The songs of the gentle giants
During winter time the humpback whales migrate from the rich food sources in the cold Arctic sea to the warm water of the Caribbean sea for mating.
Highlights of the research trip
Sightings of humpback whales
The impressive animals with their typical tubercles in the head area grow up to 15 meters long and weight until 30 tons. The characteristic tail (fluke) is world-famous and can be seen from a huge distance.
During the winter months, humpback whales from the northern arctic meet for mating in the protected bays of the Caribbean, for example in Samana Bay in the Dominican Republic. The water is just 20 meters deep and offers best conditions for nursing their young.
The males are famous for their long beautiful songs. This singing can be clearly identified by the hydrophone, a special underwater microphone on board.
Further species in the region
This region is known for its good visibility. Apart from Humpback Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Slender-beaked Dolphins and Pilot Whales can also be observed.
Research activity at sea
During the trip you will learn interesting facts about whales, dolphins and the ecosystems of the oceans from an experienced marine biologist.
You will support the marine biologist gathering scientific data. Therefore, you will use the so called line transect while observing, identifying and counting whales and dolphins. This method is the fundamental basis for research.
The knowledge about local presence and number of individuals of different species help estimating the size of populations in diverse areas. These important facts will be submitted to international and local research institutions. With this support you will contribute to a valuable worldwide effort to protect these fascinating animals.
Knowledge about ecosystems
During brief lectures and relaxed discussions you get insights in the development of marine mammals, their biology, ecology, life in the oceans and plenty more. In addition, you can discover the fascinating underwater world and its colorful reefs by swimming, snorkeling and/or diving. Together with the guide you will explore the reefs and meet other inhabitants of the oceans in their natural habitat. These practical experiences make the great scientific work complete.
Talking to local fishermen and people are further highlights which offer new perspectives and sharpen our view for regional problems (e.g. overfishing, freshwater scarcity, pollution etc.).
There will also be the opportunity to visit nature reserves and wildlife parks on guided tours to see the fauna and flora in its whole beauty.
Besides research work and onboard activities there will be plenty of time to relax, lay back and enjoy the sea, the sun, taking a bath and for joined meals in beautiful scenery.
Details of the trip