Dive into our site and find out about: the whales and dolphins of the Azores!
WE REGULARLY SEE
We regularly see sperm whales and dolphins including bottlenose, common and Risso's. We also have sightings of spotted dolphin during the summer with occasional sightings of striped dolphin, pilot whales and false killer whales. Other whales seen since 1993 include blue, fin, sei, humpback, minke, Northern bottlenose, pygmy sperm whales. Beaked whales such as Sowerby's, True's and Cuvier's have all been seen identified, although not regularly. Rough-toothed dolphin have been seen a few of times over 20 years. Orcas are not very common in the Azores, but can appear at any time of the season.
An important thing to remember about the area is that in the Azores the whale-watching season (May-October) is dictated by the weather not the migrations of the whales and dolphins, which are seen year round, so you can't "just miss them". We average 6-7 species per tour (although 3-4 tours per summer see more), 5-6 encounters per day and on only 1-2 days per summer do we see nothing. Our quietest ever tour still saw 4 different species, 3 tours since 1993 have seen 9 species and sperm whales, bottlenose and common dolphin have been seen on every single tour for the last 3 years.
OTHER THINGS TO SEE
There are lots of other things to see as well and interesting birds include the Cory's Shearwaters and Roseate tern, Loggerhead turtles, sharks and sport fish such as marlin and swordfish. Taking all of this into account you can see why the Azores is regarded by some as in the top three destinations worldwide, for whale and dolphin watching.
TRADITIONAL WHALING BOATS RACING
Whales and whaling play an important part in the history and culture of the Azores. Yankee whalers visited the islands in the 1700's and by the mid 1800's a whaling industry had grown up throughout the islands. The Azorean whalers had a tough way of life and developed a reputation for being brave and strong. The whaling went on using the same traditional open boats and hand harpoons right up until 1985. Cetaceans are attracted to the islands mainly due to the abundance of food there and the great thing about the area is that so many different species are seen. In recent years we have identified 20 species in the Azores or nearly 25% of all the world's known species.