Blue Whale Bonanza!

2022 DATES: 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

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.

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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 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

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
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

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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

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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

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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

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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

NOT DONE

Mid Season • 1 - 30th April & 1 - 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 • 1 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.