot the whales from land as they pass close to the volcanic islands and they direct the boats by radio contact to locate the whales. This makes for consistently excellent sightings, said to be some of the best in the world. It is a much more efficient system than searching for whales when out at sea. The lookouts were historically used to sight whales for hunting which was banned in the Azores nearly 30 years ago. The lookouts are employed by the whale watching companies instead for tourists to appreciate the beauty of these magnificent creatures rather than killing them – a true win for conservation.

Abundance of species

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Fin whale open mouth AzoresThe Azores boasts a tremendous variety of species with these giant migrating ‘Baleen whales’ frequently sighted in the spring as well as the resident Sperm whales who make the Azores their home as well as their breeding grounds. We frequently see the nursery groups of females with young. The abundance of dolphins are a delight, riding in the bow wave of the boat, leaping and twirling with joy. It is also possible to observe short finned Pilot whales, Orca, Bottlenose whales, seven species of dolphin, sea birds and marine life such as turtles and manta ray.

Responsible boat operators

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Our whale watching company has a research base offering a wealth of information and resources for our guests and it is possible to learn about the many research projects and conservation efforts being conducted around the Azores. Our guests are very impressed by the high standard offered by our boat company who are dedicated to offering you the best experience, as well as ensuring that all boat approaches are done in a responsible way where the welfare of the whales comes first.

Overview

Blue Whale Ocean Giants Small Group Tour, Pico Island, Azores
(code OGPICO)

Location: Pico Island, Azores

What’s included:  

  • 5 half day excursions on a research boat
  • Guests accompanied by expert whale researcher Rui Santos
  • Full day Pico Island land tour 
  • Exclusive small group tour (max 14 guests)
  • 7 nights accommodation 
  • Group meal at the beginning and end of holiday with our expert guide
  • All airport transfers from/to Pico Airport 

Nights: 7

Extra nights: Option to extend your stay in the Azores with extra nights at your hotel or visit other islands

Accommodation:

  • Choice of  accommodation with breakfast in a luxury hilltop villa, 3*** village hotel or one bedroom apartment with sea view. Option to upgrade to 4**** village hotel with pool for a supplement.

Meals: Breakfast included. Self catered options available.

Price: From £890 per person. See below for details

Flights: Not included. We give you guidance on booking flights to Pico Island, Azores (PIX). See location and flights above

Dates 2021:
24 April – 01 May, 01 –  08 May (FULL),
08 – 15 May

Dates 2022:
23 April – 30 April, 30 April - 07 May
07 – 14 May

Optional activities: book additional trips to sea and land tours

What people said!

“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!” Alice Caldwell

 

“Our tour was fascinating, led by an expert guide and whale researcher, really lovely guy who gave short seminars after the trips recapping on what we had seen and allowing us time to consider and ask questions as he was passionate about sharing his fascination for these animals and their conservation. The sightings were outstanding and all the team ensured we were always where the action was!”  Richard Christie

“What I liked about this tour was that often we were the only boat out with the whales – we felt privileged to have so much time with the whales and observe their behaviour first hand” Rosy Hughes

The cost of this tour varies according to your choice of accommodation. The standard accommodation is our 3* harbour hotel or you can upgrade to a 4* hotel, luxury villa or private house.

Prices for this Holiday including Acccommodation

 With views across the ocean and towards Mount Pico and just 3 minutes walk to the marina, this hotel is in a great location. Rooms come equipped with satellite TV and a private bathroom with shower.  Buffet breakfast is included.

Ocean Giants Small Group Tour, Pico Island, Azores Prices

Including 3* BB at Hotel Bela Vista

£890 per person

Single person supplement £120

2022 Dates:

23 Apr – 30 Apr (available), 30 Apr - 07 May (available) & 07 – 14 May (available)

2023 Dates:

22 Apr – 29 Apr (available), 29 Apr – 06 May (available) & 06 – 13 May (available)

 

This beautiful hotel which has a unique and dramatic setting is perched on cliffs high above the Atlantic ocean. It is renowned as one of the top hotels in the Azores and is classed 4**** The villas are nestled in the beautiful mature gardens. This “Nature Hotel” is the perfect way to enjoy the blue of the ocean and the green of the gardens. The hotel has a sauna and Gym, natural salt water swimming pool and access to the sea.

