Majestic in size and design, there are fewer holiday excursions that could be as memorable as getting up close and personal with one of the Big 5 of the marine world. While they may seem like an elusive species, there are in fact several places around the world where you'll be able to spot them, from close to home spots to far away destinations. An adventure that is guaranteed to delight all types of guests, keep reading to find out where you can enjoy these incredible whale watching cruises, as well as the best time to go.
Alaska Whale Watching cruise
One of the most beautiful destinations in the world, Alaska should be top of your list for cruises to see whales. The Kenai Fjords National Park is a particular hotspot, and just a short drive away from the cruise port of Seward, whale spotting has never been so easy. Meanwhile, if you're looking to see whales straight from your cruise ship, the Inside Passage may just provide you with this opportunity.
Best Time To See Whales in Alaska
The best time for whale spotting in Alaska tends to be from April to November, although it can also depend on the type you'd like to see. For example, humpback whales are most visible in June and July, while you might be lucky enough to spot killer whales all the way from June to September.
When it comes sailing to Alaska, there are plenty of cruise lines which offer itineraries in this part of the world. Whether you're looking for small luxury cruises to Alaska or family adventures packed with fun, the perfect ship awaits, with cruise lines including:
California Whale Watching Cruise
If you're looking for a whale watching cruise North America but in a less remote location than Alaska, California is an ideal cruise destination along the Pacific Coast. Monterey Bay is a particularly great spot, as at Lighthouse Point you won't even have to head out on a boat tour. Simply stand on the shore and watch these majestic creatures dip and dive through the waves in a spectacle you won't forget any time soon.
Best Time To See Whales In California
With whale watching being an all year round activity in California, the best time of year depends on the species you'd like to see. For killer whales be sure to visit between December and April as this is when they migrate, while April to December is best for blue and humpback whales.
If you'd like a cruise which takes you along the sunny coastline of the Golden State, you won't be disappointed by the variety of cruise lines which can take you there:
Iceland Whale Watching Cruise
Everyone knows that Iceland is the place to go for stunning Northern Lights cruises, but what about heading there to enjoy whale watching? Faxafloi Bay is the best place for it, and with tours operating from Reykjavik, it's a convenient excursion to enjoy during your Iceland cruise. With humpback whales, minx whales and even dolphins calling these waters home, get your camera ready as you marvel at some of nature's most impressive creatures.
Best Time To See Whales In Iceland
The peak months for whale watching in Iceland are June, July and August. However, if you're sailing to Reykjavik, you'll be pleased to know that you can enjoy these excursions all year round.
Not only do an impressive variety of cruise lines embark on itineraries to Iceland, but many of them offer no fly cruises from the UK, meaning your unforgettable voyage can get off to the easiest of starts. Cruise lines include:
Norway Whale Watching Cruise
A cruise to Norway is a memorable enough experience as it is, with journeys down the breathtaking fjords and the chance to breach the Arctic Circle and enter the land of the Midnight Sun. Add to this whale watching tours, and you've got the recipe for the perfect cruise holiday. What's more, with Tromso not only being one of the best places for whale excursions, but also already a popular port of call on cruise itineraries, a whale watching tour won't be hard to find.
Best Time To See Whales In Norway
In Tromso, the whale season comes much later than in Iceland or Alaska, with October to November being the best months, especially for humpback and killer whales.
As such a popular cruise destination, it's no surprise to find that plenty of cruise lines offer itineraries to this part of the world, all providing something different when it comes to onboard experience. What's more, just like with Iceland cruises, you can enjoy a no fly cruise from a British port close to you.
Australia Whale Watching Cruise
With its sunny weather, vibrant cities and sandy beaches, what's not to love about Australia? But if you want to get closer to nature during your Australia cruise, a whale watching tour is a great way to do just this. Thanks to the impressive size of Australia's coastline, there are plenty of opportunities to see a variety of whale species, with top spots being Perth, Sydney and Byron Bay.
Best Time To See Whales in Australia
While the peak season for whales may depend on where you are visiting, the best months tend to be between May and November, although in places such as Hobart you might even see them in December.
Enjoy the Australian coastline in style thanks to the array of cruise lines offering itineraries here:
- Celebrity Cruises
- Seabourn Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas
Whale Watching Cruise In The Azores
If you're looking for a cruise holiday with great weather and the chance to spot whales, but don't want to travel as far as Australia, then the Azores is a fantastic choice. Floating in the Atlantic Ocean, this small archipelago boasts all kinds of whales including sperm, sei, fin and pilot.
Best Time To See Whales In The Azores
When it comes to choosing when to cruise to the Azores, the whale watching season runs all the way from April through to October. If it's the larger species you're looking to see, such as blue whales, April and May are the best months, while humpbacks are more common in October.
With its location in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores is often incorporated as a port of call on a Transatlantic cruise, although you may also find it on itineraries around the Canary Islands. Here are just a few of the cruise lines you could choose from:
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Holland America Line
- P&O Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas