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Whale Watching

Google Search for Whale Watching Tours of the World
 
 
Jump to our Whale Watching Chart   Wikipedia has a good article on Whales. Whales are cetaceans which are marine mammals that include whales, dolphins and porpoises.  (Marine mammals have lungs and breath like humans. They do not have gills like fish. A whale can hold its breath for up to 2 hours before having to surface to catch another breath!

Do you want to see whales in the wild or in an aquarium?  Here are some wonderful sites that have information on where you can see whales in the wild, as well as, in aquariums.  There is somewhere in the world almost anytime of the year where you can watch whales in the wild.  Sometimes, you can watch whales from viewing stations on shore and sometimes from cruise ships or small boats. Besides whales, you are also likely to see dolphins or porpoises as well. The chart at the bottom of the page lists places and seasons for whale watching at some popular locations in the world.
 
 
 

Visit Whales in Aquariums and Marine Parks

Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums is an international association of marine parks, aquariums, zoos, research facilities, and professional organizations with the highest standards of care for marine mammals.  They also support conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study, and wildlife presentations.  Here is their list and links to member aquariums and marine park websites.
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). WAZA's mission is to guide, and encourage and support the zoos, aquariums, and like-minded organizations of the world in animal care and welfare, environmental education and global conservation. Here is their list and links to member zoos and aquariums of the world.
Marine Parks.  Background information on Marine Parks and a list and links to some of them in the world.
Marine Theme Parks. Background information on Marine Parks and a list and links to some of them in the United States.
 

Some Comprehensive Whale Watching Websites

 
WhaleGuide.com  The most comprehensive worldwide directory of companies that offer whale and dolphin watching trips. Includes the best times of year to see them, the species of animals you'll see at leach location, and complete contact information including cost and whether you need reservations.
 
Whale Watching Web  This is another very comprehensive whale watching website with a straightforward list of worldwide whale watching tour companies and activities organized by continent - Country and then locations within the country, if a big country.  List of Whale Watching tour companies are by country or locations within a country if it is a big country like the USA.  They also have a wealth of other information about whales for all ages. Excellent website.
 
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society   The WDSC is an international voice for preserving whales, dolphins and their environment. They have the most comprehensive list of whale watching operators we have found.  Select  Click on the Whale Watching Database and a pop-up window provides a form where you can select a species, location and month to find whale watching operators in the world that meet your criteria.  Well-done WDSC!
 
Responsible Travel - Whale Watching Holidays  This is a beautiful ecotourism website with an excellent list of worldwide whale-watching tours that are eco-friendly. (They also have eco-friendly tours to many countries of the world.) From their website -  "Responsible whale watching holidays support marine conservation & local people. Sadly some whale watching operators are more interested in getting tourists very close to whales than on providing tourists with amazing sights while following conservation guidelines designed to minimize disturbance to cetaceans.  We have carefully screened all the whale watching tour companies and lodges on our site. There are no global guidelines for responsible whale watching - rather there are very good local guidelines which your operator must follow."
 
GORP Travel - Whale Watching  This link will take you to the well-known GORP Adventure Travel website and their list of the Whale Watching trips they offer.
 
Whale Watch.com  Not only are they the largest whale watching tour operator on the U.S. East Coast, they also have a wealth of information on whales including the Mother Lode of Whale Links in alphabetically order. A wonderful site.
 

Worldwide Whale Watching

Northern Hemisphere    This is a sample of some popular whale watching places, but it is only a small sample of all the places in the world where you can watch whales in their natural habitat.  Use one of the comprehensive sites above to find more places and tour operators. 

Continent

Place Best Time Types General Information and Tour Operators
Antarctica Antarctica February - March Sei
Mink
Blue
Fin
Sperm
Humpbacks
Orcas killer whales
Southern Right whales
General Information:     Site 1
Tour Operators
: List 1   List 2   Google
North America
 
Canada

All times

All types

Tour Operators: List 1     List 2-Western 
                  
Google   List 2-Eastern
British Columbia
Vancouver

May - Sep.

Humpbacks
Orcas killer whales
Tour Operators: List 1     List 2-Western 
                  
Google   List 2-Eastern
                  
Site 1     Site 2  
Vancouver Island

Summer

Gray whales

March - April
Migration

More Gray whales
United States

All times

All types

Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
Alaska

All times

All types

Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   List 3 
                     
 List 4   Google
Alaska
Glacier Bay

June - Early Sep.

Humpbacks
Orcas killer whales
Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   List 3 
                     
Google
California
Monterey Bay

Mid-Dec. - April

Gray whales migrating Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   List 3  
                      Google  Site 1

Summer and Fall
migrations

Blue whales*
Humpbacks
Massachusetts
Stellwagen Bank
Cape Cod Bay

April - May

Northern Right whale**
Orcas killer whales
Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   List 3  
                     
 Site 1   Site 2  Google

April - October

Humpbacks
Mexico

All times

All types

Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
Mexico
Baja California

January - April

Blue whales*
Humpbacks
Fins
Gray whales****
 
Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
                  
Site 1

Caribbean
 

All locations

All times

All types

Tour Operators: List 1   Google
Dominica
west coast of island

year-around
Winter is best

Humpbacks
Sperm whales
Tour Operators: List 1 List 2 Google

North Atlantic
 

Greenland
Glacier Bay

June - Early Sep.

Humpbacks
Orcas killer whales
Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
Europe

All locations

All times

All types

Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
Iceland

April - October

Mink whales
Humpbacks
Tour Operators: List 1 List 2 Google
  Site 1    
Portugal
The Azores

May - October

Sperm whales
Tour Operators: List 1 List 2 List 3
  Google    
Southern Hemisphere  note - the seasons of the year are opposite those of the Northern hemisphere.
Australia
 

All locations

All times

All types

Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
Queensland
Hervey Bay

July - November

Humpbacks Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
                   Site 1   Site 2
South America
 

All locations

All times

All types

Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
Argentina
Peninsula Valdes

July - November

Southern Right whales
Orcas killer whales
Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
                       Site 1  Site 2 
mid-Feb - mid-Apr Orcas hunt sea lion
pups on shore***
Chile
Glacier Bay

June - Early Sep.

Humpbacks
Orcas killer whales
Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
Africa All locations

All times

All types

Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
South Africa
Hermanus

July - November

Southern Right whales Tour Operators: List 1   List 2   Google
                            Site 1
Notes:

*Blue whales are the largest whales in the world.
**Northern Right whales are an endangered species and only a few hundred are left.
***
Orcas can actually be seen coming up out of the water in certain beaches to snatch sea lion pups.
****Gray whales mate and give birth in the lagoons during this time.


 
 
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