FINISTERE SUD CRUISE

Cruise map Leaves from Concarneau, come and meet the dolphins, whales and seabirds of the Atlantic

From Concarneau to Penmarch, Faune Océan takes you to see the marine fauna in the Bay of Biscay. This cruise can be an opportunity to cross the route of blue sharks, dolphins, whales (minke whales) and many seabirds. You embark aboard the Azénor, a comfortable catamaran offering high quality visibility thanks to its spacious upper decks. As well as commentaries on the various observations, Faune Océan offers a lecture given by a naturalist on cetaceans and seabirds.

Sightings are possible all the way, but the heart of the observation zone is located in a large area off Penmarch point. A naturalist guide is at your disposal to comment on the various observations and to answer your questions. They will help you identify different species of cetaceans and birds. During each cruise, Faune Océan also offers a lecture presenting: the different species that we can meet in the Bay of Biscay and in Breton waters, the main features of their biology and their behaviour, the adaptations of the species to their environment and the challenges of protecting the marine environment and its inhabitants.

To maximize the chances of observing wildlife (especially birds), Fauna Ocean uses the "chumming" technique. Although of dubious interest for humans' sense of smell, this mixture of fish and squid, cod liver oil (or other fish) and various other ingredients attracts birds close to the boat. It thus greatly facilitates the observation of birds, which locate the presence of fish thanks to their hyper-developed sense of smell.

After each cruise, Faune Océan provides a photographic report. It is available in the online gallery a few days after the cruise. Don't hesitate to consult it and download the photos!

Target species

Minke Whale

© Paul Dufour

Minke Whale :

6 to 9 m / 6 to 8 tonnes
Uncommon. The minke whale is a "small" representative of the family of baleen whales. Its slender outline allows it to reach remarkable speeds (30 km / h). It feeds on schools of fish and krill.
➢ To spot it: the birds' agitation above the surface leads one to suspect its presence; its blow is quite low (2 metres); solitary habits.
➢ To identify it: dorsal fin, falciform, fused body, white spot on the pectoral fins, very arched back and caudal not visible during immersion.

Short-beaked common dolphin

© Yves Dubois

Short-beaked common dolphin :

2 to 2.5 m / 70 to 135 kg
Common. It can dive up to 300 m to feed. Its diet is mainly composed of schools of fish. Its lifespan is 25 to 30 years.
➢ To spot it: near the boat (at the bow) or at a distance when it jumps or reveals its dorsal fin. Often in large groups (more than 10).
➢ To identify it: dark grey back descending in the middle of the flank, yellowish patch at the front of the flank and grey-blue patch at the rear, quite long beak, rather receding forehead, light dorsal fin with dark edges.

Blue shark

© Mark Conlin

Blue shark :

1.5 to 4 m / 40 to 180 kg
Common and cosmopolitan (present in almost all the seas of the globe). Its diet is very diverse: squid, fish (including other species of sharks), octopus, etc. It can live up to 16 - 20 years.
➢ To spot it: sometimes close to the boat. When the sea is calm and transparent, it is visible underwater. The caudal and dorsal fins sometimes appear on the surface.
➢ To identify it: cobalt blue head and back, whitish flanks and belly, tapered body, very long pectoral fins.

Great shearwater

© Sylvain Reyt

Great shearwater :

Wingspan: 100 - 118 cm
This breeding bird of the South Atlantic only shows up in France during his return migration, at the end of summer and in autumn.
➢ To spot it: with binoculars, often low-flying
➢ To identify it: silhouette and shearwater flight (long wings kept straight, alternating series of hovers and wing beats); large size, armpits marked with dark, grey-brown dark top, white collar, black bill.

Northern gannet

© Sylvain Reyt

Northern gannet :

Wingspan: 165 - 180 cm
The largest seabird of our coast, with almost a two metre wingspan for the largest individuals! Present all year long, it breeds in Brittany in the Sept-Îles archipelago. Its extraordinary fishing technique is worth a look: when it spots a school of fish, it folds its wings about 20 m from the surface, dives, catches its fish and swallows it before even returning to the surface. Seeing it always go back with an empty bill, the Scottish fishermen dubbed him "crazy".
➢ identify it: with the naked eye near the boat or with the binoculars
➢ To identify it: large size, long neck and beak, characteristic adult, entirely white excluding the tip of the black wing, the yellowish head and grey beak.

Latest sightings

12/07/2019 : A lot of sightings for our first cruise : at least 150 common dolphins, 2 bottlenose dolphins, 2 harbour porpoises ! We saw also many birds : balearic, manx ans sooty shearwaters, northern gannets, common scoters, gulls...

The boat

Azénor

Measuring 25 metres long and 9 metres wide, the catamaran, Azénor, from the Croisières Bleues company, is a modern, spacious vessel. It includes an interior space with comfortable individual seats and several exterior decks with seating. Its design allows easy observation from different decks. The boat capacity is 195 places but, for reasons of comfort and quality of observation, reservations are limited to about 80 people. Please note, from Concarneau to Glénan, the number of passengers may exceed 80 people: Croisières Bleues own customers will be landed on the archipelago then re-embarked on the return. The rest of the day, the boat is at the disposal of Faune Océan customers. An on-board bar service offers drinks and snacks. The captain and the crew are all experienced sailors who have solid knowledge of Breton waters.

Bateau Azénor pour l'observation des dauphins, baleines, requins et oiseaux marins.

Advice and information

Clothing : At sea, the weather can be changeable: plan on warm clothes and a raincoat, closed shoes, a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Meals : Don't forget to take a picnic for lunch!
Observation equipment : If you have them, don't forget your camera and binoculars (useful but not essential, many animals are visible to the naked eye near the boat)!

The outings

Pour réserver une sortie cliquez sur l'évènement

 

Prices : Adulte 80.00 € - Ado (de 12 à 18 ans) et étudiant 70.00 € - Enfant (moins de 12 ans) 50.00 €

To get group or large familly prices , please contact us at the +33 6 21 49 44 14 or with the contact form

Click on the markers :
red marker : piers
red marker : parkings

Routes : Concarneau