Whale watching season is on
Okinawa is one of the best locations for whale watching as the winter brings the annual migration of humpback whales to waters off Kerama Islands where they give birth and nurture their young during the cold months of the year before heading back to their feeding grounds in the northern Pacific.
Seemingly slow and lumbering, humpback whales can also put on quite a show, as they can leap vertically almost out of water in a move known as a “breach.” They can be seen swimming around the islands early spring, when over 300 of the giants come around Kerama Islands to mate and give birth.
Once the whales almost disappeared as people used to hunt them for food and other products, but since the whaling stopped years ago, the whales have returned in increasing numbers, and whale watching tours has become a significant tourist business, especially for Tokashiki and other islands of the Keramas.
Cerulean Blue is a tour operator that offers a special whale-watching plan especially for military members. Three-hour tours are conducted twice a day departing 9:30 a.m. and 13:30 p.m. from Hamagawa Fishing Port in Chatan, close to Kadena Air Base and Camps Lester and Foster.
Reservations should be made in advance to ensure space availability. Discounted tour prices are ¥4,000 for adults over 12 years old, ¥2,900 for children ages 5-11, and ¥1,000 for children 4 and under. What sets Cerulean Blue apart is that if no whales are sighted, Cerulean Blue refunds the ticket.
For more information or reservations, contact Cerulean Blue at 03-5484-3536 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.