‘This is the stuff fairy tales are made of y’all. Hands down, most successful whale watching cruise ever!’

You know how the story goes…people pay to go on a whale watching tour, but the best that most get is a few dolphins and some scenic views. And just maybe, maybe you might see the tail of a what splashing water.

But on August 13 of 2022, the people of New York City got a whale of a whale watching cruise. They were able to witness not one or two, but nine whales swimming in the New York harbor. 

The excited crowd was on American Princess Cruise where Celia Ackerman works works as a naturalist for the company. She captured many breathtaking photos of the beauties with New York’s skyline as the backdrop.

Ackerman is also a research associate for Gotham Whale which is a mammal research, education and advocacy organization. Gotham Whale tweeted images out so others could come to the harbor and watch this natural spectacle. They also wanted to raise awareness to that there would not be any potential collisions. 

“Amazing day to say the least,” Gotham Whale’s caption read.

What was behind this miracle? Well it may have to do with the valiant efforts to clean up New York’s waters. 

Back in 2019, the New York Post reported about a study that showed New York’s harbors were the purest they have been in almost 110 years. 

They wrote, “Albert Einstein had just published his theory of relativity,” according to the Post article. 

Cleaner water means more fish, and more fish means a whale buffet. 

Celia Ackerman said that “This is the stuff fairy tales are made of y’all. Hands down, most successful whale watching cruise ever. No question.”

There are not just whales in that harbor, the new-and-improved coastline had two sharks spotted on the beach in Queens on August 8th. 

And sure enough, Ackerman got her share of phots on dolphins as well. 



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