Ponta Delgada
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended Ponta Delgada Cruises & Boat Tours

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

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São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

2. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. Once whales have been spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline.

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Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

3. Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

Join the ultimate swimming experience on an encounter with wild dolphins in the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Head out from the Azores in a Zodiac boat for an unforgettable adventure. This 2-hour activity is carried out in small groups and led by a qualified biologists or nature guides. Each swimming tour is preceded by a briefing in which one of the biologists explains how to swim with wild dolphins while respecting them. You’ll also learn how to enter the water and behave around the dolphins, how to use the mask and snorkel and how to get the most out of your swimming experience. Masks, snorkels and wet-suits are provided.

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From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

4. From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

Set off on a 3-hour whale-watching excursion to see some of the most magnificent marine mammals in the Azores. You’ll be on the lookout for mink whales, dolphins, turtles and more. The marine biologist on board will provide historical information and commentary. Begin with a briefing by a biologist, who will explain how local people have converted whale hunting to whale watching in the Azores. You’ll also receive information about safety, rules of observation and respect for the animals and an overview of what may be sighted during the tour. Leaving from the Ponta Delgada harbor, you’ll sail in style out onto the Atlantic. Qualified biologists and nature guides will provide detailed explanations and collect scientific data during the tour. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean between Portugal and North America, the Azores are a permanent home or point of passage for more than a third of the world’s whale and dolphin species. Sperm whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Risso’s dolphins are present around the Archipelago of the Azores throughout the year. Other species visit or pass by during specific seasons so that the sightings vary considerably during the year — and often from day to day! Summer months are the best time to see Atlantic spotted dolphins, pilot whales and striped dolphins, whereas the spring months are the time to see migrating baleen whales such as blue whales, fin whales and sei whales. Although nature offers no guarantees, whales and dolphins are regularly seen during the tours, along with turtles, seabirds and other marine life.

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Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

5. Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

Take the opportunity to see some of the sea life found in the Azores including dolphins, whales, turtles and seabirds. Before the boat trip, listen to biologists explaining the safety measures aboard, the history of the area, the local wildlife and how to respect them. Then set off! After the 3-hour whale watching tour, stop in Vila Franco do Campo to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Following lunch, board a converted traditional fishing boat and head to Vila Franca do Campo islet, a volcanic crater off the coast that encloses a natural lagoon. Take one of the provided snorkels and diving masks and see the numerous protected fish species in this natural reserve. Following the tour, transfer back to Ponta Delgada by boat or van.

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Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

6. Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation in Ponta Delgada, and then explore the coastline of the Azores by boat. Spend 3 hours looking for majestic whales and playful dolphins in their natural environment.  Reconnect with the natural world as you go in search of the sperm whales, blue whales, humpback whales and orcas that make the archipelago one of the best places in the world to see different marine mammals. Keep a look out for turtles, flying fish, sea birds and jumping dolphins along the way.  Disembark the boat and enjoy a tasty lunch, and then make your way to the volcanic landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo and Caldeira Velha. See one of the most beautiful lakes in São Miguel and experience the amazing interior of the island up close. Learn about the many uses the volcanic landscape gives to the island, from its medicinal mud to its energy source. 

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Ponta Delgada: 4-hour Half-Day Sport Fishing Adventure

7. Ponta Delgada: 4-hour Half-Day Sport Fishing Adventure

The spectacular coastline of São Miguel Island is lined with reminders of his volcanic past, including caves and stunning rocky formations. As you cruise along the coast, be on the lookout for dolphins and whales as you learn about local fish species or work on improving your fishing skills. This half-day fishing program was created so that participants can learn different techniques and learn about fish species that live in the waters off the island. Several types of fishing are on offer, including deep-sea fishing, jigging, and trolling. There are many classes of fish in the area, such as barracuda, bluefish, greater amberjack, blacktail comber, red sea bream, chub mackerel, grouper, Atlantic bonito, and others. Before heading out your skipper will tell you a bit about the area where you’ll be fishing and about the various species you may find there. All are welcome on this fishing trip, and no previous experience is required. A maximum of 4 participants is recommended so that the skipper can ensure personalized attention to all, whether beginners or experts.

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São Miguel: Wild Swimming with Dolphins

8. São Miguel: Wild Swimming with Dolphins

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime treat as you swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, in the incredible environment of the São Miguel coastline. Relax in the company of trained professionals who will brief you on best practice in the high seas, and how to interact with the dolphins. Marvel at the rugged beauty of the São Miguel coast as you have unforgettable fun swimming alongside the dolphins, and return home with memories to treasure for a lifetime.

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Ponta Delgada: Shore Excursion - Sete Cidades & Azores

9. Ponta Delgada: Shore Excursion - Sete Cidades & Azores

Start with a pick-up/ drop-off at the cruise ship terminal. Time options include 09:00 or 13:00. For the ships arriving after 09:00, your tour will start 1-hour after disembarking. Starting from the cruise ship terminal where someone will be waiting for you holding a sign with your name written on it, following the southern coast, you will leave Ponta Delgada for the Pico do Carvao viewpoint where you will be able to admire the north and south coasts for some breathtaking scenery. Continue to the Canary Lake viewpoint and have your first view of the crater of the Seven Cities volcano and the majestic mountains that form the crater rim. Towards the viewpoint of the King's view, perhaps the most famous viewpoint in Azores to admire the blue and green lake. Drive into the interior of the volcano, admiring the winding road that leads to the small pond of Santiago. Enjoy a brief stop at the parish of the Seven Cities to breathe in the fresh air of a parish that will give you a sense of peace and then it will be time to see the interior of this magnificent volcano. Drive back contemplating the magnificent road surrounded by hydrangeas, plantains, azaleas and other flowers so characteristic of the Azores.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ponta Delgada

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What people are saying about Ponta Delgada

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 150 reviews

Whale trip was great, very knowledgeable, we saw lots of dolphins and a whale! Can get a bit choppy, bring your sea legs. The tour with Hugo was A++, absolutely perfect. Very knowledgeable of the island, perfect English spoken, lunch was amazing. Couldn't recommend this trip any more, just perfect.

Amazing experience... The marine biologist onboard was a superb guide, we saw hundreds of dolphins (including babies) and a family of sperm whales... The boat ride itself is worth the trip, was super fun!

Well informed guide, boat was comfortable and didn’t get wet, apart from the shower. Saw a few common dolphins and approx 200 hundred spotted dolphins. Excellent trip.

We saw whales that was great, the distance was a bit big, but to protect the animals that's okay

Incredibly good! We saw dolphins and two different species of whale.