Whale & Dolphin Watching in the Azores

  • Premium
8 days
from
1 845 €
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Traveller ratings
4.1 / 5 from 7 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
WSA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Premium
Activity:
Marine Wildlife
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–15

Discover one of Europe's top destinations for whale watching

Azores is a true paradise for nature lovers with blue lakes smothered in flowers, deep verdant craters of dormant volcanoes and breathtaking landscapes from the mountains. Each island of the Azores is home to a myriad of cultures and traditions that will leave a lasting memory. Our itinerary includes some excellent opportunities to see whales and dolphins off the coast of three islands in the archipelago of Azores and we learn about various conservation projects from the knowledgeable locals. During out time on Faial Island, we also have the opportunity to learn more about the various bird species attracted to this island thanks to its diverse landscape formed from volcanic activity. Finally we end our experience on the 'Green Island', or Sao Miguel, where lush colours of verdant pastures surround us on our visits to renowned Sete Cidades Crater and Fire Lakes.

Highlights

  • Spectacular varied scenery
  • Whale and dolphin watching tours included
  • Visit Sete Cidades Crater lakes and Fire Lake
  • Excellent birdwatching opportunities

Key information

  • 7 nights comfortable 4-star hotels 
  • Group normally 4 to 15, plus leader. Min age 16 years
  • Greater chances of Blue whale sightings in June
  • Travel by bus, boat and internal flights

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 5 lunches
  • All accommodation 
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights) and internal flights (for all clients)
  • Arrival and departure transfers (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
316 810 698
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Ponta Delgada
to
Ponta Delgada
  • Day 1

    Start Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel Island.

    Start Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel Island.

  • Day 2

    Fly to Pico; to Faial Island and Horta; visit Scrimshaw Museum.

    After breakfast we transfer to the airport for a short flight to Pico Island, where we transfer to Faial on a 30 minute ferry. Faial is also known as the Blue Island thanks to all the blue hydrangeas that decorate the houses, divide the fields and line the roadsides. We enjoy a guided tour around Horta. The marina's walls are covered with colourful paintings and is a primary stop for yachts crossing the Atlantic. After our lunch stop, we visit the Scrimshaw Museum and its impressive collection of engraved whales’ teeth and bones. In the afternoon, we meet a local biologist, who will brief us about our whale watching activities over the coming week.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Whale and dolphin watching between Faial and Pico Islands.

    Today we embark on our whale and dolphin watching tour between the Faial and Pico Islands. There are 80 species of whales and dolphins on the planet and 25 of them have been sighted off the coast of the Azores, with the most common being Sperm whale, Bottlenose dolphin, Short-finned pilot whale; Atlantic spotted dolphin and the Blue whale. During our excursion, we observe the behaviour of these cetaceans and learn more about their habitat with the help of the knowledgeable local experts on board. We should always respect their environment and therefore during times of feeding or resting, we avoid any interference and maintain our distance. Please note this activity is completely dependent on sea conditions and if we cannot reschedule the tour, then an alternative visit to the vineyards of Pico Island will be offered.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Birdwatching around the coast of Faial Island to observe land and sea birds.

    Enjoy a full day visiting the beautiful land and sea of Faial Island - its fascinating islets, unusual rock formations from volcanic activity, picturesque windmills and lush green pastures offer an incredible variety of landscapes. Along the coast, we have a superb mix of land and seabirds to observe in their natural habitat, such as Tern Pink and nests of Seagulls in the Capelinhos Volcano as well as Shearwater and Bat, which are endemic to the Azores. We return to Horta for a short briefing from the University of the Azores on the ecology and conservation of various species of seabirds. In the evening, we walk down to the coast to hear some spectacular sounds from the Shearwater. These are nocturnal seabirds who come to the coast simply to breed and on their night-time visits, they often give eerie contact calls as they nest in burrows and lay their single white egg.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Free day on Pico Island; swimming with dolphins (optional); fly to Sao Miguel Island.

    As Pico Island is only a short ferry trip from Horta, it is an excellent option for our free day. Due to its geological age, this island is considered the 'wildest' island in the Azores archipelago. With UNESCO declaring the exotic vineyards (that grow on rock) as a World Heritage Site, beaches that are called natural swimming pools and former whaling villages, there is a completely different character for us to discover here. For the bold and adventurous, perhaps heading back to sea and swimming with dolphins, sharks or manta rays is a more appealing option (for more information on this please see the 'optional excursions' section of the trip notes). There is also the opportunity to join the zodiac boat and go snorkelling. There is always a biologist and skipper on board to ensure every precaution is taken to protect the dolphin's habitat. In the evening we take a short flight back to Sao Miguel Island.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit the crater lakes of Sete Cidades and the Fire Lake.