It consists of separate villas made of the local volcanic stone set in beautiful landscaped gardens. It is a haven of tranquillity, beauty and rustic charm where you feel the island’s elemental origins and breathe the unpolluted ocean air. It is surrounded by forests and vineyards and has fabulous views of the spectacular volcano which is dormant. Its landscaped gardens lend themselves to socialising in the garden-restaurant under vines and orange trees. There are also many magical and tranquil hidden away places to relax in hammocks or gaze out to sea. There is also a swimming pool and barbecue looking out to the ocean. Dolphins and whales can often be sighted from here. The owners and staff are friendly and hospitable hosts and the hotel has a very good standard of comfort and amenities. The hotel has a reasonably priced, excellent restaurant serving local fish and seafood, superb international cuisine, and offers an extensive and imaginative vegetarian selection.

The Rooms
The accommodation comprises private en-suite twin rooms with tv, and seating area. There are also studio en suite rooms which are bigger than the twin have two beds, sofa chairs, tea making facilities, a fridge and many have access to a terrace with views to the ocean or gardens. The suites are like private apartments. They have a master bedroom with a separate lounge with sofa bed (third person) and armchairs with a kitchen and bathroom. This is ideal for three sharing. The bedroom, lounge and bathroom all lead to a private entrance hall.

Other Facilities
Our guests have use of the swimming pool which is situated in a dramatic location looking out to the ocean. It is a saltwater pool and is a perfect spot to relax and read a book or for the children to play.

There is a gym, sauna and relaxation area as well as a masseuse by request.

There are two bars, one with a large lounge with sofas, a library and internet café. The hotel has WiFi. There is a shop with local artisan crafts. The hotel can arrange a cultural tour of the island with the wife of the owner of the hotel who is an expert on local history, culture, flora and fauna. She is the inspiration behind the gardens which are very beautiful. There are many nature walks in the forests nearby. Access to the sea for swimming is a 5 minute walk from the hotel along the cliff path.

The Restaurant
The hotel restaurant is situated inside or during the summer you sit outside under the vines on the terrace. Our guests love the food which is renowned as the best restaurant on the island. Local fish and meat dishes are served as well as a wide range of international and vegetarian cuisine. The meals are all freshly prepared so take time over your meal which will be served by the restaurant staff. The wine menu has a selection of impressive local wines.

 

 

 

 

 

Ocean Giants Small Group Tour, Pico Island, Azores Prices

Including 4* BB at Aldeia da Fonte Nature Hotel

£1140 per person

Single person supplement £190

2022 Dates:

23 Apr – 30 Apr (available), 30 Apr - 07 May (available) & 07 – 14 May (available)

2023 Dates:

22 Apr – 29 Apr (available), 29 Apr – 06 May (available) & 06 – 13 May (available)

Our luxury cliff-top villa with beautiful landscaped gardens and private pool, overlooks the sea and Mount Pico. The split level interior is tastefully designed and local stone, materials and labour were used wherever possible during its’ construction. The villa is well equipped for the convenience of our guests and breakfast is delivered to the property each morning by our local supplier.

The pool, although unheated, has been specially insulated and is located in a sun-trap. The fantastic plant resource on the island was used as a basis for the planting. The Island has only one beach. It does however have many safe natural swimming areas, enhanced and improved, for the public to use. The nearest of these is directly in front of the Villa, less than a minute walk away.

Ocean Giants Small Group Tour, Pico Island, Azores Prices

Including BB at our Cliff Top Villa

£950 per person

Single person supplement £120

2022 Dates:

23 Apr – 30 Apr (available), 30 Apr - 07 May (available) & 07 – 14 May (available)

2023 Dates:

22 Apr – 29 Apr (available), 29 Apr - 06 May (available) & 06 – 13 May (available)

 

 

Situated in a traditional quiet village in Pico, surrounded by nature and just 5 minutes drive from the boat base our private house is the perfect base for discovering this unique island.

Reconstructed from two very ancient typical houses, it now provides exceptional comfort in beautiful surroundings. Traditional features include basalt walls, wooden floors and wooden ceilings that are combined with abundant natural light, generous open spaces, and exquisite contemporary details, making for a very comfortable yet unique experience. Guests have access to a full kitchen, balconies and terraces, a large dining room and a living room with television and musical instruments.

