Top 7 des destinations pour l’observation des baleines
Des paysages glacés de l’Antarctique aux eaux tropicales du Costa Rica, les baleines sont souvent plus faciles à repérer qu’on ne le croit… Voici les meilleures destinations pour les observer, ainsi que les moments les plus favorables à cette rencontre.
Les baleines sont les animaux les plus imposants de la planète : elles peuvent atteindre 30 mètres de long et peser jusqu’à 200 tonnes. Ces douces géantes de l’océan sont au sommet de la chaîne alimentaire. Elles jouent un rôle essentiel dans la santé globale de l’environnement maritime.
En embarquant sur nos croisières d’expédition, vous explorerez certains des lieux les plus isolés et les mieux préservés de notre planète, où la faune évolue en liberté. Nos itinéraires d’expédition ne sont pas entièrement gravés dans le marbre. Souvent, nos capitaines décident de dévier leur course afin de saisir de nouvelles opportunités, notamment pour observer la faune. Nous souhaitons ainsi vous donner plus de chances de contempler ces superbes créatures dans leur habitat naturel.
Despite its freezing temperatures, Antarctica is a haven for wildlife. The surrounding ice-laden seas form a rich feeding area for large numbers of whales. Blue whales can eat up to 40 million krill per day making Antarctica the perfect place for them to live as Krill is one of the key species in the Antarctic ecosystem. The majestic whales can appear out of nowhere and may even pop up right next to you when you are out on smaller explorer boats or kayaking through the icebergs.
Which whales can you see? Blue, Killer/orca, Humpback, Fin, Minke, Sperm, Southern Right, Sei
Best time to see whales: February – March
Iceland’s long summer days, mineral-rich waters, and fertile coastal cliffs attract a wonderful mix of sea mammals. Whales will migrate to Iceland during the summer months to feed and breed. Around twenty-three whale species have been spotted here… so there’s a good chance you’ll meet one on your expedition. Despite humpback whales getting all the attention because of their playful antics, minke whales are the most common whale species found in Iceland’s waters. Minkes can be curious creatures and are known for approaching ships, even keeping pace with the moving vessels at times!
Which whales can you see? Humpback, Minke, Harbour Porpoise, Blue
Best time to see whales: May-August
Greenland is the world’s largest island, and its ice-free fringed shores attract plenty of whale species. Most whales visit Greenland in the summer months when it's completely ice-free following the shoals of small fish, krill, and plankton that migrate to these waters. There are 15 species here in Greenland, the most common species that you may spot are the humpback whales. For those lucky few, you may also be lucky enough to see the cheeky minke whales, beluga, or even narwhals. One of the best spots in Greenland to spot whales is in Disko Bay in the west of the country.
Which whales can you see? Minke, Humpback, Sperm, Fin, Bowhead, Narwhal, Beluga
Best time to see whales: April – September
Due to Norway’s northerly location, diverse ecosystem, and elongated coastline, the Norwegian coastline has created a distinctive habit that attracts an abundance of whale species. During the long summer days, the plankton blooms are a magnet for these ocean giants. One of the most common whales to be spotted along the Norwegian coastline in the summer is the sperm whale, whilst in the winter you could spot fin whales. In the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard the largest of these giants can be seen - the blue whale. As you travel along this beautiful coastline, keep an eye out at sea to spot these creatures heaving their huge frames acrobatically out of the water.
Which whales can you see? Sperm, Killer/Orca, Pilot, Humpback, Minke, Harbor Porpoise
Best time to see whales: October – mid-January
Explore the epic wilderness of Alaska with soaring mountain ranges, vast forests and deep fjords which are home to an array of creatures. There are seven whale species as well as the largest dolphin species, the orca. Despite being commonly known as ‘killer whales’, taxonomists actually consider the orca as part of the dolphin species. Orcas will often pray on some whale species, leading to them being known as ‘killer of whales’. Over time, this morphed into Killer Whales and ironically mistaken for their own prey!
Which whales can you see? Beluga, Humpback, Gray, Bowhead, Blue, Minke, Killer/Orca
Best time to see whales: May – September
6. Caribbean & Costa Rica
Traveling from the colder waters of the north and south poles, the mild tropical waters off the Caribbean and Costa Rica are a haven for humpback whales who return to these waters each year to breed and give birth. The waters here are a safe haven for calfs to grow and develop before the migration back to the colder waters for the summer months. For those lucky enough, there have also been sightings of sperm and killer whales that also make the journey here.
Which whales can you see? Humpback
Best time to see whales: July – mid-November
7. North America
With two coastlines along the main migration routes to the warmer tropics, the east and west coasts of North America offer a prime opportunity to spot whales. Alongside the pods of whales that move through these rich waters, there are a number of species that stay 'local' to a region all year round. In Southern California, you can spot Humpback Whales and Blue Whales all year round, whilst off the coast of Massachusetts you can spot Minke Whales migrating along the coast. There are also occasional sightings of the largest animal in the world – the blue whale.
Which whales can you see? Grey, Humpback, Blue
Best time to see whales: July – mid-November