North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

Late Night Whale Watching in Iceland

Anytime you are interacting with and viewing wildlife it can be hit or miss. You can never completely predict what wild animals will do, so signing up on a tour to spot animals in their natural habitat can be a gamble.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

Husavik, Iceland, is said to be the “whale watching capital of Europe”. So, of course, when we were passing through this tiny fishing village, we just had to stop and see if the whale watching lived up to the hype. We signed up for the last tour of the day with North Sailing Husavik—our tour was the original three-hour whale watching tour, and it started at 8:00 p.m.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

After purchasing our tickets, we decided to grab a bite to eat before it was time to board our boat. In addition to offering a wide array of boat tours, North Sailing Husavik also has a restaurant that serves up food directly across the street from the boats. We received a discount at this restaurant with our whale watching tour tickets, and our friends had good memories of this spot from their last visit to Husavik, so we decided it was the perfect choice. The restaurant is called Gamli Baukur, and it is open from June to August. I love that the restaurant (well, actually the company as a whole!) focuses on sustainability. They only serve the fisherman’s daily catch and meat from the local farmers. I was on a fish soup kick during our Iceland trip, so that’s exactly what I ordered, and Micah opted for the BBQ chicken plate. It was a fresh and delicious meal, and after scarfing it down, we got ready to board our boat.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

Our vessel for the evening was an old oak fishing boat called the Nattfari that was originally built in Stykkishólmur in 1965; the Nattfari has since been restored and it is now a beautiful boat to take out on the water. If you don’t have warm enough clothes to wear, no need to worry, as you can snuggle up in one of the warm suits provided by North Sailing.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

As we started sailing out into the Skjalfandi Bay of the Greenland Sea, we noticed the lighting turn into the most beautiful, golden hue. Our seats at the front of the boat gave us access to a spectacular show of light right in front of our eyes. The 24 hour sunlight during Iceland’s summers really makes these types of late night activities special.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

We waited patiently in hopes of spotting a whale, and it turns out we didn’t need to test our luck. Soon enough, the guides told us that they had spotted the first whale of the evening and pointed out where we could see it for ourselves. All of the passengers, including us, shuffled to the right side of boat in hopes of seeing the whale with our own eyes.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

Throughout the course of the evening we spotted Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, and Harbor Porpoises, which are the smallest whales in the world. In addition to an abundance of whales, we also spotted plenty of birds, as well. When a whale was spotted, our boat would follow a strict protocol of procedures as the company focuses on responsible whale watching. They don’t want to frighten, disrupt, or separate the whales, among plenty of other things. I love it when companies practice sustainability and responsibility, and even though they were careful to respect the whales, we still encountered over 7 different whales throughout the evening.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

The guides did a great job spotting the whales, and we stayed with each of them for a little while before moving on to find more. Although we saw a good number of whales on our tour, we didn’t see any of the whales jump or breach. Luckily, we did at least see plenty of water spray and tails. It honestly felt like we were spotting one whale after another all evening long.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

When it was time to call it a night and head back to shore, we were provided with some warm hot chocolate and cinnamon buns. These snacks couldn’t have been a better way to warm up on a chilly night out on the water.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

Just when we thought it was about time to get off the boat, the guides spotted another whale close by, and they couldn’t resist making a slight detour to show us one more whale. It was so nice of them to stop so we all had the chance to see one last sighting.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

The odds of whale sightings in this area are very high. But since wildlife viewing is never 100% guaranteed, if you don’t see any whales on your tour, they will take you out on a second trip free of charge.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik has been in operation for over 20 years and it is a family run business. Also, as I mentioned briefly above, they focus on offering sustainable and responsible tours. They currently have some sailings that are carbon neutral, and their hope is to have all their sailings completely carbon neutral by 2020. In addition to sustainable sailing, they also are aiming to go completely electric with their company cars, as well. In addition to this, they also restore and repurpose old boats and buildings to preserve heritage and save on using new materials. Sustainability and respecting nature are the driving forces in every decision the company makes.

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

North Sailing Husavik offers sailings from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and a variety of sailings occur year round. You can book tour that take you to see puffins, seals and even the northern lights. I would love to sign up for one of the northern lights sailing tours someday!

North Sailing Husavik Whale Watching in Iceland

I feel as though we lucked out with seeing so many whales on our tour, but I have a sneaky suspicion that this was a completely normal evening out on the water with North Sailing Husavik. The gorgeous 24 hour sunlight created a magical glow over the water and landscapes surrounding us, and it truly felt as though we were in a dream. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Have you ever been whale watching in Iceland or anywhere else?

