Be a Marine Biologist, Research Holiday

Last-minute availability 2021, booking now!

2022 & 2023 DATES: Year round

(flexible arrival/departure dates to fit with flights)

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 £610 per person

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 reseachers

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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Azores dolphinsAs 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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Furnas hot spring poolOur 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 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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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

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

 

Marine Biologist Azores
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.

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 with its stunning architecture and walking around the botanical gardens.

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

 

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

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.

 

 

Travel any time

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“Be a Marine Biologist for the Day” full day tour can be also be added to any itinerary and therefore taken at any time during the spring or summer. Travel in spring for optimum sightings of the Blue whales, Fin whales and Humpbacks as they pass the islands or in the summer when a wide variety of whale species and an abundance of dolphins visit the islands when the waters are warmer.

Overview

Be a Marine Biologist Research Holiday
(code ADMARINE)

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 £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 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

 

“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 

“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

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. 

Be a Marine Biologist, Research Holiday Prices

 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

 

Low Season • 02 Jan - 31 March

  • 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.