2017

WHALEPLANNER

JANUARY

Start your whale watching year with ease – why not visit Hawaii? Thousands of humpbacks gather in the warm waters to mate and give birth. Best time to watch them: December to May. Another option: Enjoy the Norwegian and Icelandic winter and combine whale watching (orcas, humpbacks and fin whales!) with dog-sledding and northern lights.

whaletrips.org/january

FEBRUARY

Every year, thousands of gray whales travel between Mexico and Alaska, one of the longest known maritime migrations. From December to March/April they mate and give birth in the warm and shallow waters off the Baja California, Mexico. Then they go on their long journey to feed in the rich feeding grounds of the north. Meanwhile in New Zealand, it is high season! Watch the giant sperm whales in the deep waters off the spectacular coast of Kaikoura.

whaletrips.org/february

MARCH

Witness an absolutely unique and truly impressive way of hunting! At Peninsula Valdes, Argentina, orcas beach themselves with great energy in order to catch the seal pups from the shore. There’s no other place known in the world where orcas hunt like this. March is the best time, as the new-born seals gather at the beach in high numbers. If you continue from the Argentinean Atlantic coast to the Chilean Pacific coast, you can meet blue whales. From December to April, blue whales give birth to their calves in the Gulf of Corcovado. Meanwhile on Vancouver Island, Canada, the people of Tofino and Ucluelet celebrate the arrival of the gray whales.

whaletrips.org/march

APRIL

Meet the giants: blue whales are the biggest animals to have ever lived on this planet. Unfortunately, there are only a few places, where you have good chances to meet them. The Azores are among them! Blue whales pass by on their way north – best time: between April and May. Plenty of other big whales pass by the islands, too, including sei, fin and sperm whales.

whaletrips.org/april

MAY

Spring in Manitoba and Nunavut, the Arctic regions of Canada. Meet bowheads, belugas and narwhals right at the border of the ice. Here also, you have best chances to encounter walruses and polar bears. Other option is to visit Greenland! At Disco Bay (best location: Qeqertarsuaq), you can meet bowheads, belugas and narwhals before they follow the breaking ice and travel further north for summer in late April / early May.

whaletrips.org/may

JUNE

As the summer begins, any of the North American coasts are a great option. Quebec, British Columbia, New England, Washington and Oregon are among the best places in the world for whale watching. Most likely to see: humpbacks, fin and minke whales on the east coast, humpbacks, orcas and gray whales on the west coast. It is especially important in this region to take a trip from a location where the boats don’t outnumber the whales.

whaletrips.org/june

JULY

Summer in Iceland and Norway! Both are among the best places for whale watching, worldwide. If you prefer vast volcanic landscapes full of waterfalls and glaciers, Iceland is the best choice. If you’re more into impressive fjords, surrounded by incredibly steep cliffs, Norway is the thing. Most likely to see: sperm whales in Norway, humpback, fin and minke whales in Iceland. Other options: California is beautiful all year round – during summer you have good chances to see all kinds of big whales, including blue whales!

whaletrips.org/july

AUGUST

High season in Greenland! Take a boat and cruise the giant icebergs of Disco Bay – accompanied by humpback and fin whales. Or how about sampling Alaska? Not as cold as Greenland but there’s still plenty of glaciers! Cruise the famous Inside Passage and meet the humpbacks and orcas of the west coast. Another option: Southern right whales come really close to shore at Peninsula Valdes, Argentina. Watch (and hear!) them breaching!

whaletrips.org/august

SEPTEMBER

The perfect time for orcas (and bears!) on Vancouver Island, Canada! Telegraph Cove, at the northern tip of the island, is often described as “the orca capital of the world”. Meanwhile in Australia, every year, thousands of humpbacks travel from Antarctica to Australia to mate and give birth. If you want to see the happy newborns joyfully breaching, the north-east coast really is the place to be!

whaletrips.org/september

OCTOBER

More than 400,000 people per year watch the southern right whales off South Africa. Most sightings happen from July to October and, as the whales tend to come very close to the coast, you can easily see them from land. Fun fact: the city of Hermanus employs a “whale crier”, whose main job is to blow a horn to alert people whenever a southern right whale is spotted.

whaletrips.org/october

NOVEMBER

It’s not all just kangaroos and koalas in Australia – “Down under” is also a great place to meet humpbacks, southern right whales and blue whales. The humpbacks are on their way back south now – meet them in the southeast! Or go even further south to watch the blue whales and southern right whales off the coast of Victoria. The perfect road trip awaits! Other options: New Zealand (watch the sperm whales off Kaikoura) and California (gray whales, orcas, blue whales).

