Whale watching in Iceland Jan20

porpoises playing near whale watching yacht off the coast of reykjavik

Whale watching Iceland on a luxury yacht from Reykjavik harbour. 

Success! We found playful porpoises as well as so many guillemots, gulls, fulmars and cormorants and the mountains around us were snow-capped and stunning. But we didn‘t find whales or dolphins so everyone got free return tickets for three years. 

We set out from Reykjavik harbour on our yacht, the Amelia Rose. Inside the islands the water was nice and calm and as we headed further out the yacht gracefully cut through the swell left over from the bad weather we have had lately. However the weather held off for us and we enjoyed a wonderful trip out into Faxaflói bay to look for whales and dolphins. We saw several different species of seabirds wheeling and darting across the ocean, this is always a good sign as we often use the seabirds, especially gannets and terns, to find whales and dolphins or any other cetaceans in the beautiful waters here.  

We came across some lovely harbour porpoises, similar to small dolphins and in the same family as whales. They played near us for a little while before heading off to go about their porpoise day! Finding porpoises is always a good sign as it means there is food in the area, and the whales and dolphins are often hunting the same fish, or other fish in the food chain there.

So we hung around in the area for a little while hoping we‘d find a sign of a whale, for instance like the footprints the pressure of their tail leaves on the water service. However, sadly, we found nothing else there and carried on out across the feeding grounds, eyes peeled at all times for the tell-tale signs of a large cetacean being seen in the area. The most common whales we see there are minke whales and humpback whales as well as white beaked dolphins. However we never really know what we will find, in the past twelve months we have also found pilot whales, basking sharks, killer whales (orca) and even a couple of very friendly blue whales!  

After staying out a little longer than planned in the hope of spotting a whale we turned around and headed back towards Reykjavik harbour. We really want to show our lovely customers the amazing wildlife in Iceland, so we gave them all free returns for 3 years! Seeing whales and dolphins in the stunning bay outside Reykjavik is often at the top of people‘s bucket lists. It really is an Iceland must-do.  

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 tour with us you can get a Northern lights trip for 50% off!  

We, Sea Trips Reykjavik, sail everyday out of Reykjavík Old 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.  

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


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 click here.


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