The world‘s finest diving

Caribbean Dominica sperm whales dive shutterstock 754808017 optSPERM WHALES OF DOMINICA
Dominica Feb 4 – 13, 2024
3 spots available (max. 6 GUESTS)


The “Group of Seven”, the best-studied pod of sperm whales in the world, has roamed the coast of Dominica since 2005. It offers one of the most unique opportunities to encounter these majestic animals face to face under the surface. Behind the Mask Travel Founder Marcel Wilpernig will be leading this once in a lifetime expedition of maximum 6 people.


THE ANIMALS


Due to their complex social interactions, sperm whales are actually more similar to people than most would think. They have been observed watching over other pods calves, they pass on family-specific routes and sounds, and most importantly they maintain behavioural traditions over generations. Sperm whales are rich in culture, which unquestionably makes them one of the most fascinating animals in the oceans.

Sperm whales are impressive by size alone: males can reach up to around 18 meters and weigh up to 60 tons, while females are half as heavy and grow up to 12 meters. Interestingly, sperm whales have the largest brain as well as the longest intestine in the animal kingdom: not only huge, but pretty smart too.

In Dominica, the sperm whale groups are mainly comprised of females and their calves, together called “units” of about 7 animals who live matrilineal (a family in female line, from grandmothers, mothers and their calves), while males leave their families very early in their lives and go explore the open waters. They do so alone and in most cases might never see their families again. It still remains a mystery as to why these whales seem to mainly appear in the Caribbean and not in neighbouring waters.

DOMINICA SPERM WHALES COMPOSITE


ANIMAL BEHAVIOR


Although around 20 different whale families have been identified in Dominica, 10 families are regularly spotted since 1984. Sperm whales live up to 70 years and is believed that they encounter and interact with other whales on a regular basis, which means that they can remember each other over long periods of time.

According to scientists, these interactions are possible through a complex set of dialects of clicking sounds, often called ‘codas’. Although each unit has its own set of clicks, there does seem to be overlaps between these codas of different units. Fascinatingly, units who share similarities in sound repertoires tend to spend time together, while those with different repertoires never seem to do so.

One of the coda types frequently recognised amongst the Caribbean units is the ‘1 + 1 + 3’, which comprises of two short clicks separated by a pause, followed by three clicks in a row. For over three decades this sequence has been documented in the area.


WHILE EXPLORING


The whale pods are located by underwater listening devices. When located, we gently approach and three people can slide into the water with the whales without disturbing their activities. Interactions can last 30 seconds or 15 minutes: that is up to the whales and how they behave. If an interaction lasts over a certain amount of minutes, the three people in the water will make way for three other guests on the boat. After that we rotate to ensure that all guests get a similar amount of time in the water with these ocean giants. In case of a short encounter, the next approach will be done by the three following guests in line.

Although there is no guarantee on the interaction time, days without any whale sightings are extremely rare. We often encounter other cetaceans in search of sperm whales and there will be lots of other marine life around to admire. As the action evolves several miles out to sea, and always in different spots, guests should be aware that this trip involves plenty of boat time searching and waiting for the right rewarding encounter. Looking out for action on the water, and swimming in order to approach the animals, will form part of this adventure.

Packed lunches, water, tea and coffee are provided on the boat. The water temperatures are around the low 20s C., so most guests are comfortable in a 3mm wetsuit.

Contact us with questions or to book


FORT YOUNG HOTEL DOMINICA


Welcome to Fort Young Hotel in Dominica, where tranquility meets comfort. Our hotel is situated in the heart of Roseau, Dominica’s capital city, offering a serene and convenient location.

Immerse yourself in the relaxing ambiance of our well-appointed rooms. Designed with your comfort in mind, each room features modern amenities and a private balcony, allowing you to unwind while enjoying views of the sea or the surrounding mountains. 

Standard Rooms: Spacious and cozy rooms with modern amenities, comfortable bedding, and a private balcony offering views of the sea or mountains.

Suites: Elegant and expansive suites with separate living areas, luxurious furnishings, and upgraded amenities. Suites may also feature panoramic windows or additional balconies for enhanced views.


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ITINERARY, RATES, WHAT’S INCLUDED, TRIP DETAILS


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DATES & RATES:

Feb 04 – 13, 2024 8 nigts at Ft. Young hotel 5 days on the water
Price per person 5,199 €

THE PROGRAM:

5 days on the water

Spermwhale permit for Feb 6 – 10

THE RATE INCLUDES:

Extras:

BOOKING:

As permits require the participants’ names to be submitted, and as changes are very difficult to arrange with the government, a 50% non-refundable deposit is required to secure a spot. The balance is due 90 days before the trip starts.  If the island closes its borders, the trip will be rescheduled.

ARRIVING & DEPARTING FLIGHTS

There is one nonstop flight per day from Miami Int. Airport (MIA) to Dominica (DOM) for the days of arrival and departure. We will be happy to assist with your travel to and from Dominica!

 

 MORE SPERM WHALE TRIPS


 Availability changes frequently.  Find ALL the latest using our Charters & Special Expeditions list.

CHARTERS & SPECIAL EXPEDITIONS

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