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São Miguel Island

Dolphin & Whale Watching

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Our most recommended São Miguel Island Dolphin & Whale Watching

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

1. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. Once whales have been spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline.

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

2. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

3. Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

Benefit from mini van pick-up at your accommodation in Ponta Delgada and the area around and then explore the coastline of São Miguel island by boat. Spend 3 hours looking for majestic whales and playful dolphins in their natural environment.  Reconnect with the natural world as you go in search of the sperm whales, blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales and sei whales that make the archipelago one of the best places in the world to see different marine mammals. Keep a look out for turtles, flying fish, sea birds and jumping dolphins along the way.  Disembark at the marina and enjoy a tasty lunch at local restaurant. Afetr lunch make your way to the volcanic landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo crater lake. See one of the most beautiful lakes in São Miguel and experience the amazing interior of the island up close. Learn about how is used the volcanic heat to produce renewable energy to the island.

São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

4. São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

Discover the whale population of the Azores Islands on a boat cruise along the northern coast of São Miguel. Observe these majestic giants of the ocean in their natural habitat, at a respectful distance. Set off from the fishing village of Rabo de Peixe on the north coast of São Miguel. Explore the sea north of the island, known for its strong tides and whale population. Explore on a semi-inflatable craft, and observe the whales from a respectful distance so as to not disturb the whales. With the help of your onboard spotter, identify the whales as they breach the ocean surface. Be amazed by their grandeur and grace as the whales frolic in the ocean. See their gigantic tailfins, and hear the sound of the blowholes. As you cruise through the ocean, learn about the behavior and feeding habits of the whales with your expert crew. Afterward, return to the port in Rabo de Peixe.

Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

5. Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

Enjoy a 2.5-hour tour to swim with bottlenose dolphins on this tour from Vila Franca do Campo. Meet your guide at the Vila Franca do Campo Marina for check-in and equipment setup. After a quick safety and responsible practices induction, board your high-speed boat and head out to sea. Your skipper will be on the lookout for dolphins throughout the journey. When the time comes, get ready to dive into the sea and wait for the friendly dolphins to approach you. On the second part of the tour, travel to one of the island's best snorkel locations. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and see an array of vibrant marine fauna and flora as you explore the seafloor before heading back to the marina.

Rabo de Peixe: Sperm Whale Sanctuary Expedition by Speedboat

6. Rabo de Peixe: Sperm Whale Sanctuary Expedition by Speedboat

Set out on a speedboat expedition to see sperm whales, the largest of the cetacean family. On this learning adventure, explore the northern coast of São Miguel and its diverse flora and fauna. Discover facts about sperm whales from marine biologists as you look for them in their protected habitat.  Your tour begins with a briefing from marine biologists at the yacht club on the northern side of the island. You'll find out about the different species you might see, learn about the whale watching history in the Azores, and understand how biologists and whale watchers respect the animals. Next, board the boat and set out for the Atlantic waters. Enjoy the beautiful coastal landscape and keep your eyes peeled for marine life. On the coast, you may see dolphins, Portuguese man-o-war, or turtles. As you enter the deeper waters of the sanctuary, stay on the lookout for sperm whales.  Finally, return to Rabo de Peixe Harbor. The team of marine biologists will tell you more about the species you just saw. Hear more about the cetaceans, their habits, and their routes to round out your tour.

Frequently asked questions about São Miguel Island Dolphin & Whale Watching

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Other Sightseeing Options in São Miguel Island

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What people are saying about São Miguel Island

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2 reviews

Outing at sea in an excellent zodiac. The team took us directly after 20 or 30 minutes in the Zodiac to an area where we saw dozens and dozens of dolphins as well as a fin whale which stayed for a long time. We also saw a turtle and another species of "pilot" dolphins further. The team is professional and gives interesting information. We were lucky and the ocean was very calm. I recommend !

This tour is the way to go. The smaller boats reached the whales much faster than the larger catamarans, We were also able to see the animals a lot closer, especially the dolphins, than the larger boats.

Eat lightly before going. Great trip in the zodiac to see dolphins and whales. Lower your expectations and just enjoy to be happy with what nature reveals to you. Great biologist on board.

A great experience. Manuel and Álex took us to see whales and they succeeded: common dolphin playing with us and a sperm whale.

Great tour guide very efficient service, can't fault it!