- Free Entrance for Children up to 5 years old
- Insurance (personal accident and liability)
- Life jacket (on zodiac & fiberglass boats)
- Marine biologist guides
- Pre-tour briefing
- Raincoat and pants (if necessary)
- Lunch in a local restaurant
- Boat trip to and from Vila Franca do Campo Islet
- Transfer back to Ponta Delgada
Magnificent Whales & The Princess Ring
Whale WatchingSao Miguel island
Magnificent Whales & The Princess Ring
Whale Watching & Islet Vila Franca do Campo TourSao Miguel island
It all starts at the yachting marina, in Ponta Delgada, where years of experience and dedication are translated into a briefing on security, respect for the animals, and living science.
After that, be prepared for three hours of intense encounters at sea with splendid cetaceans or funny school of dolphins. The shooting and the photos taken by the crew will perpetuate these moments.
The stop at the Vila Franca marina is an opportunity to taste delicious, fresh fish. After, a 15-minute crossing to an islet whose almost untouched beauty granted it the name of «The Princess’ Ring».
Its interior guards us in a primeval, protective circle, where transparent waters offer themselves to the exploration of their colored bottom. It is also a sanctuary for birds that will reveal us unique specimens before the return journey.
World-class Whale Watching operator
Futurismo is Internationally Certified by WCA as a Responsible Whale Watching and is globally renown by defining the standards for this activity.
98% success rate
We don’t stop at a 98% success rate. Additional tours offered until you see a cetacean.
Swim in a Volcano
Vila Franca Islet is a paradise for snorkeling. Swim among colorful fishes in the middle of a volcanic crater
Mouthwatering local food included
Each island in the Azores has its regional delicacies. Try the delicious Azorean cuisine and let yourself be carried away by traditions!
Misteryous underwater world explained
Get to know every detail about the incredible marine wildlife and their hidden secrets thanks to our team of knowledgeable marine biologists.
Priceless encounters with giant marine creatures, tasting mouthwatering traditional food and swimming in a stunning oasis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Interesting, no?
Insert a “check” on your bucket list for three of the most exciting and important experiences Azores has to offer.
Harbor of Ponta Delgada
– This great adventure starts at the Marina of Ponta Delgada, in our shop. Our staff will welcome you for the check-in.
– After the check-in, you will be directed to the boat where our marine biologists will give a briefing. They will tell you about the species that you might see, whale watching history in the Azores as well as how we respect the animals.
– Then, we are ready to navigate and look for cetaceans in the wild. On the way, have a look at the coast of our beautiful island, full of magical landscapes.
The Deep Atlantic
– That is where you will encounter the biggest animals. Whales are living in the deep ocean. Some of them simply pass by our waters during their migration.
– Prepare for awe-inspiring moments where time suddenly freezes and natural magic happens right in front of your eyes.
Welcome Back to Land
– Back to Ponta Delgada harbor, we will remind you of all the species you saw.
– Inside our shop, you can see some curiosities about cetaceans that we keep with us such as krill or also keratin plates from baleen whales.
Lunch at a Local Restaurant
– Experience some of the most delicious traditional dishes the Azores has to offer. We will have lunch at one of the local restaurants on the island.
The Princess Ring
– From Vila Franca do Campo harbor, we will sail to São Miguel’s Crown Jewel in a traditional fishing vessel. The trip is just about 15 minutes.
– Explore the islet. There, you can snorkel or simply rest inside the crater of this Natural Reserve. The volcanic crater is classified by Birdlife International as an important location for bird nesting. In order to protect it, there are only 400 visits per day, to preserve and take care of its nature.
1st Whale Watching Company in São Miguel (1990) and largest tour operator in the Azores.
We are certified by the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), the world’s largest marine conservation organization
All our sea tours are operated by experienced Marine Biologists who also participate in scientific investigations
Comfortable catamaran or fierce zodiac boats, you choose the kind of experience you want.
You’ll receive a full refund if you cancel at least 48 hours in advance
Our guides speak several languages, including English, Spanish, French and German.
Plan your Whale Watching & Islet Vila Franca do Campo Tour
What to bring?
- Comfortable clothes and shoes
- Your mask and snorkel
- Sunscreen, swimsuit and towel
- Hat, backpack
- Water and snacks (we do not sell food aboard)
- Futurismo operates this tour everyday of the week from June 15th to September 15th, usually onboard of a fiberglass boat
- On weekends and publics holidays, we do not operate this tour
- Lunch: starter, main dish, dessert, drink, coffee/tea
- Vegetarians: vegetarian meals on request within a maximum of 48 hours before the tour
- If you have any food restriction, please inform us at least 48h before the tour
- Cancellations up to 48 hours before the tour, no penalties are applied
- Cancellations up to 24 hours: 50% of the total amount will be charged
- Cancellations less than 24 hours or no-show: full amount will be charged
- If the weather conditions do not allow the activity to be done safely, we will cancel it and contact you suggesting an alternative date or provide a full refund.
