Svalbard: Fin Whales at Sea

As we left the Svalbard archipelago and set course into the open sea west toward the Greenland shores, it didn’t take long to spot the whales. Nearly a dozen fin whales quite close to the ship, spouts everywhere, glowing in the low evening sun. Also one blue whale, one sperm whale, one minor whale, and several groups of white-beaked dolphins. Fin whales are the second largest whale species in the world after the blue, reaching 25 m (85 ft) in length and 75 tons in weight. They have long and slender bodies, and are sometimes referred to as “razorback” whales. They don’t show tails when diving, but can be identified by their fin when swimming (although sei whales look very similar but are smaller in size).