whaletrips.org/november

DECEMBER

If you need it warm and cozy during winter, just follow the gray whales and go to Mexico. From December to April, they treat the tropical waters off the Baja California as their winter quarters. You have a good chance of seeing blue whales there as well. If you prefer it more crisp and wintry, Norway and Iceland are the perfect options: winter whale watching combined with snowshoeing, dog-sledding and northern lights add up to a truly unique experience. Most likely to see: orcas and humpbacks.

whaletrips.org/december

CREDITS

Whales & Logo: Tobias Gehrt, studio2112.com
Maps: bgblue/istock | Icons: the noun project

PEOPLE PROTECT WHAT THEY LOVE

About 15 million people are doing a whale watching trip each year, numbers steadily increasing. Seeing these gentle giants in the wild seems to be a life goal for quite a lot of people. And if whale watching is done right, it can be a memorable and truly eye opening experience. Sometimes people have to see something with their own eyes. To think about it. To understand it. To care about it. To love it. And then, to protect it. Because people protect what they love. That’s how whale watching can have a positive impact.

RESPONSIBLE WHALE WATCHING

Obviously, the best thing to do is whale watching from land. There are a lot of places in the world, where you can do just that with great comfort and really good chances of seeing whales. If you have to hop on a boat, make sure to choose a sustainable and responsible operator. Which means: It’s not about the money, it’s about the whales. A sensible and balanced whale watching trip will be safe, educational, enjoyable and always with great respect for the whales. Make your experience as rich as and the impact on the whales as small as possible. Which also means: Please never swim with whales, even if some of the pictures on Instagram look wonderful. For more information about responsible whale watching, please check out this free guide written by our friends of Whale & Dolphin Conservation.

JUST HAVING A WHALE OF A TIME

There’s about 80 different species of whales and dolphins in the world with more than 100 countries to watch them. With whaletrips.org we try to inspire and give you the best information about whale watching: We focus on the most interesting whales to watch, the best countries to meet them and the perfect time to go there. We hope this website will be a good inspiration for a great trip. Happy whale watching and have a whale of a time!

WHALETRIPS

Please tag your best whale watching pictures from around the world with #whaletrips and tell us your inspiring stories – we will be happy to share them on this website and via Facebook or Instagram.

DOWNLOAD

You can download the full whaleplanner as a graphic! Just click this link and save the graphic on the next page. And of course, feel free to share it with your friends who might be interested in seeing whales!

2017

WHALEPLANNER

JANUARY

Start your whale watching year with ease – why not visit Hawaii? Thousands of humpbacks gather in the warm waters to mate and give birth. Best time to watch them: December to May. Another option: Enjoy the Norwegian and Icelandic winter and combine whale watching (orcas, humpbacks and fin whales!) with dog-sledding and northern lights.

whaletrips.org/january

FEBRUARY

Every year, thousands of gray whales travel between Mexico and Alaska, one of the longest known maritime migrations. From December to March/April they mate and give birth in the warm and shallow waters off the Baja California, Mexico. Then they go on their long journey to feed in the rich feeding grounds of the north. Meanwhile in New Zealand, it is high season! Watch the giant sperm whales in the deep waters off the spectacular coast of Kaikoura.

whaletrips.org/february

MARCH

Witness an absolutely unique and truly impressive way of hunting! At Peninsula Valdes, Argentina, orcas beach themselves with great energy in order to catch the seal pups from the shore. There’s no other place known in the world where orcas hunt like this. March is the best time, as the new-born seals gather at the beach in high numbers. If you continue from the Argentinean Atlantic coast to the Chilean Pacific coast, you can meet blue whales. From December to April, blue whales give birth to their calves in the Gulf of Corcovado. Meanwhile on Vancouver Island, Canada, the people of Tofino and Ucluelet celebrate the arrival of the gray whales.

whaletrips.org/march

APRIL

Meet the giants: blue whales are the biggest animals to have ever lived on this planet. Unfortunately, there are only a few places, where you have good chances to meet them. The Azores are among them! Blue whales pass by on their way north – best time: between April and May. Plenty of other big whales pass by the islands, too, including sei, fin and sperm whales.

whaletrips.org/april

MAY

Spring in Manitoba and Nunavut, the Arctic regions of Canada. Meet bowheads, belugas and narwhals right at the border of the ice. Here also, you have best chances to encounter walruses and polar bears. Other option is to visit Greenland! At Disco Bay (best location: Qeqertarsuaq), you can meet bowheads, belugas and narwhals before they follow the breaking ice and travel further north for summer in late April / early May.

