The International Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (IWDCS) estimate that around 10 million people go on Whale Watching Trips and Encounters every year, and when you consider what a powerful experience it can be to see mammals like this in their natural habit, this figure comes as no surprise.
One of the functions of the IWDCS is to support and encourage sustainable and responsible Whale Watching Trips, and it offers training to those wanting to run such holidays, and endorsements to companies like Out Of The Blue Holidays, who offer high quality Whale Watching worldwide. Among the destinations offered are a selection of trips around the American, South American, and Canadian Coastline and surrounding islands. Examples include trips to see Blue Whales at Chiloe Island off the coast of Chile, Southern Right Whales in Argentina, The Orca or Killer Whale at Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, and finally the Pilot Whales, which are often sighted in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica.
Outside of the Americas, other Whale Watching destinations include: The Bay Of Biscay (varied species), The Pembrokeshire Islands (Minke Whales), and The Shetland Isles (Orca and Minke Whales) in the UK. The Azores Islands off the Portuguese coast (varied species), Tysfjord, Norway (Orcas), and Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia (guaranteed Humpback Whale sightings).
There are a variety of locally based, international companies, and travel agents that will offer trips to these and other destinations, either on a day trip, short break, or longer stay basis. Prices will vary depending on the location and length of trip, and what’s included in the cost of the trip. Longer Whale Watching experiences can include flights, accommodation, transfers, and added extras such as talks by wildlife experts, excursions on dry land and professional tour guides. Some trips will involve staying on a boat, others may involve venturing out on Kayaks to see these giants of the Ocean, but whichever method of transportation is used, there’s often a good chance of getting very close to the Whales during the trip.
Along with the variations in different species, and the price, Whale Watchers will see throughout the world, the whale watching seasons may be a consideration as well. Some locations have seasons that start in the summer and run through until Sept; while others will have short windows for whale watching either for a period in the summer, or in late autumn. It’s also worth researching how likely it is that Whales will be spotted on a particular trip, as some companies will offer a cast iron guarantee, while others will say it’s ‘likely’ that you’ll spot various species.
When the research is done, and the trip is booked, all that’s left to do is to enjoy the magical and unique experience of seeing these animals in the wild. Whether you travel to Scotland, or America, or end up photographing Blue Whales or Sperm Whales, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.