Whale Watching Holidays

Whale watching has 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 a luxury whale watching holiday 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.

All of our whale watching holidays are completely tailor-made. The places you go and the things that you do – they are all entirely up to you. We can create an itinerary that matches all of your needs and is unique to you. Contact us today to speak with one of our expert travel advisers who will be able to help you create your trip of a  lifetime.

Where to See

All of our destinations are hand¬picked by the Off the Map Travel team to ensure that you get the best opportunity to experience these amazing creatures. We currently have packages in Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Azores but we are always researching and adding new and exciting destinations. We are dedicated to finding the best whale encounter excursions so keep an eye on our news page for updates!

Active Breaks

We have a variety of whale watching trips on offer however depending on when you visit there are also a variety of other activities that you can include to make your holiday all the more memorable! Why not include some Northern Lights activities when staying in Norway or Iceland or perhaps horse¬riding or mountain biking in the Azores? There is so much to choose from – one of our expert travel advisors will be able to help guide you.

Best Time to See

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!

Tips

  • 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!
  • Take a camera and take photos. A photo will confirm if there are the beginnings of an aurora or not. However, don't spend the whole time behind your camera as it’s just as important to step back and enjoy them with your eyes.
  • Finally it is important to never give up. We will ensure you are in the best place at the best time and although we can never guarantee where they will be they are inquisitive animals and can often surprise you!
  • Persistence and vigilance is vital; aurora can come and go very quickly so always keep your eyes open for activity.
  • Finally it is important to never give up. Snow can stop and clouds can clear for just long enough to get a glimpse of a stunning aurora even on a wintery night.

Whale Information

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.

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 Watching Trips

Whale Watching has 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 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!

Interested in a Whale Watching holiday?

If you are looking for a Whale watching holiday our travel experts are ready to help guide you through the options available to you. Regardless of whether this is a short trip or a longer adventure we create tailor-made holidays that are designed to give you personalised experiences.

To find out more, speak to one of our personal travel experts about your next holiday. Simply call +44 (0) 800 566 8901 or leave us a message through our Contact page.

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