Wildlife Tours

Whale Watching in the Kerama Islands

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Watch humpback whales breach the waves on a whale-watching tour in the Kerama Islands

From late December to April, humpback whales gather near the Kerama Islands in Okinawa to breed and raise their calves. These warm seas are a haven for the whales, located at the end of an approximately 5,000-kilometer journey from the North Pacific Ocean, their summer feeding grounds.

During this period, the whales dedicate themselves to courtship, breeding, and raising calves. They abstain from feeding, living off the fat reserves built up in the northern, colder waters. Males fight fiercely for the attention of females, attracting them with long, complex songs that some studies show can last more than 10 minutes. Although humpback whales are mainly solitary, mother whales take care of their calves for 10 to 12 months.

Adult humpback whales reach up to 15 meters long and weigh around 40 metric tons. The whale's flippers are about one-third the length of its body. The shape and color pattern on each humpback whale's dorsal fin and tail is slightly different, making individual whales easy to identify.

The Kerama Islands are an ideal location for observing these awe-inspiring creatures. During the tour, an island-based scout from the Zamami Whale Watching Association scours the waters from an observation deck for signs of whales, contacting the boat as soon as they see one. You will have a high probablility of seeing a whale on this tour thanks to their expertise. Tours are conducted in the morning and afternoon, and last for about two hours.

wildlife tour   activity   guided   boat trip  
Available Late December to early April (late January to February is the optimum time to see whales in Keramashoto).
Duration About 2 hours
Note The trip from Tomari Port in Naha to Zamami Port takes about an hour on the high-speed Queen Zamami and two hours on Ferry Zamami 3.
Cost Adults: 6,000 yen (over age 13), children (ages 6 to 12): 3,000 yen. For groups of 15 or more, 10% discount on the boarding fee. Not applicable for travel agencies. There is a possibility of splitting groups up into several ships. Infants are not allowed on board.
Contact Zamami Whale Watching Assciation
Website http://zwwa.okinawa/englishinfomation (EN)

Wildlife Tours

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