The Top 4 Whale Watching Capitals of the World

Every so often, planet Earth grounds our technological rhythms, drawing our hearts and imaginations into the natural world. Whales are emperors of the deep, rarely succumbing to a diverse and toothy underwater food-chain; we are enchanted by their presence, size and seeming empathy, a striking reminder of the intricacies of life around us, outside the sprawl of cities, suburbs and wider civilization.

whale watching

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Fortunately, most of humanity abandoned harpoons and cetacean killing nets, instead engaging local and tourist communities in preservation and observation efforts. Whale watching has become a romantic alternative to the stark and staged environments of aquariums and wildlife water parks – there isn’t anything majestic about a whale in an over-large fish tank. If whale watching is at the top of your bucket list, add these aquatic hotspots to your next adventure abroad.


Norway is an ecological wonder unfolding before your eyes; indomitable fjords, severe mountains, forbidding hiking trails, magnificent glaciers and The Northern Lights. True beauty is rarely uncomplicated by challenge and history. Cetacean sightings are never predictable, though the waters of Norway regularly attract a range of whales and marine life, including orcas, humpbacks, dolphins, seals, eagles and puffins.


The spirit of Portugal is scattered across the Azores, an archipelago of nine volcanic islands slowly luring international travellers to its undiscovered adventures. In-between hopping from Pico to Faial, swimming in the lava bathing pools of Terceira or the luxurious landscape of Flores, there are opportunities for holiday makers and locals to jump on a boat and enjoy the company of over twenty species of whales, dolphins and porpoises.


Alaskans are avid marine devotees, dedicating considerable time, effort and conservation resources to ensure their icy waters remain a haven for aquatic wildlife. Tour operators and residents appreciate the impossible grace of deep-water cetaceans, as the eye patch of the Orca, the fluke of a Humpback and the cherished Beluga become ingrained in Alaskan environmental culture. Whale watching day trips are a serene addition to your holiday; give the snow dogs a break and head out to the coves and channels of wild Alaska.


The vast and intrepid coastlines of the land down under attract a chocolate box of visitors, ranging from families, to thrill seekers or budding surfers, chasing the next big wave. Whale watching has become a sustainable enterprise in a handful of locations; Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales remain the best states to begin your whale watching journey. If you’re partial to warmer weather, Hervey Bay in QLD attracts a migration of frolicking humpbacks between July and November; for something different, we suggest a trip further south for a Tasmanian break you’ll never forget.

No matter where in the world you rest your feet, from the glassy fjords of Norway, to the sunburnt shores of Australia – a whale spy hops just out of sight. Find your taste for adventure in the haunting lilt of a whale song and visit

This is a guest post written by Emma Jane.

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