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Perhaps the most common whale seen on whale watching tours around the world is the beautiful humpback whale - although in New Zealand's Kaikoura region - sperm whales are the main attraction. But where can one see the venerable blue whale - the largest animal to have ever lived? It turns out there are a number of places one can see this majestic animal. Blue Whales migrate between the poles and the tropics - so knowing the season for watching them is important. They can be seen from California to Australia to Sri Lanka.

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One of the main places to see whales (particularly humpbacks) on America's West Coast is Puget Sound - visitors are taken aback by the sheer amount of marine wildlife there. Whales are some of the most intelligent and gentle giants of the oceans and have long been a source of fascination.

The Blue Whale: The Largest Animal In History

The blue whale is a baleen whale and the largest animal known to have ever lived. It grows up to 29.9 meters (98 feet) and weighs up to 199 tonnes.

  • Length: Up to 98 feet or 29.9 Meters
  • Weight: Up To 199 Tonnes

There are four recognized subspecies of blue whales, and they roam throughout the world's oceans. They migrate from the summer feeding areas by the poles to the tropics, where they breed. They are filter feeders with a diet almost entirely of krill. The only natural predator of blue whales is killer whales (aka orcas).

  • Status: Endangered
  • Population: Estimated 10,000-25,000 Individuals
  • Blue Whale's Heart: The Size Of A Car
  • Blue Whale's Tongue: The Weight Of An Elephant

While the blue whales were once abundant, they there hunted to the edge of extinction by whaling (banned in 1966). Today they are protected, but their population is still struggling to recover.

Related: Did You Know You Could Take Whale-Watching Tours In Boston? Here's What To Expect

Day Blue Whale Tour In Western Australia

Whale Watch Western Australia provides the only blue whale tour in Australia. On the tour, people can join the research team and watch the massive whales feeding in the Perth Canyon. This is one of the few tours where seeing blue whales is guaranteed.

  • Cost: $350.00 AUD ($250 USD)
  • Duration: 7 Hours (approx.)
  • Location: Fremantle, Western Australia
  • Tour Dates: April-May

The Perth Canyon is located some 30 nautical miles off the coast of Perth and is a place blue whales come to feed every year. Perth Canyon is one of the very few places in the world where blue whales can be seen in the wild.

  • Perth Canyon: Larger Than The Grand Canyon - Just Underwater

The migration of blue whales is centered around finding krill. Seasonally there is abundant krill in the Perth Canyon, and the whales feast there for a few weeks every year.

Related: Whales & Humans Have Found Ways To Coexist With Baja Expeditions

9-Day Safari Swim With Blue Whales In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is one of the few places where it is actually possible to swim with blue whales. The Sri Lanka Blue Whale Safari gets guests up close and personal with these gentle giants of the oceans for a truly thrilling experience.

The exact location they use is kept secret, and they work closely with marine specialists with non-intrusive "in-water" encounters. On the trip, guests have the chance to snorkel with blue whales while spotting other marine wildlife like sea turtles, spinner dolphins, and pilot whales.

  • Cost: From $8,800
  • Duration: 9 Days
  • Season: End Feb - Beginning April

The blue whale safari starts on the east coast of Sri Lanka (around an 8-hour drive from the capital of Colombo). The first night is spent at a resort by the beach in a secluded location.

The next day board the vessel and head out deep into the Indian Ocean, and the next seven days are dedicated to seeing and photographing the blue whales underwater. Get up early in the morning to see the whales and then kick back in the evenings at the beachside resorts and enjoy the tropical paradise of Sri Lanka.

There are other places in the world to see blue whales as well - one of the best is just off the coast of California. The best season for seeing blue whales off the coast of Southern California is May through October, and there are daily whale watching tours during this season.