Be a Marine Biologist, Family Research Holiday

2022 DATES: 02 – 23 April, 28 May – 04 June, 16 July – 03 September, 22 – 29 October

2023 DATES: 01 – 22 April, 27 May – 03 June, 15 July – 02 September, 21 – 28 October 

Enjoy this once in a life time opportunity to “Be a Marine Biologist for a Day” –  This is the perfect holiday for those who have a keen appetite to learn with the experts. Take to the open seas and learn research techniques used by marine biologists. This holiday also takes you deep into the islands interior to explore the islands geothermal activity and stunning landscape.

Sao Miguel Island, Azores

From £835 adult £630 teen and £415 child

Discover More of the 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!

Incredible Sightings

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

Learn from the Experts

Enjoy a full day at sea with our expert marine biologists and whale researchers

About this holiday

 

Learn from the experts

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Marine Biologist AzoresThis tour gives you the once in a life time opportunity to “Be a Marine Biologist for a Day” – This full day (lunch included)  is the perfect program for those with a keen appetite to learn. You will enjoy a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologists before heading out to sea to put into practice all that you have learnt with them on a sturdy RIB zodiac boat. You will learn research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone.This is a fully immersive day allowing you to step inside the shoes of our marine biologists and assist them in their research. During lunch with your marine biologist you can ask even more questions about their work and lifestyle.

More opportunities to see the whales and dolphins

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whale tail azores holidaysAs you have a full day at sea you will be taken away from the main tourist trail, travelling further along the coast. Your experience will be more relaxed with more time to spend with the animals, giving you a closer look into the lives of these creatures. You will feel part of their world! 

Exhilarating Boats

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whale watching Pico island azoresOur boats are RIB 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. On shore lookouts, called “Vigia” guide us by radio contact and direct the boats to the whales and dolphins. This makes for consistently excellent sightings, the best in the world some say!

Island Tour

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Kayaking Sete Cidades AzoresOur knowledgeable local guides will be with you at sea and also 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 with your family 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 accommodation

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We offer attractive child prices (12 years and under) when sharing a large quad room with adults and also teen discounts. 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 the 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

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. DIRECT flights to Ponta Delgada are available with Ryanair from London Stanstead on Saturdays. There are also direct flights from many European destinations to Ponta Delgada including via Lisbon. Check options for flights to PDL (Ponta Delgada) at www.skyscanner.net For ease we have a dedicated flight agent who can help arrange and book flights for you. Please contact Rupender.Bhoday@flightcentre.co.uk or call Rupender on 0207 925 1114

 

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

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

Day 2

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. Our marine biologists and whale researchers have plenty of experience working with children and make learning fun and ensure that the information is accessible to all ages.

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.

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

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.  Your little budding marine biologists will love the exciting and energetic way our research experts teach techniques and engage the children in learning.

Please note this can be taken as part of any itinerary, replacing two half days at sea with one full day at sea OR it can be added onto any itinerary as a full day activity.

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. Free time can be spent exploring the local town, swim in the open air seafront swimming pool or take a stroll through the botanical gardens to see how much flora and fauna you can spot!

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. There really is something for the whole family.

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

 

Learning and conservation 

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Humpback whale breaching AzoresLearn about the biology, habitat and behaviour of the cetaceans. Participate in valuable research and conservation initiatives to preserve the oceans for future generations. Our whale-watching company has a research base offering a wealth of information and resources and it is possible to learn about the many research projects being conducted around the Azores. Our expert researchers and marine biologists make learning fun and accessible to all.

Expert Guides

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Expert guides whale watching AzoresYou 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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Our whale watching company has a research base offering a wealth of information and resources and it is possible to learn about the many research projects being conducted around the Azores which contribute to marine conservation. Their experience of working with children shines through, as they make learning inclusive and exciting.

 

Overview

Family Be a Marine Biologist Research Holiday
(code FAMMARINE)

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island - Azores

What’s included:  

  • One full day "Be a Marine Biologist for the Day" whale and dolphin research trip to sea
  • One half day trip 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. Lunch included during full day tour to Furnas. Self catered options available

Price: From £835 per adult, £630 teens and £415 children sharing a family room. 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: 3 – 10 April, 10 – 17 April, 29 May – 5 June, 24 July – 28 August

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

What people said!

“The whale and dolphin watching trips were brilliant – the trips on the RIB were great as we were close to the animals. The special tour “Be a Marine Biologist for a Day “ trip on the RIB was the highlight and our kids loved it. We saw Sperm Whales, Fin Whales and a Humpback and Common and Bottlenose Dolphins. On the full day trip we were often the only boat around as we had more time and other trips aren’t out on the sea at lunchtime. All in all we had a fantastic time…” Purslow family May 

Prices for this Holiday including Acccommodation

 

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. 

Be a Marine Biologist, Family Research Holiday Per Person Prices

 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

 

Mid Season • 01 - 30 April
01 - 31 October

  • Adult price (2 adults family room) £835
  • Additional adults/teens aged 13yrs + sharing with 2 adults (family room) £630
  • Additional children 3 - 12yrs sharing with 2 adults (family room) £415
  • Infants 0 - 2 years £50
  • Price does not include flights

 

High Season • 01 May - 30 September

  • Adult price (2 adults family room) £925
  • Additional adults/teens aged 13yrs + sharing with 2 adults (family room) £645
  • Additional children 3 - 12yrs sharing with 2 adults (family room) £415
  • Infants 0 - 2 years £50
  • Price does not include flights

All of the accommodation featured below 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.

The price of this holiday with any of our alternative accommodation options below is the standard holiday price (staying at 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel) with either a discount or supplement applied. Please see your preferred accommodation page below for details of the applicable discount or supplement.