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8 of the Best Places in the World to Go Whale Watching

Whales are majestic creatures and there is nothing quite as memorable or magical as witnessing them up close in their natural habitat. If whale watching is at the top of your bucket list, read on to discover eight of the best whale-watching destinations in the world and when to go and visit them.

Antarctica

Antarctic waters boast no less than eight different species of whale, so it’s no surprise that this destination has made the top of our list. The best time to visit is in the months of February and March and this is peak tourist season so be sure to book your whale-watching tour well in advance. Orcas and humpback whales are a common sight in these waters and you can even spot sperm whales, a minke whales and the legendary blue whale.

Canada

If you have your heart set on seeing a killer whale, Vancouver Island in Canada is the place to go. September is known as orca season here, so book a whale-watching tour for this month and be sure to visit Telegraph Cove, which is an orca sanctuary where you can interact with these beautiful creatures ethically. While this is orca territory, you can also expect to spot grey and humpback whales in this region.

Hawaii

No trip to Hawaii is complete without a whale-watching experience - after all this is where many humpback whales come to mate, calve and rear their young. While you can see whales on any of the Hawaiian islands, the Auau Channel that lies between Lanai and Maui is a hub of activity when it comes to whale spotting. The colder months are the best time to see the whales and peak season runs from January to March.

Iceland

Visit Iceland between May and September and you have a high chance of witnessing humpback whales and, if you’re lucky, you could also spot blue and sperm whales in the same sitting! Want to soak up the Northern Lights while you’re at it? Book a tour for September time and tick two natural experiences off your bucket list.

Mexico

The Mexican Pacific is home to a number of whale species and you can spot them anywhere from Cabo San Lucas to Bahia de Banderas. December to March is a great time to go and you can spot grey whales, blue whales and humpbacks. A top whale-watching hotspot is El Vizcaino, a protected area that nurtures over 2,500 grey whales.

Provincetown, USA

If you happen to be visiting New England during whale-watching season (April to October), Provincetown is the place to be. Here you can jump on a whale-watching tour and experience the magic of Cape Cod in the process. You won’t find orcas in this area, but you can expect to see humpback, Ffnback, minke, right and pilot whales.

South Africa

Hermanus is a village located on the Western Cape of South Africa and every September the people here celebrate their annual Whale Festival. The best time to go whale watching in South Africa is between the months of June and November as this is when the migration of humpback whales, Bryde's and Southern right whales occurs. You can see a superb selection of whales, both from the land and the sea, and watch as they gather to mate.

The Maldives

Offering some of unique whale-watching opportunities, The Maldives is home to 20 different whale and dolphin species; you can experience everything from the largest whale - the blue whale in its natural habitat - while acrobatic spinner dolphins put on a show just for you. In these waters, you will also find a plethora of lesser-known whale species including the dwarf sperm whale, melon-headed whale and tropical bottlenose whale. These whales are rarely seen in other parts of the world and call The Maldives home. Orcas often frequent these areas and if you are lucky, you could also spot a pilot whale on your trip.

Want to embark on a whale-watching adventure? Check out our range of wildlife holidays for more inspiration.

Written by Remie Lund

Remie Worrall is a freelance writer, luxury lifestyle blogger and Huffington Post contributor with a degree in English Literature from York St John University. Remie writes about beauty, lifestyle and travel. Follow me at @remsluxuryblog