North Sailing has brought the Giants of the Deep to the World
When North Sailing launched its first Whale watching boat, Knörrinn, back in 1995 from the beautiful town of Húsavík on Skjálfandi Bay in the North of Iceland, something magical happened. Such was its impact that the tone was instantly set for Húsavík – ‘The Bay of Houses’ – to become the whale watching capital of Europe and a worldwide leader in the understanding of whales. The old oak-fishing boat saved from destruction became an instant hit among whale watchers from all over the world. Giant whales were drawn to the vessel and those that sailed in it with its gentle and relaxing movements as it sailed the seas bordering the Arctic Circle. Whales, like humans, are curious creatures.
Good old oak boats
The beautiful town of Húsavík with its 2,500 inhabitants is located in the eastern part of Skjálfandi Bay, overlooked by the snow-covered Víknafjöll Mountains in the west. North Sailing now operates eight old Icelandic oak boats, as well one Danish and one German. Three of them, Opal, Hildur and Haukur have been transformed into two-masted schooners, the only ones of their kind in Iceland.
Powered by Green Energy
North Sailing minimizes whale watchers carbon footprints by offering green whale watching tours in one the world’s most scenic landscapes. Húsavík is the only place in Iceland where people find sailboats powered by pure green energy and sustainable tourism. Indeed North Sailing’s goals are saving whales, protecting the oceans and preserving the national heritage of the old Icelandic wooden fishing-boats. Of this North Sailing is proud.
The Giants of Skjálfandi Bay
At Skjálfandi Bay, the enormous Humpback whales with their giant flippers and majestic acrobatics are truly loved by people. It’s a unique sight to see these breaching giants in the air, an experience of a lifetime. When Blue Whales, the largest animals on Earth, enter the bay, it is truly spectacular. Up to 30 metres of sheer awe and beauty, they create an unforgettable sight.
Likewise, the relatives of the legendary Moby Dick, the toothed sperm whales with their massive heads that feed at great depths. Orcas are like the Pilot whales, rather rare visitors at Húsavík but when they arrive at Skjálfandi they usually come in considerable numbers and roam the bay. The friendly baleen Minke whale is to be seen regularly, curious about the old oak boats and the humans aboard them.
The birds and the Islands
Puffin Island – Lundey – is located near the town of Húsavík. Iceland is home to 60% of the Atlantic Puffin population. More than 200,000 live on the nearby Puffin Island, which is a steep cliff, ideal for this distinctive bird to build its nests. Flatey – The Flat Island – is located to the west. Once a thriving community of approx. 100 people, it has been uninhabited for 50 years after its last inhabitants left the village, their church, school and the lighthouse. The Island is rich in bird fauna, with over 30 different types of birds, including the diving Arctic Tern and the friendly Puffins.
Visitors have much to marvel about during their visit to Húsavík. It’s the home of the first Nordic settler, according to the Book of Settlement, the second-to-none Whale Museum, the unique Wooden Church and they come into contact with the Giants of the Great North-Atlantic Ocean. “One of the most incredible days of my life. The whole experience was above and beyond expectations.”