Whales are among the most enchanting and mysterious creatures on earth. Whale watching excursions and cruises give us all the opportunity to observe these majestic creatures at close quarters. Naturally, where you decide to go depends upon the types of whales you’d like to watch; from Iceland to the Azores, fabulous whale watching opportunities abound. So, without further ado, here are 10 of the best whale watching destinations worldwide.
Friendly minke whales, humpback whales, enormous blue whales and white-beaked dolphins regularly frequent the waters surrounding north-east Iceland. Sympathetically-restored fishing vessels carry visitors out to sea at scheduled intervals, ferrying guests to and from the whales’ historic feeding and breeding grounds.
In the town of Husavik, situated on Iceland’s northern coast, whale enthusiasts flock to the celebrated Whale Museum, which features interactive exhibitions regarding these gentle giants’ complex lives beneath the waves.
2) The Azores
If you’d like to see more than 20 species of whale and dolphin, a whale watching trip to the Azores is for you. Blue whales, striped and spotted dolphins and wild orcas can all be seen between April and September, while rare northern bottlenose whales, which generally reside in the warm waters surrounding the Faroe Islands, have also been found here.
3) New Zealand
Head to Kaikoura, a small town situated on New Zealand’s South Island, to witness sperm whales and several species of dolphin. A combination of nutrient-rich, cold and warm currents brings these creatures to the surface. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the world’s smallest dolphin, Hector’s dolphin, which measures just 1.4 metres in length and is found only in and around New Zealand.
A little closer to home, Scotland’s craggy coastline plays host to an abundance of spectacular flora and fauna. The isles of Mull and Skye both boast breath-taking beaches, while the north-western coasts bordering Gairloch are home to porpoise, minke whales, basking sharks and puffins.
Visit the Bay of Biscay in August to see numerous seabirds, whales and dolphins. Fin, killer and pilot whales have all been spotted here, while the dramatic limestone peaks of the Picos de Europa are the perfect destination for a scenic hike.
6) South Africa
From Durban to Cape Town, the South African whale route extends for more than 1,200 miles. Since so many species of whale and dolphin frequent these waters, it’s possible to whale watch from the shoreline. Regardless, most visitors to the region take a cruise or an excursion between June and November.
7) Vancouver Island
Humpback, minke and grey whales can all be seen passing Vancouver Island’s west coast annually. Vancouver Island is also home to a wide range of sea birds, sea lions and other marine mammals.
If you’re dying to see killer whales in the wild, head to Norway’s enchanting Lofoten Islands. One hour boat trips ferry visitors through deep, nutrient-rich waters, where killer whale sightings are frequent and fulfilling.
California is among the finest whale watching destinations on earth. Hundreds of dolphins and inquisitive grey whales call the sheltered waters off the coast of California home. Humpback whales and dwarf sperm whales can be found between Point Reyes and the Santa Barbara Channel.
Grey whales return to Alaskan waters year after year. Summer is the best time to visit Point Adolphus, which is found in Glacier Bay National Park, and represents an important migration area.
Go Whale Watching
If you’d like to travel to the best spots for whale watching, we can help at Cruise 1st. We specialise in finding the best cruise deals worldwide, and we can help you too. For more information, check our cruise locations or call us on 1300-857-345 today.
Image sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Visit Greenland