Great journeys in open sea around Imperia, whale watching trips last about four hours with the goal of spotting and observing a wide range of mammal species in their natural habitat: the International Cetacean Sanctuary.
Once out of the last harbor - after about 30 minutes of sailing - with the ocean floor about 1000 to 1500 meters deep, the likelihood of spotting marine mammals dramatically increases. Passengers become active participants, along with the crew onboard, patiently scouring the horizon for signs indicating the presence of large fish.
A marine biologist is always present on board to identify the species, provide information, and acquire research data.
The Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals came about in 1999 as a result of a collaboration between France (Cote d’Azur and Corsica), Monaco and Italy (Liguria, Tuscany and Northern Sardinia). The area was included in the list of special protected zones under the Barcelona Convention and, as such, recognised by all countries of the Mediterranean area.
These waters cover some 100,000 km² and are distinguished by particular environmental characteristics which provide nutrition to the various species of marine mammals that live there.
The marine reserve area boasts such Cetacean species as the fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus; sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus; striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba; bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus; short-beaked common dolphin, Delphinus delphis; Risso’s dolphin, Grampus griseus; long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas; Cuvier’s beaked whale, Ziphius cavirostris; and at times also the minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata; humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae; orcas, Orcinus orca; false killer whales, Pseudorca crassidens and the rough-toothed dolphin, Steno bredanensis.
Considering the amount of cetaceans in the Ligurian Sea, safeguarding their habitat is of fundamental importance and the adjacent land and sea areas are considered protected areas where boats, fishing and tourism activities that may damage or disturb the mammals are regulated by law.
Comfortable clothing and footwear are recommended as well as a wind jacket, hat and sunglasses, sunscreen. Cameras and binoculars are, obviously, also a must.
Should there be no sightings during the trip, the ticket may be used another whale watching excursion.
Whale watching excursions will be cancelled if the seas are rough and/or the weather conditions prohibitive, as best conditions for spotting whales and dolphins are smooth seas and little or no wind.
For more detailed information such as timetables and fares and reservation up to 24 hours prior to the trip:
go to www.whalewatchimperia.it
or call +39 392 1376120