Pioneers of whale watching in Iceland

When North Sailing launched its first Whale watching boat, Knörrinn, back in 1995 from the town of Húsavík by 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 Iceland and indeed 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. The whales were drawn to the vessels with their relaxing movements as they sailed the sea bordering the Arctic Circle.

Whales, like humans, are curious creatures.

Whale watching in North Iceland

Iceland’s only two-masted schooners

The beautiful town of Húsavík with its 2,500 inhabitants is located in the eastern part of Skjálfandi Bay, with the snow-covered Víknafjöll Mountains in the west. North Sailing now operates eight old Icelandic oak boats, as well as 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.

Oak Whale watching ship

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 whale-watching boats 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.

Whale watching schooner

The Whales of Skjálfandi Bay

At Skjálfandi Bay, the enormous Humpback whales with their huge flippers and majestic acrobatics are truly loved by people. It is a unique sight to see breaching Humpbacks 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 meters of sheer awe and beauty, they create an unforgettable sight.

Whale watching adventure North Iceland

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.

Close whale encounter North Iceland

The Skjálfandi Bay 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 rich in bird fauna, with over 30 different types of birds, including the diving Arctic Tern and the friendly Puffins.

Puffins North Iceland

Welcome to Húsavík, the whale capital of Iceland

Visitors have much to marvel during their visit to Húsavík; home of the first Nordic settler, according to the Book of Settlement; wonderful Wooden Church; unique golf course with the Polar Circle on the horizon; world-leading Whale Museum and the extraordinary GeoSea baths overlooking the Bay where guests watch the boats out on Skjálfandi Bay come into contact with the Whales of the Great North-Atlantic Ocean.
Húsavík truly is special, one of a kind bordering the Polar Circle.

North Sailing
Hafnarstétt 11
640 Húsavik
[email protected]