Whales are watching in front of Newfoundland

The whale dives

Whales are watching in Newfoundland

We want to enjoy nature and watch whales up close - that's what we experience in one afternoon in St. John's in Newfoundland, Canada. On this tour we learn how successful a whale watch can be in Newfoundland. But I'm getting ahead: the capital of the Atlantic province is very well protected by a harbor basin that is separated from the Atlantic by a narrow driveway. Since I am not very seaworthy, I waited with mixed feelings for the ride on the small boat from Iceberg Quest Tours, which was supposed to take us out to the open Atlantic, where we were hoping to see whales.

Normally, I always watch the swell in the region where such a boat trip takes us, and only then do I decide whether to take the risk of driving out to the open sea with a small nut shell - especially if that is the case Big is like the Atlantic. This was not possible here because on one side of Signal Hill harbor entrance and on the other side of the fort of Fort Amherst the open view of the ocean prevented. I wanted to see whales, so I tentatively got into the boat in the harbor of St. John's - an excellent decision, as it turned out.


Port entrance St. John's, Newfoundland
Port entrance St. John's, Newfoundland
Fort Amherst
Whales are watching in front of Fort Amherst


Whales watching in St. John's, Newfoundland

The sea is calm as we follow a fishing boat out into the Atlantic Ocean. To the left of us is the Rock of Signal Hill, and on the right we see the defenses of Fort Amherst watching over the entrance to the port of St. John's. Then our captain turns south towards Cape Spear and after a few minutes we see the fountains of two fin whales near the shore. They quietly pull their tracks in the windless water and again and again their elongated backs emerge from the sea with the short, back-bent dorsal fins and plow through the small waves that arise off the coast. Our helmsman keeps his distance and waits patiently for some distance from the whales. He gives the animals the choice, whether they want to approach us.

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Whale breathing hole - whale watching Newfoundland
Whale breathing hole - Our whale watching in Newfoundland shows us the animals up close.


The whales are fine with us

We are lucky! The whales are curious and swim towards our boat. Closer and closer are the two colossi until they emerge right next to the boat from the depths of the sea. We hear the loud noise that comes from expelling the compressed breathing air with a lot of pressure and we can see how the breathing hole on her head opens and closes. Almost we can feel the small droplets of condensed breath that they spray into the air. They show no fear of us, but rather seem to play with us, because again and again they appear next to us. It's as if they are watching us too. They come so close that we can see every bump in their thick skin.


Whale Fluke - whale watching Newfoundland
Whale fluke
Whales are watching in front of Cape Spear
Whales are watching in front of Cape Spear

Whales watch with success

Only after some time the game becomes boring and they dive into the depths of the Atlantic. As they say goodbye, they show us their flukes before they elegantly disappear into the blue water. Since the two are no longer showing up even after a long wait, the captain decides to continue in the direction of Cape Spear. And again we are lucky! This time, it's humpback whales that play their games with us. And they also show no fear and come close to our boat. Between the cape and our boat, they appear again and again and with their side fins beat with loud clapping on the water - almost so whether they want to make the audience on the boat and from land to attract attention. Anyway, they can be sure of our undivided attention.


Finn whale blas
Finn whale blas
Dive into the depths
Dive into the depths


A minke whale, humpback whales and fin whales

And so it continues. We see a minke whale, several humpback whales and our two fin whales on the way back towards the port. They are very active and seem to want to show us their behaviors. Finally we drive back towards the harbor contentedly while the captain allows us to look out for whales from his bridge. Already in the distance you can see the blow rising from the water. Even the old fur seal that steers our boat is caught by the hunting fever, and it heads towards the two whale fountains. But this time it's too late. When we get there, the two animals have already submerged and no longer show up. Don't worry. In any case, my seaworthiness no longer occurred to me during our whale watching trip. This experience was far too exciting for that.


Look out for whales
Look out for whales


The whale watching tours of Iceberg Quest Tours at St. John's are among the Signature Experiences in Canada, the best experiences the country has to offer - rightly, we believe.

Very important to us Whale Watching always so that the animals are not put under stress. There are a number of points that should be considered if you want to observe whales sustainably. Iceberg Quest tours follow these principles. You will depart from Pier 6 in St. John's, Newfoundland.


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Travel Arrangements:

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Book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Air Canada and Icelandair, for example, fly from Toronto, Montreal or Halifax to St. John's, Newfoundland.

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Accommodation in St. John's, Newfoundland *, You can book hotels and motels online by clicking on the link.



Newfoundland whale watching
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Source: own site research courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission, Tourism Newfoundland and Tourism St. John's. Our opinion remains our own.

Text whale watching Newfoundland: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

Whales are watching in front of Newfoundland

4 thoughts too "Whales are watching in front of Newfoundland"

  1. Hello Monika and Petar!

    I've done whale watching three times (in Argentina, the US and Sri Lanka) and always thought it was awesome! Thanks for the great pictures that are really unique!

    Best regards,

  2. Dear Monika, dear Petar,
    that was certainly a great experience. I've only seen dolphins and seals live off the Irish coast so far. Whales are certainly something else again. At the moment I only travel Europe. But outside of our continent, I have always flirted with Canada. I recently had a brunch with Canadian specialties. Delicious.

    At some point I'll come there too. And then, hopefully, there are whales left.

    Sunny greetings,

    1. Dear Nicolo,

      oh, the whales will surely be there :). But experiencing dolphins and seals off Ireland's coast is also something special, is not it? Were you in Dingle?

      Best regards,

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