The Ultimate Guide to Whale Watching in Newfoundland


From humpback whales to orcas, there are six main whale species that visitors can see while whale watching in Newfoundland – here’s where to do it.

Newfoundland and Labrador are among the most beautiful and best places on the planet to see whales. Each year, the largest number of humpback whales in the world migrate to shore to feast on capelin, shrimp and squid. These oceanic monsters fascinate, amaze and excite visitors. Seeing these beautiful beasts from the board of a cruise liner, the edge of a sea kayak or a coastal walk is an exciting and wonderful opportunity.

Visitors can see whales

Humpback whales

  • Newfoundland is home to the largest feeding population of humpback whales in the world.
  • These migrate from the tropics to the oceans of Newfoundland and Labrador between April and October.
  • They are frequently seen breaching the sea and slamming in the waves.

Blue whale

  • The blue whale is the largest vertebrate in the world, measuring between 21 and 28 meters in length.
  • This baleen whale is more common on the southwest coast of Newfoundland, especially during the cold months.

White-beaked dolphin

  • White-billed dolphins have a dark gray body, short, white snout, white spots above and behind their dorsal fins, and light white and gray spots on their back.

Minke whales

  • Minke is the smallest whale and can be seen in Newfoundland waters.
  • When diving for capelin, anchovies, or salmon, the minke’s fin does not appear and it spends very little time at the top before diving deep underwater for 15 to minutes at a time.
  • These whales can be seen in summer and fall.

White-sided dolphin

  • The rears of the White-sided Dolphin, or natively known as Jumpers, are black and dark gray with a light gray patch running down their rear ends and pale underbelly.
  • Two yellow or beige ellipses appear above and below their dorsal surface.

Killer whale

  • The popular toothed killer whale can be seen off the coast of Newfoundland during the summer.
  • Visitors should look for a large set of fangs and a sturdy, shiny monochrome body.

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When to visit

Whales can be seen feasting, playing and even breaching the coast of Newfoundland from May to September.

The best whale watching sites

While whales can be seen virtually anywhere along the Newfoundland coast, some areas are home to a larger whale population than others. Fortunately, travelers don’t have to drive much further to experience a whale-watching spot, no matter where they stay.

Saint Anthony

  • The Whale Watchers Path is a combination of walking trails and small stairs that lead to incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean from the massive rocks of Fishing Bay.
  • The Fish Viewpoint has a chargeable telescope and is a popular spot for whale watching during the season.
  • The path is 0.8 kilometers long and takes about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Atlantic white-beaked dolphins and humpback whales can be seen hunting nearby.
  • White gannets, schools of dolphins and Atlantic puffins hovering at lightning speed can also be seen.

Trinity Bay

  • Trinity is one of the best places in the area to take a whale watching cruise and have a memorable encounter with the humpback whales that frequent the area to feast on capelin during the summer.
  • By the time the humpback whales leave in the fall, the seas are teeming with other species such as sperm whales, bluefin tuna, white-sided dolphins and the solitary group of killer whales.
  • Birds such as northern gannets, puffins and bald eagles are frequently seen on excursions.

Green berry

  • The town of Triton is located near the shore of Green Bay.
  • Being surrounded by the sea offers several advantages, including wonderful whale watching opportunities for visitors.

  • Many gorgeous gazebos with stunning ocean views can be found throughout the area, offering endless shows of whale activity from a distance.
  • The more daring visitors can even take a boat out to sea for a closer encounter.


  • Numerous whales navigate the abundant breeding coastal waters from mid-May to September each year.
  • Watching a whale soar through the air is the ultimate in whale watching.
  • The most common species of whales are humpback whales and minke whales. Dolphins and fin whales are also occasionally sighted.
  • Humpback whale tails are as unique as human features or fingerprints.
  • Whale watching is best at Twillingate’s Long Point Lighthouse vantage point, although a treat can be found all along the shore.

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How to watch

By boat

  • Local boat tour operators allow guests to meet one or more of them at sea because they know exactly where to find them.
  • A whale or dolphin investigating a passing vessel is not unusual.
  • Visitors can sometimes spot one gliding smoothly under their sailboat if they look over the bars.

By kayak

  • A sea kayaking excursion allows visitors to get up close and personal with the wildlife.
  • Nearby sea kayaking providers will bring visitors as close as possible to whales, caves and coves and, if the timing is right, icebergs.

By land

  • All the ports along the shore are home to whales.
  • Visitors can whale watching on a hike or stroll through coastal hikes, rocky outcrops, and pristine beaches if they haven’t developed their sea foot.
  • The tails of the humpback whales plunging into the sea can be seen from the top of a cliff.
  • You can also have a meal by the sea and enjoy a clear picture of whales and dolphins playing nearby.
  • Telescopes are not necessary.

Millions of tourists flock to Newfoundland every year to see these spectacular animals in play, making it one of the best whale watching destinations in the world. Whale watching in Newfoundland is an exciting and enjoyable experience. It’s one of those must-do experiences when exploring Newfoundland, home to the world’s largest gathering of humpback whales and a maritime ecology like no other.

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