Boa Vista Whale Watching Trip

Humpack whales & their babies off the coast of Boa Vista - season middle of February till end of May

Saison 2023

 

2023 was another very successful season for us. The first tour took place on 12.02.2023 - the last tour then on 24.05.2023
We achieved a success rate of 98% this year - the highest we have ever had. We were only unsuccessful on two tours in the entire season.
Although we often had to battle with strong winds and high waves, our team proved itself again.
After the season is before the season :-) and so we are of course looking forward to our whales again in 2024.

 


general information

 

The Cape Verde Islands are one of the most important breeding grounds for humpback whales. From June to January you can meet them in the north of the Atlantic Ocean before they migrate to the warm waters of the Cape Verde Islands during the mating season. In January / February, the first North Atlantic humpback whales reach the coasts of Boa Vista to mate here or give birth to their babies the following year. They can often be seen from the beach, but mostly quite far out at sea. In order to be as close as possible to them, we recommend a "Whale-Watching-Tour" with our yacht. The whale watching tours start in the middle of February and end in the middle/end of May.

 

Humpback whales are very acrobatic: they jump out of the sea (this is called "breaching"), look out of the sea with their heads (called "spy hopping"), hit the water with their tail fin (fluke) (called "tail slapping") or hit the sea with their huge fins. But sometimes we only see their humps and flukes when they dive back into the sea.

Buckelwal Baby taucht auf vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Baby
Flipperslapping eines Buckelwals auf vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Flipperslapping

what you have to expect on the day of your whale watching trip

 

You will be picked up at your hotel at the time confirmed by us. then we will go to the capital Sal Rei to the nharbour, where we will transfer to the yacht by dinghy.

 

On board our seaworthy yacht you will be met by a crew with 12 years of experience in whale watching tours off Boa Vista. Our biologist will first give you a personal, detailed, english-speaking briefing with many interesting facts about the humpback whales.

 

We are very happy to have scientific support on board again this year through the cooperation with the local agency "Naturalia": all tours are accompanied by local biologists, so that none of your questions remain unanswered.

 

After the briefing, we go out to sea at a moderate speed, where good eyes are needed to spot the whales. We will need patience and of course a bit of luck - after all, this is a natural spectacle.

 

After we return to the harbour your transfer is already waiting for you for the transfer to your accomodation.

 

Depending on wind and weather you should have a jacket with you on the tour. You should also be prepared to get a little wet. Protect yourself against the sun and a (tight) headgear may be advisable. And don't forget your camera.

Rückenflosse eines Buckelwals vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Dorsal Fin
Buckelwal Baby und Mama tauchen auf vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Mama & Baby

what is the advantage of a whale watching trip with our motor yacht?

 

The deck of the "Simply No Stress" is already about 2 meters above sea level. if you take a seat on our flybridge or our sun deck, you will sit another 1-2 meters higher. This gives you a much wider and better view of the animals, even when the waves are rough.  We can also spot whales further away.

Sometimes we are lucky and the first animals appear directly near the coast. But this is not always the case. But with our yacht we have the chance to reach whales seen far away in a short time. as soon as we get close to the animals, the speed is of course slowed down, because our first priority is the well-being and protection of the whales.

The yacht offers sun and shade and if it is too fresh in the wind you can even take a seat in the spacious cabin.

Spy hopping eines Buckelwal Babys vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Baby Spy Hopping
Tail Slapping eines Buckelwals vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Tail Slapping

are the whales disturbed by the noise of the engines?

 

The last few years have given us a very clear answer to this question: NO. it is even important to approach the animals slowly with a motor so that the whales can perceive an echosounder.

It is important to behave correctly when approaching the animals. In the last few years we have had encounters with the whales where they have approached our yacht to within a few metres. The important thing is to reduce the speed as much as possible when approaching the whales. As far as possible boats should not approach the animals from behind or from the front, but only parallel to them.

It is even forbidden to be near the whales only under sail - without an engine - as this will deprive them of the possibility of orientation.

springender Buckelwal vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Breaching
springender Buckelwal vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Breaching

are there rules for whale watching trips on Boa Vista?

