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A website devoted to information about whales and whale watching including photos and illustrations of the Humpback Whale, the Atlantic Right Whale, the Minke Whale and others. Save the Whales!
A website devoted to information about whales and whale watching including photos and illustrations of the Humpback Whale, the Atlantic Right Whale, the Minke Whale and others. Save the Whales! Quick Facts
A Bay of Fundy whale watching adventure offers a lot of excitement, plenty of photo opportunities, first-hand information on whales (and other species) and fond memories your family will cherish forever.

The Bay of Fundy is a feeding ground, nursery and play area for dozens of marine species. Whales, dolphins, seabirds and seals are attracted to large schools of herring and mackerel, which feed on plankton in the Bay. As many as eight different species of whales can be observed in the Bay of Fundy during the summer months.

In the late spring the Finback Whales, Minke Whales and Harbour Porpoises are the first to arrive from their southern migration grounds. In June, the Humpback Whales return, and by late June, the Humpbacks are abundant and White-sided Dolphins are often observed. By mid-July five species of Whales are commonly sighted and they usually remain until fall.

The endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, White-beaked Dolphins and Pilot Whales are occasionally observed; Beluga, Sperm and Blue Whales are known to visit the region, but are rarely seen. There are also sightings of Bluefin Tuna, Sea Turtles, Ocean Sunfish and Basking Sharks; birds species include Altantic Puffins and several varieties of gannets, petrels, shearwaters and phalaropes.

The listings below offer additional insight into some of the more common whales, dolphins and porpoises observed on a Bay of Fundy whale watching tour.
A humpback whale emerges like a bullet from the Bay of Fundy (Becky Cook photo). Humpback Breaches
A humpback whale emerges like a bullet from the Bay of Fundy (Becky Cook photo).
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This small humpback whale was easy to photograph. The little fellow was only inches from our boat, to the delight of both observers and crew (Beck Cook photo). Humpback Up Close
The Humpback Whale is the most common whale species observed on a typical whale watching tour in the Bay of Fundy. A pod of Humpback Whales containing one or two young whales can be often photographed.

Using the drop down menu below, browse through the various species of birds, whales, and dolphins that you might encounter on a tour with Mariner Cruises.


Select Species Type:


Atlantic Right Whale

This beautiful and graceful animal was hunted nearly to extinction by the 19th century. The species has been slow to recover, with the latest numbers (as of 2000) hovering around 250 to 300 animals; with much of the recent population declines attributed to being caught up in fishing gear or being struck by commercial boats (as their migratory pattern lie in shipping lanes).

As the population of the North Atlantic Right Whale is so low, it is difficult to track the distribution of the whales. In the summer and fall shoulder seasons they spend their time off the “Scotian Shelf” with most observed in conservation areas in the Bay of Fundy and Roseway Basin, off Nova Scotia.

Atlantic Right Whale




Fin Whale

Commonly known as the “the greyhound of the deep,” the Fin Whale with an average length of about 19 meters, are usually found in small groups of about 2 to 7 whales per pod, reaching 25 meters in length in the southern hemisphere.

Fin Whales are found in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in March and in Newfoundland in June. Fin Whale are usually 40 to 50 kilometers off shore, and are also commonly seen off the coast of Nova Scotia in the summer. Numbers are on the decline with the added fishing and shipping traffic but populations still hover around 80,000 world-wide.

Fin Whale




Harbour Porpoise

Found all over the world, the Harbour Porpoise usually lives in coastal areas where the depth in less than 150 meters. At 1.55 meters in length and weighing around 55 kilograms the Harbour Porpoise one of the smallest cetaceans in the world.

It is hard to track and keep a tally of the porpoises as their migratory patterns follow the food source. Although the species population is strong, hundreds are killed each year by gill nets and chemical/noise pollution. Some countries have put them on their endangered species list, although the United States and Canada have yet to do so.

Harbour Porpoise




Humpback Whale

The Humpback Whale, getting its name from the way it arches its back out of the water before diving, sings beautiful songs and is very family oriented. Females are slightly larger than males, with the average about 16 meters in length and weighing anywhere from 30 to 50 tons. Humpbacks have big appetites, consuming between 4,400 and 5,500 pounds of plankton and krill daily.

When seen in waters off Nova Scotia they are in the feeding half of their migratory pattern, spending the other half in the southern hemisphere. In the south they breed and repeat the long journey back (traveling an average 1000 kilometers per day) to their traditional feeding grounds off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. There are 3 separate populations of Humpback Whales, one in the Northern Pacific Ocean, one in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, and one in the oceans of the southern hemisphere.

Humpback Whale
A young humpback whale surfaces near our tour boat off Brier Island in the summer of 2005.
A humpback whale makes a dramatic dive in the fog in Bay of Fundy waters off the coast of Nova Scotia.
Another humpback whale surfaces in the fog near Brier Island, Nova Scotia. Bring your camera there are always great photo opportunities during a Bay of Fundy whale watching tour.




Minke Whale

With the distinctive white band on the flipper, the Minke Whale grows from 7.8 to 9 meters long and can weigh from 6 to 7.5 tons. Traveling in pods of about 2 to 3 whales, they commonly feed on plankton, krill, and small fish and have even been reported to chase small schools of herring and cod.

The Minke Whale can dive up 20 to 25 minutes without surfacing, but most dives are only 10 to 15 minutes. The Minke Whales usually live at the surface making it an ideal whale for whale watching. It is estimated that there are about 800,000 Minke Whales world-wide.

Minke Whale




White-Sided Dolphin

The Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin is black on the back, with dark grey flanks and a long white oval blaze below the dorsal fin, extending towards the anal area. Full grown the White-Sided Dolphin will average 2.25 to 2.5 meters long and can weigh about 165 kilograms.

In shore, they travel in herds of 10 to 60 dolphins, but offshore they have been reported to travel in the thousands. Found off the coast of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Greenland and other North Atlantic locations, White-Sided Dolphins are in no risk of extinction but little is known of the exact numbers of the population. In fact a fishery had been opened for this animal in Greenland and the Faeroe Islands.

White-Sided Dolphin