World's Best Whale Watching Experiences
30+ Ideas for your Travel Bucketlist
Go Whale Watching Around the World
Get closer than ever before and experience the world’s biggest mammals on these whale watching experiences. From humpbacks to southern rights, and a lot of lesser known whale species, you’ll experience the majesty and grace of these epic animals. Add some of these ultimate whale watching experiences to your bucketlist.
Beluga Whale Watching on Somerset Island
Paddle your way through a braided river system, snaking across a surreal landscape of pastel flats and sparse tundra. You’re searching for one of nature’s great spectacles.Each year, beluga whales congregate at the Cunningham River high on remote Somerset Island in Canada’s north. Your private guide will bring you to where ghostly white whales gather and frolic in clear, frigid water. As you watch, learn about these unique creatures. How their beautiful color is an adaptation to their arctic home. How the contours of their body allow them to navigate the often ice-choked waterways.
Byron Bay Humpback Whale Watching Cruise
Looking like a fictional scene from a fantasy children’s book, Byron Bay provides the perfect setting for a day of aspirational adventure.A blend of dark blue seas and bright green cliffs create the ideal stage for the sudden splashing appearance of humpback whales. More than happy to horse around and put on a show, the humpbacks won’t be startled by your boat’s approach. Get close enough to smell these monstrous yet magical creatures as they almost spray you with salty seawater. Be astounded by the whales’ ability to hurl their burly frames metres above the water as they breach. Such a show of gravity-defying strength and agility is a sight to behold.
Cape Naturaliste Whale Watching by Jet Boat
Wade into the waves, while getting up close and personal with the most wonderful wildlife the Cape Naturalista waters have to offer. Climb aboard your very own jet boat tour and be taken to the heavily inhabited depths of the ocean, where whales, seals and dolphins can be found floating and frolicking the day away. Most of these creatures are at peace with the presence of people coming to politely gaze and gape in amazement.On your return journey to shore, relax and reflect as you watch the light dazzle and shine off the sea’s surface. The shadows from the setting sun will spell the end of an unforgettable encounter.
Cruise the Cape on the Princess Emma
Slip effortlessly across False Bay in search of breaching whales. Sip perfectly-chilled champagne with Table Mountain as a backdrop. Dine al fresco on the aft deck, before anchoring overnight in the exquisite Langebaan Lagoon.The polished fruit wood detail and air-conditioned en suite cabins of the 25 metre Princess Emma makes it a sublime way of exploring the Cape from the water.Specifically designed for cruising, and with a top speed of 30 knots, this luxury motor launch is at home on the open sea as it is moored at its base at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
Diving with Humpbacks and Reef Shark Schools at Neptune's Arm
The protected waters of Quirimbas National Park. Visibility levels that can reach 50m. The much-talked about Neptune’s Arm dive site off Vamizi Island.Wonder at the sight of humpback whales and their young calves from beneath the waterline. Become part of the swirling mass of silver-grey bodies as up to 30 grey reef sharks shoal together – the only place this is known to happen in East Africa.It’s just as much fun from the boat, where you can see humpbacks breaching and shark schools circling.
Hermanus Whale Route Tour
A giant tail fluke disappearing into the deep. A breaching giant. Plumes of exhaled breath hanging in the morning air. Such is the view from the town of Hermanus between June and November each year.During this period southern right whales travel north from Antarctica to mate and calve in the calmer waters around the rocky shores of the South African coast.Hermanus is easily accessible from Cape Town via the picturesque coastal views of Clarens Drive. Once there, it’s possible to observe the visiting whales from the cliffs on the edge of town or from the waters for even closer encounters.
Humpback Whale Watching & Scenic Baja California Flight
With their iconic “songs” and crowd-pleasing high-tail breaches, humpback whales are among the most impressive creatures along the Pacific Coast of the Americas. Observe these phenomenal animals on their annual migration to the warmer waters off of Baja California.Head out onto the water aboard a Zodiac. Watch for tell-tale plumes of seawater, and have your camera ready for the moment one of their great tails rises above the waves as they dive.Afterward, transfer to a Cessna for a scenic flight over the peninsula. Soar over the rocky sierras, picturesque towns, and the sprawl of the Pacific Ocean. Scan the waves for yet another sighting of humpbacks swimming below!