 

Unfortunately, there is no obligation to have a biologist on board, so many boats simply do what they want anddo not follow the code of conduct established by our local biologists. This code contains the following (unfortunately unofficial) rules:

  • boats should move as parallel as possible to the whales, not directly from behind, not directly from the front and also not directly from the side. of course this is not always easy to follow, because most of the time we don't know where the giants will appear next. therefore it is also important to reduce the speed as soon as we get close to the animals
  • adult animals should be kept at a distance of 60 m, mothers with babies at 100 m. our whales here sometimes have their own ideas and come very close to our boat. in this case the boat will of course just stay in place and will not be navigated at this moment
  • max. 3 boats should be in the approach zone of a whale group at the same time. in the close observation area if possible only 1 boat. this is especially important for mothers with babies
  • mothers with babies should not be observed for more than 30 minutes. of course this should always be decided on the basis of the behaviour of the animals. an acrobatically playing baby with a relaxed mummy can be observed for a longer time; however, if a mother with her baby is rather fast and thus shows that she wants more distance, the time should be kept much shorter. adult animals should not be observed at close range for more than 45 minutes
  • if we find adult animals that dive for a long time, there is a possibility that they sing. we can find this out with a hydrophone. if a singing is audible, the motor can be turned off for a short time to record the singing. otherwise the motor should always be running so that the whales have an orientation where the boat is
springender Buckelwal vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Breaching
springender Buckelwal vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Breaching

how far out to the sea do we have to go to see the whales?

 

This varies greatly. There are tours where we just drive out of the harbour and have the first whale right in front of the boat. Most of the time you have to drive a little further to see these wonderful creatures. sometimes it is up to 7 miles out to sea. On other days it can happen that they are very close to the coast. Either to the north or in the bay of Chaves. unfortunately, one cannot rely on that.

Spyhopping Buckelwal vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
hallo :-)
Gruppe von Rauhzahndelfinen vor der Küste Boa Vistas auf einer Bootstour mit Boa Vista Tours
auch manchmal dabei: Delphine

how much experience do we have with whale watching trips?

 

The crew on our boat has been successfully at sea since many years in the whale watching season. Such a well-trained eye and especially the experience of approaching the animals cannot be replaced by luck. From year to year we see an increase in our success rate in sightings and especially in the close encounters with the animals.

springender Buckelwal vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Breaching
springender Buckelwal vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Breaching

what happens if the wind or the waves are too strong?

 

In this case it can happen that we have to cancel or postpone a tour at short notice. We will then of course offer you an alternative date. dear guests - we are not doing this to annoy you, but only for safety reasons. Our motto "Safety first" is for your safety and well-being. We are aware of the fact that other tour operators, despite very bad forecasts, still run their tours, but for our company we make decisions that are not necessarily based on making money, but on providing you with great experiences.

Fluke eines Buckelwals vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Fluke
Spyhopping eines Buckelwals vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
manchmal seeeehr nah

and another very important final word

 

As this is a natural spectacle, there is no guarantee that we will see whales on every tour.

We know that our videos and pictures raise very high expectations, but please remember this: during the whale watching season we are out at sea almost every morning and afternoon. That is a total of many hours in which we take photos and videos of the animals. Your whale watching tour, on the other hand, lasts about 3 (or 7) hours. Since the whales do not perform their acrobatic skills on order, there is of course not always a big "Specctacolo". Sometimes we only have to be satisfied with the sighting of a fin.

Tip: if you are not sure about your seaworthiness, it is best to take a travel tablet the evening before, and then a second travel tablet before the start of the trip.
If you do not have any travel tablets with you, we will be happy to supply you on the boat. However, you will achieve better results as described above.

 

If you know, that you are not seaworthy, you should not book the trip.

springender Buckelwal vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Breaching
springender Buckelwal vor Boa Vista auf der Whale Watching Tour mit Boa Vista Tours
Breaching

how to dress

  • comfortable
  • flip flops are sufficient (we are barefoot on the boat)
  • headgear
  • Jacket or sweater depending on the wind

don't forget

  • sun cream

early season special trip - season 2024 vom 13th of February till 2nd of March - duration approx 4-6 hours

In the 2022 season, we offered an "Early Season Tour" in February for the first time. We were able to spot whales on all of these tours. Also in 2023 every early season tour was successful - but of course we can't give any guarantees.

