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Dolphin watching holidays

14 Dolphin watching holidays. Meet the masters of the marine world on one of these dolphin watching holidays. Whether you want to help with dolphin conservation, swim with wild dolphins or simply observe dolphins, you can rest assured that you won’t find any captive dolphins in any of the holidays on our site. Most of our dolphin holidays abide by a code of conduct and many support a dolphin charity or NGO. From short breaks in the UK to longer volunteering holidays, from Egypt to Australia, these dolphin watching holidays will introduce you to these amazing mammals. But be careful – apparently, once you’ve experienced the thrill of seeing a wild dolphin, you’ll want to keep going back for more!

Dolphin watching holidays
Whale & dolphin research in Ligurian Sea, Italy
Whale and dolphin conservation trip, from €799 - €886 (6 days) ex flights
Mull wildlife holiday in Scotland
Ultimate week of wildlife spotting on the Isle of Mull, from £675 - £755 (7 days) ex flights
Dolphin conservation in Greece
Dolphin research and conservation in western Greece, from €750 - €825 (6 days) ex flights
Swimming with wild dolphins in the Azores
Live a dream and swim with wild dolphins, from £595 (8 days) ex flights
Whale & dolphin watching in La Gomera
Wild dolphins, whales and the ocean, from €595 (7 days) ex flights
Azores whale and dophin watching holiday
A true paradise for nature lovers, from £1449 - £1549 (8 days) inc UK flights
Fiji dolphin conservation holiday
Dolphin conservation volunteering in Fiji, from £1295 (14 days) ex flights
Marine conservation holiday in Mauritius
Study dolphins and whales in beautiful Mauritius, from £1675 (21 days) ex flights
Whale watching holiday in Mexico
Watch whales & dolphins in Baja California, from €2699 (16 days) ex flights
Swim with dolphins in Egypt
Swimming with wild dolphins in the Red Sea, Egpyt, from £474 (8 days) ex flights
Madeira whale watching and wildlife holiday, Portugal
Discover the Flower Island, from €1299 (7 days) ex flights
Caribbean nature tour, Lesser Antilles
Bespoke nature holiday on five idyllic Caribbean islands, from £2650 - £2975 (14 days) inc UK flights
Cruise and swim with dolphins in Egypt
Swimming with wild dolphins in the Red sea, Egypt, from £474 (8 days) ex flights
Swim with dolphins in Koombana Bay, Western Australia
Swim with Dolphins in their natural environment, from AU $185 per day (1 day)

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65 reviews for Dolphin watching holidays4 star overall rating

These full and frank independent Dolphin watching holidays reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through responsibletravel.com. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.

