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Newfoundland Whale Watching Tours

By touring - Posted on 05 April 2010

Newfoundland Whale Watching Tours

Newfoundland was once the whaling capital of the world. Despite this dubious distinction, Newfoundland whale watching tours offers some of the best encounters with these majestic giants of the sea.

In late spring, the North Atlantic whales return from their breeding grounds in the Caribbean to feast on the bounty of the Grand Banks. The whales come to enjoy the krill, cod and seal in the fertile waters off of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Whale watching tours have been taking tourists to these whaling waters for the past 25 years. On these Newfoundland Whale Watching tours, people will see humpback, minke and killer whales. Pods of dolphins and porpoises will come up to the boats to catch some of the attention as well.

There are tours up and down the Newfoundland coast. One of the best spots to see whales is near the Witless bay Provincial Ecological Reserve outside of the provincial capital. Tour operators leave from Bay Bulls, just south of St. John's.

Photos are courtesy of .

Tour operators are ethical and respectful of these great ocean mammals. Most leave a comfortable distance (50 m) from any whale or dolphin.

However, plenty of times these curious creatures will come along side the tour boats to observe humans close up. It's an amazing connection when you make eye contact with one of these intelligent creatures.

Dolphins are also a popular site on these nature tours. These social animals swim in pods and feed on cod, herring, mackerel and even squid.

They're curious and playful and usually swim next to the travelling boat. When the boat stops, they may come closer to inquisitively check out the human crew. These make for great photos & memories.

Weather Forecast-St. John's

Whale Resource Guide

Whales can be categorized by the way they feed - baleen whales (filter feeders) and toothed whales. Both types are common in Newfoundland waters and are attracted to the abundant Atlantic food source. The following are listed according to size:

  • Fin whales are the second largest whales on the planet (after the Blue whale). They can reach 20 - 27 meters and can live up to 100 years! They travel alone or in small groups far offshore and are common around Newfoundland in August & September.
  • Humpback whales are filter feeders that can grow up to 15 meters in length. Each whale is distinctive by the scalloped edge and markings on the underside of their tail (fluke). These enormous creatures are acrobatic and are not fearful of boats or humans. They are best viewed from mid-June to the end of August.
  • are the big toothed whales that were made famous by "Moby Dick". These large creatures feed on squid deep below the surface and are rarely seen inshore.
  • are deep-sea divers who live far offshore and feed on squid and fish.
  • Minke whales can grow up to 9 meters long and can be spotted near shore when fish are present. They usually appear off the coast in August & September.
  • are the most recognizable whales with their black & white markings. These intelligent animals grow up to 9 meters in length and are usually spotted by the dorsal fin sticking out of the water. They travel in pods and have a complex communication language that includes squeaks, clicks and wails.

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A is a great way to experience the sea & nature. Come witness the Atlantic Ocean and its creatures and see how it defines the province and the people. Check out and .

Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.

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