Sea Giant: Close Encounter with the Southern Right Whale

  • Prepare to see the Southern Right Whale in all its splendor

National Geographic listed Peninsula Valdes as one of the 10 best places in the world for whale-watching. Prepare to embark on a whale-watching adventure to get up close and personal with one of the largest mammals on earth: the Southern Right Whale!

One of the world’s rarest species of whale, the Southern Right Whale, got its name because it was the “right” whale to hunt, since they are very easy to approach, they float when dead, yielding large volumes of oil. Hunted almost to extinction, there may have been less than 2000 of these whales at the beginning of the 20th century, out of the more than 100,000 that are believed to have existed before whaling began. Protected now for almost 100 years, the Southern Right Whale population is slowly recovering, and the Peninsula Valdes has the largest breeding population in the world.

The Southern Right Whales are massive creatures, growing up to 45 feet (15 meters) and weighing up to 57 tonnes! We think dinosaurs were gigantic, but this creature is around 6 times heavier than a Tyrannosaurus Rex! The head alone is one third the size of its entire body, with a “smiling” mouth that stretches from eye to eye. These whales are one of the more interactive whale species with humans, and they are usually on the water surface, which makes for a great viewing experience. They are very safe to approach and are often rather curious about boats passing by. They are quite playful and can be seen exhibiting unique behaviors such as “sailing”, where they use their elevated tails to catch the wind, “lobtailing”, slapping it on the water, “headstanding,” where they rise in a vertical position with their head high above the air, and the most exciting, “breaching” where the whale jumps out of the water spinning and landing with a huge splash!

Every year from June to December the Southern Right Whales migrate to the Gulfo Neuvo (New Gulf) to breed. The boat captains are whale-watching experts, trained to make a close approach and ensure an excellent whale-watching experience without disturbing the whales. For example, the engines are turned off when whales approach, and captains avoid direct approaches.

We will spend approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes navigating before returning to the port.

Whale season is usually from mid-June to mid-December, but the exact whale season is defined by... the whales! If you are booked for this tour during mid-December and the tour cannot be done because there are no whales, we’ll provide you with another navigation to see sea lions. If you are booked for mid-June and the tour cannot be done because there are no whales we’ll refund you for this boat tour after your trip.

Important: this tour is done on the same day as the Peninsula Valdes tour. This navigation may be cancelled if the winds are too strong. If the tour is cancelled, you’ll receive a full refund for the cost of the tour after your trip.

Difficulty: none.

Duration: approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes (done during the Peninsula Valdes tour).

Guide: no guide is needed for this sightseeing navigation but the boat company provides English speaking assistance.

Vehicle: the boat has capacity for up to 55 to 60 travelers.