A traditional Azorean breakfast of fresh local produce is served in the kitchen each morning.

Ocean Giants Small Group Tour, Pico Island, Azores Prices

Including BB in a Private House

£950 per person

Single person supplement £120

2022 Dates:

23 Apr – 30 Apr (available), 30 Apr - 07 May (available) & 07 – 14 May (available)

2023 Dates:

22 Apr – 29 Apr (available), 29 Apr - 06 May (available) & 06 – 13 May (available)

 

Flexible Whale & Dolphin Watching Holidays (ADWW)

Flexible Whale & Dolphin Watching Holidays Azores

Last-minute availability 2021, booking now!

2022 & 2023 DATES: Year round

(flexible arrival/departure dates to fit with flights)

Our flexible itineraries are a selection of the best flavours of the Azores. Take trips to sea for dolphin and whale watching and add excursions and day tours to explore Sao Miguel island and all it has to offer.

Whale and Dolphin Watching on Sao Miguel Island

Prices from £610 per person

Incredible Whale and Dolphin Sightings

April, May & June is the time to see the many Blue, Humpback and Fin Whales who gather in the Azores on their annual migration. In the summer months super pods of dolphins make the sea come alive as they jump and twirl out of the water!

Flexibility and Choice

Our flexible itineraries allow you to travel at a time that best suits you and to include a range of activities

About this holiday

 

Choose your preferred travel dates and choice of activities

Read More

Humpback whale breaching AzoresThese packages all include a choice of excellent accommodation, boat trips to see the whales and dolphins, airport transfers and local guide services with the freedom and flexibility of booking a holiday on your preferred dates (weekly departures March-October) as well as being able to add on island tours and activities to explore the island, travelling at your own pace. 

April, May and June is the best time to see the Blue, Fin and Humpback whales as they migrate past the Islands.  Summer is blessed with abundant dolphins, and many other whale species.

Best place to see dolphins and whales in the wild!

Read More

Dolphin pod Azores holidaysThe Azores archipelago is renowned as one of the best places to see dolphins and whales in the wild. Throughout the year, March to October being the best time to visit for abundant sightings and diversity of species. The whale numbers and sightings seem to be increasing around the Azores, as are the super pods of various species of dolphins riding in the bow wave of the boat and leaping and twirling with joy. All our trips are with responsible operators who have sensitivity and respect for the wellbeing of the whales and dolphins. The ethos on the Islands is to preserve the natural environment and develop responsible and sustainable tourism that contributes to conservation.

“The ocean around the Azores islands is teeming with resident and transient whales and dolphins. It is one of the best places in the world to see Blue Whales in the spring and an abundance and variety of species all year. These fascinating Islands at sea and on land are easy to reach from Europe on a direct 3 hour flight!”   

 

Island tours and activities

Read More

Furnas Rui MottaTake a full day tour to visit the geysers deep in the island’s interior at Furnas. Local guides will teach you about the geothermal activity and your visit will include a swim in hot thermal pools and lunch (cooked underground) in a local restaurant. See the island on foot, on bike or by kayak. Visit the stunning botanical gardens, and enjoy presentations from our marine biologist guides or simply relax by the pool.

Choice of accommodation

Read More

You can select the style and budget of an accommodation option that suits your needs. Our standard 4* hotel is included in the package price and you can upgrade to a boutique 5*hotel or you can opt for a budget option to reduce cost of holiday.

 

Location and Flights

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores. The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, are an archipelago of 9 islands in the mid-Atlantic. Our holidays are based in Ponta Delgada, the capital of Sao Miguel Island – the largest island in the archipelago. The abundance of dolphins and whales around the islands make the Azores one of the key locations worldwide for whale and dolphin watching. Few locations in the world offer such immaculate landscape and exceptional marine wildlife. Read more about the Azores here

The following is information about DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM UK TO PONTA DELGADA:

Flights

Flights are not included in the cost of our holidays. This holiday takes place on Sao Miguel island, Azores and you will be staying in Ponta Delgada, a 15-minute drive from the airport.

