10 Amazing Places to Go Whale Watching

30 May

Whale watching is a popular activity that holds the interest of many people from all corners of the earth. Spending time taking in the antics of these gentle giants is both fascinating and restful to the eye. Turning topsy-turvy or simply flapping fins while at the same time sprouting fountains of water is an ingenuity known only to these marine creatures.

From California to Cape Town, whale watching is a seasonal attraction, with many operators offering whale-watching cruises. The reputable whale watching tour boats remain a distance of at least 100 yards from the whales, so as not to disturb them, but the viewing experience is still an amazing one.

In California, one of the best places for whale watching, the highlight of tours is to see the grey whale that abounds in the Sea of Cortzx. From Point Reyes to the Santa Barbara Channel is the preferred domain of the blue whales or the humpback whales, together with the dwarf sperm whale.

Whale watching tours in North-east Iceland are on fishing boats restored to their natural beauty. They offer regular sightings of Minke whales, and sometimes humpback and blue whales are seen in the vicinity as well.

In New Zealand, watching whales is best done from Kaikoura, a small town on South Island where the warm and cold currents attracts sperm whales. Several species of dolphins also favour this area, including the Hector’s dolphin, a small rare dolphin only found in New Zealand. There are whale cruises conducted across Cook Strait or around Tiritiri Matangi from the end of October until November 20th.

To see killer whales, then a trip to Norway is ideal. The Lofoten Islands, which is an archipelago above the Arctic Circle, offers a one-hour whale watching tour to observe them. The best time for visiting is from late October until about the middle of January. A bonus is maybe seeing the Northern Lights, so that’s two different wonders of the world in one trip.

From Mid-June until the end of September, Gairloch in Scotland offers sightings of whales; otherwise, on the West Coast at the south end of the Isle of Skye, or even to the Isle of Mull, marine life is in abundance. This is perfect for those who live in the UK where many people believe that they are unable to see anything like a whale.

Alaska has an annual migration of whales visiting the area, especially to Point Adolphus, which is part of Glacier Bay National Park.

In the middle of the Atlantic, at the nine islands of the Azores, between the months of April and September, the blue whales, orcas and spotted and striped dolphins are there en masse. Many whale watching tours operate from the port of Ponta Delgada, on Sao Miguel. In 2011, there were even sightings of northern bottlenose whales, which is extremely rare.