With a tremendous splash, the ocean giant hits the water's surface, dives back down, then quickly launches itself back up into the air, displaying itself in all its glory. Sea water is shot metres into the air from its blowhole. Another whale gives a regular flash of its perfectly curved tail fin, or fluke, above the surface, as if to wave to its fascinated, human spectators.
Precicely when this magical transformation happens is when MS Midnatsol travels to this extraordinary section of the coast.
Listen to the whales‘ "love song"
The Argentinian waters near Puerto Madryn are an animal lover's paradise: penguins, seals, including the magnificent elephant seal, and sea lions can be found splashing around in the water. But the highlight has to be the 15 to 20-metre-long southern baleen whales that frequent the waters around Puerto Madryn, which are warmed by the current, at this time of year in order to mate. The cows entice the bulls with a whale song, which is characterised by deep, single tones. Once the cow has successfully lured a bull with its song, it will then begin to swim away and turn onto its back – the bull ultimately still has to compete for the affections of the female.
Baleen whales are the most tame and friendly creatures - they pass swimming gently under the boat, swim alongside, stick their heads out of the water, sometimes mother and cub swimming together.
The whale rendezvous can be seen up close during a whale safari, which is offered as a shore excursion, “Whale Watching”. The 5 hour long excursion takes you to the Valdés Peninsula, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the starting point for the whale safaris.
It is part of the Antarctic voyage "Explore the South Atlantic, Antarctica and Patagonia” with MS Midnatsol towards the famous Falkland Islands, Antarctica, Cape Horn and the Chilean fjords, between 25 October and 11 November 2016.