Humpback whales in Iceland.

humpback whale surfacing alongside whale watching yacht iceland

It was wonderful to find humpback whales whilst whale watching Iceland on a luxury yacht from Reykjavik harbor. 

by Lucky Byfleet

Success! A wonderful day whale watching Iceland with Sea Trips Reykjavik, we found many many harbour porpoises, at least 3, possibly 5 minkes, and then had a super close encounter with a huge humpback whale! As well as a lot of sea birds, such as gannets, black-legged kittiwakes, cormorants and black-backed gulls.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day as we set sail on the gorgeous superyacht Amelia Rose. The seas were flat calm and the skies were cloud-free, all totally blue. It is days like this that we know confidently Iceland is the most incredible place to live. The mountains all around us were outstanding as always, but today the visibility was so good that we could see over 100km away to the north, where the Snaefells peninsular sticks out, and the great Snaefells glacier could clearly be seen. Breathtaking. 

minke whale watching iceland

We set out on time, and just entranced by the beauty around us, but always keeping a watchful eye for the tell-tale signs there may be cetaceans in the water. Firstly we look out for large quantities of sea birds, or ones that are actively feeding. They feed on the same types of fish as our marine mammal friends, but as they fly high they can find them even better than us!

Secondly, we look for blows. Blows happen when a cetacean breathes out, their warm, wet breath makes a cloud of steam above them, which can reach as high as 10metres if they are a blue whale! Thirdly but by no means lastly we look for fins, we love everything with a fin, from sharks to fin whales. There are a lot of other ways we find whales, why not have a look at this article for more information, or book a trip with us and our super friendly and professional guides will be happy to tell you more. 

We found porpoises straight away, a great indicator of the water being rich and full of fish, and so we carried on further out to sea, to an area we know to be a feeding ground because many types of fish spawn there over the course of the year. Suddenly we saw a blow! Then a fin! Then another blow! We had minke whales coming up all around us, it was magical, we didn’t know where to look, but luckily our decks have 360 degree views. Turning off the engines to remain calm and still in the water the minkes approached us unafraid and kept feeding all around us. 

After we left them we headed towards hvalurfjordur, the whale fjord. Our eagle-eyed crew had seen a big blow that way, so we were hoping for a different species of whale. We were rewarded, as shortly after we found a gorgeous humpback, it dived to feed and as we waited patiently for it to resurface we turned the engines off again. It evidently felt very happy with us as it surfaced right next to the boat, only a metre or so away.

We could see every lump and bump on its body! We call these lumpy bits tubercles, they are actually hair follicles and are thought to help the whale be more agile in the water, and they may also help sense depth. It was a real treat to see this beautiful creature so closely, it stayed at the surface for maybe 15minutes before disappearing off into the big blue ocean. An incredible day for everyone. 

People also come here to see the bewitching northern lights, and we take people out to see them, again on our lovely super yacht Amelia Rose. If you book a whale watching Iceland tour with us you can get a Northern lights trip for 50% off!  

Sea Trips Reykjavik sail everyday out from Reykjavík Harbour, Iceland. Our yacht, Amelia Rose was built as a super yacht in 2003 and as such is ever so comfortable and stable. 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 very warm and snug.  

If you have any more questions about our ships or the trip please get in touch or read our FAQs.

amelia rose looking for whales

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