Iceland Whale & Puffin Aquatic Safari
The giants of the deep are living without land, restrictions or borders. They are free, free to sing, thrash and dance in the ocean. The Captain is ready to leave, his hunger for whale watching shows as he narrates excitable tales. The RIB boat heads for the horizon, leaving behind excursions restricted only to Husavik’s bay.You are searching for bigger fish today! Scanning the oceans for a glimpse of these creatures and the water explodes, sending you to the back of the boat. A humpback whale blowing its hole, showing off its acrobatic moves. Puffin Island is in the distance. While living a monogamous lifestyle, they only take to land once a year for nesting, so you will meet puffins during the summer months.
Kaikoura Whale Watching
Like everything else in New Zealand, a whale watching tour places a strong emphasis on environmental conservation and the happiness of its inhabitants. In Kaikoura get up close and personal with the world’s largest living mammals without intruding and making them feel threatened.Kaikoura Canyon is something of a hot spot for sperm whales, due to the huge depths of a narrow channel near the coast. Whales come from near and far to splash up their tails flamboyantly before submerging and diving deep down into these giant dipping pools. It’s almost like they know that they can depend on a captive audience who will duly respond with an appreciative ‘oooohh’ or ‘aaaahh’.
Kaikoura Whale Watching Cruise
A huge proportion of the world’s sperm whale population pass the Kaikoura coasts and shores on their mammoth migratory missions, thanks to a deep channel that provides food and calm waters. Your intimate mini-vessel sets off from a place where the sea seems to push back against luscious green earth. It’s a slim strip of land that can be traversed in a matter of minutes on foot. Such scenery is a great way to start your stunning day of discovery. The size of your boat and skill of your captain mean you are able to get close enough to smell the salty smooth skin of the sperm whales. Knowing that they are safe in your presence, the king-size sea mammals are calm and content to swim and splash around nearby.
Kayaking With Whales in Hermanus
As whales disappear from the oceans at alarming rates, getting close to them is increasingly difficult. Hermanus is so good because you can easily witness whales from both the shore and water.Southern right whales migrate to the area from July to November, mothers coming to calf, males to mate. Males are so big their testicles weigh half a ton. Humpbacks also breach here and the action is particularly spectacular on a private kayaking excursion.Expect thrilling moments and a real appreciation of size.
Magdalena Bay Gray Whale Watching Cruise
Each year, female gray whales migrate from the cold waters of the Bering Sea to the sunny bays of Baja California, where they give birth to their calves in warm, sheltered waters. And then mate with the males that migrate here. Visit these majestic creatures in Magdalena Bay, one of their favorite hideaways, where they frolic alongside sea turtles and many species of birds.Travel in an open-top boat and watch for these colossal mammals. See gray whales breach and come close to your boat to investigate. Interact with these wild creatures, coming close enough to admire their barnacled backs.
Pacific Ocean Humpback Whale Watching in Nuqui
Little can match the incredible sight of the ocean’s giants soaring up out of the water. And then crashing back down again with a tremendous splash. Off the coast of the Gulf of Tribuga, you’ll have a private and exclusive viewing of some astonishing humpback whales. With an experienced and responsible guide, you’ll be whisked out to sea in a speedboat, to get as close as possible to these beauties. The Gulf in the Choco district makes for perfect whale watching, as the pristine environment and warm calm waters are a safe haven for these whales who migrate here for a few months each year.
Punta Arenas Whales and Wildlife Boat Tour
The Strait of Magellan and surrounding waterways are a trove of stunning sea life. Experience the beauty of this subantarctic region and meet its marine residents on a private wildlife tour from Punta Arenas.See cormorants bobbing on the surface startled by a breaching humpback whale. Gaze up at the sweeping flight of an albatross with its impressive wingspan. Lean over the side and greet a pod of austral dolphins following alongside.Penguins, sea lions, and toninas will steal the show, even in this landscape of singular beauty.
Raft Safari in Monterey Bay
You stop at Moss Landing and step onto the shore. The salty scent and the ocean breeze are calling you to sea. On the dock, you meet your captain, and he takes you to where your private eco-raft swings gently on the water, waiting only for you. Put on your life vests, make yourselves comfortable, and enjoy the ride. Your raft will take you on a half-day tour of Monterey Bay. With six marine protected areas, it is no wonder you see so much wildlife in these waters. You will feel the excitement of getting up close and personal with magnificent whales, including humpbacks, orcas, and blue whales. Dolphins will show their sleek backs, seals and sea lions will swim around you, and you might decide the otters are the cutest creatures you’ve ever encountered.
