2 independent reviews for Blue whale watching in the Azores, Pico Island

Reviews for Blue whale watching in the Azores, Pico Island

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review 11 May 2021

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing a blue whale for the first time in my life - and then for the second time and the third time and so on. Because there is more than one boat trip, you really get the chance to encounter them many times. Some were fluking, one changed direction and came towards the boat - it was absolutly fantastic.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

the weather is crucial for the trips and since it can change quickly - be open and flexible. If you are vegetarians: as most islands, the menus contain lots of fish and other seafood - we can recommend the local restaurants which offer a daily changing vegetarian dish.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Sleeping in the hotel and eating in the restaurants benefits the locals; going with a motor boat on the ocean is not going to reduce environmental impacts, but the skipper and the rest of the team try not to disrupt the animals as good as possible (not going to close, only approaching from behind, not staying to long with the animals) and collect plastic in the ocean when they spot something. Them being able to collect data for scientific studies hopefully helps to conserve the habitat of the whales and dolphins.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

From 1 to 10 we would give it a 12 - it is truly an amazing and breathtaking experience. The partner organization is very helpful and navigated us through all the obstacles due to covid-19. The scientist who acted as our guide is super friendly and he really knows a lot about the whales, the history of the island and patiently answers any question. From his presentations we learned so much about the evolution of the whales and the latest scientific findings and ongoing research.

review 19 May 2018

Im not normally inclined to book group vacations because Iím not really the sociable kind although in fulfilling my wifeís long held dream to go Whale Watching I had little choice given how everything is structured. After some research I decided the Azores was the place to go therefore I booked one weeks vacation through Amanda finally settling on Pico Island as the destination. Whale researcher Rui is the man on the ground working full time gathering data about the Azorean whales in order to collaborate with other researchers around the world for the enrichment of wider knowledge. This passionate, hard working, sharing and kind approach sums Rui up to a tee. He is literally the nicest guy you will ever meet and if you ever fancy learning what Rui doesnít know about whales, forget it because you will discover it to be a minuscule amount of knowledge. His care of our group together with handling the individuals within was a lesson in itself, all very polite, calm and done with caring humour although he ensured any jokes were always on him. Ruiís assistant Maria could be similarly described and was always caring, smiling and super enthusiastic. The 3 hour trips out to sea were truly amazing with many sightings of Blue, Sperm and Fin Whales together with several dolphin and turtle species. There were numerous other creatures to be expertly described by Rui ( the mans knowledge is unbelievable) therefore these trips were simply out of this world and went by like a flash. We were also educated as to the role of the spotters (and were fortunate to meet one spotter) who guided us to the animals, again learning how all this is achieved was a real pleasure. Regarding going out on the boat, I was very worried about getting seasick as Iím not good on the water, however just taking some travel sickness pills sorted that out and I didnít have any issues at all. Rui also conducted short seminars after the trips recapping on what we had seen and allowing us time to consider and ask questions. These were activities Rui didnít need to undertake, however his passion and enthusiasm wonít let him pass on the opportunity to share his fascination for these animals and all things nature in general. We had two group meals with Rui, one at the outset and one at the end which again were great company and great food together with more opportunities to ask questions if we wished. Our hotel was the the 4**** luxury upgrade option which occupies a stunning location together with very good accommodation although I would recommend hiring a car for the week as we did, thereby providing a much greater ability to get about the island during the afternoons. We also had a really good island tour which was very informative together with a trip to the lava tubes which again was awesome. Having read the above Iím sure any reader can now understand why I have taken the time to write this appraisal of our vacation, in short it was amazing and my thanks go to everyone involved with putting it all together and Rui & Maria in the azores for their hard working diligent attention to detail in order to ensure everyone had a great time therefore I wouldnít hesitate to book with you guys again. Regards Richard Christie

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