"More than 25 different species of whales and dolphins can be seen in the deep waters surrounding the Azores, can you spot them all?"
Spectacular volcanic landscapes, warm and welcoming people, fantastic diving – the Azores has it all! This mid-Atlantic archipelago is famed for its wonderful dolphin and whale-watching, with Faial Island in particular renowned as one of the best destinations for cetacean encounters, not only in the Azores islands but in the whole world! More than 25 different species of whales and dolphins can be seen in the deep waters surrounding the Azores, including resident sperm whales and other migratory species. The Great Whale Project has been running for over 10 years, with an expert team of marine biologists working to conduct whale photo-identification studies and other vital research.
Volunteers on this project enjoy the unforgettable chance to encounter whales and dolphins in their natural environment, whilst also learning the important conservation techniques and research skills needed to help protect these magnificent creatures in the long-term. Project activities include monitoring cetacean species from boats, conducting whale and dolphin surveys, collecting research data, and working with tourists to raise awareness of conservation issues. Working alongside knowledgeable marine biologists, and with opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the field, you’ll learn about cetacean biology, conservation, and species identification at sea. Plus, working with a team of fellow volunteers and living together in shared accommodation, you’re sure to have a whale of a time too!
‘Base-camp’ for The Great Whale Project is ‘Dive Azores’, a Whale and Dolphin Watching Eco-Operator and a PADI Dive Resort. Joana and Tiago, the centre’s owners, are marine biologists, diving instructors and conservationists, and have a wealth of experience in carrying out vital research, meaning that volunteers on this project are in the best possible hands! For Joana and Tiago, environmental responsibility is always a top priority. They aim to create a global awareness of whale and dolphin conservation issues by ‘educating, involving and inspiring’ people about marine ecosystems and the incredible diversity of life that can be found within them.
As a volunteer on this project, you’ll help to support integral cetacean research and conservation efforts within the Azores Islands. In the long-term, it is hoped that this project can significantly contribute to cetacean research and global conservation strategies. As well as striving towards specific project-related goals, Joana and Tiago also aim to operate the project in as sustainable a way as possible: all waste is recycled or reused, with guests informed about the importance of implementing recycling initiatives, and any boats used on the project adhere to slower cruising speeds, thereby reducing any carbon footprint. The centre also organises an annual ‘underwater clean-up’ to help keep precious marine ecosystems clean and healthy. Check out Eco Companion journalist Carol Byrne's blog to learn more about how we can save our seas.
The Adventure Begins: Upon you arrival in Faial you’ll transfer to your accommodation and get settled in. Later, you’ll meet with your project facilitators, Joana and Tiago, for a welcome dinner – a great chance to get to know everyone!
Project Days: During your time on the project you’ll be involved in a wide variety of activities each day, including conducting cetacean surveys, helping with boat duties, photo ID-ing whales and dolphins and collecting vital research data on certain whale species. You’ll also have free time, based on your weekly workload.
Final Day: Bid your fellow volunteers and project staff a fond ‘farewell’ as you return to the mainland to board your onward flight or begin your independent travel.
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to enquire about full project dates, availability and costs
- To secure a place on this project a 20% deposit is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.
- Airport transfers
- A donation to the project
- Accommodation (in a twin shared room in an apartment or house, with a kitchen)
- Tutoring and all project activities
- Welcome and farewell dinners
- Flights (internal and external)
- Food and living expenses (apart from the welcome and farewell dinner)
- Travel insurance (click 'Ask a Question' up above to chat to the operator about this)
- Anything else not mentioned in inclusions
Area & Location
- 1st of april of 2018
- 15th of april of 2018
- 1st of may of 2018
- 15th of may of 2018
- 1st of june of 2018
- 15th of june of 2018
- 1st of july of 2018
- 15th of july of 2018
- 1st of august of 2018
- 15th of august of 2018
- 1st of september of 2018
- 15th of september of 2018