Bespoke Family Whale & Dolphin Holidays Azores
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 £610 to £770 pp
Sao Miguel Island, Azores
April, May & June is the time to see the many Blue, Humpback and Fin Whales who gather in the Azores on their annual migration.
About this holiday
Join us at the optimum time to see the majestic Blue Whales, Humpback and Fin whales migrating past the islands.
Spring 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
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?
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 Blue, Fin, Sei and Baleen Whales (largest whales) 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
Our 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.
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. To get to Ponta Delgada (PDL), Sao Miguel Island, Azores – DIRECT flights to Ponta Delgada are available with Ryanair (from Stanstead on Saturdays which would involve departing on either 11 or 18 April 2020 for 7 nights and not 16 April as mentioned in your enquiry). However, on most days of the week there are also budget flights direct to Ponta Delgada from LISBON (you can book flights to Lisbon from many airports in the UK). See all flight options at skyscanner.net Alternatively, please let us know you preferred departure airport and we will source the best flights for you to book
Arrival day – You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
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.
Today you will be out on the ocean on our “Be a Marine Biologist for the Day” whale and dolphin research tour. You will enjoy a fun filled presentation from one of our marine biologist before spending a full day with them on a small RIB learning research techniques. You will get away from the main tourist trail and have opportunities for a lot more contact with the animals. This activity can be exchanged for 2 half day regular whale watching trips or if you prefer, take a half day to see the big whales in their ocean habitat and another half day later in the week.
Have a relaxing morning in the hotel pool or browse some of our on line resources to learn about whales and dolphins. Watch our on line 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.
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.
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!
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.
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
Best time to see Blue Whales
The 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. LINK TO BEST TIME TO VISIT THE AZORES
You 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. LINK TO MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR GUIDES
Education and Conservation
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. LINK TO MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MARINE EDUCATION AND CONSERVATION
Great choice of boats
You 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. LINK TO MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BOATS
Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island - Azores
- Three half day trips to sea, at the optimum time to see Blue Whales
- Full day geothermal tour to Furnas
- 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
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.
Flights are not included. We give you guidance on booking flights to Ponta Delgada (PDL) Sao Miguel Island (see flights above)
Flexible dates: This holiday can also be arranged to start any day of the week to fit with flights
What people said!
Everything was extremely organised, from the holiday booking, transfers, hotel/hotel staff and the boat crew. They couldn’t have been more helpful and extremely welcoming…a great holiday and we would recommend to anyone. – Lynsey Pittaway April 2022
“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 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… 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
“There were so many memorable moments: seeing five sperm whales “socialising” together and swimming in a perfect line, almost managing to synchronise their “blows”, catching a great picture of the tail fin of the massive blue whale, seeing the huge side fins of the humpback just under the water giving them an eerie blue colour, or probably the best of all seeing first a pod of ten orca cavorting in front of us, the male one with a massive fin of more than two metres in height, and then about an hour later seeing either the same animals again or a different pod, this time as two smaller groups. The animals’ well being was always the most important factor and so we did not stay long at each siting to allow the whales the freedom to continue with their journey. Overall the holiday was brilliantly managed.” Tim Hall
Accommodation & Prices
Our holiday prices below include accommodation at our standard 4**** hotel. You can also upgrade to a boutique hotel or 5***** or you can opt for budget options to reduce cost of holiday