Whale Watching Iceland;
Humpback whale watching Iceland on a luxury yacht from Reykjavik harbour.
Success! We found some friendly humpbacks as well as loads of great cormorants, fulmars, gulls, eider ducks and guillemots.
A beautiful day out on the water off the coast of Reykjavik. We went out on our yacht, Amelia Rose, the super yacht built in Mexico in 2003. Despite her being gorgeous inside everyone chose to be outside in the cold bright March sunshine. The seas were nice and calm and we headed out to an area of the bay we had been seeing many whales frequently. The underwater topography means the nutrients carried in the gulf stream gets caught up and starts the food chain, making that area incredibly rich.
The types of cetaceans that we commonly see here are minke whales, humpback whales, white beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. However throughout the year we see all sorts of marine mammals, once we even saw a walrus! It must have got blown across from Greenland, it isn’t that far. Other whales we’ve seen in the last 12 months are fin whales, blue whales, killer whales (orca) and pilot whales, but we also have seen many seals and occasionally even a basking shark! So when we head out we really don’t know what we are going to find!
For more information on how we search for whales and dolphins, and learn how to be a pro-cetacean spotter yourself have a look at our guide here.
Although we headed to that feeding group we actually get whales all over the area, sometimes inside the harbour walls as these intelligent and curious animals come to investigate us. There was a little rolling swell but the clean lines of Amelia Rose cut straight through them and kept all of our customers nice and comfortable. Often the waves will hinder us, as it is harder to see any fins amongst them, but we saw a lot of sea birds, so we headed towards them, and lo! Before long a great blow!
There was a humpback whale, not to far from the ship, and then, whilst we waited for that one to resurface another one appeared. These two were possibly old friends, feeding together. We could tell the two humpback whales were different because of the marking on one of their dorsal fins. Normally we identify individuals with their fluke markings, but sometimes they have easy markings on their dorsals, and, in the case of one minke whale we frequently see, no dorsal fin at all, probably due to a collision with a speed boat.
It was wonderful watching these gracious mammals around us, not in anyway scared of the boat, very relaxed and feeding. This is how it should be, their welfare is the most important thing to us. It is such a joy to show these incredible people to our adventurous customers, and educate them about the importance of them in the ocean food environment of course, but they also directly affect the health of the whole planet. They actively fight global warming with the “Whale Pump.” Click here to read more about it.
Eventually we had to take our lovely luxury yacht back to Reykjavik harbour so our customers could carry on their holidays and we feel confident that this gorgeous day will be a highlight of their holiday! What a treat!
Many people come to see the wonderful wildlife here, but they also come to see the bewitching northern lights, and we take people out again on our lovely super yacht Amelia Rose. When you book a whale watching tour with us you get 50% off your northern lights tour!
Sea Trips Reykjavik sail everyday from Reykjavík Old Harbour, Iceland. Our yacht Amelia Rose was built as a super yacht in 2003 and as such is extremely comfortable and stable, with three viewing decks, a bar, and plenty of comfortable seating. However the seas often change here, and people are affected differently by the movement of the oceans. As such we have seasickness tablets available for free at the bar. We also have warm blankets and ponchos around the yacht for your comfort, though the inside of the ship is extremely warm and snug.
What is the difference between baleen and toothed whales?
We see both toothed and baleen whales here in Reykjavik harbour, Iceland. Did you know that dolphins and porpoises are also part of the same family? www.uk.whales.org is a brilliant website that goes into a lot more detail however this is the basic description!
They write that;
“Baleen whales have baleen plates, or sheets, which sieve prey from seawater. Toothed whales have teeth and they actively hunt fish, squid and other sea creatures. Dolphins and porpoises all have teeth and rather confusingly are known as ‘toothed whales’ too!
Another obvious difference between baleen and toothed whales is the number of blowholes on top of their head; baleen whales have two whereas toothed whales have one. There are only 14 baleen whale species and they are generally larger than the 76 species of toothed whales – except for the mighty sperm whale, the largest toothed whale.”
If you are interested in learning more we recommend these websites, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/whale-facts/ and https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/whale They have a lot of extra learning materials about cetaceans all over the world.