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Humpback whale spotted in the Irish Sea

28th January 2010 Print

Travelling by ferry across the Irish Sea offers has always offered great opportunities to view the wildlife that abounds in the sea and sky but a new visitor has arrived in the form of a young male humpback whale.

The youngster has been seen breaching clear of the water close to the Wexford Coast by researchers from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

Humpback sightings are unusual in the Irish Sea but are steadily increasing since the ending of commercial whaling.

Irish Ferries has long been involved in a collaborative survey of whales, dolphins and porpoises with the IWDG.  Every month, expert whale and dolphin watchers from the IWDG conduct sighting surveys from on-board the Ulysses between Holyhead and Dublin, and on-board the Isle of Inishmore between Pembroke and Rosslare.

For those travelling to Ireland, Irish Ferries’ modern fleet offers great viewing opportunities both from the panoramic windows in the lounges to open-air viewing on suitable days.

Humpback whale sightings can’t, unfortunately, be guaranteed but more likely to be seen are common dolphins – usually mid-crossing in the summer in groups of five-to-ten as they leap acrobatically or ride the ship’s bow wave.  Other regular sightings include harbour porpoises – mainly on calm days – and, more rarely in early summer, Minke whales which grow up to 10m in length and have a distinctive sickle-shaped dorsal fin.

Irish Ferries’ one way fare for car and driver leads in at just £69 in 2010.

For more information and bookings, visit