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Introduction to Whale Watching Holidays
Whale watching holidays have become something of a ‘bucket list’ item for many of us. It’s no surprise, as whales are one of the world’s most majestic creatures. They come in many different shapes and sizes and, no matter which species you see or where you see them, they always illicit the same profound impact on the people that seem them.
Off the Map Travel are now offering you the opportunity to book luxury whale watching holidays to some of the world’s best whale watching hot spots where you can see these incredible creatures up close and personal.
Coming together with providers from around the world we have picked the best destinations both for summer and the winter that focus on the best accommodation, fantastic trips and amazing experiences. The tailor made trips that we offer can be enjoyed without big crowds and with the welfare of the animals as a priority to us and our guests. Whether you prefer to travel in small groups or would prefer to travel independently on your own exclusive private trip, we have plenty of options available.
Holidays and experiences
Take a look at some of our whale and dolphin watching itineraries to get inspiration for your next adventure to see these amazing gentle giants in their natural habitat.Experience More
Experience Whale Watching
This footage was taken by our own Sales manager Holly whilst in Greenland in August 2016. Over a 4 day trip she was lucky enough to witness hundreds of whales whilst out on the sea and by land. She even witnessed the famous ‘bubble netting’ technique used by humpback whales to catch fish. She says:
“Witnessing these amazing creatures in such abundance was truly spectacular. I was a whale lover before this trip however Greenland has gone straight to the top of my favourite destinations in the world after these encounters!”
Why not speak to her about arranging your very own whale watching trip! Get in contact with Holly here.
Off the Map Travel is working with WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) to bring you the most exciting whale watching trips and experiences that are both responsible and deliver a positive impact for the whales and dolphins we wish to help protect.Experience More
Whale Watching Holidays
Whale Watching holidays have become one of the best-loved activities that frequently features highly in ‘must-do experiences’ for people all around the world!
Our hand-picked selection of worldwide holidays offer a great range of choice whether you are a couple looking for a romantic getaway with a difference or a group who are fascinated by these amazing creatures!
We also have trips for all-year round so no matter if you are travelling in Winter or Summer there is a package to suit you. In addition to whale watching you can fill your trip with other amazing activities that will be sure to make your holiday a once in a lifetime experience!
Whale Watching Experiences
Whether you are searching Arctic waters for migratory humpbacks and Orcas following the millions of herring along the coastline or spotting dolphins in their year-round resident waters in warmer climbs you are sure to fall in love with watching these amazing creatures in their native habitat. The below are just an example of some of the experiences on offer so if there is something special you are looking for then just ask us!
Tips for great whale watching
- If you have a particular species of Whale that you would like to see whilst on holiday then tell your travel advisor. This will help to determine what time of year you would want to travel and the best destination to visit.
- If you are travelling to one of our colder destinations such as Iceland or Norway you will need to kit yourself out properly with well insulated and waterproof clothing. It is cold in these destinations and when you are enjoying any of your activities you don’t want to miss out because you’re too cold.
- Take a camera and make sure you take lots of photos as you will want to remember this trip for the rest of your life. However, don’t spend the whole time behind the lens as it’s just as important to step back and enjoy your whale watching holiday at the time.
- Patience, persistence and vigilance is vital. Whales do not operate to a set timetable so keep your eyes on the water as you never know when they are going to pop up!
Where to go?
Here at Off the Map Travel we are constantly looking for new and exciting whale watching destinations to offer our customers. We know that there are plenty of places in the world where you can watch all kinds of whales in their natural habitat, but we search high and low for the destinations that offer just that little bit more. Whether you want to watch humpbacks jump beneath the Midnight Sun, to see Orcas feeding off the coastline of the fjords with sea eagles overhead or Fin whales swimming beneath the Northern Lights one thing is for sure – it will not be just any old whale watching experience when you travel with us!
If you are looking for cooler destinations then Iceland, Norway, Greenland and even the far reaches of Scotland are good options but if you are looking for whales and warm temperatures then the Azores, Costa Rica or Mauritius & Reunion could be perfect for you! Speak to one of our experienced Travel Designers today and we can help you find the perfect holiday for you.
Whales can be divided simply into two groups: Baleen (such as the humpback whale) and Toothed (such as the sperm whale).
Baleen whales are identified by the filtration plates inside their upper jaw which is mostly made of Keratin, a substance found in our fingernails and hair. These plates are arranged like lots of tiny teeth in a comb and the inner edge is frayed and this forms a dense mat inside their mouths. Baleen whales, although massive in size, eat some of the smallest prey in the ocean; plankton, tiny schools of fish and a variety of crustaceans. They use their baleen to strain their food from the water.
Baleen whales tend to be solitary animals and tend to be the larger of the whale species. They can be found in all of the oceans across the world and have some of the longest migrations known to man.
Whale species that fall into this category include the Blue, Bowhead, Gray, Fin, Humpback, Minke and Right whale.
Toothed whales, including all dolphins and porpoises, have one blowhole and are generally smaller than most of the Baleen whale species. There are approximately 65 different species of toothed whale.
Instead of filter-feeding, toothed whales are hunters. They will find and capture prey (fish, squid, crabs, starfish, and other ocean creatures) and swallow it whole. They find their prey using echolocation which functions as an underwater sat-nav to help them detect prey in the water.
Toothed whales include Sperm, Narwhal, Pilot and Beluga whales.
Best time to go?
As whales are migratory animals this can vary dependant on the location you wish to visit and the species of whale that you are hoping to see. Some destinations, such as the Azores, are excellent whale watching destinations with sightings of these majestic creatures all¬year round. Others such as Northern Norway offer whale watching at certain periods during the year. Speak to one of our expert travel advisors to help narrow down your search!
Did you Know?
- Whales and dolphins do not sleep like we do, but they rest on the surface of the sea while they are swimming. Each side of the brain takes it in turns to ‘switch off’ while the other half stays vigilant and keeps the animal breathing.
- The heart of a blue whale is about the size of a small car and weighs up to 450kg. The aorta, a major blood vessel for the heart, is big enough for a human child to crawl through.
- The male narwhal has two teeth. The one on the left pierces the animal’s lip and grows to an incredible 2-3 metres. In Europe, these tusks were once sold as the horns of the mythical unicorn.
- Orcas, otherwise known as Killer Whales, are in actual fact the largest member of the dolphin family!
- The biggest/heaviest brain in the world belongs to a Sperm whale – it can weigh up to a whopping 9kg! The average weight of an adult human brain is only 1.4kg.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Off the Map Travel is working with WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) to bring you the most exciting whale watching experiences that are both responsible and deliver a positive impact for the whales and dolphins we wish to help protect. WDC is the leading global charity dedicated to the conservation and protection of whales and dolphins and they defend these remarkable creatures against the many threats they face through campaigns, lobbying, advising governments, conservation projects, field research and rescue.
From Spring 2016, Off the Map Travel have been contributing to WDC’s projects on ensuring the conservation, safety and freedom of whales and dolphins all across the world so that they can continue with their vital work. You will also be able book your trip safe in the knowledge that Off the Map Travel works to the recommendations set out by WDC regarding their ‘no swim’ policies for dolphins and whales, and responsible whale watching.
From Autumn 2017, Off the Map Travel have adopted Holly, Bend, Fife and Simoon, four amazing orcas who are part of the Northern Resident population who spend the summer months around British Columbia, Canada!
We are extremely proud of our commitment to responsible whale watching and supporting WDC and are convinced that our customers will recognise that through us they will be planning the trip of a lifetime that helps protect whales and dolphins and keep them safe and free. Find out more about WDC’s work by visiting WDC.