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Futurismo Ltd. was created in 1990 by Mr. Ruben Rodrigues. Our whale and dolphin watching activity began on the north coast of São Miguel Island in 1996 and later expanded to Pico Island and the south coast of São Miguel where it now continues. Over the years we have acquired several boats, with the latest addition to our fleet being our catamaran “Cetus” in 2010. In 2006 Futurismo expanded its touristic activities to land to include jeep tours, walking tours, van tours, and later bike tours. In 2011 the company was branded as “Futurismo Azores Adventures” and we are now the largest active tourism company in the Azores that offer a variety of packages of sea and land activities throughout the Azores archipelago.
Futurismo began whale watching as a mean of converting traditional Azorean whale hunting to a more sustainable activity that allows everybody to enjoy the whales for years to come. We are proud to have replaced whale hunting in the Azores while keeping the memories of the old traditions. Sperm whale hunting began in the Azores in the 18th Century when American whalers discovered the area was abundant in whales and in an ideal location to stock up on supplies while on passage between America and Europe. Many Azorean people took the opportunity to join as crew on the boats and they soon mastered the skills required to hunt sperm whales. Later these men adapted and developed the techniques to better suit the conditions in the Azores. Before going to sea they located the whales visually from land-based lookouts, known as “vigias” in Portuguese. The men situated in the lookouts had powerfull binoculars so that they could spot the blows of the whales far from the islands.
The boats that the Azorean whalers used to approach the whales were small canoe-like boats equipped with sails and oars. The living conditions in the Azores were tough and the Azorean whaling industry became a fundamental economic asset during one and a half centuries. Since whaling began there has been growing concern for the state of whale populations around the world. Many populations have been hunted to near extinction and still face many threats today. The Azorean people adapted quickly by shutting down their whaling industry in 1986. Old whaling boats were converted to racing boats and the lookout stations were restored to be used for whale watching. Futurismo still uses these traditional method of spotting whales and dolphins from shore-based lookouts with the aid of powerful binoculars.