The Bryde's whale is a species of baleen whale that is frequently seen on whale watching tours from Funchal.

Bryde’s Whale

Balaenoptera brydei

Bryde’s whales are the most commonly observed baleen whale species around the island of Madeira. They are typically seen most during the summer months from June until November. Bryde’s whales are also known as the tropical whale as their circumtropical range is within the warm seas of the planet. Recently it has been uncovered that there are many unique sub-species that were previously considered as Bryde’s whales. Geographical separation has led to these unique species that are now recognized as Omura’s whale, Rice’s whale and we expect there will be more announced as research progresses.

Bryde's whales are the most common species of baleen whale seen on Madeira dolphin and whale watching tours.

Species Information

Bryde's whales are the most common baleen whale species seen around the island of Madeira.
  • Length: approximately 15 meters

  • Weight: up to 40,000 kg

  • Lifespan: over 70 years

  • Diet: mostly small fish, krill, copepods and crustaceans

Sightings data of Bryde's whales that we see on our whale watching tours.


Bryde’s whale sightings during the summer months are amazing to witness. The blue ocean and sunny skies create a wonderful contrast to the high exhalation cloud and the shimmering back of the whale as it slices through the ocean. Their surfacing behavior is typically 3-4 breaths followed by short dives of 5-6 minutes during foraging behavior. Occasionally Bryde’s whales become interested in the boat swimming very closely and amazing our guests.

Bryde's Whale Sightings Data