Whales – The Undisputed Royalty of Sea
We’ve all seen fish. Small and large, plain and colourful but none of them could be described as majestic. Don’t get me wrong, there is some fascinating marine life that inhabit the world’s oceans, and each play their part in a very diverse eco-system, but for me, one type of marine creature tops the lot, and that is the whale.
Because of their sheer size, we rarely see whales, if we’re lucky we might see one in the distance but more often than not we need to actually get out on the sea with trained operators and actually look for them. There are 76 toothed whale species throughout the world, and they categorised into families, namely:
Dwarf and Pygmy Sperm Whale
Beluga and Narwhal
The most common whale is said to be the humpback whale, and these creatures can be seen in the seas of many countries around the world. For convenience and cost, one of the best places to see these mighty creatures is Australia, particularly near Sydney on the east coast. Sydney whale watching is something of a hidden attraction for many tourists and whale lovers but can be hugely rewarded providing the timing is right. Between May and September, the annual humpback migration takes them from Antarctica to Queensland and they return from August to November. If you live in or around Sydney or are planning a vacation in the future, this tour should firmly be at the top of your wish list.
Planning a Whale Watching Holiday
If you are lucky enough to be able to plan a whale watching holiday in conjunction with your regular vacation, you really are spoilt for choice, the only limitation being the time of year you go. If a whale watching tour is on your itinerary, you will need to plan your dates carefully. Please see below for some worldwide destinations along with best times of year to possibly see lots of whales in their natural habitat:
Sydney, Australia – Humpback Whales – May to November
North Atlantic, North Pacific, Sri Lanka, Greenland and Nova Scotia, NZ and Australia – Blue Whales – Sighted at all times of the year sporadically
Azores – Many species including blue whales. Summer migration route
The truth is, whales can virtually appear anywhere at any time. Due to the whaling industry, the population has plunged significantly, only a worldwide backlash is helping to stabilise the situation. A few traditional whaling countries have realised that there is more money to be made from whale watching and are adjusting their catch quotas accordingly.
Picking the Right Whale Watching Tour Operator
The vast majority of whale watching tour operators have the interests of the marine life as their main priority, this makes sense as without marine life they wouldn’t have any business. When visiting under regulated countries be sure to make sure the operator conducts tours with the best interests of the marine life at heart. If possible, check online reviews of the operators to make sure they operate in an ethical manner.
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