There is nothing more spectacular than watching whales in their natural habitats, playing, breaching and well, just plain entertaining us. One of my fondest memories was watching a mom and her calf play for hours in Maui's Maalaea Bay.
From orcas and humpbacks to minke and sperm whales, these beautiful and majestic creatures can be found all around the world. Top destinations include:
Located about 100 miles north of Christchurch on the south island, Kaikora is considered to be one of the best areas in the world to observe sperm whales. Whale watching here is pretty much year round.
Hermanas, located near Capetown, is known for its shore-based whale watching and is considered by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the top 12 spots in the world. Top times are between July and November.
Valdes Peninsula, located on Argentina's Atlantic coast, is an ideal place to observe orca whales in the spring and southern right whales in July and August.
Fabulous whale watching trips can be found in the Azores, one of the world's largest whale sanctuaries. More than 20 different species of whales and dolphins can be seen March through October.
One doesn't normally think of the Caribbean as a whale watching destination, however Dominica becomes the sperm whale watching capital of the Caribbean November through March. Pilot whales, humpback and other species can also be seen in the area.
The St. Lawrence Seaway is an ideal place to observe right and beluga whales. This is a popular spot during cruise season which runs May through October. Humpback and minke whales are very common around Newfoundland.
Over 20 different species of whales and dolphins can be observed around Icelandic waters. The relatively shallow waters combined with the warmer waters of the southern Atlantic and colder waters of the Arctic waters makes this an ideal feeding ground. Whales can be observed year round.
(Picture courtesy of Un-Cruise)
Massachusetts - has become a top whale watching area in the world, with minke, humpback and finback whales in the area April - October. Alaska is always popular, with Orcas, humpbacks, gray and minke whales migrating to their Alaska feeding grounds May through September. In Washington, a pod of orcas makes it's home in the San Juan Islands year round, making this a popular year round destination. Several pods join the resident pod in the summer months as they migrate north or south to and from their feeding grounds. Migrating humpbacks, gray, blue and fin whales can always be seen off the California coast, from San Francisco down to San Diego. Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from Alaska to mate and give birth. January through March are peak months, but whales are in the area November through May.
Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta are popular spots to observe gray and humpback whales that are migrating to the warmer waters of the Baja California.
Day trips are a common way to observe whales, but don't count out cruises, especially small ship cruises. Small ship itineraries often to go places off the beaten path, with fewer crowds and time to enjoy the natural surroundings. Un-Cruise and Lindblad Expeditions both have itineraries that include many whale sightings. For more information, contact Lakama Travel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
By Laurie Marschall
#Whalewatching #Wildlife #Smallshipcruises
Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder