Hauganes is a small fishing village situated on the western shore of Eyjafjörður in the north of Iceland. It’s a region renowned for its large numbers of whales, most notably the humpback. The village is also home to Iceland’s original whale watching company, which offers daily trips on board a traditional wooden boat and boasts an almost-guaranteed chance of spotting marine life. The most commonly spotted species in the fjord are humpback whales, harbour porpoises, bottlenose dolphins and minke whales. As you motor along, you can also enjoy the scenery along the coast of one of Iceland’s longest fjords.
Meet your guide and the rest of your group at the Whale Watching Hauganes base at the port and get outfitted in a full floatation suit. The wind can be chilly and we recommend wearing warm base layers.
Once you’ve boarded and the boat has set sail, your guide will give a short safety introduction and talk to you about the whales you might see, and what you should look out for. You may see whales straight away or it could take a while to find any marine life — either way, you can enjoy the impressive scenery around the fjord.
Once the captain and your guide have spotted something, often within minutes of leaving the port, they’ll let the group know and bring the boat as close as is responsible for you to get a good view. There are no generators on board the boat and the engines can be turned off for a non-intrusive approach, which means that usually the marine life is content to stay close by. Humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and minke whales are most common, but occasionally blue whales can also be spotted.
As you make your way back to Hauganes, you’ll get the opportunity to try your hand at some sea angling. Equipment is provided on board, and your guide will demonstrate what to do for any beginners. There’s a wealth of fish in the fjord and it’s easy to catch something, which you can take with you or return to the sea if you prefer. For those who’d like to keep their fish, the captain will prepare the meat for you and present you with the cuts in a bag as you disembark. The most common fish are cod, pollock, haddock and catfish, with the occasional giant halibut.
You’ll spend between two to three hours out on the water. Hot drinks and pastries are offered on board, and once you return to Hauganes, you have the option of soaking in an oceanside hot tub.