Whale Watching in Iceland
There are many places where one can sail a boat and get a glimpse of these beautiful creatures of the sea in Iceland. Today, we are going to visit the small fishing town of Husavick, located just off the far north side of Iceland.
You can reach Husavik easily from the capital city of Reykjavík in your Kuku Camper van. The 5 and a half hour drive is well worth the travel on North Route 1, where you’ll have opportunities to drive bridges crossing the atlantic bay while soaking in the lush green vegetation of the mountains and fields.
If you’ve never been whale watching, let me tell you - it is not a show that you sit back and watch. It is an event you experience up close and in person. There is nothing that compares to being a mere few feet away from these glorious mammals of the oceans - these spectacular creatures humble and gracious enough to let humans come close and admire their beauty.
Finding overnight parking in Husavik
Husavik is the port to a great deal of Iceland's fishing, as well as other species such as puffin birds and gulls, who also enjoy fishing in these waters that team with an abundance of all types of fish. When you visit the town of Husavik, you can check in with your Kuku Camper van at the Husavik Campground, which offers parking for camper vans, and also offers public restrooms. From there, you are just minutes walking distance away to the bay where you can catch a Whale Watching Tour with the North Sailing company.
Book a 3-hour tour with North Sailing
North Sailing offers what they call ‘Eco-Friendly’ whale watching, a concept inspired by the mission to be more responsible and consertative to the human interaction between the marine animals.
“North Sailing aims to be a Responsible Whale Watching Operator according to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society’s (WDCS) definition. That includes being truly responsible and sustainable to cetaceans and the marine environment as well as being truly beneficial to passengers, operators and communities.
North Sailing ́s whale watching tours therefore include:
- A prime recreational and educational experience for our guests, which motivates them to care about cetaceans.
- An experience that seeks to reduce the impact on whales, so that whales are watched with the lightest “footprint” possible.
- Opportunities for researchers to gather scientific information and publish findings to managers and the public.
- An experience built around a nature guide who can provide accurate information, help to find the whales and describe their behavior.
- The active involvement of the community, enabling a financial as well as a personal interest in whale watching and the conservation of cetaceans and the sea.
Source North Sailing Responsible Whale Watching
Once on the boat, you will be sailed out onto the bay waters where you can see for yourself these whales that have called Iceland their home far longer than any human has. There are nearly dozens of types of whales that harvest these waters for smaller fish, including:
The Orca Whale (Killer Whales)
These distinctive creatures, who are relatives of the dolphin family, are quickly recognizable from their outer black skin and white spots. Don’t be too intimidated if you’re watching at the edge of the boat and several suddenly jump out of nowhere, just yards away from where you stand!
Humpback whales are common throughout the globe in every ocean. The Icelandic shores are no different! Humpback whales are large in size and can grow in size of up to 50 feet in length.
You may have heard that blue whales are the largest mammal known to exist on the planet - but no one fully understands these facts until they see the large body of one calmly and politely swim by the small sail boat on the waves above.
Blue whales are beautiful creatures that carry many natural resources that at one time were highly sourced. Whale oil and baleen were two commodities that were highly sought after in Europe and the United States, and unfortunately, almost drove these beautiful creatures extinct due to their high demand. Thanks to more and more whaling prohibition laws, these awesome creatures have been able to slowly repopulate their numbers.
These 3 hour tours of riding the bay waters offer multiple breaks in between where your tourist guide will take time to share interesting information regarding the whales species, as well as take the time to point things out to you that you might have missed on your own. Even at three hours, these tours fly by so quickly, and you’ll feel like you were sailing for merely 20 minutes.
Visit the local attractions when you get back to shore
With the rest of the day to yourself, you’ll have lots of opportunity to visit the Whale Museum in Husavik, a non-profit organization where you can learn more about these amazing animals of the sea, what their diet looks like, how you can tell how old a whale is based on their ear wax - lots of cool facts! The great thing is that proceeds help to fund awareness and efforts to keep whales safe and free in their natural habitat.
You must also dine in at the Gamli Baukur, an Icelandic Restaurant that serves all types of authentic foods. If you have a love for fish, you’ll be pleased to know that you can order and eat fish that was literally caught fresh from the sea earlier in the day - a rare treat that not many places can boat about!
By this time, it may be a good idea to walk back to your Kuku Camper Van, just minutes away, and turn in for the night. A good night’s sleep is a wise choice. You’ll want your full rest, because tomorrow is another day for adventure in Iceland!