Reykjavik Whale Watching RIB Charter
Cruise on a RIB boat and search for beautiful whales. Witness Iceland’s seafaring culture and waltz through the jovial Old Harbour in downtown Reyjkjavík. The harbour is your scenic launching pad for an incredible adventure in the mighty Atlantic Ocean.RIB boats have a design that lets you get as close as possible to majestic marine creatures without disturbing their habitat. Before riding the waves of the Atlantic, you will stop at the gorgeous Akurey Island which is world-renowned for its nesting puffins. After capturing some photos of these adorable birds, your boat will transport you further out to sea for a grandiose meeting with all sorts of whale species. Minke whales, humpbacks, harbour porpoises, and even the enormous blue whale live in these waters. After the exhilarating feeling of seeing amazing animals at sea, feel the power of the ocean as you sail back to the shoreline. Your captain will steer the boat along a route that provides a sensational vantage of the harbour.Have your camera ready as this is the perfect angle to capture a brilliant panorama of the Sun Voyager sculpture and the Harpa Concert Hall, two of Iceland’s most treasured cultural landmarks.
Snorkel with Humpback Whales, St. John's
Humpback whales are among the great marvels of the world’s oceans. They weigh up to 30 tonnes and migrate huge distances each year. Get better acquainted with these aquatic travelers by suiting up and swimming alongside them.Board a private boat at St. John’s harbor and head out to the humpbacks’ favorite hangout spots. Your captain will keep watch for a breach, your invitation to join the fun. Change into a wetsuit to stave off the cold of the chilly Atlantic waters, equip flippers and snorkel, and swim with these gentle giants.Humpbacks don’t frighten easily, so you should be able to get close enough to see even the knobby details of their skin.
Vesteralen Whale Safari
Feel the thrill of seeing the grey back and flukes showing out of the water, then diving in again. You are close to a sperm whale, the fourth largest mammal in the world. Maybe you will see the black and white orca jumping playfully as well, and a pod of dolphins enjoying themselves. Minke and humpback whales also frequent these waters.Norway is a place of majestic, untamed nature. This safari offers you an opportunity to meet its largest marine animals and learn about them from an expert biologist guide.
Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour in Sierpe
Costa Rica’s legendary biodiversity doesn’t end at the shoreline. Head out to sea and visit the country’s marine residents.Feel the spray and be in awe of an acrobatic humpback whale holding her tail above the water, as she dives in search of a place to birth her young.This full-day tour provides ample opportunities to spot distinct whale species and even more dolphins.As mighty as these creatures seem, some of them—including humpbacks—are endangered. Visit their habitat, see them in the wild, and appreciate the fragile beauty that makes this area so special.
Whale Skeletons at Husavik Museum
Discover the dinosaurs of the sea and explore the artefacts of the world’s largest mammal at Husavik Whale Museum, a rare exhibition dedicated to these gentle giants. Come face to face with several real-life whale skeletons, including the blue whale (one of only two such displays in the world) as you explore their sealife stories. Appreciate their enormous size while learning about feeding, breeding and their melodious singing.Relaxing with a coffee in the whale library satisfies the soul, before strolling across the street to a little hidden gem, the local whale bistro.
Whale Watching Cruise on the Valdes Peninsula
The ocean appears calm. There’s nothing but blue and your slowly bobbing boat. Then commotion. From the depths a whale emerges. Gliding effortlessly it looms shoots skyward, before 25,000 kgs crashes back down onto the water surface.Southern right whales love this peninsula. They come here to raise their young, and their inquisitive nature makes them easy to see up close. These giants are so big the males have testicals weighing 500 kgs. On this half-day whale watching cruise you’ll explore the ocean in a small boat. It’s more manoeuvrable than larger boats and means you can get closer, as well as respond to sightings faster. July to December are the best months to see the whales.
Whale Watching Expedition, Tofino
Tofino’s waters are unusually rich with iconic marine life. Set out aboard your cruiser boat and see these majestic creatures in the wild.Explore Clayoquot Sound’s rugged coastline, where mountains converge with the Pacific Ocean. Giant cedars rise on one side and giants of the deep are to the other. See grey whales breach the dark surf, sea lions lounging on rocks, and perhaps even a pod of killer whales pursuing an unlucky seal. Brave the spray and take advantage of your boat’s exterior space to get an unobstructed view of Canada’s abundant marine life.
Whale Watching Tour, Azores
Maybe you are asking yourself: how can they know we will find whales? Ah, but they can. Your skipper is in contact with an inland lookout team, and they will radio him the location of the whales. So, just enjoy the fresh briny air and the speed of the boat. And take the opportunity to ask as many questions as you want to the biologist who’s accompanying you.Besides different whale and dolphin species, you will see fish and seabirds during this private tour of Atlantic waters.