whaletrips.org/may

JUNE

As the summer begins, any of the North American coasts are a great option. Quebec, British Columbia, New England, Washington and Oregon are among the best places in the world for whale watching. Most likely to see: humpbacks, fin and minke whales on the east coast, humpbacks, orcas and gray whales on the west coast. It is especially important in this region to take a trip from a location where the boats don’t outnumber the whales.

whaletrips.org/june

JULY

Summer in Iceland and Norway! Both are among the best places for whale watching, worldwide. If you prefer vast volcanic landscapes full of waterfalls and glaciers, Iceland is the best choice. If you’re more into impressive fjords, surrounded by incredibly steep cliffs, Norway is the thing. Most likely to see: sperm whales in Norway, humpback, fin and minke whales in Iceland. Other options: California is beautiful all year round – during summer you have good chances to see all kinds of big whales, including blue whales!

whaletrips.org/july

AUGUST

High season in Greenland! Take a boat and cruise the giant icebergs of Disco Bay – accompanied by humpback and fin whales. Or how about sampling Alaska? Not as cold as Greenland but there’s still plenty of glaciers! Cruise the famous Inside Passage and meet the humpbacks and orcas of the west coast. Another option: Southern right whales come really close to shore at Peninsula Valdes, Argentina. Watch (and hear!) them breaching!

whaletrips.org/august

SEPTEMBER

The perfect time for orcas (and bears!) on Vancouver Island, Canada! Telegraph Cove, at the northern tip of the island, is often described as “the orca capital of the world”. Meanwhile in Australia, every year, thousands of humpbacks travel from Antarctica to Australia to mate and give birth. If you want to see the happy newborns joyfully breaching, the north-east coast really is the place to be!

whaletrips.org/september

OCTOBER

More than 400,000 people per year watch the southern right whales off South Africa. Most sightings happen from July to October and, as the whales tend to come very close to the coast, you can easily see them from land. Fun fact: the city of Hermanus employs a “whale crier”, whose main job is to blow a horn to alert people whenever a southern right whale is spotted.

whaletrips.org/october

NOVEMBER

It’s not all just kangaroos and koalas in Australia – “Down under” is also a great place to meet humpbacks, southern right whales and blue whales. The humpbacks are on their way back south now – meet them in the southeast! Or go even further south to watch the blue whales and southern right whales off the coast of Victoria. The perfect road trip awaits! Other options: New Zealand (watch the sperm whales off Kaikoura) and California (gray whales, orcas, blue whales).

whaletrips.org/november

DECEMBER

If you need it warm and cozy during winter, just follow the gray whales and go to Mexico. From December to April, they treat the tropical waters off the Baja California as their winter quarters. You have a good chance of seeing blue whales there as well. If you prefer it more crisp and wintry, Norway and Iceland are the perfect options: winter whale watching combined with snowshoeing, dog-sledding and northern lights add up to a truly unique experience. Most likely to see: orcas and humpbacks.

whaletrips.org/december

ABOUT

WHALETRIPS

PEOPLE PROTECT WHAT THEY LOVE

About 15 million people are doing a whale watching trip each year, numbers steadily increasing. Seeing these gentle giants in the wild seems to be a life goal for quite a lot of people. And if whale watching is done right, it can be a memorable and truly eye opening experience. Sometimes people have to see something with their own eyes. To think about it. To understand it. To care about it. To love it. And then, to protect it. Because people protect what they love. That’s how whale watching can have a positive impact.

JUST BEING RESPONSIBLE

Obviously, the best thing to do is whale watching from land. There are a lot of places in the world, where you can do just that with great comfort and really good chances of seeing whales. If you have to hop on a boat, make sure to choose a sustainable and responsible operator. Which means: It’s not about the money, it’s about the whales. A sensible and balanced whale watching trip will be safe, educational, enjoyable and always with great respect for the whales. Make your experience as rich as and the impact on the whales as small as possible. Which also means: Please never swim with whales, even if some of the pictures on Instagram look wonderful. For more information about responsible whale watching, please check out this free guide written by our friends of Whale & Dolphin Conservation.

HAVING A WHALE OF A TIME

There’s about 80 different species of whales and dolphins in the world with more than 100 countries to watch them. With whaletrips.org we try to inspire and give you the best information about whale watching: We focus on the most interesting whales to watch, the best countries to meet them and the perfect time to go there. We hope this website will be a good inspiration for a great trip. Happy whale watching and have a whale of a time!

DOWNLOAD THE WHALE PLANNER

You can download the full whaleplanner as a graphic! Just click this link and save the graphic on the next page. And of course, feel free to share it with your friends who might be interested in seeing whales!

SHARE YOUR STORY: #WHALETRIPS

Please tag your best whale watching pictures from around the world with #whaletrips and tell us your inspiring stories – we will be happy to share them on this website and via Facebook or Instagram.