Humpback whale festival in Húsavík
To make it short, we have been enjoying absolutely incredible conditions in Skjálfandi Bay lately! Humpback whales are here in big numbers and it’s hard to imagine whale watching getting any better than this!
Feeding frenzy continues
Humpback whales are very active these days using all the different stunning feeding techniques – from lunge feeding to very fascinating bubble net feeding (watch the video here)! All of them are nice to watch, as they very often feed right under the surface with short, shallow dives in between and coming up with a mouth full of seawater and food right next to the boat. There are also numerous seabirds following the whales around and ready to feed on some leftovers from this feeding party!
During the summer months in Húsavík humpback whales eat all day and night with just short breaks to rest. They have an ultimate goal to achieve – gain huge fat reserves for the winter! It’s important for humpbacks to pack on blubber before migration to warmer waters.
Mother and calf
Great comeback of a big mother humpback whale! Most of our passengers enjoyed magical moments last days when we were amazed by the encounter with a big mother humpback with a small calf alongside her. The calf is very curious and full of energy! We witnessed all the juvenile behaviour such as lobtailing, breaching and rolling around.
According to our head guide Christian Schmidt “This big mother humpback whale has been in Skjálfandi Bay before on the 2nd and 3rd of June 2017 (without calf), and also on the 10th and 11th of June 2019 (with a calf).”
So she is very much on time (just a few days early this year), but she already came here with a different calf exactly three years ago! We always act responsibly around the whales and we take special care when a mother with her small calf is around. And they must really like it here since they have been spotted for many days in a row!
“Amazing trip. Great crew. Don’t think twice just go! It was perfect conditions. Sun from a blue sky, relatively warm and no strong winds. The crew was very nice and you got the feeling that they actually cared about giving us a great experience. We first saw a humpback whale eating and we stayed with it. Later we so a group of white beaked dolphins which entertained us by swimming under the boat making us run from side to side. In the end the crew spotted 3 humpback whales and we saw a mother with her calf just 20 meters from the boat which is very rare in Iceland. This was amazing and one of the best days of my life.”
What is so magical about Skjálfandi Bay?
Skjálfandi Bay is a feeding haven for humpback whales, thanks to its ideal location! The Laxá river (freshwater river) and Skjálfandafljót (glacier river) and countless snow-melt creeks and waterfalls add vital nutrients to the waters! Abundant summer daylight combined with a unique mixture of sea currents creates an ideal habitat for a wide variety of krill and fish. As a result, Húsavík is a unique feeding ground that attracts countless seabirds and plenty of whales.