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CW Azores (by CetaceanWatching Lda)
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Lying in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, more than 1000km west of Portugal, the Azores comprise an archipelago of nine islands.
They represent the emerging peaks of a huge submarine mountain chain known as the 'Mid-Atlantic Ridge' that divides the entire length of the ocean from North to South.

Bathed in the warm waters of the Gulf stream the islands unique landscape, nature and rich marine life are tightly connected to their origin and geographic location.

For all those seeking close encounters with whales, swims with dolphins, great adventures, scuba diving and fun snorkelling the incredibly abundant marine life will not disappoint.


" A wonderful place, fantastic trips (can't believe how many whales & dolphins we saw, and the view from the top of Little Pico is worth the sore legs!). The most unforgettable trip, thanks to your friendly Team. We don't want to go home! "

Sally & Steve (England)

" Thank you so much for an experience of a life time. We did not believe we could possibly see so much in one trip. "

Pete & Penny (England)
" We had the most perfect week with you at the ocean. Saw lots of beautiful things on and under the water. We hope to come back here. Thanks a lot and big compliments to the crew. " René & Marnix (Netherlands)

" Excellent, superbe, magnifique, exceptionnel... une énorme baleine commune, un cachalot et trois baleines pilotes + un accueil très sympatique dans le bungalow et dans le bateau. Merci mille fois et à bientôt!! "

Christine et Thomas (France)
" Thanks for everything. we had a really good time. Saw lots of sperm whales and dolphins. And the diving was just brilliant! We would definitely want to come back. "

Gill, Martin & Daniel (England)

" Extraordinaire, il n'y a pas d'autre mot pour décrire ces sensations... accompagnement parfait et attentionné, excellent pilote. Pas l'ombre d'un mal de mer. Merci à CW Azores et à toute son équipe. "

Philippe et Martine (France)
Dedicated to the soul of all whales killed by mankind - photo by Enrico Villa
Dedicated to the soul of all whales killed by mankind
Photo by Enrico Villa
View to the Pico wearing a turban - photo by Enrico Villa
View to Mount Pico from the town of Madalena
Photo by Enrico Villa


You are guaranteed to encounter Sperm whales, Common dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins throughout the year. Risso's dolphins are also year-round residents.
In February and March the plankton cycle creates ideal conditions for an extraordinary explosion of life - prelude to the baleen whales (Mysticetes) arrival. Every year species such as the Blue whale (the largest animal on the planet), Fin whale, Sei whale and Humpback whale are seen.

By early June other species also arrive, such as the friendly Atlantic spotted dolphin and the Short-finned pilot whale.

In all more than 20 species can be seen, making the Azores an unparalleled whale watching destination and a truly privileged archipelago.

" To the dolphin alone, beyond all others, nature has given what the best philosophers seek: friendship for no advantage. Though it has no need of man yet it is the friend to all men and has often given them great aid. "
Sperm Whale breaching (Physeter macrocephalus) Mother and calf Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis)


Sperm whale - by Photographer Jan Reyniers We provide state-of-the-art support services to TV Crews, professional film makers, photographers and researchers.

Filming and photographing whales underwater is strictly regulated and requires a special permit from the Regional Government of the Azores.

To obtain authorisation all applications are prepared with our help.
Sperm whale - photo by Jan Reyniers

Click to learn more...


The mantas of Princess Alice - Pico Island More and more divers are discovering the islands of Pico and Faial, their submarine seamounts, volcanoes, arcades, pinnacles and caves.

Still unspoilt the clear waters surrounding the islands teem with life. See some superb marine invertebrates such as octopus, nudibranchs and black coral; see abundant fish including sharks, mantas, several species of moray eels, rays (mobulas, eagle ray and huge sting rays), groupers, shoals of barracuda, tunas, jacks and a myriad of smaller species.

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Learn about cetaceans and whale watching in the Azores

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			What are cetaceans?
		What are cetaceans?
Whales, dolphins and porpoises are collectively called cetaceans, since they all belong to the order Cetacea.
			What is the difference between toothed and baleen whales?
		What is the difference between toothed and baleen whales?
The order Cetacea is divided into 2 suborders: Odontoceti and Mysticeti.
Dolphins and porpoises, along with other species such as the sperm whale, the beaked whales, the narwhal and the beluga are Odontocetes - i.e. they have teeth.
On the contrary, proper whales (mysticetes) do not have teeth. Instead, they have a large number of comb-like keratin plates, called baleen, hanging from the upper jaw. Baleen plates act like a sieve, allowing whales to filter the plankton and small fish they feed upon.
			Are cetaceans mammals or fish?
		Are cetaceans mammals or fish?
Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are mammals. They are warm-blooded and give birth to live offspring, which are breastfed. Unlike fish, cetaceans are unable to extract oxygen from the water and therefore need to periodically surface in order to breathe.
			How does a cetacean breathe?
		How does a cetacean breathe?
Cetaceans breathe air at the surface of the water through their blowholes, the equivalent of our nostrils. Mysticetes (baleen whales) have two blowholes while odontocetes (toothed cetaceans) have only one blowhole.
Unlike humans and most other mammals, they are unable to breathe through their mouth, which makes it possible for them to feed underwater while keeping their respiratory system free of water.
			How do whales and dolphins swim?
		How do whales and dolphins swim?
Cetaceans use their tail to swim. Unlike fish, the tail of whales, dolphins and porpoises lies in an horizontal plane and it is moved up and down rather than from side to side. Muscles actively work when the tail is raised, while they rest (or almost completely rest) when the tail is lowered.
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Whale Watching Swim with the Dolphins Scuba Diving Discover the Azores
Whale Watching Swim with the Dolphins Scuba Diving The Azores

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