23 June 2011 – In February and March 2012, Necker Belle will be introducing whale watching charters in the Silver Bank situated approximately 100km north of the town of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic and 138km southeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
During the winter months the North Atlantic Humpback whale starts a long annual migration from north to south. The exact route they take can vary, but one area they’re sure to visit is the Silver Bank, now famous as a breeding and calving zone for the whales, attracting more humpback whales per year than anywhere else on earth with 5-7,000 each season.
With it being their mating season, guests will undoubtedly get to see some amazing action while they’re performing elaborate courtship rituals humpback whales spend a lot of time on the surface, often as a group of males strutting their stuff as they try to impress the females. This behaviour often turns to aggression as the whales ram and flop over each other to get the best position.
In collaboration with Aquatic Adventures led by expert Tom Conlin, from the 16th February - 25th March 2012, Necker Belle will be offering guests the opportunity to spend 2.5 days of their weekly charter watching the whales. However, they don’t just get to watch from the deck of Necker Belle as they’ll have the opportunity to get into the water – known as a soft in-water encounter – to get even closer to these magnificent creatures. The contact will be passive floating in snorkelling gear allowing the whales to develop an interest and approach as they feel comfortable.
In preparation for this fascinating and rare opportunity, guests will be provided with a presentation and video footage of whales in action highlighting whale behaviour and anatomy.
Sir Richard Branson commented: “I am so excited that we’re able to offer this unique experience to guests chartering Necker Belle. These world-renowned whales are truly fascinating creatures and I have already put my name down to experience this amazing opportunity!”
The weekly charter rate for these unique whale watching itineraries is US$130,000* plus APA, which includes accommodation onboard Necker Belle, a dedicated crew and whale watching.
Necker Belle, is a magnificent 32 metre catamaran sailing tailor-made itineraries year round. With spacious common areas and beautifully appointed cabins with en-suites, Necker Belle is perfectly designed for fun and relaxation.