Large Whales

Fin Whale

When guiding I often get the question what the chances are to see large whales. I always say that the chances are very slim as Spitsbergen is just north of the distribution ranges of most large whales. Only Beluga’s, Bowhead and Minke Whales belong in this area. Beluga’s aren’t really large whales and are really shy as I said before. The Dutch and English whalers did a great job in exterminating almost all Bowhead Whales in the area and Minkes normally just surface once or twice, making them not the most interesting ones to see. But this trip, in Hinlopenstretet something large surfaced. By the looks of it, it was really a rorqual, but way bigger as a Minke. Fortunately it stayed in the area for quite some time, so I could make this picture and make a definitive ID as a Fin Whale. These whales are the second largest after the Blue Whale, measuring up to 27m. A really impressive sight.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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