Warmed by the Gulf Stream, Madeira’s land and sea temperatures create an ‘eternal spring’ with balmy air temperatures and warm waters; the minimum sea temperature rarely falls below 18°C, and as such attracts a wide range of visitors to the island and its seas from all over the globe. With its ambient air and sea temperatures, the island's tourism has undergone a dramatic change as sea tourism has risen dramatically due to a greater demand for eco-tourism and the wealth of marine, fish and crustacean life that Madeira’s deep waters support, including Bottlenose Dolphins, Sperm Whales, Short-finned Pilot Whales and Atlantic Spotted Dolphins.
However, occasionally visitors get to experience something magical as Madeira has a couple of rare marine visitors. Recently, tourists enjoying a Whale and Dolphin watching trip with Rota dos Cetáceos were treated to an exceptional experience, as a small pod of Killer Whales (Orcinus orca), comprising of a male and two females surfaced and swam close to their boat for a moment or two. According to the ship's crew, this is only the fourth time in twelve years that they have spotted these majestic creatures swimming in Madeiran waters.