Season of the giants

The blue whale expedition

The great baleen whales meet in the waters around Pico between February and June. During this time of the year we are able to see three different species in one day at the same time. Often we can observe up to seven different kinds of whales and dolphins. The baleen whales which – as it is well known – filter plankton and krill off the water are attracted by huge quantities of food which accumulate at the Mid-Atlantic-Ridge. This is why they gather at Pico for the “great feast”. You are right among them, study the animals’ behaviour and observe the biggest creature that ever lived on our planet.

There is rarely a bigger adventure than watching a blue whale emerging right next to the boat. With an overall length of up to 33 meters it is even bigger than the biggest dinosaur which had been discovered until today. It weights up to 200 tons which equals the weight of approximately 33 African bush elephants.

The humpback whale is the vocalist among the whales and probably the best know. Its distinct lateral flippers are striking. It is a rorqual just like its relative, the blue whale and is quite similar to the other members of rorquals. The outer facing with barnacles and diatoms is very interesting. Humpback whales are well known for their giant jumps and live in all oceans up to the edge of the pack ice. Within this huge area of circulation the animals migrate seasonally more than thousands of kilometres which makes them pass the Azores between March and June. In the summer month they stay in the nutrient-rich areas of the northern and polar regions of the sea while they spend the winter in the tropics or subtropics.

Besides the emigrants of the oceans the residents of the Azorean waters can be seen as well. Female sperm whales and their pups stay in the temperate waters all-the-year. Long-finned pilot whales and false killer whales can also be seen as well as sei whales, finbacks or minke whales. From the family of dolphins Risso’s dolphins and bottlenose dolphins may be observed.

Our excursions to the whales are distributed to two weeks because weather conditions may not always allow boat tours to the open sea. However, just in case we offer several alternative activities during those days. Plunge into the island that is slowly waking up from its winter sleep! Come and see the Montanha do Pico whose peak is usually still covered in snow during this time of the year and admire the flourishing Incenso which wraps the island in a stunningly sweet scent! Welcome the giants of the sea together with us!

Travel dates

24.03. – 07.04.2018
07.04. – 21.04.2018
21.04. – 05.05.2018
05.05. – 19.05.2018
19.05. – 02.06.2018

Rates include

  • 14 overnights in a double room in Guesthouse Golphino (single rooms and alternative accommodation on request)
  • Transfers from/to Pico airport or ferry port
  • 6 excursions for whale and dolphin watching
  • Participation in the photo-ID project of blue whales together with the University of Horta
  • 1 visit of the sperm whale and squid museum of Professor Malcolm Clarke
  • 1 visit of the whaling museum in Lajes do Pico
  • 1 visit of the “vigia” (our land-based whale spotter)
  • 1 visit to the hatchery of the Cory’s shearwaters
  • observe the Azorean bat
  • 1 full day tour to the Island of Faial and visit of the famous yacht harbour
  • Tour in the highlands of Pico
  • 1 visit of the vineyards, an UNESCO Cultural World Heritage and walk

Rates

Season of the giants Rate Per
Season of the giants € 899,- Per person

Please find a summary of all rates for nature observing programs here.

Contact and Bookings

If you wish to book a programme or require more details, please feel free to contact us here. The team of Pico Sport/Scuba Azores will be happy to assist you.


Photographer credits: Joe Bunnie, Dr. Ronald Doepner and Nuno Sá.

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