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CW Azores (by CetaceanWatching Lda)
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WHALE WATCHING IN THE AZORES
Discover Pico Island and its unparalleled diversity and abundance of cetaceans
Sperm whale - Pico Island - Azores Bottlenose dolphin - Pico Island - Azores Sowerby's beaked whale - Pico Island - Azores

KOMETA - Whale Watching boat with toilet
KOMETA is the biggest of our Whale Watching boats (10.5 metres) and features a marine toilet.

WHALE WATCHING IN THE AZORES

CW Azores operates March through October on the island of Pico, in the central group of the Azorean archipelago, where abundance of whales and dolphins and species diversity is highest.

More than 20 species of cetaceans (this is how whales, dolphins and porpoises are collectively called) either inhabit or pass by our waters along their migratory routes.

Known in the past as an important ground for Sperm whale hunting, since the mid 80's the Azores have become one of the best case studies of how the presence of whales and dolphins can be turned into an ecologically sustainable business with great educational value and full protection granted to the animals.

Our Whale Watching tours enjoy a success rate greater than 97%.

A WHALE OF A TIME FOR ALL SEASONS

Whale Watching in Pico - Azores MARCH NEW!
Blue Whale Migration is a special Whale Watching and research program focusing on the biggest animal ever to live on our planet!
Learn more...

Whale Watching in Pico - Azores FROM BEGINNING OF APRIL TO MID-MAY
The second seasonal event takes place in April and May, when many other great baleen whales pass by our waters during their migration to the northern feeding grounds. Along with the Blue whale, among them is the Fin whale, the Sei whale and the Humpback whale!
It is such a magnificent spectacle of nature that we have created a special program for it: Giants of the Sea.

Along with the baleen whales, encounters with the Sperm whale and many species of dolphins are plentiful. The Swim with Dolphins season is already up and running at this time of the year.

Whale Watching in Pico - Azores FROM MID-MAY TO END OF JUNE
Among the giants, the undiscussed stars are the Sperm whales. Master of deep diving, the Sperm whale dives to depth of more than 2000 metres in its search for squid, among which is the legendary giant squid. It is a great time of the year to join our Realm of the Sperm whale special programme.

We still see the baleen whales at this time of the year, though with a lower frequency.

Then, one day around the end of June, we witness another exceptional event - the arrival of the Atlantic spotted dolphins with their newborn. These dolphins are well known for being very sociable and playful!
Once they join, the magic number of 5 is reached: it is the number of dolphin species the Azorean Law allows us to swim with, the other 4 species being the Bottlenose dolphin, Common dolphin, Risso's dolphin and the Striped dolphin.

Whale Watching in Pico - Azores JULY AND AUGUST
It is a special time of the year for Sperm whales. Females give birth and their calves are "only" about 4-metre long when they are born!
Dolphins have babies too and we keep encountering all 5 species.

We try not to miss any chance to spot baleen whales, since most of them have already reached their northern feeding grounds by this time of the year.

How could we ask for more? Yet Nature holds another surprise. Between July and August some of the most elusive and least known cetaceans reach our waters - the mysterious Beaked whales.
With no teeth in the upper jaw and only 2 in the lower one (often erupting just in males), these 'suction feeders' can dive as deep as the Sperm whale.

Among them is the Northern bottlenose whale (up to 9-metre long!), the Sowerby's beaked whale and the Cuvier's beaked whale.

Whale Watching in Pico - Azores SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER
High season is over for humans but not so for whales and dolphins!
The Sperm whale is still encountered on a regular basis.
Indeed, September is one of the favourite months for professional photographers and film crews. They join us under a special permit to enter the water with the Sperm whales and other cetaceans.

All 5 species of dolphins are still with us and the water temperature is still near its seasonal maximum.
September and October are often chosen by the travellers who want to avoid the very high season for their holidays.
Sperm whale breaching (Physeter macrocephalus)

CETACEANS OF THE AZORES

Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus)


WHALE WATCHING?
WE PROMOTE IT ALL OVER THE WORLD!

Many years prior to the establishment of CW Azores, we started to promote Whale Watching in all 6 continents (Antarctica is a continent!) through the web site CetaceanWatching.com
The opening of a Whale Watching base in the Azores has not changed our aim.

As you read, more than 250 Whale Watch Operators all over the world can count on free advertisement at CetaceanWatching.com, including our competitors in the Azores, who deserve our greatest respect.

Our goal is to raise awareness on the importance of Whale Watching for the conservation of whales and dolphins.
Sadly, there are still many people and countries who just see these animals as a source of proteins and oils, or as an economical threat to the fisheries.

It is often hard to focus on ecology and conservation with these people, because all they care about is profit.
In this case, a point should be made from a completely different angle - whales and dolphins are worth more alive than dead.

We have no problems to accept that promoting Whale Watching worldwide may lead potential customers to different Whale Watching destinations, as well as give our competitors a free extra chance to get clients.
If this was all it takes to make the message pass, it would not be a big deal!

After centuries of suffering and slaughter, with some species now facing extinction, we reckon a priority should be set for whales and dolphins rather than for human business.

Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Mother and calf Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)

HIGH QUALITY WHALE WATCHING

Every Whale Watching trip is preceded by a briefing, to let you know more about the biology and behaviour of the whale and dolphin species we are most likely to meet at sea, along with their conservation status.
Hints on how to tell species and individuals apart are provided to furtherly enhance your experience on the boat.

As you may already know, sound is a much more efficient sense in a liquid medium than is sight. Indeed, sound propagates about 4 times faster in water than it does in air. Moreover, acoustic waves can travel literally thousands of miles in the ocean while vision is efficient, at best, for a few tens of metres.

Not suprisingly, whales and dolphins live in a world of sounds and a hydrophone (an underwater microphone) will be available on board to let you listen to their vocalisations.

The voyage into the world of cetaceans does not end once back to port. If you wish to learn more, our Staff will be happy to answer your questions and provide in-depth information on our whale and dolphin friends.

A collection of books and scientific papers is accessible at the CW Library.
Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

CODE OF CONDUCT

CW Azores is an official Whale Watch operator in the Azores and strictly follows the rules and regulations aimed to minimise the impact on cetaceans.
It is both the law and our policy.

We are strong believers in the idea that Whale Watching activities must be carried out in a sustainable way, and we are always careful at examining the behaviour of the animals for possible cues of disturbance.

Whenever disturbance cannot be excluded, we prefer to take a precautionary approach. We leave those whales or dolphins alone and go find another group.

In so doing, our Staff is aiming to fullfil the highest safety and ethical standards for both cetaceans and humans.

How to approach the whales
Minimum distances and correct approaches to the animals.


Atlantic spotted dolphin calf (Stenella frontalis)





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Whale Watching Swim with the Dolphins Scuba Diving Discover the Azores
Whale Watching Swim with the Dolphins Scuba Diving The Azores

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