Whale-Spotting Cruises


As some of the largest animals on the planet, there are few more awe-inspiring sights than a whale breaking the surface of the water and putting on an impromptu show. From the Maldives to the Arctic Circle, there are a number of great places to go whale spotting in the world. At Cruise1st, when chatting about whales, we always think: “why not combine it with a luxury cruise?” So here we have collected seven great whale-spotting cruises.


Home to three Arctic whale species, it is definitely worth braving the cold for a cruise around the northern coast of Canada and into Alaskan waters. With belugas, narwhals and bowheads in droves; the Canadian coast offers whale spotting opportunities seldom afforded anywhere else in the world. The horned narwhals are a particularly interesting and exciting sight for nature lovers – looking more like an aquatic unicorn from a fantasy novel than a genuine animal.


mcafowler - Beluga

Get the Deal: Canada & New England Discovery


Spot minke whales, humpback whales, blue whales and orcas around the beautiful island of Iceland. Combine a bit of whale-spotting with a few days’ visit to beautiful Reykjavik (the most northern capital city in the world) for a truly unforgettable visit. Visit in the summer months when the midnight sun shines upon the waters to enjoy one of the world’s most incredible sights.

Iceland - Andrés Nieto Porras

Get the Deal: Fire, Ice Explorer


You may think the land down under is a bit far to trek for a spot of whale watching, but it can certainly make up a great part of a unique cruise experience. After a day of cruising through Sydney’s harbour and past the Sydney Opera House, spend the night looking for whale nurseries of different species with more than 45 different types of whales, dolphins and porpoises found in the country’s waters.


sydney_harbour_bridge Source Flickr@Paul Arps

Get the Deal: Southampton to Sydney

South Africa

South African whales are perhaps a little bit more brazen than species found elsewhere in the world – getting incredibly close to the coast. This gives visitors to the ‘Whale Route’ (a stretch of coast culminating at Cape Town) the chance to enjoy spotting whales from the comfort of footpaths, restaurants and even your hotel bed. The town of Hermanus is particularly renowned for its whale-spotting opportunities.


confluence - Hermanus

Get the Deal: Singapore to Cape Town

The Maldives

The Maldives are a five star marine life hotspot, with the warm waters of the region giving guests the chance to swim with manta rays and explore coral reefs. If you prefer a bit of distance between yourself and the aquatic life, a whale spotting tour may be more your pace, with a range of unusual and exotic whale species gracing the local waters.

Christian Jensen

Get the Deal: Seychelles & Maldives


If you want to tick a lot of different species off your whale checklist, Baja California in Mexico may be the perfect place for you. Grey whales, humpback whales and even blue whales can be spotted along the Pacific coast. The beautiful lagoons of the coast are home to a number of whale breeding spots – so you may be able to spot a baby or two amongst the crowd (although they’re still massive).

Boss Tweed - Mexico whale

Get the Deal: Mexican Riviera & South America

The Caribbean

The most popular cruise region in the world has plenty to offer cruise fans before whales are even considered. With beautiful beaches and lush greenery, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that the peaceful waters are home to some of the largest animals in the world. The waters just off Dominica in the Caribbean are home to sperm whales amongst a selection of smaller whales and dolphins. If you can tear yourself away from the paradise setting of the island – sperm whale spotting is an unforgettable way to spend half a day.

Get the Deal: Italy, France, Spain, Dominica

Alternatively, if you’d rather spot waiters bringing you cocktails than whales, visit the Cruise1st homepage for a great selection of cruise deals. Or call our dedicated team on 0808 2746 777.

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Gregory Slobirdr Smith, mcafowler, Andrés Nieto Porras, Paul Arps, confluence, Boss Tweed, Christian Jensen


About Author

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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