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Whale Watching in Iceland

Posted: 10th December 2014 16:50

If you’ve seen Free Willy, then chances are you wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the majestic rulers of the ocean in their natural habitat – anyone can press their nose against the glass at SeaWorld, but few get to witness the beauty of whales as they frolic and feed off Iceland’s frozen coastlines. 

Iceland is one of the best destinations for whale watching; there are 23 different types of whales that stalk these coast lines, from humpback and blue to orcas and minke, making the likelihood of a wasted journey very unlikely.  Since 1997, whale watching has been a stable of the country’s economy, ensuring it’s easier than ever to catch a glimpse of these creatures. 

If you’re on the hunt for whales you’ll want to get yourself to either the capital city of Reykjavik or the northern town of Húsavík, two of the better locations for whale watching.  Both areas have well-developed whale watching industries, and follow strict laws ensuring they cause disturbance to both the animals and their habitat.  Tours are available all year round, although if you’re organising your trip around a whale watching adventure it might be best to time it for the summer; the abundant supply of food during the warmer months draws in whales from far and wide. 

Don’t be put off by the Arctic waters and bracing winds – these boat trips are comfortable experiences.  Many companies offer on board luxuries such as heated indoor seating areas and video screens that will help you track the location of the whales – enjoy a hot drink or snack and settle in for the relaxing ride.  Large open viewing decks provide outstanding views, enabling you to line up the perfect photograph, whilst blankets might be offered to help you stay out on deck for as long as possible.  In between ticking off the whale species you spy, keep your eyes peeled for puffins, seals and basking sharks, as they all vie for food (and possibly for attention!).

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