Whale watchers return

20.07.2021 - 15:02
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Stephanie Wrobel
North Iceland’s ‘Capital of Whale Watching’ is looking forward to strong late summer and autumn, if the pandemic does not throw a spanner in the works.

Húsavík is known as one of the best whale watching spots in Europe, though the pandemic kept tourists away this spring. The summer season is going well, even though numbers are still down on pre-COVID years. Operators say they hope for strong demand in August and September.

Stefán Guðmundsson, owner of Gentle Giants, says: 
“Let’s just say it has been good by stages. It didn’t start with any kind of hoorah and people’s booking notice got shorter because of the situation.” 

Stefán Jón Sigurgeirsson, the CEO of rival North Sailingz, agrees: 
“We’ve had great weather here in Húsavík and Húsavík has been buzzing with life. And we have been able to take advantage of this as well.”

“The tour was great and we saw many whales and especially minke whales. So it was an excellent tour,” say Christopher and Maria, tourists from France.

“It was good. We saw two whales. It was a humpback and a minke whale,” add Anika and Julia, tourists from Germany. Have you seen whales before? “No, I have never seen whales before so I think it was pretty amazing. Because they went really close up to the boat, so it was very nice.”

Who is watching the whales these days? “It is a majority Americans, but Europeans have also been growing in number recently,” explains Stefán Jón.

Both men are optimistic for the next stage, provide there are no further setbacks: “We have high hopes for August being even better and September could be strong, because there are a lot of countries that have yet to start going travelling,” says Stefán.

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