 

Why an early season tour?

The first whales reach us already at the end of January. Of course, the number of whales is much smaller at this time than in March and April. Most of the time they are seen further away from the coast and mainly in the south of Boa Vista. To have a chance of sightings this early in the season, you have to plan for a longer time at sea. The duration of the tour is therefore between 4 and 6 hours - depending on how fast we were successful.

 

Our photo service: for 18 euros you can purchase a photo package from us after your tour. In the package are the 50 best pictures of the last season, as well as the best pictures of the day. Of course without logo and in very high quality.

included service
transfer from/to hotel
drinks on board
snacks
biologist on board
english speaking Guide
prices  
per person 90 € / 9.900 CVE
children 4-11 years
60 € / 6.600 CVE
children up to 3 years
free
from RIU Touareg add. 10 € p. person / child
   

half day trips - season 2024 from 4th of March - duration approx. 3 hours

The half-day tours take place in the morning from 9 am to 12 pm and in the afternoon from 2 pm to 5 pm. The pick-up time depends on your accommodation. For the whales, of course, it makes no difference whether it is in the morning or in the afternoon. Sometimes one tour is nicer, sometimes the other ....

 

Our photo service: for 18 euros you can purchase a photo package from us after your tour. In the package are the 50 best pictures of the last season, as well as the best pictures of the day. Of course without logo and in very high quality.

included service
transfer from/to hotel
drinks on board
biologist on board
english speaking Guide
prices  
per person 65 € / 7.150 CVE
children 4-11 years
45 € / 4.950 CVE
children up to 3 years
free
from RIU Touareg add. 10 € p. person / child
   

full day trips - season 2024 from 7th March - duration approx. 7 hours

Experience something special with us: since 2020 we also offer a Full Day Whale Watching Tour (7 hours).

 

Why a Full Day Whale Watching Tour?

This gives us the opportunity to go as far as the south of the island (Varandinha and Santa Monica).

The experiences of the last years have shown that there are a lot of whales in the south. Of course, we will have sandwiches and snacks ready for you on board for this tour.

 

This tour is of course aimed at the "whale lovers" among you. We are out at sea for about 7 hours (please bear this in mind before booking!) and thus have plenty of time for - hopefully - many sightings.

 

The full-day tours take place once a week on Thursdays from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. A prerequisite for the tour to take place is that we reach the minimum number of participants of 12 guests. If we do not have enough registrations for the Full Day Tour on one day, we would then change to a Half Day Tour if necessary.

 

We don't suggest the full day whale watching trip for children

 

Our photo service: for 18 euros you can purchase a photo package from us after your tour. In the package are the 50 best pictures of the last season, as well as the best pictures of the day. Of course without logo and in very high quality.

included service
transfer from/to hotel

drinks on board

snacks and sandwiches

biologist on board
english speaking Guide
prices  
per person 145 € / 15.950 CVE
children 4-11 years
95 € / 10.450 CVE
children up to 3 years
free
from RIU Touareg add. 10 € p. person / child
   

 

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our motor yacht "Simply No Stress"

 

...... was built in 1990 for a spanish casino owner in american style. after we bought the yacht in August 2015, Frank transferred it from Malaga to Boavista via Gibraltar, the west coast of Africa and Lanzarote at the beginning of October.

Comfortably you cruise with us through the azure blue ocean along the coast of Boavista. we offer you extraordinary tours with variety and fun. Due to the height of our yacht you have a wonderful view. The yacht offers you comfortable berths and seats. the sun burns too hot? No problem, because we also have places in the shade. Come on board and enjoy in small groups the trip along the beautiful coast of Boavista - of course accompanied by english speaking tour guide Andrea (together with Frank the owner of the yacht).

 

technical data:

  • 15 m long & 5 m wide
  • 750 HP (2 x 8 cylinder Caterpillar)
  • Gross weight 25 tons
  • spacious flybridge with upholstered benches
  • large padded sun deck
  • after deck with upholstered benches & table
  • sun & shade places
  • electric toilet
  • seaworthy yacht with all safety equipment

If you are not sure about your seaworthiness, we recommend that you take a travel tablet beforehand.