    There is some free time in the morning before heading out on our next adventure to explore the beauty of the island. Our 4WD excursion takes us through ravines and near volcano craters where we enjoy the wonderful landscape around Sete Cidades Volcano, including the Green and Blue Lakes. From Vista do Rei, we are rewarded with breathtaking views of tranquil lakes, blue hydrangeas bordering the crater rim that contrast with the steep sides of the crater. We then venture into this extinct volcano to visit the pretty village of Sete Cidades with its traditional architecture and verdant pastures. An opportunity not to be missed is to swim in the warm waters of Ferraria or Caldeira Velha (pool formed from a geyser). Our final treat is the Fire Lake in Barrosa Mountain, an enormous lake with jutting peninsulas and white sand beaches which is the perfect place to relax at the end of the day.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Final whale watching excursion; transfer to Furnas Valley to visit hot springs.

    Our final day offers another chance to spot whales and dolphins on our boat journey down to the south coast of the island. We arrive in Ribeira Quente, a fisherman's village and transfer to Furnas Valley where we enjoy a spectacular meal of the famous Cozido das Caldeiras. This is a style of cooking that buries sealed pots in the baking earth. After lunch, we take in the sights of romantic lakes, winding pathways, exotic flowers and thermal waters in Park Terra Nostra, before continuing onto the hot springs. One of the most spectacular forms of volcanic activity we see here are fumaroles, which spout boiling water and medicinal mud.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    End Ponta Delgada.

    End Ponta Delgada.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Portugal

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 5 lunches are included.

Breakfasts are buffet style with a variety on offer including bread, jams cereals, and of course tea and coffee. For lunch, we usually enjoy a set menu with drinks included, except for day 4 where a picnic is provided. In the evening, the leader will recommend local restaurants that serve traditional Azores food, which can be a selection of meat or fish with vegetables and potatoes or rice. Vegetarians are well catered for in Azores as long as the hotels are advised in advance.

Weather

The Azores enjoys a privileged climate with its temperate softened by gentle influence of the Gulf Stream. Temperatures do not vary by much and the average is 13 ºC in winter and 23ºC in summer. Water temperatures varies a little between 17ºC and 24ºC. Whilst light clothing is recommended for summertime, it is better to dress for cooler and damper weather for Spring and Autumn. Please note, activities are mainly at sea so please bring clothes and shoes accordingly.

Is this trip for you?

This tour is graded 'Leisurely' and includes two whale and dolphin watching tours, an excursion through the wilderness of Faial Island and visits to Sao Miguel Island's famous Sete Cidades and Fire Lake by 4WD. We visit three islands of the Azores archipelago, with the option to spend more time on Pico on the free day. With the Azores' extinct volcano craters, wild landscapes covered in blue hydrangeas and stunning coastal cliffs, plenty of stops will be included so there is enough time to take the best photographs or simply admire the views. There will be some walking which is not technically difficult and should not present difficulties for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.The whale and dolphin watching excursions are not recommended for pregnant ladies or those with heart or back problems. As they depend completely on sea condition, the excursions can therefore never be guaranteed yet alternative activities will be offered. We will amend the itinerary over the week in order to provide the best chances to see whales and dolphins and if sea conditions remain the same for the duration of the week, we will instead offer a tour of Pico Island. The area is also subject to rain at any time so it is best to be prepared for this before you travel. On departures in May and October, it is best to bring warm clothes in case of colder weather.

Call us on
316 810 698
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Premium hotels

You will stay in 4 star hotels throughout, all with en-suite facilities. Hotels are located within walking distance of local harbours and restaurant. The hotel in Horta offers a sauna, jacuzzi Turkish bath and a fitness centre. The Ponta Delgada hotel is a 19th century building situated in the historic centre of the town, with a sauna and swimming pool.

