The chance to spot and observe whale species is one of the chief thrills of small ship expedition travel. It is nothing short of exhilarating to stand on deck or on the Bridge, eyes peeled searching the horizon with anticipation for a telltale spout in the distance. Then, to sail closer as the shape and species begins to reveal itself and finally, to see these mammoth beings up close, moving beneath the surface of the sea.
Whales aren’t just majestic and mysterious. They’re also critical to their ecosystem. These giants roam all the world’s oceans helping to keep life at sea healthy by redistributing nutrients across hundreds of thousands of miles. Each and every encounter we have with them is an extraordinary privilege—whether it’s watching a pod of humpbacks work together to corral fish in Alaska or sitting at water-level with mother gray whales and curious calves in the nursing lagoons of Baja California. In honor of World Whale Day (Feb 19. 2023), we're celebrating a few of our favorite cetacean species.