Whale watching on a luxury yacht from Reykjavik harbour.
It was a bright, beautiful sunny day on Faxa floi as we left Reykjavik harbor on the superyacht, Amelia Rose. The sunshine made the fresh snow on the mountains around us glisten, it was like sailing into a perfect painting. Despite the glorious sunshine, the wind was bitterly cold, Spring is just around the corner but not quite here yet! The water was quite flat and calm which makes whale spotting a lot easier, in chop the dorsal fin can often be hidden behind the swell. Today we could see for over 100km all the way to the Snaefell Peninsular.
From the lookout on the top deck, we looked out for clues that a whale may be in the area. Cetaceans – whales, dolphins, and porpoises are mammals so they breathe air, and they are warm-blooded. When that warm, damp air is breathed out it makes a cloud of steam called a blow that, depending on the whale, can be several meters high. A blue whale blow can be 10 meters high! But we only have seen them once in the bay this last year. A day to remember of course!
Another clue is sea birds. They often feed on the same kind of fish as the whales and so when we see large numbers congregate or species like the northern gannet diving in we always go and check it out.
Yesterday we saw a beautiful humpback whale so it made sense to go to the same area to begin our search. That area is known to be a great feeding group, the waters are extremely rich and lots of species spawn there. It took us about 45minutes to get out to it, but we look all the way as we also have had whales in the harbor. Twice last year we had a curious humpback come and investigate where we moor the boat!
We found a lot of birds, fulmars, black-headed gulls, kittiwakes, and cormorants but there was nothing in the water around them, not even a porpoise! So we continued our trip trying other areas in the hope something was feeding there. We went northeast towards Akranes and hvalfjordur, whale fjord, named after all the whales seen there, but still no luck.
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.
Eventually, our time ran out and we had to head home, disappointed especially due to braving that ice arctic wind for so long. Never the less it was a beautiful day on a wonderful ship and we had great chats with some fascinating customers. However we really do want to show everyone our incredible wildlife so we gave everyone free returns for 3 years, plenty of time to come out whale spotting again, hopefully with more luck!
Obviously, we love showing everyone the incredible creatures that live in our clean, clear, cold waters, and it is right that it is at the top of everyone’s bucket list for Iceland, but the next we can help you out with too. We take the same beautiful yacht out at night time to search for the Aurora Borealis, the northern lights. In fact, if you book our Northern Lights Cruise you’ll save 50% off the price if you’ve been whale watching with us. Or vice versa. Have a look at our combo tours!