Call us on
316 810 698
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
316 810 698
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed July 2017
    Garry Ward

    A really good trip

    This was an excellent first rip to the Azores for me. The itinery is full and varied without feeling hectic. At first glance I thought the trip itinery only included two whale watching trips, which for me would have been the bare minimum for a holiday headlined as a whale watching holiday. As it happens the first full day in Horta is a whale watching day with boat trips in the morning and afternoon, so effectively two trips in one day. There is then the chance to go on another whale watching trip on the optional activity day which kept me happy anyway. Spending time on three islands made me feel I was having as good a look around as could be done in a week. You could say four islands if you count sitting on the aircraft for 20 minutes or so while it made a stop on Terceira. The hotels are good, in Horta we stayed in the Hotel Do Canal on the sea front road at one end of the harbour. In Ponta Delgada we stayed in the Hotel Do Colegio, much smaller and older than the Do Canal but with more character set in the narrow old town style street of Ponta Delgada. At first I didn't appreciate how close the hotel Do Colegio actually is to the centre of town but it is very well placed even if that isn't apparent when you first arrive. The itenery includes dinner if you're a northerner like me or lunch if you're not, which was always huge portions, usually of a local speciality. The first day includes a visit to Peter's Cafe Scrimshaw museum. Scrimshaw is artwork on the teeth of Sperm whales which were of course hunted from the Azores in times gone by. As a whale and conservation fan I still don't know how I felt about that but I appreciate it is a part of the history of the Azores.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It had to be spotting a blue whale. I hadn't seen one before and it was one of the main reasons I chose to visit the Azores. So to see one on the first day out on the boat was the jackpot. What a huuuge beastie they are! The Azores and it's people also very positively impacted upon me, I just liked it there. I will be back.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nuno is/was a fantasitc and very experienced guide. He has a great sense of humour that was never far away. He communicated the important stuff to us well, we were never left wondering what happens next or what is the plan for the day or the next day etc. He was as flexible when necessary without compromising the itinery. Of course being from the island of Pico in the Azores he knows what he's talking about. Exodus do very well to employ his services.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Azores experiences very changable weather, even more so than the British Isles. The temperatures remained mild throughout our early June trip but cloud and rain could come and go out of nowhere in minutes. I would suggest bringing some light weight packable waterproofs. That changable weather can also impact upon the view at scenic sites. On the way to somewhere it could be blue skies ahead but 15 minutes later upon arrival thoroughly cloud covered.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes state there are greater chances of sighting blue whales in June. Although we saw one off the coast of Pico and Faial (on the 12th June) the boat captain told me it was a lucky spot since blue whales aren't often seen that late in the year in the Azores. April and May is apparently the time with the highest chance of spotting blue whales. The Azores Airlines flight from Gatwick currently arrives very late at night in Ponta Delgada, even later if you have a delay in excess of an hour like we did. I understand Azores Airlines changed their schedules after this holiday's itinery was created. We consequently arrived at the hotel in Ponta Delgada in the early hours and then had to be up shortly after 5am for the onward flight to Pico and then ferry to Horta/Faial. I got about 3 hours sleep after a long day of travelling. I don't think any of the group felt particulalry great that day. If that flight schedule persisits it might be worth Exodus considering altering the order of the holiday to spend a couple days at Ponta Delgada/ Sao Miguel first rather than Horta/Faial.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Mark Davey

    Four Seasons In One Day

    It may just be a saying but it is certainly true that you can experience all four seasons in a day while in the Azores, so go prepared. However when the sum is out you will enjoy breathtaking scenery and see whales, dolphins, turtles and other sea delights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlight was without doubt seeing a blue whale which we shadowed for sometime in calm waters. This was followed a close second by the scenery of the islands of Faial, Pico and Soa Miguel

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nuno our group leader was a superb, as he was friendly, helpful, well organised and has a very good sense of humour. He ensured that everything ran smoothly,

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure that you take clothes for sun, cold (at sea), fog and rain. While we had all four, it was surprising how quickly the weather changed. So if it is foggy or wet while having breakfast do not worry too much as things will change within an hour or two.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    While not within the control of Exodus the evening flight from Gatwick is not much fun if like our flight it is delayed by 80 minutes and you arrive in your hotel at 2am local time and need to get up at 6am for an early start the next day, All the experts brought in for individual trips were engaging and gave a strong indication that they really cared about the whales, dolphins, birds or flowers and the overall environment. Be prepared for a full day of activities, broken by a large lunch of local produce.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    christopher 'dave' richardson

    azores whale wating may 17

    Fin whales 6, common dolphins leaping Risso and bottlenose dolphins close by were exceptional. Nuno the tour leader fantastic. Group excellent. Bird watching severely disappointing and considering setting up tours of my back garden as species very similar and more numerous The tour was however partially spoiled by the flight itinerary changes which were not reflected in the tour programme. Leisurely does not include landing at 1130pm and flying out again at 830am. loss of option day due to programme and flight changes was a disappointment and the tour leader leaving before the end of the tour due flight changes, ours and his, was not ideal. Hotel in Horta excellent Hotel in Ponta Delgada the Collegio was incredibly noisy in the plumbing department and bottle recycling at 1230am on the first night. The final 3 nights saw us get lucky with excellent room but lack of bar/comfortable sitting area due to ongoing refurbishment wasn't good on a group trip. Single coffee machine only at breakfast was a personal gripe from a caffeine addict. The knowledge and enthusiasm of the young naturalists/biologists/boat pilots was infectious

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Common dolphins surfing the waves between our groups two boats as they observed us observing them

    What did you think of your group leader?

