best whale watching in iceland

Yes! Whale watching trip from Reykjavik, Iceland was a success with Sea Trips.

Whale Watching Iceland;

Whale watching on a luxury yacht from Reykjavik harbour. 

Success! We found a wonderful minke, as well as great cormorants, fulmars, gulls, eider ducks and guillemots.

The weather eased after a few days of brutal Icelandic weather day and we found many birds near the islands we sailed by, especially eider ducks. Our luxury super yacht Amelia Rose cut through the swell easily, taking us through the harbour islands of Videy, Engey, Akurey and Lundey.

The quantity of birdlife feeding gave us great hope as it meant there was a lot of fish in the area, and lots of fish means lots of things feeding on the fish! Hopefully whales and dolphins!

Some of the things that we look for, other than large quantities of birds are; a large blow from a whale breathing out, and of course, a fin. We love everything with a fin! Dolphins, porpoise, sharks and whales, they are all a joy to see and signs of a healthy ocean. If you want to learn more about how to spot a whale then have a look at this article.

At the sight of a lot of seabirds through the binoculars we made our way towards it. We waited a while in the area, watching the birds – a pleasure to see in themselves, 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, how glorious.

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. 

Thanks to the clean water and high levels of fish in our ocean the whales that visit us come very close into Reykjavik harbour. Sometimes they come right the way into the inner harbour, as they are extremely intelligent and curious.

It was a wonderful 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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