Prime conditions in Skjálfandi bay
The first organized whale watching tours in Iceland started from Húsavík in 1995 and ever since the number of visitors coming to observe these majestic creatures has grown from year to year. The bay of Skjálfandi seems to provide prime conditinos for whales for several species are spotted here on a regular basis. Most common are humpback whales, minke whales, white beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. Among other species observed in Skjálfandi bay are blue whales, northern bottle nosed whales, sei whales, fin whales and pilot whales. The frequency of sightings for particular species can vary from one year to the next.
Extensive knowledge and experience
In addition to the favorable natural conditions in Skjálfandi bay, a great deal of knowledge and experience has been accumulated through the many years of whale watching in Húsavík. The whale watching season now starts as early as april and runs through september with several trips per day during the height of the season.
Whale Museum and whale research
The Húsavík Whale Museum was established in Húsavík in 1997 and moved into its current location by the harbour in 2002. Museum staff have been going out daily with the whale watcing boats ever since 1998 to research and record data on the behavior of whales in the bay. Experts from around the world have also participated in this research.
In 2007, the Húsavík Research Centre for marine mammal research was established under the auspices of the University of Iceland in close collaboration with the Húsavík Academic Centre and the Northeast Iceland Nature Centre.
It is therefore safe to say that Húsavík is the centre for whale watching and whale research and education in Iceland.