    After 15+ exodus trips Nuno with the exception of leaving early is one of the best. Considerate to all. Patient to the extreme, but I can't wait for another surprise.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    leisurely does not mean inactive. Fair amount of walking required. Make sure clothing can be dried quickly as humidity makes drying things difficult. There was a perpetual warm dampness?! My trainers will never recover.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Drying facilities in hotel would have been really useful. Elasticated trousers as lunch portions with free flowing wine are generous.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Joan Richardson

    Whale and Dolphin watching in the Azores

    A delightful holiday somewhat marred by the international flight times (not exodus's fault). For an older traveller like me an arrival after midnight followed by an early morning local flight was a little arduous as it gave very little opportunity to sort out medication and toileting. The scenery was spectacular and very varied and the food was well prepared, good quality and locally sourced. The land based bird watching trip was enjoyable but the bird varieties were similar to those in the U.K.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the dolphins surfing the waves between the boats. Also of seeing the Fin Whales. I was sad that the Blue Whales didn't turn up but that was not anybody's fault.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A delightful man. Very well informed, kind, and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Clothing for all types of weather.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The departure day was also somewhat wasted by having to wait around for the transfer as there was no activity planned owing to he tour guide having left us the previous evening.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Shaemala Anpalakhan

    A Bucket List destination

    Accommodation: We stayed at pleasant hotels both at Horta and Ponta Delgada. The hotel at Ponta Delgada did not have a tea/coffee making facility in the rooms but I understand they had just opened their rooms post re-modelling in April (this wasn't a be all end all situation). However considering that most days were spent outside, the rooms were more than sufficient in terms of having comfortable beds and high pressure hot water out of the shower to rest at the end of the day. Flight timings: the first day the time was pushed back to a 8pm flight from Gatwick which meant a 11pm (local time) landing at Ponta Delgada. Not necessarily an issue with Exodus but more due to the actual airlines. Activities: whale and dolphin watching was great fun. If using the dingy I would recommend sitting at the front for a more bumpy (fun) ride through the ocean! We had our marine biologists guide us through identifying Cory shearwaters and the marine mammals. A good trip to the lakes with beautiful pictures. A short trip to the tea plantation(complementary traditional Azorean pastries provided by Nuno) and the pineapple farm (this would be the place to buy your liquors and jams-appropriately priced and authentic-although our coach driver claims you can brew any kind of fruit liquor at home with a higher alcohol content) Unfortunately due to the weather a free day (where optional activities could take place) couldn't take place and we used it to ensure the activities on the official trip dossier were completed. On the evenings that weren't scheduled with activities we were able to walk around the islands (we visited the botanical gardens on Ponta Delgada) and sample the local cuisine. All reasonably priced. Our last day saw us having lunch cooked via the heat generated from the volcanoes underground prepared for six hours beforehand- delicious! Finally lovely trips to thermal spring waters rich with iron lovely for a mid day soak! Group: great bunch of people coming from different backgrounds and contributing to a lively camaraderie.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hitting >15000 steps a day ( so you know are getting fit on this holiday) Our marine biologists were inspirational enough to consider a career change! The location has also made me seriously consider a move here to continue my current job!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nuno was a brilliant guide clearly hardworking enthusiastic and great at his job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Rainproof trousers and jackets. Walking boots. Seasickness tablets if you are prone to this. T shirts and shorts. A few pairs of jeans. Swimming costume. I wouldn't recommend overpacking as you are able to use the sinks to wash your clothes and it would leave space for souvenirs. A couple of fleece jackets for when you are out searching for shearwaters.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have enjoyed this trip and will be planning further trips here to get experience with the other activities the islands have to offer.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Gerald Spalton

