Whale Watching is possible in many areas of Iceland as whales surround the coast throughout the island. Whale Watching trips and tours are offered by many coastal towns and each can give its own unique experience. In 2008 115,000 people took on the journey to go whale watching in Iceland with more sure to follow. Whale watching might be considered at its finest in Reykjavik which is the capital of Iceland and the largest city in Iceland but you can also go out in Husavik and Akureyri. Whale watching in Reykjavik has become such a part of the culture that there is a movie being released in Iceland in September 2009 based on the whaling tours that leave from the capital.
Whale Watching in Reykjavik
Whale watching tours from Reykjavik are organized daily and the city also has a whale museum you can go to see before you leave for the water to get you even more excited. Whale watching actually came about when Iceland hampered the hunting of whales when they reentered the International Whaling Commission. Most of tours that are now popping up around the country are smaller tour boats that do not have that highly commercialized feel. But with the outbreaks of tours coming up around the island it is showing that the coast line is still full of whales in the summer months, as whales enjoy the warmth in the water. Most of the boats that take tourists whale watching are small giving the excursions that more casual family feel.
Types of Whales You Can See in Iceland
There is a variety of whales for you to experience on a whale watching tour in Iceland. The largest groups are the Minke Whales and Porpoises. The porpoise are known for their ability to brighten up any trip by leaping out the water, getting up the boats and following them around. Another whale species that has taken after this practice are the humpback whales. Humpbacks are enormous and they love to come by the boats waving their flukes at tourists. The sight of Humpback Whales leaping out of the water is fascinating. Seeing those enormous creatures leap in the air is a sight to behold. Killer whales also are seen on a regular basis and they are usually everyone’s favorite because of the famous whale Keiko that played Willy in the Free Willy movies. Keiko was actually caught in the waters off of Iceland. On the rare occasion you will be able spot Sperm Whales. And if you are really lucky you will run into Pilot Whales. They usually travel in packs that reach in the dozens which is a sight to be seen.
Whale Watching with The Gentle Giant Whale Watching
A great company that provides whale tours is the Gentle Giant Whale Watching. They are located in the town of Husavik which is on the northern coast. The Gentle Giant Whale Watching has a unique tour that combines two of the most exciting parts of Iceland. You can mix in a three hour whale watching tour with a 2 hour tour on an Icelandic horse along the country side. For the more adventurous type this a great mix. The Gentle Giant Whale Watching currently operate three different boats that they take out on whale watching tours, none of them carrying more than 60 passengers. To round out their activities the Gentle Giant Whale Watching has one more tour that is a fishing trip where they guarantee you will catch a fish. And at the end they will either cook your fish for you or let you take it home to cook on your own.
A whale watching tour is a great capper to any Iceland vacation giving one an experience that cannot be seen in many places of the world. With more and more tours emerging around Iceland, you can make an excursion from almost part of the island.
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