From April to June 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From July to August 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights from Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL) with British Airways

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From September to October 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

There are also flights from regional airports to Ponta Delgada via Lisbon/Oporto. Check all options for flights to Ponta Delgada at www.skyscanner.net

For ease we have a dedicated flight agent who can help arrange and book flights (except Ryanair) for you. Please contact Rupender.Bhoday@flightcentre.co.uk or call Rupender on 0207 925 1114

Marine Biologist Azores
BE A MARINE BIOLOGIST FOR THE DAY

£124 (adult) £62 (child 12yrs and under)

All of our holidays offer the once in a life time opportunity for you to “Be a Marine Biologist for a Day” – the perfect program for those with a keen appetite to learn. You will enjoy a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologist before spending a full day with them on a small RIB learning research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone. You will get away from the main tourist trail and have opportunities for a lot more contact with the animals. This a fully immersive day allowing you to step inside the shoes of our marine biologists and learn about their research. This activity can be added onto your holiday program.

Your day starts at our local boat base, walking distance from your hotel, with a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologists. You will then board the sturdy RIB zodiac boat and spend a full day at sea, travelling further along the coast to rich feeding grounds, giving you a closer look into the lives of the whales and dolphins you’ll meet – some are even known by name!

You will be accompanied by our expert local guides and marine biologists who love sharing their extensive knowledge of these incredible creatures. They will teach you research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone.

You will break for lunch, on land, joined by your marine biologist so be sure to ask lots of questions!

You’ll learn about the biology, habitat and behaviour of the cetaceans and participate in valuable research and conservation initiatives helping to preserve the oceans for future generations.

This is a superb addition to any trip and is ideally suited to adults and children who are keen to get hands on in the world of conservation.  

 

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day – You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2

After a leisurely morning exploring the local town with its stunning architecture and walking around the botanical gardens, head down to the boat base for your first half day whale and dolphin watching trip to sea. You will be given the onboard briefing all about Marine life in the Azorean Ocean, how we work and how best to spot the whales.

Day 3-7

Days 3 to 4 inclusive: Overall itinerary of the week will be announced when you arrive to fit with best weather. This holiday includes two, half day sea excursions to see the dolphins and whales which will be either a morning or afternoon boat trip. If there is any weather disruption your trips will be moved to another day or later in the day so that you go out during the best possible weather and conditions.

We can build the rest of your itinerary around you and your preferred activities.

Take a full day Geothermal tour to Furnas : You will be taken to see the Island’s hot springs, geysers & hot bubbling mud. Take a dip in the hot thermal lake surrounded by the tropical plants and trees of a magnificent Garden which was planted by Kew gardeners 100 years ago!

Add extra whale and dolphin watching excursions, giving you more chances of sighting the giant whales and large pods of dolphins.

Join a walking or mountain bike tour, try kayaking or SUP on the lake, or take the plunge and go canyoning. Our Geotourism day tours explore the islands ancient, and more recent volcanic activity and visits the local lava caves. Or just relax and simply spend time by the hotel pool.

Day 8

Departure. If you have time before your flight you can do some souvenir shopping. You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport

Highlights

 

Discover, be inspired! Marine wildlife, sea air and the wow factor 

Read More

sperm whale feeding AzoresYou’ll all come away bursting with facts about the world’s largest whales and the unique biodiversity of the islands. We hope you will deepen your passion for the natural world and more importantly return home with memories that will last a lifetime.

“I could just write four words to describe our holiday: “ Out of this world ”.  All three of us had an absolutely fantastic time, had loads of dolphin encounters with three of the four species, saw sperm whales breaching, pilot whales breathing on surface , bryde whales being elusive  ….. truly magical, and better than we had dared to hope for. Have to say how much we were impressed by the local  team  as well.  Their commitment to the welfare of the cetaceans was really humbling – and their commitment to ensuring that everyone of us had the most amazing time possible.” Lisa Newman

 

Education and Conservation

Read More

Marine biologist presentation AzoresOur 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 which contribute to marine conservation. 

Watch our online presentation “Discover Sperm Whales” where you will learn about the lives of these incredible mammals who live around the Islands and dive deep to find prey (squid) and also learn about the challenges facing the world’s oceans.

