Whales Up Close

Few sights on the face of this planet are more inspiring than that of a whale in its natural environment. Whale watching tours and expeditions may help you experience that first-hand.

Marine parks

Nobody can question the excellent conservation work done in these marvellous institutions. In some of them, it is possible to get reasonably close to whales and sometimes to see them exercised – although not all expert opinion agrees that it easy to comfortably differentiate between legitimate play and exercise, and exploitative activities by way of ‘tricks’. Yet however well structured and laudable the activities of such centres are, seeing whales in this sort of environment can only be a poor substitute for the real thing – i.e. seeing them in their natural surroundings.

The ocean deep

It is possible to go whale watching in several different locations around the world. Different destinations offer the chance to see different species, and in different social groups. For example, you can see blue whales in the seas around Sri Lanka, humpback whales in Alaska, or killer whales in the Arctic – and that is just a small sample of the options open to you.

Clearly, apart from anything else, these environments may differ greatly from each other.
Your experience of whale watching in the seas around Sri Lanka may be rather warmer than doing something similar in Alaska, but the key point is that you will have the opportunity to get close to the whales and experience at least a little of their lifestyle.

The nature of the whale watching tours themselves may vary. Many are partly land-based and include the opportunity to listen to experts lecture and give presentations on the local whale communities. This is sometimes done in a classroom environment and helps you put into context some of the sights you will see later when you are out on the ocean.

Boats

Of course, you are not likely to see too many whales in a classroom or lecture hall, so sooner or later you are going to be on boat and out at sea. The type of vessel used will vary, depending upon the tour you are on and whereabouts in the world you are. All vessels will, however, conform to full international safety standards, as your safety and comfort will be of paramount importance.

In the case of some larger tours, the vessels themselves are also larger and may include luxury accommodation so that you can spend as much time as possible at sea whale watching. These types of vessels may also have on-board classrooms and educational facilities.

So, if you would like to see some of the most incredible animals in the world, in the wild where they should be, whale watching tours may well be worth further consideration.

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