Booking confirmation policy
- You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of successful booking.
Reviews What people think about
We got to see some blue whales, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, and the Ilhéu da Vila Franca. The staff was very knowledgeable and fluent in English and Portuguese.
There were 3 marine biologists on board, so there was plenty of information readily available. We will definitely be doing this again someday, it was one of the best experiences I have ever had!
Anyone visiting the Azores archipelago must-visit dolphins and whales in their natural habitat.
In addition to watching the cetaceans, you can visit the islet of Vila Franca, for a paradisiacal bath in the transparent waters of this natural reserve.
I originally booked the half-day whale watching only, but since it was incredibly difficult to get to Ilheu da Vila Franca (long waiting cue every morning) changed the booking on the phone.
The trip on the boat out was really nice, it’s a stable boat, was not very full (even though the tour was fully booked) and we could move around in the boat once we saw whales. In the three hours on the water, we saw 2-3 adult and one immature sperm whale, and one group of common bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins each. This was not my first whale-watching trip (Iceland, Tenerife,…), but by far my best so far!
After a really good lunch in a restaurant in Vila Franca do Campo, we went on the regular ferry out to Ilheu da Vila Franca, where we had about 2.5 hours. Very nice, and a high recommendation!
We were incredibly lucky to see a sperm whale, followed by two huge pods of common dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins. Our tour guide, Maria, and the captain were friendly and knowledgeable and wanted to ensure we had the perfect day. I was impressed by how respectful they were of the animals, taking their cues from their behavior – we didn’t stay too long with the common dolphins as they weren’t in the mood for play. We got out of their way, without causing distress.
We had a great lunch in Franca Da Villa, followed by an incredible afternoon snorkeling. The gear was provided by Maria. The Princess Ring is a special place, impressing our teenage boys as that’s where the Red Bull Cliff Diving Challenge is held. Incredible to see the huge cliffs they dive off. A fabulous day out which we all loved!
We went for a full day trip with Futurismo that included whale/dolphin watching, a nice lunch at a local restaurant, and then snorkeling in the Vila Franca Islet. The staff members are friendly and knowledgeable (and all speak great English). We saw one type of whale and two types of dolphins while out on the boat. My favorite part of the trip was the snorkeling– it was absolutely magical! 10/10 would highly recommend.
Are the Azores a good whale watching destination?
The Azores are a great whale watching destination, probably one of the best in the whole world. We have sperm whales all year round. Being in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, lots of cetacean species pass by our islands during their annual migration.
Can I cancel my tour reservation and have a full refund?
Yes, you can check our detailed cancellation and refund policies per tour on each tour page, under “Good to Know” section
Can I touch the whales and dolphins?
No, our strict whale and dolphin watching rules forbid to touch the animals. They are wild and we should respect them.
Can I use my drone during this tour?
You cannot use a drone on our tours with other travelers. However, if you really want to fly your drone, it is possible on a private tour with us.
Do you have toilets on the boat?
On the catamarans and the bigger zodiac boats, there is a toilet facility. However on the small zodiac boats there is no toilets.
Do you sell medication for seasickness?
No, we do not sell anything on the boat. If you know that you get easily seasick, it is better to purchase the adequate medication before the tour.
How can I book this activity?
You can select any tour within our website and get your booking confirmation on your email immediately. Alternativelly, you can visit us on our shops or get in touch with us by phone, email or send us a message on social media (Instagram and Facebook)
How many whales and dolphins can I see?
It depends, each day on the ocean is a surprise. Sometimes we can see one whale only, and other times we will see several species with pods of dolphins including thousands of individuals. We work with nature, the animals are not under our control.
What if the weather isn’t ok?
If the weather doesn’t allow to do this activity safely, we will cancel it and suggest na alternative date.
What is the minimum number of participants?
Please check the minimum number of participant for each tour inside the program’s page.
What if I don’t want or am afraid to snorkel?
Snorkeling in the islet’s crater is not mandatory, you can also lay down on the shore and enjoy the landscape.
Does Futurismo provide the equipment to snorkel in the islet’s natural swimming pool?
It is better if you bring your own equipment. We do have snorkels and masks but in a limited number.
How long does it approximately take to reach the islet?
The boat trip will last no longer than 15 minutes from Vila Franca do Campo harbor.
Is it possible to swim in the islet’s crater?
Yes, you will be able to take a dip into the clear waters of the islet, which is one of the most beautiful places to swim around São Miguel.
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