Giants of the Sea

DID YOU KNOW?
Baleen whales include some of the largest animals to have ever lived on our planet. In Spring, they pass by the Azores on migration to their northerly foraging grounds.

 Meet the largest animals in the world

Experience the emotions of special encounters with the legendary giants of the sea; animals such as the Blue whale, Fin whale, Sei whale, Humpback whale and Sperm whale.
Encounter dolphins too, feel their energy and the excitement they bring.

THE MAGIC OF A SPRING BREAK
Although spring is traditionally the low season for tourism, it is one of the best times to visit us and high season for the whales. This is when the greatest variety of species can be encountered and when most baleen whales pass by our shores. It is also the peak of our activities, when we run the special Giants of the Sea programme, but also conduct much of our research. Our aim is to not only provide opportunities to see whales and dolphins but to also educate; to combine the unique feelings obtained at sea watching the animals with knowledge.
WHALE WATCHING AND MORE
The program also includes activities such as museum tours and the visit to the famous 'Vigia' or lookout, along with presentations and demonstrations about the various techniques we use to identify and study each species of cetacean. All participants have the opportunity to be present whilst we conduct our research activities, particularly on the boat when we record behaviour as well as gather photographic evidence that can be used in the photo-identification of individuals. Our aim is to leave all participants with not only great visual memories of their encounters but also a greater understanding of these incredible animals, their ecology and conservation needs.
IS THIS THE HOLIDAY FOR YOU?
Anyone joining this program will have some of the best chances of seeing these whales anywhere in the world. We have an experienced team, but your motivation and attitude are also important for success. A flexible approach is key. Be prepared as sometimes the appearance of the whales and sea conditions may require a sudden departure at short notice. Expect some adventure too. We operate from rigid inflatable boats and, although your safety is assured, the journey to the whales can be an electrifying experience in high seas.

 Giants of the Sea: what you get

  • 7-nights accommodation in B&B
    (double room with private bathroom, breakfast included)
  • 5 Whale Watching trips
    (3-4 hours per trip)
  • 1 Guided visit to the 'Vigia'
    (the lookout used to spot whales and dolphins from land)
  • 2 Presentations on whales and dolphins
    (biology behaviour and identification of species and individuals)
  • Transfer to/from the airport
  • Welcome and assistance throughout stay

 Scientific and Educational aspects

By joining the Giants of the Sea Programme you will help the progress of our research project on baleen whales.

See more and pay less

Despite being a Whale Watching company, scientific research is a priority to CW Azores and we are ready to offer you a very special price for this program so that we can spend a significant amount of time out at sea in spring, while still covering boat and fuel costs.

The more you learn, the more you will love it!

Recent studies, including our own research, support the evidence that baleen whales do not just use our waters as a navigation cue on their way to higher latitudes; they also use our study area for feeding on krill and/or fish. The first results of our studies were presented at the 2011 European Cetacean Society Conference and the support of our guests allowed us to achieve significant scientific results, such as the identification of the krill species our baleen whales feed upon and the observation that some individuals linger here for weeks rather than just passing by.

Please click below to download the publication (434KB, PDF):
Enrico Villa, Justin D. Hart, Arthur de C. Baker, Veronica Rossin 2011. Fin whales feeding on Northern krill off Pico Island (Azores) during spring migration. Poster presented at the XXV European Cetacean Society Conference, Cadiz, Spain, 21-23 March 2011.

While on Pico Island you will be with us while we perform the following tasks:
  • Photo identification of baleen whales
  • Collecting krill samples
  • Collecting baleen whale faecal samples for genetic analysis
  • Collecting behavioural data

It will be a lot of fun. We promise!

PRICES
(full package, including accommodation)

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