Minke Whales, White Beaked Dolphins sighted between Newcastle and Amsterdam

10th Jul 2013


The team boarded the Princess Seaways and reported to the bridge where Captain Thomas and his crew made us so welcome, telling us he had seen dolphins entering Newcastle, increased our hopes for a good crossing as White Beaked Dolphins were reported on the previous trip.

Summary of Sightings

Species Number Sighted
Minke Whale 3
Common Dolphin 2
White Beaked Dolphin 13
Harbour Porpoise 49
Unidentified cetacean 1
Grey Seal 2

During the evening survey spashing lead us to half a dozen white beaked dolphins and the next morning had 2 sightings both of Harbour Porpoise. On reboarding we headed onto the bridge to be told by the Captain that there had been “dolphins” at the breakwater as we left the harbour!! After 3 hours we were in perfect conditions at sea state 0 and had 4 sightings of Harbour Porpoise.

The next morning after about 1½ hours we had our first sighting a Harbour Porpoise followed by a couple of Common Dolphins 15 minutes later and shortly after the sea state dropped to a 0 we were in cetacean heaven!!!!  For the next 2 hours we couldn’t believe our luck it was unbelievable and so magical.  We all (that includes the crew and a fair few passengers) had a trip we will never forget. We must protect the North Sea so this isn’t the last time people can experience this.

In that awesome 2 hours we had 22 separate sightings, many of multiple animals mostly of Harbour Porpoise but 3 shouts of Minke Whale and 2 more groups of white beaked dolphins, the last about half an hour out of Newcastle harbour gave everybody a brilliant display, feeding in front of the entire bridge.  Many thanks to the Captain and crew who allowed us this experience and some of whom I believe thoroughly enjoyed it themselves.

I hope if any of the passengers read this that were lucky enough to be sailing with us, they might want to come and join us one day soon and share in the magic.

Thanks to the rest of the team and for the bird list:- Gannet, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Cormorant, Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Great Black Backed Gull, Sabine’s Gull, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Puffin, Razorbill, Common Scoter, Guillemot Manx Shearwater, Great Skua, Oystercatcher, Marsh Harrier, Coot, Mallard, Pochard, Mute Swan, Unidentified geese, Heron, Magpie, Jackdaw, Great Crested Grebe, Sparrow hawk, Swift, Swallow plus the 2 resident pigeons the crew told us had made the ship their home!!!