Finback, minke, and right whales are common in the Gulf of Maine. The whales are migratory animals who travel to Maine’s waters to feed for the summer and then return to warmer climates to mate and give birth. Guests are treated to a fully-narrated cruise by professional naturalists who point out our majestic humpback and finback whales, as well as Atlantic porpoise, sharks, and tuna. Also included is a visit to a puffin seabird-nesting wildlife refuge island where a number of offshore seabirds can be sighted.
Finbacks, the largest at 50 to 60 feet, are among the fastest of the great whales and are commonly referred to as the “greyhounds of the sea.” They are also the only animal in the world that is asymmetrically colored, as the right side of the finback’s lower jaw is a crème color, while the left is a mottled black. The minkes are one of the smallest whales, between 5 and 28 feet, but they’re curious and will approach ships. And the right whale, named for being the right size for whale hunters, is the most endangered whale in the world.
Humpbacks, considered the most playful whales in the area, often delight guests by the antics by slapping their tails against the water, throwing their lower bodies out of the water (tail lobbing), popping their heads up and look around (spy hopping), and leaping out of the water and then crash back (breaching.)
Bar Harbour Whale Watching Tour have been taking guests on whale watching, puffin watching, seabird, and nature cruise tours for over 25 years. In addition to the whale watches, the company offers lighthouse tours, a night sky astronomy cruise in September, lobster fishing, and seal watching tours. Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. is an active member of Whale SENSE, a collaborative, voluntary program recognizing commercial whale watching companies committed to a responsible standard of whale watching.