Whale Heritage Sites


Whale Heritage Sites are a globally recognised programme to identify destinations that implement and celebrate responsible and sustainable whale and dolphin watching


What are Whale Heritage Sites?

People watch Whales every year around the world

Annual Ticket Sales for whale watching

Whale Heritage Sites (WHS) recognise outstanding destinations for responsible and sustainable whale and dolphin watching. They provide the travel industry with a clear marker to identify and support sustainable practice, and create a platform for communities to engage with marine culture, heritage and biodiversity.

The Whale Heritage Sites certification programme was established by the World Cetacean Alliance and is currently run in partnership with World Animal Protection. WHS formally recognises destinations around the world that support and demonstrate the importance  of cetaceans through culture, education, research and conservation. 

Whale Heritage Sites give tourists a transparent and easy way to select responsible whale and dolphin watching holiday destinations, encouraging them to experience these incredible animals in their natural habitat, in an authentic and respectful way.

Applications are encouraged from communities and organisations that advocate a real connection between cetaceans and both tourists and locals alike, and actively promote the preservation of cetacean habitats for the benefit of present and future generations.


“Whale Heritage Sites are becoming the gold standard for responsible whale watching destinations worldwide. But they also have so much more to offer. By interweaving natural and cultural elements and placing communities at their very heart, these sites will become places where people respect, celebrate and protect cetaceans and their habitats long into the future.”

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Honorary President, World Cetacean Alliance & Founder, Ocean Futures Society

Importance of Whale Heritage Sites

Certified and Candidate Sites

Thinking about becoming accredited?

Apply Now!


Latest News 

WHS Criteria Explained: Research, Education and Awareness

Whales and dolphins are charismatic mammals that have a unique ability to unite and inspire people to care more about our oceans. In this series of articles, we are focusing on each of the criteria underpinning the Whale Heritage Site accreditation. This month we are...

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