Looking at the world’s most majestic mammal might sound like a fantasy. But no dream is too big, except, of course, for the largest animal at the ocean’s surface. Whales are extraordinary creatures that only reveal themselves in certain places worldwide due to whale migration every year, making them relatively easy to see in some coastal regions.
According to an article in Science Daily, whale migration is due to their diet and breeding. Every year, they move back and forth to warm and cold waters. During warmer seasons, whales migrate to more frigid waters, where food is relatively easier to find. Then when the weather becomes even frostier, and food is growing insufficient, they migrate to warm waters to mate and breed. Thankfully, there are the best places around the world where you can watch these gentle giants.
Enjoy while we aboard through the world’s best places for whale-watching destinations.
9 Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego
Among all the whales and mammals in the world, the gray whales take the longest to migrate - and are spotted frequently at one of their known hangouts, the overlook of Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego. It is best to witness these massive creatures in mid-January, although they are visible from December through March. These giants can grow up to 44 ft. long and weighs up to 33 tons.
8 Santa Barbara, California
Other than gray whales, humpback, right whales, minke, orcas, and 27 other types of whales are visible in this area. Even dolphins are visible at these waters at different times of the year. To catch a specific type of whale, you must visit in the following months: California gray whales are visible from February to April; blue whales, which are the largest known animals ever to exist, are visible from May to September, as well as the other types of whales.
7 Monterey Bay, California
If whale-watching on certain months could not fit in your schedule, worry not. In Monterey Bay, you can watch them all year-round. At California’s central coasts, humpback and blue whales are visible from the bay from April to December, and from December to April are the gray whales. Killer whales are also visible from the bay because they hunt gray whales on their migration.
6 Kodiak Island, Alaska
Like other whale watching places, Alaska’s Kodiak Island is the best place to watch gray whales every April. In June, various sea creatures visit this island, like humpback whales, fins, sei, and minke. Fins and humpbacks are the most common sight from June to November. Get engaged with the locals as well as celebrate their annual Whale Fest Kodiak every April. The festival lasts for ten days long celebrating the return to the Alaskan waters of Eastern Pacific gray whales.
Aside from Kodiak, Alaska has more to offer because it has the biggest whale watching season and a massive opportunity in its 6,000-mile coastline. Jagged fjords and vast bays are the central places for getting a glimpse of these giant mammals. Most trips take place in Alaska’s Inside Passage, departing from Juneau or farther west, from Anchorage, in the island areas of Kodiak and Seward. Frequently, gray whales are observed during their journey to eating locations in the Bering Sea in the spring, although later in the summer, both the minke and orca whales are visible. Alaska’s magnificent mountainous terrain is the perfect backdrop while enjoying these enigmatic whales.
5 San Juan Islands, Washington
Orcas mostly visit the San Juan Islands in Washington. The three who usually migrate are called the “Southern Residents,” usually visible from April to October. Other sea animals also visit these waters, like humpback whales, gray whales, minke, so do seals, sea lions, otters, and porpoises.
4 Hermanus, South Africa
One of the finest sites on the planet to see whales from land is Hermanus, South Africa. That’s right, you won’t need to board a boat to witness these magnificent creatures, so if you’re prone to motion sickness, this may be the ideal whale watching place for you! It’s simple to get there by vehicle and is a great spot to explore them, but the whales that flock to the bay’s warm and shallow waters every summer are a big draw for visitors. In the south, whales travel north from Antarctica to mate in winter and are visible frolicking in the bay from atop the 6-mile-long walkway that runs along the shore. Make sure to bring your meal and binoculars.
Australia’s island country is whale-watching heaven. You may sail down to Botany Bay from Sydney Harbor to pursue the elusive humpback whales that travel up the east coast throughout the summer. The Whitsunday Islands are also a fantastic place to visit since this is where whales give birth and nurse their calves during the hot summer months.
2 Husavik, Iceland
Husavik is the finest feeding site for humpback whales from May to September, but you’ll also see a few stray blue whales, sperm whales, and occasionally the sei whale. The ideal time to see blue whales is in early summer, between June and July, but travel in September if you want to see the Northern Lights in Iceland (together with the whales).
1 Kaikoura, New Zealand
Kaikoura is a small coastal town on New Zealand’s east coast, surrounded by steep, snow-capped mountains with views of the unending Pacific Ocean. It’s a whale-watching hotspot, with sperm whales usually always present since they congregate around the coast for most of the year, but you may also see orca, pilot whales, and, if you’re lucky, the largest known animal, the blue whale. Not only Kaikoura offers the best view from the bay, wings over whales, but they also offer a whale-watching trip from the air.