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Dolphin and whale watching tips

Going on a dolphin or whale watching cruise just off of Virginia Beach is a fun activity for any visitor, regardless of their age. Make the most of your time on a dolphin watching trip by following these dolphin and whale watching tips!

Plan accordingly
Dolphins enjoy swimming in the warm waters off the coast of Virginia Beach and your chances of seeing them in the summer are quite good, whereas our humpback whales are spotted in the winter months. 

Get out on the water
The best place to see our whales and dolphins is by going where they live: out in the water! There are a variety of local dolphin and whale watching tour companies that offer boat trips, Stand Up Paddleboarding, kayaking, and parasailing adventures to see the dolphins.

Bring warm clothes
Though it’ll be nice and warm on the sandy shores of Virginia Beach, it can get quite cool out on the water with the wind skimming over the ocean and the chilly sea spray. Bring a sweater or windbreaker to stay warm during your trip.

Avoid seasickness
Not everyone was made for life out on the sea and if you tend to get motion sickness, you’ll want to plan ahead and bring some motion sickness medication, like Dramamine, and take it about an hour or two before you board. A good rule of thumb is if you’re riding on a smaller boat, the bigger the chance is that you’ll feel the motion and the bigger the boat, the smaller chance you’ll feel the motion.
paddle board

Take videos
As soon as someone spots a dolphin or two, everyone tries to snap photos of them but often those photos turn out blurry or it just looks like you got a photo of the water. Unless you’ve brought a great camera or know how to capture animals in motion, your best bet is to take some videos of your dolphin or whale sightings.

Listen to the commentary
The captains or tour guides will most likely be sharing information about recent sightings and what to look for if you’re having trouble spotting them out in the water. Many tours also offer sighting guarantees during the day as that’s when dolphins are the most active and will do their best to make sure you see them on your trip.

Keep your hands to yourself
If you opt for seeing the dolphins up close on a kayaking adventure, remember that these are wild animals and their skin is very sensitive. Though it’ll be tempting to want to reach out and touch them as they skim the water next to you, it’s best to follow the rule of, “look but don’t touch.”
paddle board

Have fun
Seems like a no-brainer, but try to relax and have fun on your trip. Some tours see more dolphins than others and sometimes it’s hard to spot them. Just remember that dolphins are social creatures and travel in pods, so if you spot one then you’ll probably start seeing the others in the pod real soon.
Start planning your affordable Virginia Beach vacation by finding the perfect accommodations for your family to return to after a day out on the water watching for dolphins.  


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