Many different species of whale can be seen along Greenland's coasts. And you are left in no doubt when there is a whale in the vicinity, as when it comes up to the surface to breathe, it blasts its breath through the water and air at a speed of several hundred kilometres per hour; a quite astounding sight!
This is called the whale's spout and consists of small droplets of water that crystallise into clear funnel-shaped columns. The whales can sometimes swim very close to land when eating small shoals of fish, plankton, etc.
Your hearts skips a beat on whale safari
The whales are best seen from a boat, where you can get very close to the enormous marine mammals in their natural element. Your heart will be in your mouth as a 70-tonne (154,000 lb) fin whale swims underneath the boat. Time will seem to stand still as the thought crosses your mind that this gigantic marine mammal might suddenly flick its tail. Of course it does not happen because fortunately the whales are used to being observed and there is no reason to panic even though the whales might swim quite close and not dive until they are a few metres away from the boat. It is not a rarity to experience up to three or four different species on one and the same sail.
Tour operators in Greenland
A number of European tour operators organise whale safaris. In towns such as Nuuk, Qeqertarsuaq and Aasiaat it is possible to get up close to these fascinating animals. However, you do not necessarily need to specifically look for the whales, as a sailing trip along Greenland's coasts is normally a whale safari in itself. Keep your eyes peeled and have your binoculars and whale handbook at the ready. The different species can be determined by the fin, the spout and the tail.
Humpback whales, minke whales and fin whales, in particular, can be seen close to the towns and in the fjords in the west of Greenland, whilst beluga whales and narwhals are more common in North and East Greenland.
Practical info about Whale Watching
No physical requirements. No previous experience needed.
Little or no requirements on physical condition or previous experience.
Some requirements on physical condition. Previous experience may be needed for some activities.
Highly demanding activities, requiring good physical condition and endurance. May involve extremely low temperature, rough terrain, etc. Previous experience needed.
Please note that some activities can be found on several adventure levels, and offerings may vary by location.
What time of the year?
The green bars show when you can experience the place or the phenomenon, or do the activity or the event.