Volunteer to monitor whales and dolphins in Faial Island, the Azores.

The Great Projects

The Great Whale Project


Who: The Great Projects

Where: Faial Island, The Azores

Focus: Monitoring many species of whales and dolphins with a focus on sperm and blue whales.

When: April to July | Project starts 1st and 15th of every month.

Duration: 1-8 weeks | Recommended length of stay is min. 2 weeks.

Suitability: Over 18s. Group bookings available.

Cost: 1 week from GBP 605 | Extra weeks from GBP 390.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Assist in the island’s whale and dolphin conservation initiatives where 30% of all cetacean species known on the planet can be found.
  • Experience field research and observe whales and dolphins in their natural habitat.
  • Learn about whale biology, marine conservation, species identification and behavioural data collection techniques.
  • Conduct cetacean surveys from land and from a boat.
  • Perform photo-identification whilst collecting invaluable research data on sperm whales all year round, and during spring, collect data on fin, blue, sei and humpback whales.
  • Conduct data analysis by cataloguing and analysing the collected data obtained from excursions, which will include photographs, sound recordings and surveys.
  • Learn basic boat skills and assist with boat duties, such as boat checks and post-trip cleaning.
  • Work with tourists and help on spotting duties.
  • Assist with the day-to-day operation of the station, including cleaning, taking bookings and assisting guests where needed.

Best time to Join

  • April to July: The project is open to volunteers when both sperm whales and dolphins can be seen, however there are two seasons for focussed marine wildlife sightings.
  • April to end-May: Focus on Blue whales with additional research on Sperm, Fin, Sei and Humpback whales. Daytime temps average between 13 and 17°C (55-63°F).
  • June to July: Peak season for Sperm whales and focus on their identification. More varieties of dolphins including the Atlantic spotted dolphin and bottlenose and Risso dolphins. Daytime temps average between 21 and 25°C (70-77°F).

The Base

Accommodation: An apartment or a house within walking distance from the project site. All accommodation has a kitchen, TV, free WiFi, washing machine, fresh linen and more.

Sleeping: Twin shared room. Couples, friends or families volunteering together can get private accommodation.

Food: Meals and beverages are not provided. Supermarkets are within walking distance of accomodation.

Number of volunteers: 8 max

Support: 24-hour in-country volunteer support.

Transport: Pick up from Faial airport, and transfer to accommodation.


The next step: Visit The Great Projects for more information and to book.
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