NS-2 Whales, Puffins & Sails - North Iceland
Sail on a traditional boat and enjoy wildlife in their natural habitat
Try something different and experience wildlife on board a traditional Icelandic schooner. A unique sailing tour combining whale watching, bird watching and a sailing adventure on board one of our two schooners, Hildur or Haukur. On board you experience the aura of past times by setting sails or assisting the skipper. The schooners take you to Lundey, the Puffin Island, as well as the traditional whale watching areas.
* April 15th - July 20th
Adults: 10,880 ISK per person
* July 21st - Aug 20th
Adults: 11,840 ISK per person
Available: daily Apr 15 - Aug 20
Apr 15-May 14: ~~ 09:30
May 15-May 31: ~~ 09:30 ~~ 15:15
Jun 1-Jul 20: ~~ 09:30 ~~ 11:30 ~~ 14:00 ~~ 16:30
Jul 21-Aug 20: ~~ 09:30 ~~ 14:00 ~~ 18:30
Duration: about 4 hours
Refreshments: hot chocolate, cinnamon rolls and "the captain's privilege"
Guide: expert in whales, birds & sailing
Extra clothes: professional sailing outfit
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Skalfandi Bay is a great destination because of the birdlife and scenery. There are two islands in the bay, Lundey (Puffin Island) and Flatey (Flat Island), where a lot of birds nest. Therefore the bird life is colorful, puffins, arctic terns, guillemots, gannets and more are frequently seen during the tours. The beautiful mountains at the western part of the bay, called Viknafjoll, make a visit to the bay even more worth while.
The small islands of Lundey & Flatey lie anchored near Husavik. Lundey (Puffin Island), rises dramatically from the sea in a series of high, nest-covered cliffs and is a breeding ground for puffins, fulmars and other sea birds. Flatey (Flat Island) lives up to its name, rising only a couple of metres above sea level. It's now abandoned, but as recently as 1942 it had a population of more than 100.
This is a unique sailing tour that combines whale watching, bird watching and a sailing adventure aboard one of our two schooners. On board you experience the aura of past times by setting sails or assisting the skipper as a lee helmsman.
The schooners, Haukur or Hildur, take you to Lundey, the Puffin Island, as well as the traditional whale watching areas.
Here is a comment from a pleased traveler: "To be honest I've been on lots of wildlife tours and not infrequently one sees one blob in the distance which a guide will assure you is a bear/tortoise/condor whatever and that is it. Well, we saw 11 humpbacks on this trip including one that came within a couple of metres of the boat. It really was a thrilling experience and genuinely unforgettable. The crew were very friendly and the provision of all-weather lined suits was very welcome indeed. It couldn't have been a better day. It was also excellent value. The trip lasted about 4 hours and is [affordable] for a family of four which I think is excellent value by anyone's standards."
Sailing to the whales' prime feeding grounds takes about an hour. Crew and participants get busy looking out for telltale signs of a surfacing whale.
Although whale-watching tours boast impressive success rates for sightings (95% to 98%), whales don't appear on cue. Sightings are announced using a 'clock' system, with the stern of the boat at 12 o'clock.
Different whales have different habits and identifying features. The curious minke whale surfaces two or three times in quick succession before executing a deep dive and sometimes may even approach the boat. Humpback whales breach and sometimes roll over, holding an enormous flipper in the air.
Most whales arrive in Icelandic waters in spring (around May) and stay to feed until September, when they return to warmer southern waters for breeding.
In town there is also a civic museum about culture and biology. Among other things, it shows a stuffed polar bear (arrived in Grimsey in 1969) and some ancient boats. Enjoy your visit!
More images: Husavik whale watching tours.