The south coast of Sri Lanka is at its most calm and serene during the whale-watching season (December to April) and is home to a wide variety of species, including blue whales, sperm whales, fin whales, humpback whales and Bryde's whales. Spend today cruising the clear waters on a luxury catamaran which fits up to 150 people, but the group size is limited to 45 passengers only for extra space and comfort. Breakfast and a snack on the return trip to port are included.
For around £400 more, you can hire a private boat for the day, which has more flexibility to explore different areas and search for different whales, giving you a better chance of seeing your target species. Also as you sail back to Weligama Bay, you’ll have the chance to jump into the water and snorkel amongst other marine life, or for a completely different view try your hand at some stand-up paddle boarding. A great tour for families, the private boat also includes breakfast and a light lunch prepared by the on-board chef.
As with the leopards at Yala National Park, whale watching in Sri Lanka is a special and justifiably popular activity, but large numbers of visitiors have resulted in negative impacts for the animals. Many bigger boats set off at the same time and visit the same places and do not always observe best practices, such as keeping a sufficient distance away to avoid stressing the animals.
We work with the most ethical and responsible boat operator in Mirissa, who has been running trips for our local partners since 2015 and received many positive reviews from their clients. They are friends with the owner, who has a great passion for whales and personally sails the boat for all his groups. They are also the only operator of joined tours that stays out on the water longer and tries to avoid the other boats, to make sure you have a better experience.