Whale Watching Season: Meeting with Giant Mammals Is Guaranteed in These Places

Aug.18.2021
whale watching season

Meeting a whale is like meeting an alien. It causes loud applause and tears of joy. More recently, whales have been on the brink of extinction. Commercial whaling could rob the world of one of its greatest wonders. To children and grandchildren, we would show these giants only in pictures. Fortunately, this did not happen. And now we can watch these majestic giants live.

Imagine: a huge ten-storey building suddenly comes to life and floats in the sea, launching fountains. Sometimes it jumps out of the water and falls back, throwing tons of spray into the air. Such a sight is worth a lot! Today we are going to tell you about top whale-watching destinations, so you know where to find these amazing giants.

Whale Watching: Best Time of Year

The best time to go whale watching starts in November and ends in April. This is due not only to the period of active migration of whales (you can meet them at other times of the year), but also to the warm and relatively calm ocean, which allows boats to go out for this incredible sight.

Best Places for Whale Watching

which national park should you visit if you want to see whales

Norway

Whale sightings in Norway are possible all year round, and in winter they can be seen right from the coast. To do this, go to the Vesterålen archipelago, to the city of Andenes. In the cold waters of Lofoten Island, there are much small fish that killer whales, whales, and dolphins like to feast on. You would be able to get acquainted with a 110 lb sperm whale and baby minke whales. Pay attention, the archipelago is located beyond the Arctic Circle, and therefore do not forget to dress warm.

Spain

If you are not ready to freeze, we have another great whale location – the Bay of Biscay. Here whale watching is excellent all year round, although the chances of seeing a whale are highest in August and September. If you’re lucky, you’ll see fin whales, gray and black dolphins, and, of course, whales. The Biscay whales come here in winter from Iceland and rubs near the coast on the surface of the water, devouring plankton crustaceans with appetite. Most often, mammals cluster between the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera. Let’s reveal a secret: this is the cheapest way to see whales. In Tenerife, you can spot all year round, and in La Gomera, May and the summer months are considered the best whale watching season.

Portugal

Seeing the mating games of whales – what could be more interesting? The giants often spend their honeymoon near the Azores. The center of the Atlantic Ocean attracts over 20 species of these amazing creatures. Toothed whales and sperm whales run here – they are completely indifferent to people, and therefore it is quite easy to swim close to them. The best whale watching months in the Azores are May and June because the isthmus between the islands of Pico and Faial is part of the migratory route of dolphins and whales.

If you are looking for tours, then we recommend paying attention to Azores Whale Watching. You can take a tour from them for two and a half hours and listen to interesting information from a guide who is well versed in zoology and whale habits and would comment on their actions. During one such tour, you have the opportunity to see three species of whales, but if you are lucky enough, then even more. Futurismo offers no less interesting 3-hour tours, where you can see other marine inhabitants in addition to whales.

California, USA

California is not in vain considered one of the best whale watching locations. If there are those who want to see the largest whale – the blue one – they should hurry up. But tourists are more attracted to gray whales – they are famous for their friendliness to humans.

They swim so close that they can be examined in detail and even stroked. Sometimes mammals even play with a boat – for them, it is like a toy in size.

Maine, USA

best time to go whale watching

This is perhaps one of the best whale watching in the USA. The best time for whale watching in Maine is mid-April to late September. During this period, hungry mammals arrive for a feast in local waters rich in sand eels, fish, and plankton. Local attractions include pilot whales, humpback whales, and striped whales. Sometimes sperm whales, killer whales, and smooth whales come here. Odyssey Whale Watching offers tours in a comfortable boat with breathtaking views.

New England

On the east coast of Long Island, you can also meet these stunning creatures. Depending on the weather and location, the whale watching season can run from April to October. Minke whales, fin whales, and humpback whales can often be seen here.

New York, USA

In recent years, whales have become more common in New York. They are attracted here by the growing popularity of menhaden fish, which are loved by humpback whales. You can watch them right from the coastline of the metropolis. Humpback whales usually stay close to the coast, only in areas of large concentrations of krill and fish they go out into the open sea. Sometimes they enter the sea bays. Of all the whales, this is the most playful and easy-going, always surrounded by cheerful splashes and white foam. This is a great whale-watching vacation, where you can not only get to know these giants, but also have a great evening. The best time for whale watching in New York is in the summer months.

Orcas Island, USA

The San Juan Islands are known as one of the best whale-watching spots in the world, especially the killer whales who come to dine on the Chinook salmon. As it is known, the southern killer whale is most often seen from late May to early October. The best opportunity for a close-up view is to take a kayak trip, a much more intimate experience than joining a regular boat whale watching tour. As you sail through calm waters, in addition to killer whales, you are likely to see all kinds of other wildlife, including porpoises, bald eagles, sea otters, and seals.

Florida, USA

See a rare species of whale off the coast of Florida this winter. Northern Atlantic right whales can be found in the waters off the northeast coast of Florida, near Jacksonville or even Cape Canaveral. The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most threatened whale species in the world, with fewer than 500 remaining. A vision of one of these whales should be on any animal lover’s list.

New Jersey, USA

You can also see whales on the east coast of the USA. New Jersey also sees whale action. Beginning in March, humpback and finback whales, mostly 4- and 5-year-old juveniles, circulate in Cape May, on the southern tip of New Jersey, and feed on abundant bait. Whale watching continues until December.

Which National Park Should You Visit If You Want to See Whales

whale watching best time of year

The Hawaiian Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is perhaps one of the main whale habitats. The reserve covers approximately 1,400 square miles. Up to 10,000 humpback whales from the North Pacific flock here each winter. By the way, this is a great opportunity to see their cubs.

Most often, mammals emerge from the water for only a few seconds – only the back or tail can be photographed. But it’s not for nothing that whale watching is compared to hunting: those who are willing to wait patiently manage to make fantastic shots. Whales always appear unexpectedly, causing applause from the onlookers, and sometimes even tears.

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