Whale Watching Cruise & Cayo Levantado Beach Break
Samana, Dominican Republic
- Whales at play: Thousands of humpback whales migrate from the North Atlantic to the warm waters off Samana every year, offering an excellent chance to see them feeding, breaching, and playing.
- Humans at play: Relax, swim, sun, and enjoy lunch on the tiny resort island of Cayo Levantado, a paradise of white-sand beaches, grassy slopes, and shops selling Dominican crafts.
About This Samana Tour
Every winter, humpback whales make their way from the frigid waters between Canada and Europe to the waters around the Samana peninsula for pretty much the same reasons you do: swim, take in some sun, eat, get in a little romance, play with the kids. Their mating season not only coincides with human vacations; marine biologists are learning that whales are more like us than we ever suspected. They're curious about their surroundings, often approaching a whale-watching boat. They learn to communicate in unique dialects, watch out for each other's young, and experience fear, loss, and a sense of well-being. Watching them leap, roll, and thrash the water with their tails, it's hard not to conclude that they just like to have fun.
Thanks to conservation efforts and the greater awareness resulting from whale-watching excursions, the humpback whale has been making a comeback. They were listed as endangered in 1988, then upgraded to "vulnerable" in 1996. (The U.S. still considers them endangered.) Humpbacks now number around 80,000; down from pre-whaling numbers of perhaps 125,000 in the late 18th century.
This gentle giant isn't the biggest cetacean out there – that would be the blue whale – but at up to 52 feet in length and 40 tons, the humpback is no shrimp. When the males breach and splash down in an attempt to win over fertile females it's an impressive sight. At least to us. What human male hasn't tried something similar at the pool?
Judging from cave drawings found near Samana, people have been watching whales there since long before Colombus arrived. It seems that humpbacks are fond of this part of the world, and come back for generations. Just like humans.
Name that tune
Humpback whales don't have vocal cords, but that doesn't stop the males from singing. They force air through their humongous nasal cavities to produce a song that lasts from 10 to 20 minutes. Interestingly, they all sing the same song (which differs from their Pacific Ocean brothers), and the song changes slowly over the years.
Meet your driver in the Hotel Lobby of either the Bahia Principe El Portillo or Bahia Principe Cayacoa. Call the operator once you are at the designated meeting point.
This tour is seasonal. Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. Travelers who suffer from motion sickness or sea sickness should take the necessary precautions. Bring a towel. The boat is not equipped with restrooms.
Whale watching portion will take place on a boat. Travelers must be able to step in/out of boat without assistance. Seas may be rough so participants that experience sea sickness should take the necessary precautions.
Adventure, Boat Tour, Wilderness/Wildlife, Scenic, Shopping
Beverages - Soda & Water
Lunch - Sandwiches & Burgers
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
Participants prone to sea sickness or motion sickness should take necessary precautions. Due to potential rough sea conditions, tour is not recommended for pregnant women. Travelers must be in good health and disclose their physical fitness.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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