Great choice of boats

Read More

whale watching Pico island azoresYou choose your preference of boats from the large stable catamaran with excellent viewing platforms, railings and a great vantage point for taking photos. There is plenty of space to walk around outdoor or indoor seating and toilet facilities OR our smaller RIB zodiac hard hull boats with comfortable seats for an exhilarating ride to get you close to the action. The boats are very sturdy and can move easily even if the sea is choppy.

 

Overview

Flexible Whale and Dolphin Watching Holidays
(code ADFLEX)

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island - Azores

What’s included:  

  • Three half day trips to sea dolphin and whale watching
  • Talks and presentations from local marine biologists
  • 7 nights accommodation 
  • Services of local personnel at our boat base who co-ordinate your entire holiday program
  • All airport transfers from/to Ponta Delgada airport

Optional activities: Book additional trips to sea and land tours

Nights: 7

Extra nights: Option to extend your stay in the Azores, with extra nights at your hotel, visit another part of Sao Miguel or visit other islands

Accommodation: Standard 4* B&B hotel, with budget and upgrade options available

Meals: Breakfast included. Self catered options available

Price: From £610 per person. See below for details

Flights: Not included. We give you guidance on booking flights to Ponta Delgada (PDL) Sao Miguel Island, Azores. See location and flights above

Dates 2021: These holidays run throughout the year

Flexible dates: This holiday can also be arranged to start any day of the week to fit with flights

What people said!

“Seeing the ocean giants so close was amazing. I recommend booking this experience, and think about adding an extra week to visit the other islands.

The company carries out research and raises awareness of the whales and dolphins and how amazing they are. The information given by the guides was fantastic They work with the university, helping with student research as well as taking out holiday-makers. An excellent holiday.” Sarah Grandy

 

“Seeing far more whales, and more closely, than I ever expected. I think it supported conservation. A wonderful experience.” Anne Whittle

“We were lucky enough to see our first blue whale within an hour of setting out in the catamaran. Then seeing over 50 whales and over 100 dolphins over the three days was amazing. We saw blue, fin, sei and sperm whales.

Fantastic holiday! We saw everything we hoped for and more. The Azores are an amazing holiday destination and 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.” David Turley

 

“What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday? – Crystal clear blue seas and blue 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 change – 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 This was the most wonderful week ever. I cannot thank the local team and the Dolphin Connection enough. I would not hesitate to go back again, and very much hope to do so  in the future.” Ali Pemble

“This was an outstanding holiday! Seeing the blow of our first ever sighting of a sperm whale! Then jumping into our seats and speeding across the Atlantic Ocean until we got within a short distance away  from her in time to see the whale diving and throwing up the iconic whale tail.   And all captured by my camera… I was literally blown away and couldn’t wait for the next sighting. We are returning as soon as we can!” Diane and Peter Malloy

Prices for this Holiday and Acccommodation

 

 Our holiday prices below include accommodation at our standard 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

You can also upgrade to a boutique hotel or 5* or you can opt for budget options to reduce the cost of your holiday.

 

A beautiful 4-star hotel with excellent location and facilities. It is a 15-minute walk to our base for the boats and the city’s beautiful botanical gardens are close by. The rooms are light, quiet and well-ventilated. Even though the hotel has great access to our boats, the hotel is far away from the noise of the seafront or busy city areas.

The hotel is ideal for families or large groups and rooms can easily accommodate up to two extra beds. Spacious rooms are sound proofed with air-conditioning and equipped with TV and fridge. There is the option to upgrade to sea/city view rooms (ask us for details). The hotel has a gym, indoor and outdoor pool with sun loungers, sauna, jacuzzi, games room, bar, restaurant with sea views and free parking for guests. A buffet breakfast is included. 

Whale & Dolphin Watching Holiday Prices

 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

 

Low Season • 02 Jan - 31 Mar

  • Solo traveller (single room) £805
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £610
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £710
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights
Mid Season • 01 - 30 April & 01 - 31 October

  • Solo traveller (single room) £935
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £675
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £710
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights

 

High Season • 01 May - 30 September

  • Solo traveller (single room) £1125
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £770
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £710
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights

Upgrade Accommodation Options

All of the accommodation featured has been visited by us and checked for quality, good reviews, facilities and distance to our boat base and the harbour (5-20mins walk). They are also a short walking distance to good restaurants and shops. 

