Whale Conservation in the Azores

Company : The Great Projects
Location : The Azores
Duration: 2 weeks to 3 months
Approx Costs: 750 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

Help to assist a team of marine biologists in integral whale and dolphin conservation.

Faial Island is one of the best destinations for encountering whales and dolphins in not only the Azores but also in the whole world!

The Great Whale Project combines a touristic whale watching operation with whale and dolphin conservation research, involving guests and volunteers in a philosophy of sustainable, research supportive Eco-tourism. This whale and dolphin conservation project is run by a team of marine biologists who have been conducting whale photo- ID studies in the Azores for over 10 years and focuses mainly on the individual identification of blue and sperm whales.


Project Activities

On this project you will get the chance to take part in a wide variety of exciting activities. Below are examples of some of those included in this project.


You will spend time on the boat photo ID-ing whales and getting experience of field work and collecting research data. You will be conducting cetacean surveys from land look-outs and help in important blue whale research.

Marine Knowledge

Gain knowledge and experience on cetacean biology, whale conservation and identification at sea.

Boat Skills

Learn basic boat skills and assist with boat duties, including boat checks and post-trip cleaning.

Work with tourists

Developing whale watching naturalist skills and help assist in the education of the whale species to tourists on board and the general public.

Data Analysis

Conducting office-based work cataloguing and analysing collected data. You will also assist with the day-to-day operation of our station, including cleaning, taking bookings and assisting guests where needed.

Photo opportunities

Enjoy unique wildlife encounters and have the opportunity to take great pictures.


Day 1

On arrival from your original destination to Faial you will transfer to your accommodation and will get settled in, before meeting project facilitators Joana and Tiago and all of the other volunteers.

Day 2-13

During your time here, you will be involved in a range of activities every day, including whale and dolphin photo ID-ing, collecting invaluable research data on sperm whales throughout and fin, blue and sei whales (during the Spring), conducting cetacean surveys from land look-outs, and assisting with boat duties. You will also have free time based on your weekly workload.

Day 14

Unfortunately today is your last day, and you will head back to the mainland for your connecting flight or commence onwards travel plans.

Start Dates

1st and 15th of every month (April to October).

Costs / Benefits

Prices from £605

What's included in the price of the project?
• Airport transfers
• Accommodation (on a twin shared room in an apartment or house with a kitchen and only a short walking distance from our station)
• Tutoring and all project activities
• Welcome and farewell dinners
• Couples or friends volunteering together who wish private accommodation should let us know in advance so we can arrange it

What's not included?
• Flights (internal and external)
• Food and living expenses (apart from the welcome and farewell dinner)
• Travel insurance (though this can be provided by us here at The Great Projects at an extra cost)


This project does not involve much in the way of physical labour, but all volunteers should have a basic level of fitness when taking part. No specific skills or experience are required, just commitment to the project and its aims. You must be prepared to work alongside other members of the team, and to bring an upbeat, positive attitude to the endeavour as a whole.

Booking / Enquiry

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