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“Fabulous”
Review of Rota dos Cetaceos

Rota dos Cetaceos
Book In Advance
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$58.68*
and up
Whale - Dolphin Watching
Certificate of Excellence
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Fabulous”
Reviewed March 26, 2013

Did this 18 months ago and it was so good we went back on our second trip to Madeira last week. 18 m ago we swam with dolphins and it was a truly breath-taking experience. Last week we couldn't because of hundreds of Portuguese Men of War - a dangerous jellyfish. But we still loved the three hours on the water. We saw a pod of common dolphins feeding and then a very large pod of bottle-nosed dolphins. How the company spot and then find the pods seems almost miraculous.

The marine biologists are very knowledgeable and the whole company safety conscious. We had our trip postponed a couple of days due to wind and sea conditions. When we went out I'd say we were at times in a 1.5-2m swell. Perfectly safe, but if you suffer motion sickness pick a flat calm day.

It's not cheap, but worth every Euro, and worth going to Madeira just to do this!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Neal57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cetaceos1, Proprietário at Rota dos Cetaceos, responded to this review, June 5, 2017
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We hope to see you soon at Rota dos Cetaceos

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Rota dos Cetaceos Team
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“OMG - this was fantastic!”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We wanted to do this activity and picked this company, as they guaranteed sightings - otherwise you got a free trip in the future. We also picked this company as they had an Eco friendly policy. The price was 48 euros per person, its probably more expensive compared to others but worth the money as they guarantee sightings. The trip had a great guide who was knowledgeable about the ocean creatures we saw. They had land based spotters who were in direct contact with the boats to help find the dolphins, whales or turtles. We went out on a RIB and it took about 25 minutes to get out first sighting and then we followed a group of Common dolphins at a safe distance, until they felt comfortable to socialise with the two RIB boats on this excursion. After spending about 10 minutes in their company we made our way back to the harbour. Whether doing this trip in summer or winter, a tip would be to wear suitable waterproof clothing. Watching the dolphins in their natural habitat was absolutely breathtaking!!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Harrygre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cetaceos1, Proprietário at Rota dos Cetaceos, responded to this review, June 5, 2017
Thank you for the feedback

We hope to see you soon at Rota dos Cetaceos

Best Regards

Rota dos Cetaceos Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Whizzing through the waves in pursuit of dolphins!”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

The great thing about this tour is that they've actually hired a couple of marine biologists which means that you get a lecture about the mammals you're looking at. We saw flying fish within a couple of minutes of leaving the harbour and then zipped away along the coastline, finding our first dolphin pod within about ten minutes. It was a large pod with several baby dolphins and they were extremely curious and friendly, jumping and leaping acrobatically in front of us. It was an amazing experience and we managed to find another pod later on, meaning that we spent about 40 of the 50 minutes with our delighted eyes glued to dolphins as they showed off! Really exceptional experience, I can't recommend it highly enough!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank LondonLisbonite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cetaceos1, Proprietário at Rota dos Cetaceos, responded to this review, June 5, 2017
Thank you for the feedback

We hope to see you soon at Rota dos Cetaceos

Best Regards

Rota dos Cetaceos Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lichfield, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Finally I persuaded my husband…”
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We have been to Madeira on five previous occasions and on each I have nagged and nagged and nagged to go Dolphin or Whale watching. Each time my old chap has sort of put me off; this time though number 6 I was pretty determined!

I had been on Tripadvisor and was fairly sure of which operator I was going to make him take me on (a Catamaran). However, I am a big, BIG, BIG believer in fate… and this time we had a really rubbish rep and when I asked about Dolphin watching she said we only recommend this one, “Rota dos Cetaceos”, and boy what a recommendation (although I don’t believe she had ever done it).

They are a small company and it seems to be run by marine biologists (you never are really sure but they do put the Cetaceons and their needs first), they do a short briefing before you go out in a small auditorium, then a short walk to a really small speed boat type thing! It held a maximum 12 people on it and to be honest the seats were not the most comfortable (Chris got pins and needles were a chap really shouldn't get them!).

This I think made the whole trip for him as the boat was fast and just skipped across the top of the waves (which on the day we went was quite exciting). They have spotters on the main land and so we just headed out towards…well I’m not quite sure what we just kept going out to sea! But I have to say it was fun.

Then after about 25 mins the engines were cut to just a tick over… and then there they were, just one to start with (and I got a bit excited) and then a whole pod of common dolphins, babies & adults. The babies wanted to play with us and the boat and the waves, the adults kept a fair distance but you could tell they were watching what we were doing and how the babies were.

They are so fats that any time they had wanted to go they would have, but it was a little weird as every now and then they would tip over and look at us looking at them – who was looking at who?

Anyway it was little more expensive than the Catamaran trip but I honestly think it was worth every penny (this company also offer the “see guarantee or trip free”), you can pay more to swim with the dolphins etc but they won’t always let you if they aren't the right sort or the sea is not great, but I don’t honestly think you miss anything as you get so close.

Would I do this again? Oh my yes…The big question was would my husband? And oh my word he would too – what a recommend!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Jacky W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime experience - swimming with the dolphins”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We did our research and found this company on the internet before we left for Madeira and so pleased we did. Prior to setting out on the boat, we had a briefing in their cinema room at the Marina Shopping mall, they tell you what cetaceans you might see and what to do and what not to do. You then walk 2 minutes to the Marina, where you board the 12 seater zodiac.

We paid extra to have the opportunity to swim with the dolphins, however, this is not guaranteed because you have to find the right ones to swim with. We had been sailing and viewing dolphins for about an hour when they said okay you two, you can get ready to start swimming, I actually bottled it because of the vast expanse of sea, but my husband really pushed me to do it and I am so grateful to him for that. It has always been my dream to swim with them and so glad I waited to see them in the wild - WHAT AN EXPERIENCE! We have had loads of opportunities to swim with them before in captivity, but I didn't think it was right so never did. In the wild, if they want to, they have the right to swim away from you, but they don't, they are fun, inquisitive mammals, who want to have the interaction with you and that makes it even more special. Yes the sea is vast, but once you get in there, all your fears just go and you concentrate on the beautiful sight in front of you of the most vivid blue sea and friendly dolphins faces staring at you.

After getting back on the boat, I had tears in my eyes and had a good cry as it was just so emotional.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank lovelyJerseygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cetaceos1, Proprietário at Rota dos Cetaceos, responded to this review, June 5, 2017
Thank you for the feedback

We hope to see you soon at Rota dos Cetaceos

Best Regards

Rota dos Cetaceos Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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