 

Budget and Self Catering Accommodation Options

All of the accommodation featured has been visited by us and checked for quality, good reviews, facilities and distance to our boat base and the harbour (5-20mins walk). They are also a short walking distance to good restaurants and shops. 

 

Blue Whale Bonanza (ADBWB)

Blue Whale Bonanza!

2022 DATES: 09 April – 04 June

 2023 DATES: 08 April – 03 June 

 

Join us in the Spring to witness one of nature’s great events, huge gatherings of the biggest whales on the planet to these unspoilt Azores Islands to feed in the nutrient rich waters – a breath taking spectacle!

Sao Miguel Island, Azores

Prices from £760 per person

Incredible Sightings

With help of land based lookouts we see whales and dolphins on 98% of our trips to sea!

Blue Whale Migration

April, May & June is the time to see the many Blue, Humpback and Fin Whales who gather in the Azores on their annual migration.

Ocean Giants Feast

Join us in spring as the Ocean Giants migrate through the Azores to feast on the nutrient rich waters.

About this holiday

 

Join us at the optimum time to see the majestic Blue Whales, Humpback and Fin whales migrating past the islands.

Read More

Fin whale open mouth AzoresSpring is an incredibly exciting time in the Azores and definitely the best time to go. Take a voyage of discovery beneath the ocean with our local marine biologists. This holiday takes you out to the open seas to see these ocean giants and teaches you all about these incredible creatures and the creation of the islands, that took place over 20 million years ago.

Be inspired! Marine wildlife, sea air and the wow factor

Read More

You’ll all come away bursting with facts about the world’s largest whales and the unique biodiversity of the islands. We hope you will deepen your passion for the natural world and more importantly return home with memories that will last a lifetime.

“We were on the cat and a huge gasp went up from everyone on board; a fin whale had swum in front of the boat and opened its mouth out of the water to feed. It was only a split second but that sight is engraved on my memory.” Margaret Merris 

Why are the Blue Whales “Ocean Giants” choosing the Azores?

Read More

Cetaceans are drawn to the Azores as they know there is a plentiful food supply. In the Springtime there is a  phytoplankton bloom warmed by the temperate waters of the Gulf Stream around the Azores archipelago which has resulted in a unique gathering of huge, ravenous Baleen Whales: Blue, Fin and Humpback on their migration routes to the feeding grounds of the northern Atlantic. This is one of nature’s great events, the whale equivalent of an all you can eat buffet – this is why we call it the “Gulp Stream”.

“The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see Blue Whales with such an abundance and variety of species. These fascinating Islands at sea and on land are easy to reach from Europe on a direct 3 hour flight!”  

The Azores archipelago is renowned as one of the best places to see dolphins and whales in the wild. Throughout the year, March to October being the best time to visit for abundant sightings and diversity of species. The whale numbers and sightings seem to be increasing around the Azores, as are the super pods of various species of dolphins riding in the bow wave of the boat and leaping and twirling with joy. All our trips are with responsible operators who have sensitivity and respect for the wellbeing of the whales and dolphins. The ethos on the Islands is to preserve the natural environment and develop responsible and sustainable tourism that contributes to conservation.

Island Tour included in your holiday

Read More

Furnas hot springs AzoresOur knowledgeable local guides will be with you at sea and on land so you will have a truly authentic experience!  They will take you to the geysers deep in the island’s interior at Furnas and teach you about the geothermal activity. Your visit will include a swim in hot thermal pools and lunch (cooked underground) in a local restaurant. Free time can be spent exploring the island at your leisure, on foot on bike or by kayak, visiting the stunning botanical gardens, enjoying presentations from our marine biologist guides or simply relaxing by the pool.

 

Choice of accomodation

Read More

You can select the style and budget of an accommodation option that suits your needs. Our standard 4* hotel is included in the package price and you can upgrade to a boutique hotel of 5* or you can opt for a budget option to reduce cost of holiday.

Location and Flights

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores. The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, are an archipelago of 9 islands in the mid-Atlantic. Our holidays are based in Ponta Delgada, the capital of Sao Miguel Island – the largest island in the archipelago. The abundance of dolphins and whales around the islands make the Azores one of the key locations worldwide for whale and dolphin watching. Few locations in the world offer such immaculate landscape and exceptional marine wildlife. Read more about the Azores here

The following is information about DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM UK TO PONTA DELGADA:

Flights

Flights are not included in the cost of our holidays. This holiday takes place on Sao Miguel island, Azores and you will be staying in Ponta Delgada, a 15-minute drive from the airport.

