Husavik Traditional Whale Watching

Husavik Traditional Whale Watching
Spy hopping Humpbacks are as interested in you as you are them.
A diving Humpback in Skjálfandi Bay.
A Humpback diving in the midnight sun
This tour lets you get up close and personal with the whales.
The whales of Skjálfandi are used to and unafraid of boats.
The sight of Humpback Whale breaching is awe-inspiring.
Based on 87 traveller reviews

Come aboard a traditional Icelandic boat for an incredible whale-watching excursion. See the magnificent marine life that dwells in the waters near the Arctic Circle on this fully guided adventure. This is the perfect tour for all nature-lovers travelling in North Iceland.

The tour departs from the town of Húsavík which sits on the banks of Skjálfandi Bay, northeast Iceland. Húsavík has been branded the whale-watching capital of Iceland due to its many different species of whales that frequently enter the bay. 

Your adventure starts at Húsavík harbour, where you will board a traditional Icelandic oak boat. This boat was originally built as a fishing vessel and was used as such for many years before it was rebuilt into a whale watching boat. Now, instead of fishing, it sails the ocean, disturbing nature as little as possible.

You will spend about three hours on the water, searching and marvelling over the rich marine life in the bay. Your expert guide will look out for signs of the wonderful whales as well as answer any questions you might have.

Skjálfandi bay is the home of around 24 species of whales. The four most common ones are the minke whale, the harbour porpoise, the white-beaked dolphin and the humpback whale; each of these is unique and fascinating. 

The biggest animal on earth, the blue whale, has also been spotted in Skjálfandi Bay quite often. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of this magnificent creature as well as others, such as killer whales (or orcas), fin whales and pilot whales. You could even spot some puffins from May to August. 

Nature is unpredictable, and no two tours are exactly the same, so every trip is a new adventure. You might catch the whales jumping out of the ocean, socialising or feeding, and the cheerful dolphins riding the bow of the ship as you sail along the waters. 

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to see the magnificent whales and the rich wildlife of Skjálfandi bay. Check availability by choosing a date. 

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Mar. - Nov.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Activities: Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Languages: English
  • Attractions: Húsavík
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : 08:45. 09:45, 10:45, 12:00, 13:15, 15:15, 16:45, 20:00,

Tour starts from Húsavík harbour, northeast Iceland – look for the blue flags

Please arrive at the Ticket Center in Húsavík, northeast Iceland, at least 30 minutes before departure to collect your tickets. Boarding is 20 minutes before departure. It is the passenger's responsibility to arrive in time, otherwise, there is a risk of losing reserved places on board. 

  • A specialized guide

  • Light refreshments (hot chocolate and an Icelandic traditional twisted doughnut, kleina)

  • Warm overalls and raincoats if needed

What to bring:
  • Warm clothes and waterproof clothes and footwear

  • Protective bags for cameras

Good to know:

Weather and sea conditions

Tours are dependent on weather and sea conditions. For your safety and comfort, we reserve the right to change or cancel departures, even with short notice, should weather or other conditions change. In case of cancellations due to weather, customers receive a full refund or can change their departure depending on availability.

Whale sightings

Our whale watching tours take place in wild nature, which is very unpredictable. The chances of seeing whales are up to 98%, but sightings cannot be guaranteed. If no whales (dolphins included) are seen on the tour, passengers are welcome to join a GG1 Whale Watching tour free of charge, depending on availability. Passengers can get a voucher for a free GG1 Whale Watching tour that is valid for the passengers of the original booking. The voucher is valid on tours where availability and bookings in advance cannot be made. The voucher is valid unlimited. We do not refund tickets if no whales (dolphins included) are seen on the tour.

Minimum number of passengers

A minimum number of passengers is required for all our tours. If the minimum number is not reached, we reserve the right to change or cancel departures, even with short notice. In such cases, customers are offered alternative options or a full refund.


Verified reviews

Average4.587 reviews
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Our guide Jack was very knowledgeable. There was hot chocolate and doughnuts on the way back to port and we got to see a Humpback whale many times as it would dive and resurface.
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We had a fantastic whale watching tour with Ingiborg. We saw dolphins and humpback whales. We were very, very lucky to see one humpback whale jumping out of the water. We will never forget the tour :-)
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Amazing experience. The whales were relatively far out on the day of our trip so we travelled for almost 1.5 hours before we saw them by Flatlet Island. Well worth the wait though as we saw two humpback whales and followed them for some time. One even swam right up to and u see the boat. Your was late getting back because we went so far out but thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon
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It was amazing. Our guide knew the area well and put our boat right up on the whales without disturbing them. We had a lesson on their habits and feeding patterns. Overall a great time. It was estimated we saw 10-12 Humpbacks and 7-10 Minke whales. Highly recommend.
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Fantastic. We were worried the boat might not sail as only 6 passemgers for the 8pm trip but off we went into the sunset with our wonderful guide. On a beautiful calm sea we came across a humpback feeding frenzy, the captain cut the engines and we were entralled as several humpbacks constantly lifted and dived around us - we saw them coming up head first mouths wide open. Goosebumps time! Eventually we had to return to the harbour at 22:45 as humpbacks continued to dive around us. Gentle Giants are easy to find on the harbour road; the all-in-oe suits were easy to put on and cosy warm, The guide was very knowledgeable and has a lovely attitude to the trip. A perfect 60th birthday surprise for my husband! I highly recommend Gentle Giants.
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We really liked the tour. We have seen plenty of whales. The guide girl said that there were around 20 but I counted more. Probably I counted the same ones more than once but I just want to point out the impression that I had. We have seen mothers with calfs, whales swimming in groups of 2, 3 and 4 and multiple whales swimming alone. Gentle Giants approach is professional. When we saw the mother with the calf, we spend few minutes near them and then we went further not to stress them. This was the general approach with all whales that we encountered. You can notice the respect for the animals when you are on board. I mention this because I saw some boats from other companies sticking to the whales they found and not moving further or going very fast extremaly close to them and forcing them to dive. We have seen the whales from close. They were seen perfectly with naked eye and I was able to make really nice photos with the standard 18-55 lense which I thought would be impossible. There is plenty of space in the boat. You do not have to fight for the best spot as you can see everything from any part of the boat. The boat approach whales from different angles. I spent most of the time in the middle of the boat where there were few people and we could move easily from left to right. We arrived just in time for the excursion, not with advance. Besides they called me 10 min before departure, and later they were waiting for us in the harbour even though I did not answer the call. If I decide to do the whale trip in Husavik again then Gentle Giants seems to be an obvious choice.
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The tour was great! Saw a group of humpback whales up very close!! The view was great and our guide was friendly and professional! The hot cocoa and pastry was a nice treat!! Highly recommended!
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The tour was exceptional! Saw a group of humpback whales in a very near distance. The view was great and our guide was friendly and professional! Highly recommended! 這個行程真的是棒透了! 看到一大群座頭鯨就在船旁邊噴水然後又潛下去好幾次 海上的風景超美而且導遊非常專業 大推!!
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I saw 1 small whales and one medium. I wondered can see bigger one but it really depends the luck. The board crews are friendly, so is ticket reception. Better to take anti-seasick medicine before boarding.
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