Family swimming with dolphins in the Azores

“On our only family-focused dolphin swimming holiday in the Azores, you'll create magical memories with our marine biologist, excellent guides - and the playful dolphins themselves.”

Highlights

Mask and snorkel training | Three or five half-day trips to swim with dolphins | Marine biologist on board | Kids' activity pack | Optional: dolphin and whale watching trips, cycling tours, nature walks, kayaking, geyser and thermal lake tour, jeep tour of island

Description of Family swimming with dolphins in the Azores

Join us on an underwater family adventure holiday and spend time with dolphins in their natural habitat. For a family, swimming with dolphins in the Azores could be the trip of a lifetime, thanks to our fun, educational approach, and our experienced family guides. Choose between a tailor made holiday on the dates of your choice – or join one of our weekly small group departures, where children can share the experience of swimming with dolphins in the Azores with other kids, making new friends while their parents relax! All of our tours follow responsible guidelines for swimming with dolphins and approaching them in our boats.

Child discounts & trip details

Discounts are available for children aged six to twelve; children aged five or under travel free. We highly recommend this holiday for children aged seven and over, and all presentations on whales and dolphins are family focused – as are the optional activities. These tours run during school holidays, and you can choose to take three or five excursions to swim with dolphins in the Azores. Our excellent dolphin swim guides ensure that children – and adults – feel safe, comfortable and confident when in the water. As well as the swimming trips, you can book additional trips to see whales and dolphins – or you may be lucky enough to see them while on your regular boat trips. We use a four star hotel which has large family rooms, indoor and outdoor pools and a play area.

What does swimming with wild dolphins involve?

We follow strict guidelines and only enter the water when we are sure that the dolphins – and our guests – are comfortable. This family holiday swimming with dolphins in the Azores is an opportunity to share incredible new experiences together – at the same time as increasing children’s confidence when swimming, and learning new skills. One of the most magical parts is simply floating on the water while the dolphins play below, as well as swimming alongside them. Dolphins are very inquisitive, and will often gesture to the swimmers, swim around them or look them right in the eye – not an encounter that will be quickly forgotten!

Training & equipment

If you are new to using a mask and snorkel, there is plenty of time to practise using this equipment in the company of our guides before heading out in the boats. Masks and snorkels can be rented if needed – you will need to bring fins if you wish to use these. Our guides ensure that learning this new skill is fun, while ensuring everyone feels safe wearing lifejackets in the open sea, and knows how to approach dolphins responsibly. We work with the island’s most established whale and dolphin boat operator because of their high level of expertise and professionalism; they know how to read the dolphins’ behaviour and keep disturbance to a minimum. As well as their passion for marine life, they are incredibly helpful and enthusiastic – something which our guests regularly comment on.

The boats carry groups of eight people, and for safety we always swim in pairs – the guide can see all of the swimmers at all times.

What’s included

Our prices are based on a seven-night stay for two adults and two children aged 6-12, sharing a room. This price includes:

- Three boat trips each lasting three hours. Our small RIBs carry up to eight passengers. For an additional cost, you can choose to book five boat trips, or additional whale watching trips on a boat or on land.
- Training in swimming with dolphins and presentations on dolphin behaviour.
- Seven nights in a 4* hotel in an excellent location.
- Transfers between Ponta Delgada airport and the hotel.
- A local guide and marine biologist will join the boat trips to share information and give presentations.
- A kids’ activity pack.
- Note: Flights are not included. Gatwick offers flights directly to Ponta Delgada; we are happy to offer tips on booking flights from here or other airports to the Azores.
- Land-based excursions can be booked at extra cost.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Transfer from the airport to your hotel for introductions and a welcome briefing. We’ll chat to you about your boat trip schedule for swimming with dolphins in the Azores.
Day 2:Audiovisual presentation on the’ whale and dolphin species that frequent the waters around the Azores, including information on the archipelago’s whaling and whale watching history. The presentation is designed with children and adults in mind, and this morning the children will also receive their swimming with dolphins activity packs. The guides will check everyone’s snorkelling and swimming ability before you head to the hotel pool for a practice session. You’ll be given a safety briefing and learn about how to approach dolphins in a sensitive way – both in the boat and while swimming. Then you’ll put it all into practice with your first swimming with dolphins trip in the open ocean!
Day 3:Family swimming with dolphins tour in the morning. The afternoon is free for you to visit the beach or enjoy the pool – with or without your snorkel!
Day 4:Today is a free day. If you have booked the extra swimming with dolphins tour, this will take place today – otherwise you can enjoy the pool, take a half-day cycling tour, look out for inland wildlife on a nature walk or visit the Vigia – the Azores land-based lookouts who can spot whales from up to 30km away. Try out your own whale spotting skills!
Day 5:Family swimming with dolphins tour in the morning. Free afternoon; you could book an optional jeep tour past the beautiful forests and lakes of the island, designed for families.
Day 6:Another free day – take your final additional swimming with dolphins trip, or choose another activity to make the most of your final full day in the Azores. Spend the morning kayaking; explore the geothermal landscape of mud-spewing geysers, with a hot lake to swim in; or explore the lagoon. In the evening, the children will be presented with their well-deserved swimming with dolphins certificates and there will be one last audiovisual presentation.
Day 7:Transfer to the airport. If your flight departs late enough, you may have time for some souvenir shopping or one last stroll around town beforehand.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Map

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Family swimming with dolphins in the Azores

Environment

The way the boats approach the dolphins follows local regulations to protect the marine life. We only use licensed boat operators who are very sensitive to the well-being of the dolphins and whales. They follow responsible practices and official regulations which are standard in the Azores. There is a good spirit of cooperation amongst the boat companies and agreements to respect the animals as a priority.

Research is ongoing on the boats, so these trips are helping to build our knowledge of these fantastic animals. Many of the skippers are professional photographers and maintain a comprehensive photo ID database, in particular sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales. The more we can learn about the whales and dolphins of the Azores the better we can understand things like their migrations and social structures. The Dolphin and Whale Connection and our boat operators are members of the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) working together to protect whales and dolphins.

Guests are encouraged to send in any photos they have taken on the dolphin swimming trips that can be used in the ongoing photo identification projects. Every trip has a huge emphasis on conservation and sustaining the marine environment so future generations may also have the privilege of seeing marine mammals in the wild.

Community

We only work with local suppliers who employ at least 80% local people which means financial benefits to families here. The land based lookouts whose immense skill at tracking the animals previously earned money from whaling now earn money from tourists - an enormous change that we are passionate about supporting. Many of their adult children now skipper the dolphin swimming boats and work within the small scale tourism.

Our dolphin swimming company offers presentations in local schools to educate the children about the marine life on their doorstep with an emphasis on conservation. They are also planning to host an Azorean Whale Festival to promote the islands as one of the key locations worldwide to see whales. The Dolphin and Whale Connection donates a percentage of it's profits to the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), helping to protect whales and dolphins worldwide.

All the activities we recommend locally are run by Azoreans and are designed to maintain good relationships between visitors and the local people. For example, we sell and promote only local crafts to our guests to support local craft makers and artisans and to spread tourism income to many islanders. Our favourite restaurants are all run by Azorean people, and we do recommend that our visitors try the delicious local cuisine while supporting sustainable local fishermen in particular.

As well as swimming with dolphins and whale watching tours we offer geological and cultural tours hosted solely by experienced local guides with an in-depth knowledge of their island and its landscape. We support the local vineyards where guests can sample the fantastic Azorean wine and take these locally produced gifts back to people at home.

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