From April to June 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From July to August 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights from Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL) with British Airways

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From September to October 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

There are also flights from regional airports to Ponta Delgada via Lisbon/Oporto. Check all options for flights to Ponta Delgada at www.skyscanner.net

For ease we have a dedicated flight agent who can help arrange and book flights (except Ryanair) for you. Please contact Rupender.Bhoday@flightcentre.co.uk or call Rupender on 0207 925 1114

Marine Biologist Azores
BE A MARINE BIOLOGIST FOR THE DAY

£124 (adult) £62 (child 12yrs and under)

All of our holidays offer the once in a life time opportunity for you to “Be a Marine Biologist for a Day” – the perfect program for those with a keen appetite to learn. You will enjoy a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologist before spending a full day with them on a small RIB learning research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone. You will get away from the main tourist trail and have opportunities for a lot more contact with the animals. This a fully immersive day allowing you to step inside the shoes of our marine biologists and learn about their research. This activity can be added onto your holiday program.

Your day starts at our local boat base, walking distance from your hotel, with a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologists. You will then board the sturdy RIB zodiac boat and spend a full day at sea, travelling further along the coast to rich feeding grounds, giving you a closer look into the lives of the whales and dolphins you’ll meet – some are even known by name!

You will be accompanied by our expert local guides and marine biologists who love sharing their extensive knowledge of these incredible creatures. They will teach you research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone.

You will break for lunch, on land, joined by your marine biologist so be sure to ask lots of questions!

You’ll learn about the biology, habitat and behaviour of the cetaceans and participate in valuable research and conservation initiatives helping to preserve the oceans for future generations.

This is a superb addition to any trip and is ideally suited to adults and children who are keen to get hands on in the world of conservation.  

 

blue whale azores
Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day – You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2

After a leisurely morning exploring the local town with its stunning architecture and walking around the botanical gardens, head down to the boat base for your first half day whale and dolphin watching trip to sea. You will be given the onboard briefing all about marine life in the Azorean Ocean, how we work and how best to spot the whales.

Days 3-4

Days 3 to 4 inclusive: Overall itinerary of the week will be announced when you arrive to fit with best weather. Each day will be either morning or afternoon boat trip. If there is any weather disruption your trips will be moved to another day or later in the day so that you go out during the best possible weather and conditions.

Day 5

Free day to add on an activity that suits you. Join a walking or mountain bike tour, try kayaking or SUP on the lake, or take the plunge and go canyoning.

Day 6

Full day Geothermal tour to Furnas : You will be taken to see the Island’s hot springs, geysers & hot bubbling mud. Take a dip in the hot thermal lake surrounded by the tropical plants and trees of a magnificent Garden which was planted by Kew gardeners 100 years ago!

Day 7

Free day or take another half day at sea whale and dolphin watching giving you more chances of sighting the giant whales or visit the local lava caves.

Day 8

Departure. If you have time before your flight you can do some souvenir shopping. You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport

Highlights

 

Best time to see Blue Whales

Read More

Blue whale diving AzoresThe dates of these holidays are the best time to see the largest whales on the planet as they migrate past the Islands ensuring you get the most amazing sightings and memories that will stay with you.

 

Expert Guides

Read More

Guide Wearing MaskYou will be accompanied by our expert local guides and marine biologists who love to share their extensive knowledge on the whales and dolphins you’ll meet – what they don’t know isn’t worth knowing. There will be talks and presentations before heading out to sea so you will be well prepared. 

 

Education and Conservation

Read More

Marine biologist presentation AzoresOur 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 which contribute to marine conservation. 

Great choice of boats

Read More

Breaching whale next to RIBYou choose your preference of boats from the large stable catamaran with excellent viewing platforms, railings and a great vantage point for taking photos. There is plenty of space to walk around outdoor or indoor seating and toilet facilities OR our smaller RIB zodiac hard hull boats with comfortable seats for an exhilarating ride to get you close to the action. The boats are very sturdy and can move easily even if the sea is choppy.

