Whale Watching Midnight Sun Tour

June 30, 2022

WILDLIFE ADVENTURES- Whale Watching Midnight Sun Tour

The 21st of June marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. On this day, the sunset is at midnight and it raises again less than 3 hours later, the longest day of the year. The months around it also have almost 24 hours of daylight: from mid-may to mid-august is virtually never dark! We don´t get to see the famous aurora borealis by this time of the year but we are able to do something much fun: seeing whales on the Whale Watching Midnight Sun Tour!
These tours start on the 15th of June and it goes only to the end of July so you can´t miss this chance! The trip lasts for 2 to 2,5 hours (from 9 to 11 pm) and it’s the best time to see a beautiful twilight if you want to skip a few hours of sleep. And you must be wondering if the whales aren´t sleeping this time of the day too!


In most mammals, the pineal gland is stimulated by brightness levels, so in the dark, it produces melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy and tells us the time to go to bed. However, whales are thought to lack the pineal gland or it is even non-functional in several species. In fact, it is known that whales and dolphins do sleep: they need to rest but they can not forget to breathe, which made them evolve a superpower! They will shut down half of the brain time by time in order to be aware of when they need to reoxygenate their bodies. But, as most part of them can´t stay any longer than 30 minutes under the water, they will do it several times during the whole day, and not only during the night. 

Another point that works in our favor, is that humpbacks and minkes, are especially here in Iceland to feed. They are migratory animals that have winter-breeding and summer-feeding grounds, sometimes separated by miles away from each other! Especially in the case of the humpbacks, they will travel to the warmer water for more than 15 thousand kilometers without feeding at all, fasting for over 6 months of the year. So here, they will be constantly looking for food, small fish just like capelin and also krill, and these ones, baby, they never sleep! The whales will be constantly looking for food and this intensive hunting will make them eat (in the case of the humpbacks) up to a ton of food each day in order to gain a big fat layer called blubber, which will be used during reproduction and lactation.

So if you are afraid of going to see whales sleeping during this tour (although I think this would be also very cool!) don´t worry! You gonna join a very chilled tour, usually more private, with the fewer “night owls” that don´t get tired at all or perhaps have too functional pineal glands to sleep well on these bright Icelandic nights! You´re gonna get the most beautiful scenery of the day, with a wonderful sunset light for your pictures, and records on your memory for a lifetime! So if you like to have a different experience or if you are just having some trouble sleeping in this special and unique place in the world you chose for your holidays, we and the whales are going to be waiting for you to have the experience you will never forget! I will see you later!!

– Dominique Gallo