dolphin bowriding

Lovely! Whale watching Iceland trip from Reykjavik was a success with Sea Trips.

Whale Watching Iceland;

Whale watching Iceland on a luxury yacht from Reykjavik harbour. 

Success! We found playful white-beaked dolphins and porpoises as well as loads of great cormorants, fulmars, gulls, eider ducks and guillemots.   

Snow had been falling all morning so although the skies were grey the mountains and islands were perfectly white and picturesque. The sea was perfectly calm, and the snow deadened nose even more than normal, so all we could hear was the gentle lapping of waves against the hull and the sea birds around us.  We also were listening out for a blow, the noise a cetacean makes when they breath out.  Normally the bigger the whale the louder the blow, so it’s quite rare to hear the smaller cetaceans like porpoises!  When they do it almost comes out as a snorting noise, perhaps why their name translates to sea pig in a lot of languages. Today we heard them however! A small group of them came to investigate us, which is unusual as they are normally very shy. We let them approach us, and they gave some of our customers a great photo opportunity… but not as the dolphins who turned up shortly afterwards!  

It was quite a large pod of white beaked dolphins, between 10 and 15 individuals. Although they weren’t all surfacing at the same time to let us count we can identify many of them by nicks on their fins, scratches and rake marks on their bodies and the shapes of their dorsal fins. Sometimes it feels like seeing old friends when you recognise an individual many times over the years!  It was wonderful watching the dolphins fish and play, there was a juvenile really going for it playing. It kept jumping out of the water, which was very entertaining to us, and it may well have been fun it it, but more importantly it was building it’s strength and skill for surviving as an adult. It was a real moment to remember for all of our customers who all got great photos of this awesome little dolphin. The rest of the trip went well, the inside of the yacht being a warm snug place for the customers to retreat to when they got too cold in the wind on the top viewing deck with our guides.   

Almost all of the customers found their way to the wheelhouse, where they hung out with our lovely captain. Several took over his chair and hat and became “Captain” for a little while themselves! From the wheel house it was nice and warm and cosy, but still with the incredible views of the snowy mountains and islands around us. Despite valiantly continuing our searching the dolphins were the biggest cetacean we found that day but they put on a wonderful show and we were delighted to have them, especially so close to shore. We do get the large whales in amongst the islands but it‘s an area that we more commonly see porpoises and seals than whales and dolphins.   

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 every day from Reykjavík Harbour, Iceland. We have several boats but today we took out our yacht, called Amelia Rose. She was built as a super yacht in 2003 and as such is very stable, with three viewing decks, a bar, and loads 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 snug blankets and ponchos around the yacht for your comfort, though the inside of the ship is very warm and comfortable.   

For more information on our boats, our trips and any accessibility questions please email us at seatrips@seatrips.is 

A jumping white-beaked dolphin in Faxa bay

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.

harbour porpoise
A harbour porpoise off the coast of Reykjavik

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