The return of the giant

Last spring and early summer were excellent for the whale-watching in Húsavík, with a big role played by the presence of Blue Whales. Now, after the summer, a few of them have been spotted again in Skjálfandi Bay.

The Blue Whale is the largest animal that ever lived on Earth and a close meeting with such a giant is always an unforgettable experience.

Most of these cetaceans are migratory and travel thousands of kilometres every year between their breeding and feeding grounds. From April to July Blue Whales of the North Atlantic migrate from the low latitude waters around the tropics (specifically the Caribbean and western coasts of Africa), where they mate and give birth, to the high latitude cold waters of the Arctic, where they feed for 3-4 months before heading back to the tropics. Icelandic waters are a sort of pit stop area either for a first snack on their way north or for a last meal on their way back.

Even if the tourist season is cooling off, the demand for whale-watching tours is still rather high. Good weather and steady presence of whales satisfy the eager whale watchers of the “Whale Capital of Iceland”. Apart from the reliable Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and White-Beaked Dolphins, Húsavík whale-watching vessels got to spot some Fin Whales and a couple of Blue Whales in October, in all probability on their way back to the warm waters of the tropics. Who ever said that off-season whale-watching is no good?

At the moment two companies are still operating in Húsavík: North Sailing and Gentle Giants, each with 2 daily tours. Gentle Giants has only 1 scheduled tour from October 21 and ends its season at the end of October while North Sailing is going to run 1 tour a day in November. Salka and Húsavík Adventures will resume their tours in May 2016.

Picture by Miro Cibula
– Header picture by Sarah Arndt –