    Rather disappointing

    Luckily we had booked a few days in Lisbon ourselves before the trip and Exodus were pretty efficient at organising the non-group flights for us. Otherwise we would have been returned home feeling less than satisfied. We also organised a walking tour in Ponta Delgado ourselves with the splendid help of the San Miguel tourism office. On the actual tour, the hotels and food were of a high standard and the transport was well organised. However - firstly the brochure should have made it clear that the October trip is out of season for the included activities. As far as birdwatching is concerned we visited the nesting sites of shearwaters and terns. Unfortunately October is outside the nesting season for both so the nesting sites were basically empty. One shearwater chick was seen but no terns were nesting. We did see the shearwaters both at sea and landing after dark and this was inspirational. We were kept waiting for over an hour though for the sea trip to see the shearwater nesting sites as the boat that had been hired for 9 a.m. was found to be out of commission due to faulty electrics so eventually Marco had to rebook with a different cruise firm to get our trip under way. Now for the "whale watching". Of course wildlife is unpredictable and there are no guarantees, but in October very few whale species are to be expected anyway and this should be made clear in the brochure. Our first morning of whale watching from Faial island (4 hours) we saw a pod of about a dozen dolphins and a distant glimpse of beaked whales for a few seconds. On the same afternoon the trip was cut short (1 hour 15 minutes!) because the crew felt that it wasn't worth searching. Unfortunately our final whale watching trip from San Miguelwas cancelled owing to windy weather. All of our trips into the mountains to view the volcanic and lake scenery were spoiled by low cloud, mist and rain which meant that the views were virtually non-existent. We did bathe in the thermal lakes on San Miguel island - in pouring rain on both days. Furthermore October is too late for flowers as the hydrangeas, agapanthus and azaleas are well past their best.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the Corey's shearwaters return to the cliffs after dark under a crystal clear starry sky.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Marco was excellent; he is extremely knowledgeable about the culture, history, geography and geology of the islands and did his best to keep the group cheerful when reorganisations were needed or when the weather spoiled activities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't go in October.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We are really sorry that Gerald found this trip to be disappointing because of a lack of wildlife sightings. Our local team has advised us that certain species of whales and dolphins can be seen in the Azores throughout the year, however we acknowledge that May and June offer the greatest possibilities of sighting blue whales in particular. Regrettably it transpires that our 2015-16 Discovery brochure was printed with a typo and the asterisk relating to blue whale sightings should have been applied to the May departure of the tour rather than the October departure. We are sincerely sorry for this error and have written to everyone who travelled in October to apologise and offer compensation. We were very pleased to read that Gerald found Marco to be an excellent tour leader and we hope that despite the disappointing wildlife sightings Gerald enjoyed the other aspects of his holiday.

    Rachael Stone - Customer Services Manager

  • Reviewed October 2013
    Anonymous

    AZORES: WHALE & DOLPHIN WATCHING

    My rating missed the Excellent mark only because the whales were not at the rendez-vous, which Exodus can hardly be blamed for. Another trip of a lifetime for me, full of discovery and unexpected pleasures. Go Exodus!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I will never forget being perched at the front of a small boat, enjoying the antics of the dolphins (common then bottle nose), when they were swimming under the boat then undulating across the waves and even jumping right out. I took loads of pictures and films, knowing that three quarters of them would be ditched as there's only so much wave action you want to keep (none?). But then you have the pleasure of discovering that precious photo of a mum and baby dolphin jumping out together. Pleasure at the time and pleasure when I got back. Smiles all around.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two group leaders, Nuno on Pico and Faial islands, and Bruno on Sao Miguel island. They were both marvellous in their own individual ways. Nuno was adorable and couldn't do enough for us, while Bruno was so enthusiastic I thought he would jump right out of his seat. They were both extremely knowledgeable both in terms of local information and languages, their English was perfect (and their French wasn't bad either). They both went out of their way to help us discover those islands and their hidden treasures (like Peter's cafe in Horta, which became my HQ as it had a wonderful atmosphere and free wifi). Similarly, when I asked to see something which wasn't on the menu, it was no problem for them. Both top class guys.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do bring good waterproofs (including boots) as if it rains, it pours buckets. I regret to say I wasn't prepared enough (though I thought I was) and got soaked a few times. But hey, that's part of traveling, there will always be something unexpected, even if you've done max prep.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared not to see the whales so you won't be too disappointed if they don't turn up. See them as the cherry on the cake (some cherry!). The cake is the dolphins, the volcanos, the caldeiras, the plants, the birds, the people, the cafe, the hot springs, the rock formations, the lakes, and yes even the weather as when it's nice it is very very nice.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 316 810 698