Reed Saxon / AP file
Ahab pursued one. Jonah was swallowed by one. Nowadays, millions of people gather on shore or hop on a boat just to see one. Indeed, whales, those mammoth sea creatures that roam the ocean deep, continue to capture our imagination, filling us with fear and awe. Our ten favorite whale-watching destinations will help you spot the best of them all year long, and have a whale of a time doing it, too.
An isolated island chain in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean, the Portuguese-owned Azores find pods of sperm and short-finned pilot whales in their midst between June and September.
There are such frequent whale sightings in the Atlantic waters surrounding Cape Cod, that the World Wildlife Fund named Massachusetts one of the top ten whale-watching spots in the world.
Scuba divers already know this remote Caribbean island thanks to its brilliant coral reefs, magnificent sea life, and bubbling underwater hot springs. But the island recently earned a new title, as “Whale Watching Capital of the Caribbean,” which launched this eco-friendly destination to a whole new level.
Each winter, droves of visitors migrate to the tropical paradise of Hawaii at the same time as the state’s animal, the humpback whale, also makes its way to the Aloha State from the northern Pacific.
Kaikoura, New Zealand
Located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the small seaside town of Kaikoura enjoys international acclaim as an eco-tourism center. While the town is widely celebrated for its offshore whale population, it is the giant sperm whales that are sighted all year long here that give the town its claim to fame as one of the world’s most likely places to spot the mighty sea mammal.
Hermanus, South Africa
There’s no need to stretch your sea legs to glimpse a fluke or spout in Hermanus. Located in
This may not be Moby Dick, but this whale sure knows how to flaunt it.
Walker Bay, at the southernmost tip of Africa, and often referred to as the Riviera of the South, Hermanus offers, hands-down, the best shore-based whale-watching opportunities in the world.