We’ve all seen dolphins, of course, but how many of us have seen whales in their natural habitat? These are the largest animals in the history of the Earth! The existing blue whale is three times the size of the largest dinosaur. In the past century, these marine giants were nearly hunted to extinction by whalers, but they have survived and can be seen in various oceans around the globe.
Whale watching is a major tourism business, generating over 2 billion dollars a year, and in some countries, such as the Pacific kingdom of Tonga, it accounts for 13% of the country’s budget.
The main regions for whale watching are in Polynesia and other Pacific islands. But whales, including the largest ones – blue whales, can also be found in popular tourist countries. Here’s where you can see them:
Location: Canary Islands and other Atlantic islands
Types of whales: orca, sperm whale, fin whale, blue whale
The water and air temperatures around the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores do not fluctuate much throughout the year. Hence, these islands are known as the “islands of eternal spring,” and whale pods practically never leave these waters.
The Canary Islands have long been a favorite holiday spot for our wealthy compatriots. However, not everyone knows that the Canaries are not only about gentle sun, cozy beaches, and developed infrastructure but also about large pods of whales! Here you can see the largest of them – fin whales, sperm whales, and blue whales. Note that different whale species gravitate towards different islands. If orcas and blue whales are often found off the coast of Tenerife, then it’s better to watch for sperm whales or fin whales on La Palma or La Gomera.
The chances of seeing whales in the Canary Islands are very high, about 90%. And that’s not to mention other marine life, such as dolphins or turtles, which you will almost certainly encounter on every dive with instructors. You can rent a boat for whale watching in Tenerife at the website https://rentboattenerife.com/boat-trips/whale-watching-tenerife/
Location: South Africa, Hermanus
Types of whales: southern right whale, humpback whale, Bryde’s whale
Season: May – December
In the second half of the year, large pods of whales come so close to the shore that they can be seen from the beach and even from a hotel room. In Hermanus, there is even a position of “whale crier” who loudly informs the city’s guests where and when whales have been spotted. And in Port Elizabeth, there is a base for boats that take tourists to meet the whales up close.
Although individual species of whales live here year-round, the peak season begins in September when the main stars – southern right whales – arrive. In Hermanus, there is even an annual “Return of the Southern Whales” festival.
Location: Northern coast of Europe
Types of whales: fin whale, humpback whale, orca, and others
In the North Atlantic, large whales can be encountered all along the European coast. Even in the Bay of Biscay, the path of large cruise liners and ferries can cross a blue whale. However, the likelihood of encountering whales during a European cruise is not high.
Off the coast of northern Norway and the southern shores of Ireland, whales spend a lot of time, and specialized photo-hunting excursions are organized there. In winter, orcas follow huge shoals of herring into the Norwegian fjords of Vestfjorden, Tysfjorden, Ofotfjorden, and Andfjorden – some of the most beautiful, spectacular, and photogenic whales in the world. An orca’s leap is a spectacle that must be seen at least once in a lifetime! The largest and most tourist-accessible city from which such trips are organized is Tromsø.
Sperm whales are spotted in the waters of the North Atlantic all year round, but it’s best to go whale watching from Irish ports like Shannon. From July to December, there is also a high chance of encountering fin whales and humpback whales. And if you want to see orcas in the summer, they may not be in the fjords of northern Norway, so it’s better to head straight to the Lofoten Islands, famous not only for whales but also for their picturesque, almost “toy-like” architecture.
Various Yacht Charter Formats
Yacht chartering offers a unique opportunity to explore the sea without owning a vessel. This rental business is widespread and profitable, allowing owners to maintain their vessels in working condition and cover mooring fees. The cost of chartering depends on various conditions and features of the provided services. For more detailed pricing, visit https://ibizabarcoalquiler.com/. This overview will cover the following types of charters:
- “Bareboat” charter;
- Crewed yachts;
- Flotilla group trips;
- Individual charter (booking one or more spots);
- Corporate events;
- Mixed charter options.
This option is for renters who are experienced yachtsmen (at least one crew member must be a captain). It’s a family vacation format that involves fully renting the boat for a certain period. The contract specifies the rental period, obligations, and terms in case of property damage. This type of charter allows you to temporarily become the owner of a modern yacht.
Crewed Yacht Charter
This type of charter is more popular than bareboat as it doesn’t require the renter to have sailing skills. The yacht is provided along with a crew. Alternatively, external specialists can be hired to handle the yacht, allowing the renter to relax and enjoy. This option is ideal for beginner yachtsmen who wish to learn how to sail.
Group Charter in a Flotilla
Experienced yachtsmen might consider group sea trips as part of a flotilla. Participants, such as tourists from Spain, can embark on journeys on different vessels, competing in friendly races. If you don’t have sailing skills, you can hire a skilled skipper. You can also arrange to stay overnight in a local port if you tire of the sea’s motion.
Cabin Berth Rentals
While major companies rarely offer individual cabin berth rentals on yachts, such options are commonly found in the market. They are typically initiated by tourists who have pre-booked a yacht for themselves. This need often arises when a planned group holiday is canceled, but the yacht has already been rented. To minimize expenses, the reservation holders start looking for fellow travelers. Additionally, this type of rental can be managed by small local entrepreneurs who rent a yacht for a short period for the purpose of subletting berths.
Corporate Events and Temporary Living Arrangements
Organizing corporate events and temporary stays on yachts are also in demand. Yacht-based corporate events are popular among various groups, including local residents and tourists. The category of “combined rental options” includes using the yacht not only for sea excursions but also as a temporary residence. Travelers can move along the coast, stopping at chosen locations for a couple of days, making the yacht akin to a mobile home, but on the sea.