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5 Most Popular Destinations in the World to Watch Whales

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29th Jan 2023

The whale-watching industry is young if we consider it took place in 1955 for the first time as an official activity. Then, it took only $1 to see these giant mammals and today this has become a multi-billion dollar industry that also has economic, environmental, and educational benefits. Not everyone gets to see whales in their natural habitats, let alone touch them and even kiss them. 

From over 100 countries open to this extraordinary experience, we chose these 5 most popular destinations in the world to watch whales. Pack your passports, raincoats, and cameras — the whale-watching adventure awaits!


  • Watch whales among the icy landscapes of Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica


Among the icy glaciers and cliffs lies Wilhelmina Bay, a place in Antarctica full of whales and other marine wildlife. While you can’t miss Orcas and Humpback Whales, keep your eyes open for Sperm, Minke, and Blue Whales, too. You will pass by the various landscapes, like Neko Harbou and Pléneau & Petermann Islands, where penguins are nesting.

The final stop is Wilhelmina Bay and the remnants of the whaling vessel Guvernøren that is frozen here since 1915. Besides whales, you can see crabeater and leopard seals, as well as various seabirds. Snowshoeing and kayaking will get you closer to some of the wildlife, especially close if a whale ends up swimming underneath your kayak.    

Best time for whale watching: February — March.   


  • Help whale conservation efforts in Húsavik, Iceland


A lot of people first think of Iceland when it comes to whale watching and for a good reason. The country has more than 20 whale species and coming here may benefit these animals quite a bit. Namely, you will help raise awareness of the significance of whales and protect them from hunters. Besides, Norway and Japan, Iceland is the only country in the world where whale hunting is legal.

 Húsavik is the starting point of your tour and is also home to the Húsavik Whale Museum where you can learn a lot about these mammals and their influence on humans. Minke and Humpback Whales are most commonly spotted on the tours, although you may be lucky to see Blue Whales as well.

Best time for whale watching: June — August.


  • Spot whales from the shores of Hermanus, South Africa


Those who are not thrilled with having to spend time on the boat will love whale-watching in the South African town Hermanus. The town has a hotline for whale spotting you can call to find out where to go for the sighting. Moreover, listen for the kelp horn used by the whale crier to let the town know when there is a happening in the bay. 

Of course, those interested in a closer look can join boat tours, as well as fly over the area for an aerial view. Humpback Whales are the most common species here during migration, but you can also see Southern Right and Bryde’s Whales. If you happen to be here at the end of September, visit the Hermanus Whale Festival which lasts for a few days and offers a slew of events.  

 Best time for whale watching: July — November.


  • Watch the largest mammal on Earth have breakfast at Perth Canyon, Australia


Western Australia is the best region in the country to go whale watching. If you happen to be in Perth — a treat on its own — look for whale watching tours at Perth Canyon. This marine epicenter is a unique opportunity to see one of the endangered and rarest whale species, Blue Whales feed on krill. Blue Whales are also the largest on the planet, weighing around 130 tons (143 US tons). 

You can also see Orca, Pilot, Minke, Sperm, and Beaked Whales considering Perth Canyon is a rich feeding ground. Other marine animals frequent here are sunfish, sea lions, dolphins, and Antarctic sea birds in migration. Rottnest Island, where you can hang out with cute quokkas, and the city of Fremantle are close by if you want to see more wonders of the Perth area.

Best time for whale watching: March — May.      


  • Enjoy harvest season with whale-watching in Provincetown, USA


New England in the USA should be on your travel list just for its picturesque landscapes, especially during harvest season. However, one more perk of this region is its whale population you can watch starting from Provincetown. Finback, Humpback, Pilot, Minke, and Right Whales swim the waters of New England and come in high numbers here during the migration period. 

Provincetown is considered one the friendliest towns in the USA where you can explore the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, hike the Beach Forest Trail and eat great seafood. Boston and Salem are over two hours away if you want to go sightseeing, but many find lots of attractions in Provincetown and hardly find time to leave. 

Best time for whale watching: April — October.

The bottom line

Being at one of the most popular destinations in the world to watch whales doesn’t mean you won’t have anything else to see or do. Whales coexist with other animals you will most likely encounter, like seabirds, dolphins, and seals. If you want to see all the landmarks and high points of a whale-watching experience, join a professionally guided tour and have fun with these giants of the sea.