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Whale Study Week (6 nights)

Our Whale Study Week is a great opportunity to participate in actual whale research. Or whale lovers can simply enjoy being in the company of these majestic animals as they travel and sometimes play in their northern feeding grounds. For groups with a special interest in marine mammal biology, we provide special evening presentations on marine mammal entrapment research, whale biology, dolphin intelligence, whale distribution, and general marine ecology. You do not need to be an expert to enjoy this holiday; the program is suitable for any nature enthusiast who wants to enjoy the company of whales. And although we do try to collect useful scientific information, the holiday is simply a wonderful experience for anybody interested in fun, photography, or a unique adventure.

Day 1

Arrive at St. John’s, airport pick up and short orientation tour. You are free to explore the new world's first city from your downtown St. John's hotel. An informal evening presentation on whale biology and ecology is provided. Overnight St. John's.

Day 2

The second day features an introduction to the ocean and the whales during a 2½ hour hour trip on the Atlantic Whaler. We also view puffins and hundreds of thousands of other seabirds. We review the marine ecology of the North Atlantic (get our sea legs) and prepare for our onboard assistance to local whale census and acoustic research. We also travel to the eastern edge of the continent to do more whale watching. Overnight St. John's.

Day 3

We spend six hours on board our coast guard certified vessel looking at whales. Humpbacks and minkes are the most common whale species but dolphins and fin whales are also occasionally seen. In fact, 20 varieties of whales are reported from Newfoundland waters so you can expect an occasional surprise. We will focus on tail fluke photography, individual whale recognition, behavioral observations, feeding ecology and just enjoying the sights. We have also been involved with hydrophone development research and may try to listen in on humpback feeding sounds together with any vocalizations associated with their other behaviours. Overnight St. John's.

Day 4

Today we go whale watching from the land as we try to take in some of the range of the world's largest population of humpbacks. A caribou herd, moose habitat, a humpback-feeding beach and seals usually add to the day's sightings. Scenic photographers will enjoy the coastline and the lighthouses should they want to see more than just the whales. Bird lovers will enjoy the small seabird colonies near our whale study lookouts. This day is sometimes the holiday highlight as we enjoy up-close encounters with the humpbacks as they cruise their feeding beach. Overnight St. John's.

Day 5

Humpback tails are as distinctive as human faces or fingerprints; and we use this six hours on the water attempting to get scientifically useful tail shots that allow us to identify individual whales and mother calf pairs. This provides insight into their range and life history. You'll learn how we contribute to the worldwide study of both humpbacks and orcas. If the science doesn't excite you just sit back and enjoy the gentle antics of the whales and the other wildlife of the North Atlantic. Overnight St. John's.

Day 6

Today we further study the richness of the Atlantic as we journey to the continent's third largest and most spectacular gannet colony.Tens of thousands of other seabirds with their chicks add to the day as does some of the world's best land-based whale watching. We visit one of the planet's most impressive marine spectacles without using a boat. A farewell barbecue or a group supper is planned for our program's last evening. Overnight St. John's.

Day 7

Often guests leave on this Saturday while others take the time to explore St. John's on their own; or to go out for one last quick visit with the whales before an afternoon flight.