Whale watching vacations are as diverse as the locations that host them. From Alaska to Africa, Scotland to Sri Lanka, the species you will see and the conditions you will see them in vary greatly - so it's important to have an idea of the kind of vacation you want, and to share this with your tour operator.
Live aboard trips are much more intense; you'll be in close contact with 12 or 16 other passengers, with little flexibility in terms of schedules. However, this will completely immerse you in ocean life, with
the chance to get far from land, so for the right kind of passenger
this could be the marine adventure of a lifetime.
During research trips, you'll learn to identify whales, monitor
their behaviour and enter data into a computer. You'll also be up
early, and take turns to navigate, clean the ship and cook - so this
is not a vacation for the workshy. However, you'll be contributing to
vital research and are sure to learn a lot and make friends along the
Land-based tours involve daily boat trips - sometimes with a different focus for each excursion: different types of whales, marine life or birds. You may be able to anchor on remote islets, hike around the shore and get involved in local community life during the evenings. These are more relaxing and slower paced vacations - with the chance to combine marine and land-based wildlife watching.