Whale & dolphin watching in La Gomera
We had three boat trips to see the whales and dolphins. All 3 were great we saw animals every time and different ones each day. The crew were friendly and gave lots of information verbal and written. I was particularly moved by their obvious sensitivity towards the mammals. (more)Linda Hudson
The most memorable part was lots of jumping dolphins! I've taken 8 dolphin watching tours in 6 days and managed to see 6 species (Rough-toothed dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, Short-finned pilot whales, Bottlenose dolphin, Common dolphin and Cuvier's beaked whale!!!) (more)Patty Tse
Being out on the boat and experiencing the wonders of dolphins and whales in their own habitat. We were so close you could almost touch them!...The holiday was one of the best we have ever experienced, we would highly recommend it. (more)Jane Ditchburn
From €595 excluding flights
Mull wildlife holiday in Scotland
Memorable parts? All accommodation was situated in the best possible place for fantastic views and access to wildlife tours Tips? Read the comprehensive holiday pack carefully, its full of very helpful info, including 'Robert's recommendations' as these were fantastic for restaurant ideas and ideas of places to go/things to do. Local benefits? All accommodation was in small family run hotels which employed local people. Wildlife guides were knowledgeable and helped us... (more)janet kelly
From £675 - £755 excluding flights
Caribbean nature tour, Lesser Antilles
Memorable parts? Very difficult to say as there was more than one. The whales put on a great display for us, and a huge rainbow curved along the coast while we were at sea. On Antigua we swam with rays, not included in the holiday, and a great experience. On the rainforest walk on St Lucia we were lucky enough to see the St Lucia parrot. We will always remember the open boat trip to the frigate bird colony on Barbuda for the squall that hit us on the return journey! Monsterrat was memorable... (more)Jenny Campbell
From £2650 - £2975 including UK flights
Marine conservation holiday in Mauritius
One of the best holidays I have had! The experience has been amazing! Dolphins are incredible animals. People working on the project are really nice, competent and sharing their knowledge very easily. I learnt so many things I had no idea of! (more)Annie Guex
Seeing the spinner dolphins, jump and spin in the air was the most memorable part of the holiday (more)Peter Macdonald
Swimming with the dolphins and spending time out at sea on the boat. (more)Colleen Blaine
From £1675 excluding flights
Cruise and swim with dolphins in Egypt
Memorable parts? Put simply, this is probably one of the best holidays I've ever been on and this is largely down to the exceptional customer care that this company offers both in the UK and in Egypt. The highlight of course was swimming with wild dolphins out in a protected reef in the middle of beautiful clear blue sea. Beyond that though the location, the food, the helpfulness of the staff, the accommodation and the attention to detail were all excellent. 2. What tips would you give... (more)Candida Perkis
From £474 excluding flights
Whale & dolphin research in Ligurian Sea, Italy
It was definitely one of my best two trips ever. Loved the people in the group, the activities, the animals and the overall experience. I would definitely recommend it. (more)Tania Fernandez
Excellent - fun, friendly and highly knowledgeable team made it a very worthwhile experience. (more)Rebecca Pagnucco
Excellent...Don't hesitate but keep in mind it is not a cruise but you are there to help. Fun but can be tiring. Worth it (more)maryse schild
From €799 - €886 excluding flights
Swimming with wild dolphins in the Azores
Just four words, really: out of this world. Oh - and unforgettable....The first time the dolphins came close to us in the water: being able to hear the clicks and squeaks as they sussed us out, seeing the bubbles they blew at us and watching them look us in the eye as they shimmied past. (more)Lisa Newman
Superb. All I had hoped and more....it was good to be somewhere relatively free of tourism, and with a company which proactively thinks about limiting impact on the natural life and the environment...this philosophy helped make the experience special. (more)Suzie Palmer
Seeing the wild dolphins in the middle of the Atlantic and the one sperm whale that we saw on our dolphin trip...Good. I just chose the wrong time of the year. (more)Carol Sissons
From £595 excluding flights
Swim with dolphins in Egypt
I would recommend this experience and holiday to anyone who loves dolphins and wants to swim with them and see them in the wild. If you are quiet and calm and just wait they will swim to you and with you and you can pretend just for a short time that you are part of their underwater world. (more)Emma Ghafur
One of the very best holidays I have ever had. Swimming with the dolphins was certainly the most memorable part of the holiday. Their eye contact and way of playing was just extraordinary, something will remain with me forever. (more)Maurizio Ferrari
I'd give it 4.5 stars. Absolutely amazing. (more)Kirsty Anthony
From £474 excluding flights

Holiday Reviews

You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really

Dolphin watching holidays


THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME?



Humans have long attributed divine qualities to these mysterious, marine mammals, who have been documented saving humans from drowning and sharks; as far back as ancient Greece, harming a dolphin was punishable by death. Anyone who has seen or swum with them in the wild on a dolphin watching holiday will testify to their phenomenal intelligence, their curiosity and their ability to inspire happiness. Yet the majority of people who see these creatures today will watch them in dolphinariums – tiny swimming pools in which they are expected to perform circus tricks, day after day, in exchange for fish scraps. In the wild, these animals swim up to 65km each day, use highly developed fishing techniques and have strong social bonds. No matter how much they appear to “smile”, in our opinion a life in captivity does not make these creatures happy, and for a truly transcendental experience you need to get on a boat, head out into the open ocean and find out what really does cause a dolphin to beam.

Dolphin watching & swimming


Is this holiday for you?

