Madeira whale watching and wildlife holiday, Portugal

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01273 823 700

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Madeira whale watching and wildlife holiday, Portugal


Our whale watching partner on Madeira conducts its tours with the same belief as us: We are the visitors, the whales and dolphins are our hosts. As whale watching can become a stress factor for the marine mammals as well, respectful observations of whales and dolphins are the key prerequisite for a long term use of the 'resource marine mammals'. Naturally, they adhere to the regulations of Madeira/Portugal and have set their own standards for ecological whale watching even higher than legally obliged to. The starting point of the tours is the harbour of Calheta, a picturesque and tranquil town on the south-western coast, away from busy Funchal. The pretty wooden boat, carrying a maximum of 18 passengers, is an original Portuguese fishing boat, the last one of its kind and the only one on Madeira still equipped with a trapeze-shaped sail which is still in use according to wind conditions. 50 years ago, the scenery of the harbour was characterized by boats like this.

Since 1995 the German NPO M.E.E.R.e.V. is researching the marine mammals off La Gomera. With your token adoption you can make sure that this research will continue. This NGO - of which everyone at our tour company is a member – is also investigating the complex problems revolving around fast ferries on the Canary Islands and worldwide. With the adoption you will receive a welcome letter with a photo of your favourite dolphin or whale species.

The NPO Pro Wildlife based in Munich provides valuable project work for the marine mammals and the sea and is consequently lobbying their conservation. The department for whales and dolphins works on topics such as whaling, the toxic loads of heavy metals in marine mammals and bycatch. Their studies contribute inter alia at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to keep the ban against international whaling.

The Hotel Jardim Atlântico was built in the heart of nature, to be integrated in the landscape, protecting Madeira’s environment since 1993. They have received 30 awards during those years for environmental activities from international organisations e.g. GREEN GLOBE (WTTC), IHRA (International Hotel & Restaurant Associations) and from various tour operators. They are certified with the NP EN ISO14001 Norm, ECO-HOTEL (TÜV Rheinland) and since 11/2004 they have the “European Ecolabel” awarded by the European Union, the highest environmental certification there is. According to these standards they are the number 1 Hotel in Portugal and Spain.

For people who are concerned regarding the environmental impacts of their air travel, a new service has been established: atmosfair. Utilizing an emissions calculator, atmosfair customers can figure out how much greenhouse gas emissions are caused by their individual flights. With your donation you enable atmosfair to run projects in developing countries where these emissions will be saved.


We were the first whale watching tour operator awarded with the renowned CSR certificate (Corporate Social Responsibility) on the ITB in Berlin in March 2010. We regard the CSR report as a continuous process to enhance the integration of even more environmental and sustainability aspects, way beyond any legal obligations, into the everyday life of the company.

The Hotel Jardim Atlântico are active in the surrounding community. For this reason they try to communicate with and to involve the locals and other external corporations in the different initiatives from the hotel. At the same time they involve all their suppliers to respect and perform in accordance to their environmental policy and encourage them to improve their procedures in order to reduce the environmental impacts. The Hotel Jardim Atlântico would like to invite all its guests and visitors to participate by using efficiently all natural resources and energy, integrating their actions in our internal policy, helping them to achieve their goal.

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