 

Overview

Blue Whale Bonanza
(code ADBWB)

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island - Azores

What’s included:  

  • Three half day trips to sea, at the optimum time to see Blue Whales
  • Full day geothermal tour to Furnas with “Cozido” lunch included.
  • Talks and presentations from local marine biologists
  • 7 nights accommodation 
  • Services of local personnel at our boat base who co-ordinate your entire holiday program
  • All airport transfers from/to Ponta Delgada airport

Optional activities: Book additional trips to sea and land tours

Nights: 7

Extra nights: Option to extend your stay in the Azores, with extra nights at your hotel, visit another part of Sao Miguel or visit other islands

Accommodation: Standard 4* B&B hotel, with budget and upgrade options available

Meals: Breakfast included. Lunch included during full day tour to Furnas. Self catered options available

Price: From £760. See below for further details.

Flights: Not included. We give you guidance on booking flights to Ponta Delgada (PDL) Sao Miguel Island (see flights above)

Dates 2022: 09 – 16 April, 16 – 23 April,
23 - 30 April, 30 April –  07 May,
07 – 14 May, 14 – 21 May,
21 – 28 May, 28 May - 4 June

Flexible dates: This holiday can also be arranged to start any day of the week to fit with flights

What people said!

“Seeing the ocean giants so close was amazing. I recommend booking this experience, and think about adding an extra week to visit the other islands.

The company carries out research and raises awareness of the whales and dolphins and how amazing they are. The information given by the guides was fantastic They work with the university, helping with student research as well as taking out holiday-makers. An excellent holiday.” Sarah Grandy

 

“Seeing far more whales, and more closely, than I ever expected. I think it supported conservation. A wonderful experience.” Anne Whittle

“We were lucky enough to see our first blue whale within an hour of setting out in the catamaran. Then seeing over 50 whales and over 100 dolphins over the three days was amazing. We saw blue, fin, sei and sperm whales.

Fantastic holiday! We saw everything we hoped for and more. The Azores are an amazing holiday destination and 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.” David Turley

 

“What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday? – Crystal clear blue seas and blue 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 change – 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 This was the most wonderful week ever. I cannot thank the local team and the Dolphin Connection enough. I would not hesitate to go back again, and very much hope to do so  in the future.” Ali Pemble

“This was an outstanding holiday! Seeing the blow of our first ever sighting of a sperm whale! Then jumping into our seats and speeding across the Atlantic Ocean until we got within a short distance away  from her in time to see the whale diving and throwing up the iconic whale tail.   And all captured by my camera… I was literally blown away and couldn’t wait for the next sighting. We are returning as soon as we can!” Diane and Peter Malloy

Prices for this Holiday and Acccommodation

 

 Our holiday prices below include accommodation at our standard 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

You can also upgrade to a boutique hotel or 5* or you can opt for budget options to reduce the cost of your holiday.

 

A beautiful 4-star hotel with excellent location and facilities. It is a 15-minute walk to our base for the boats and the city’s beautiful botanical gardens are close by. The rooms are light, quiet and well-ventilated. Even though the hotel has great access to our boats, the hotel is far away from the noise of the seafront or busy city areas.

The hotel is ideal for families or large groups and rooms can easily accommodate up to two extra beds. Spacious rooms are sound proofed with air-conditioning and equipped with TV and fridge. There is the option to upgrade to sea/city view rooms (ask us for details). The hotel has a gym, indoor and outdoor pool with sun loungers, sauna, jacuzzi, games room, bar, restaurant with sea views and free parking for guests. A buffet breakfast is included. 

Blue Whale Bonanza Holiday Prices

 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

 

Mid Season • 01 - 30 April 

  • Solo traveller (single room) £1015
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £760
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £790
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights

 

High Season • 01 May - 4 June

  • Solo traveller (single room) £1195
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £850
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £790
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights

Upgrade Accommodation Options

All of the accommodation featured has been visited by us and checked for quality, good reviews, facilities and distance to our boat base and the harbour (5-20mins walk). They are also a short walking distance to good restaurants and shops. 

 

Budget and Self Catering Accommodation Options

All of the accommodation featured has been visited by us and checked for quality, good reviews, facilities and distance to our boat base and the harbour (5-20mins walk). They are also a short walking distance to good restaurants and shops.