best whale watching in iceland

Hooray! 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 a wonderful minke, and some seals as well as loads of great cormorants, fulmars, gulls, eider ducks and guillemots.

The day was stunning, and there were loads of birds around the islands we passed, especially eider ducks. We were on board the luxury super yacht Amelia Rose, and she cut through the swell easily, taking us around the islands of Videy, Engey, Akurey and Lundey. Almost immediately we found some seals which are always a delight to see and a great sign that the area of water was abundant in fish. 

The things we look for are things like lots of birds diving and feeding, a large blow from a whale breathing out, and of course, a pectoral fin. We love everything with a fin! Dolphins, porpoise, sharks and whales, they are all a delight to us. So when we saw a lot of seabirds through the binoculars we made our way towards it. We waited a while in the area and kept a sharp eye out, and were rewarded before long with a minke whale  surfacing only a few metres from the boat! What a treat.

Minke whales are a baleen whale, and the most common whale in our waters, visible all year round to a greater or lesser degree. We could identify it because of its smooth dark back, and its hooked dorsal fin, a similar shape to those found on surf boards! Closer up we could see the iconic white ‘arm bands’ on its pectoral fins, easily visible under the the cold clear water. 

This minke was feeding right next to Engey, an island very close to the shore, and it was a wonderful sight to see. All of our lovely customers got excellent photos with the beautiful mountains, islands and cityscape in the background! What a treat. We also get whales right inside the inner harbour, inside the harbour walls! This is because whales are intelligent and curious, especially the younger ones. This is less much less common in ports worldwide, but we keep our waters clean, and the fish stocks high, and this is the outcome! 

After a while we continued cruising further out, hoping to find another species as it is always wonderful to show a comparison of species. However other than many seabirds and more seals we didn’t find any, but when we returned back in towards the harbour we found the same minke whale again, not far from where we had originally seen it. 

It was a beautiful day for everyone and a real joy to see. We were delighted to show such an amazing animal to everyone and hope they developed a lifelong love for these majestic animals because of it. Their welfare is ever so important to us, and if everyone acted in small ways, like only buying ethically sourced fish, we can protect them for years to come. 

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.

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 everyday from Reykjavík Old Harbour, Iceland. Our yacht Amelia Rose was built as a super yacht in 2003 and as such is extremely comfortable and stable, with three viewing decks, a bar, and plenty 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 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 

Whale watching minke

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 seal

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