Whale watching in Iceland; Minke whale found!

Minke whale side profile seen from a luxury yacht in iceland

We went whale watching in Iceland on a luxury yacht, absolute heaven on earth!

by Lucky Byfleet

Success! We found playful, leaping dolphins and a stunning minke whale along with a couple of adorable porpoises, many guillemots, gulls, cormorants and kittiwakes. What a wonderful day whale watching in Iceland

We set out after lunch on the beautiful superyacht Amelia Rose from Reykjavik Old Harbour, enjoying a break in the stormy weather we have had so much of at the moment. The seas were a lot calmer and Amelia Rose cut straight through the little swell remaining easily. We sailed out from Reykjavik old harbour through one of the most beautiful areas of islands in Iceland, past Engey and Akurey, then Lundey, which is named after the large breeding population we have of the North Atlantic Puffins. We have 60% of the world’s population of these amazing sea birds in Iceland over the summer months!

Today there wasn’t any puffins as it is the end of August and they have just left, they are out in the North Atlantic ocean, where they spend most of their lives. They only return to land to breed. However, we taught our customers how to spot whales, dolphins and porpoises by using other seabirds.

There wasn’t a huge quantity of seabirds out today but sufficient to give us good hope of finding cetaceans. There were plenty of fulmars and seagulls as well as a few cormorants and gannets. The gannets are always a great bird to follow when looking for whales or dolphins as they are really big, with bold markings and dive from about 30metres to fish, so easy to spot and very impressive in their own right.

It was because of the birds that we found some white-beaked dolphins, leaping and playing in the waves, surfing them to pick up speed. It was a beautiful sight to behold, and everyone got great photos of the dolphins, fully out of the water with their beautiful markings on display. After a while we decided to leave the dolphin area and move gently away from them, however, they had other plans, easy caught us up, and started to bow ride! Some turned on their side so they could look straight up at the people looking down on them. Wonderful!

Eventually, they left us and we entered into an area of water we know to be incredibly rich in fish – and so, hopefully, also in whales. We were in luck! a couple of beautiful minke whales were there, including one with a distinctive ragged fin and skin markings. It was good to see an old friend of ours again and it came up to the boat, letting us take great photos of it.

Seeing whales and northern lights are rightly on the top of peoples Icelandic bucket lists, and we love showing everyone both. If you have booked onto a whale watching tour with us you can come out with us to see the aurora for half price, but still aboard the luxury superyacht Amelia Rose. Sea Trips Reykjavik sail daily from Reykjavík Old Harbour, Iceland. Our yacht, Amelia Rose was built as a superyacht in 2003 and as such is extremely comfortable and stable, the perfect ship to go whale watching on.

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.

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

Learn more about how to spot whales here.

whale watching in iceland
Whale watching in Iceland

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