Go on a wild dolphin watching holiday if…

  • ...you wish to understand more about them. Captive dolphins are so far removed from their natural state, and will offer no glimpse into their lives, their habitat or their behaviour
  • ...you want to contribute to their protection. Many tour operators partner with conservation initiatives, and donate funds to local marine programmes.
  • ...you’ve always been a dolphin fan. Seeing them in the wild is an experience which never disappoints
  • ...you want to experience an animal which some consider as intelligent as humans. However clever they really are, and whether or not their clicks and squeaks are in fact a language, getting up close to a wild dolphin convinces many people of their intuititive abilities, and changes our perception of “dumb animals”.
Don’t go on a wild dolphin watching holiday if…

  • ...you are expecting them to jump through hoops. These are wild animals, and you’re in their territory – they will appear when they want, and act as they choose.
  • ...don’t swim with dolphins if you aren’t reasonably confident in the water. This is the big wide ocean, the animals are wild, and panicking is not ideal for other travellers – or for the dolphins.
  • ...you are going purely for the photo opps. These streamlined cetaceans are notoriously fast moving – and by the time you’ve pointed your camera at a jumping dolphin, they may well have gone! Spinners are probably the easiest to photograph as they spin through the air for long enough to capture.

Watching & swimming with dolphins


WHAT DO DOLPHIN WATCHING HOLIDAYS ENTAIL?

Wild dolphins are sociable, speedy sea-dwellers, so the experience you get on your dolphin watching tour is really dependent on them – and on the weather. While dolphins tend to be visible in the same areas year-round, many tours only operate during certain months in order to avoid cyclones, hurricanes and choppy seas – but with ever-less predictable climates, you’ll have to rely on your driver or guide to determine departure times and trip durations.
Each dolphin species has its own unique behaviour – with bottlenose dolphins being some of the most friendly, dusky dolphins of the southern hemisphere being more outgoing and acrobatic, and spinner dolphins being some of the most exciting, as they twist their bodies through the air. Your approach, speed and distance will depend on the species – qualified, responsible skippers should know their dolphins and drive accordingly. Getting as close as possible or approaching from the front will scare the pod away, and ultimately deter dolphins from visiting certain areas – which disrupts their behaviour patterns as well as spoiling the experience for future tourists.
Dolphin swimming trips should have a strictly enforced duration and number of swimmers – and no-one should be allowed to enter the water until the guide can tell the dolphins are at ease. This may be frustrating – but stressed dolphins will disappear immediately, rather ruining your experience. Never approach a dolphin, and do not touch them. If you are lucky they will come up to you – but this is their territory, nothing is guaranteed, and ultimately you are privileged to be here – so just relax, enjoy and learn.
Photo credits: [Top image box: Sue Hixon] [Bottom image box: NOAA Photo Library]
Mull wildlife holiday in Scotland
Ultimate week of wildlife spotting on the Isle of Mull, from £675 - £755 (7 days) ex flights
Whale & dolphin research in Ligurian Sea, Italy
Whale and dolphin conservation trip, from €799 - €886 (6 days) ex flights
Swimming with wild dolphins in the Azores
Live a dream and swim with wild dolphins, from £595 (8 days) ex flights
Dolphin conservation in Greece
Dolphin research and conservation in western Greece, from €750 - €825 (6 days) ex flights
Whale & dolphin watching in La Gomera
Wild dolphins, whales and the ocean, from €595 (7 days) ex flights
Azores whale and dophin watching holiday
A true paradise for nature lovers, from £1449 - £1549 (8 days) inc UK flights
Madeira whale watching and wildlife holiday, Portugal
Discover the Flower Island, from €1299 (7 days) ex flights
Fiji dolphin conservation holiday
Dolphin conservation volunteering in Fiji, from £1295 (14 days) ex flights
Marine conservation holiday in Mauritius
Study dolphins and whales in beautiful Mauritius, from £1675 (21 days) ex flights
Swim with dolphins in Egypt
Swimming with wild dolphins in the Red Sea, Egpyt, from £474 (8 days) ex flights
Whale watching holiday in Mexico
Watch whales & dolphins in Baja California, from €2699 (16 days) ex flights
Cruise and swim with dolphins in Egypt
Swimming with wild dolphins in the Red sea, Egypt, from £474 (8 days) ex flights
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