 

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24 Comments
  • Rand
    Posted at 15:47h, 11 February Reply

    Great post. I could tell your whale watching trip was going to be very different from the last one I was on (in Sri Lanka) when you started off with a meal. We had rough seas, and more than one person spent a little time leaning over the side of the boat retching. But it is always worth it. Seeing whales is always amazing. Could you also see them from shore in Iceland?
    Rand recently posted…Meeting Refugees at Bangkok’s Immigration Detention CenterMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:56h, 16 February Reply

      Oh no! Seasickness is the worst! We were so lucky with super calm seas 🙂 Glad you still enjoyed seeing the whales though! We didn’t see any from the shore, but I’ve heard of others seeing them from the shore! I’m not sure how common it is, but it does happen!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Cabin Getaway in the Adirondack MountainsMy Profile

  • Penny Sadler
    Twitter:
    Posted at 19:31h, 11 February Reply

    I’ve been whale watching off the coast of California. Loved it! Whales are just awesome. Your photos are awesome too.

  • Indrani
    Posted at 00:06h, 12 February Reply

    Spotting whales like this must be very thrilling! I am reminded of the excitement we had while spotting dolphins in Goa.
    The event seems to well organized one.

  • Toni
    Twitter:
    Posted at 04:17h, 12 February Reply

    We have done some amazing whale watching in Australian waters but the scenery in Iceland is amazing! Plus the cocoa and cinnamon buns are a real winner.
    Toni recently posted…Umeda Sky Building Views Over OsakaMy Profile

  • Suze
    Twitter:
    Posted at 06:42h, 12 February Reply

    What a fantastic experience, I love the old sailing boat and I bet the hot choc was welcome! We were lucky to spot some whales recently in Tenerife, although all one species. Love your shot of the steam coming off the water with the whale
    Suze recently posted…8 True Moments for Atypical Tourists in LanzaroteMy Profile

  • Vishal Vashisht
    Posted at 11:49h, 12 February Reply

    I have never been on a whale watching adventure before. After reading your post, I think, I should look for places where I can enjoy it too. But not Iceland as I have no plans of visiting Iceland soon. I am sure it will be fun experience.

  • Ed and Jenn Coleman
    Posted at 14:57h, 12 February Reply

    That looks like a lot of fun. We just went whale watching in San Diego and saw greys and humpbacks. The problem was that they were migrating south and the boat followed them All of our pictures had the sun corridor right over the whales. Going late into the night in Iceland should do a lot to mitigate the sun corridor. Your pictures were certainly beautiful.

  • RaW
    Twitter:
    Posted at 15:47h, 12 February Reply

    7 different whales! That must have been some amazing experience! What more with that kind of spectacular scenery! My only experience with whale watching was in Sydney, Australia a few years back, but we saw only 2 (or was it 3?) different whales. One of them was quite “playful”, breaching and once or twice swimming right underneath our boat. It wasn’t that bad, I guess, but still, I cannot get over with 7 different whales, haha!
    RaW recently posted…Saving Borneo’s Wildlife: Sabah’s Top Animal CentresMy Profile

  • Kay
    Posted at 20:48h, 12 February Reply

    Looks like an absolutely incredible experience! We stopped by Husavik while driving the ring road but decided not to do a whale watching tour. Now I know I definitely missed out! Guess I’ll just have to go back to do this next time… 🙂

  • Jennifer Melroy
    Posted at 17:42h, 13 February Reply

    I am so glad you saw whales while in Iceland. I spent 3 hours freezing my but off to see nothing (a flock of like 10 birds, but no whales). I really wanted to see some killer whales but alas. Maybe next time.

  • Vicky and Buddy
    Twitter:
    Posted at 19:25h, 14 February Reply

    I’m going whale watching in Iceland in a few days!! I’m so excited and reading your post has made me even more excited. I hope I get to see as many as you did. And hot chocolate. I hope there’s hot chocolate. 😉

  • Lauren Meshkin
    Posted at 01:22h, 16 February Reply

    Your photos are absolutely STUNNING. The light looks amazing. I’d absolutely love to go whale watching in Iceland – or just go to Iceland even 😉 Thanks for sharing!
    Lauren Meshkin recently posted…Exploring Scotland With Borders Journeys: Sightseeing, Ancestral & Outlander Tours! [+VIDEO]My Profile

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