7 independent reviews for Family swimming with dolphins in the Azores

Reviews for Family swimming with dolphins in the Azores

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review 13 Aug 2022

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Snorkelling at the islet of Vila Franca do Campo was the most amazing experience. Safe for kids, clean and with so many fish to see it was an absolute joy to visit.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Taking the time to explore Ponta Delgada meant that we found some fantastic small restaurants and local businesses.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We definitely felt like we were putting our money into the right places in the local economy when out and about on trips or even when just enjoying a coffee and watching the world go by.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was one of the best family holidays we have ever been on. All of us enjoyed it immensely and we couldn't recommend it enough.

review 2 Aug 2022

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Swimming with dolpins, plus dolphin and whale watching.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Tourist money and jobs are of benefit to local people. I'm not sure our holiday provided any further benefit? Personally i would be interested to take more responsibility for environmental impact, and always appreciate guidance from tour operators (uk or local). For example, we took marine-friendly sunblock (at least it is marketed as such), but that was not something that was ever advised. I'm sure there are many other things we could have done eg knowing how to eat locally grown produce vs shipped in produce. I don't really see any way in which being a holidaymaker can actually reduce environmental impact, sadly. Hopefully we have supported conversation by booking tours with the tour company, who are excellent and clearly passionate about understanding and protecting their marine life. I suppose electric boats are something for the future? (I'm aware that everything we did on water involved petrol consumption and therefore water pollution. Also sound pollution for marine life). We also made the most of the educational components, which i believe will help the next generation (ie my children) be more responsible, and therefore support conservation longer term.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. We all thoroughly enjoyed everything that we did in the Azores. The tour operator was great, the activities we booked were great, and we have come away feeling more connected to the area, the natural environment and marine conservation.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your very insightful and helpful observations around the environmental impact and suggestions as to how we and our guests can further reduce the impact and learn how to do more. We certainly could publish a list of products that have a low impact that can be purchased before a holiday like sunblock without chemicals and we have asked restaurants to explain which produce is locally sourced ( they are proud of their local produce and encourage guests to try it) Education is the key and we are constantly working to suggest small changes that guests can make. Our partners are very conscious and I am sure they will get an electric boat and use the abundant power form the Azores wind and sun in the future! Thanks again

review 8 Jun 2022

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Being in the water with wild dolphins and hearing them communicating with whistles, squeaks and clicks was utterly magical, and not an aspect of being near them that I was expecting, despite it being obvious that with my head in the water (snorkelling) I'd be able to hear underwater too!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't expect a Disney/Sea World version of dolphins. They're wild animals, going about their lives. One day the pod of common dolphin we encountered were busy hunting for fish and just zoomed past. Another day, they swam and played around our boat for ages and we had beautiful views of them. Live in the moment, and enjoy the chance to be close to them in their own environment, and try not to see it all through a camera lens.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The marine biologists on board the boats we were on were collecting information on the species we were seeing, and where possible identifying individuals from dorsal fins and scars. They were clearly building a picture of the species around the islands and were enthusiastic and passionate about the animals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Absolutely superb. The communication and help from the operator before and during the holiday was first rate, and incredibly helpful. The staff in the Azores were lovely, kind and helpful. The whole experience was a privilege and a delight and one of the best holidays we've had.

review 2 Aug 2022

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Swimming with dolphins!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great. The hotel is in need of some renovation though. But the staff is very friendly and helpful and the food is good enough.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for your review and so glad you have an amazing time with the dolphins! The hotel you booked is due for some refurbishment although it has alot of great features such as indoor and outdoor pool, is situated in a quiet part of town and has rooms with balconies and views. We do have a range of hotels at different prices and guests often select a hotel that suits their preferences. Kind regards

review 3 Sep 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Being suddenly aware of how much life there is in the ocean under the surface. Whenever we went into the water we were surrounded by dolphins in 3 dimensions. Utterly magical.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be honest about your swimming experience. You don't have to be Jacques Cousteau - if you ask the staff for help they are more than happy to gradually introduce you to swimming in the sea. We felt safe and well looked after. Make sure you have all your Covid paperwork ready - they will test you at the airport if not and that will delay you getting to the hotel.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely supported conservation - the tour operator do nothing to encourage the dolphins to change their behaviour or environment for our benefit. They use non-intrusive methods to find and approach them and are always monitoring their behaviour so that we do not disturb them unduly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A profoundly beautiful experience. My daughter and I can't stop talking about it - and the rich denim blue of the ocean will live with us forever.

review 29 Aug 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Swimming with wild dolphins in the clear blue sea was just amazing! The rib trips were well organised and friendly, and the sea-life co-operated! truly fantastic. The jeep trip to the volcanic springs was also really well worth doing.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Definately go swimming with dolphins - and look out for other life in the sea too. Definitely see a bit of the island.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local people were keen for us as tourists to come back - so they must have felt the benefit. I have some concerns about rapid overdevelopment in the form of big square hotels and too much boat activity. They will need to be very careful not too spoil the amazing environment that they have. Our marine guide was sensitive to the dolphin's needs and did turn back when one pod displayed stressed behaviour, and generally the dolphins seemed unconcerned by us.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Absolutely fantastic!!!!!

review 21 Aug 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We enjoyed watching the dolphins in their natural habitat.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The nature is beautiful.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

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