North Sailing takes action – goes from ecofriendly to carbon neutral!

Go carbon neutral with North Sailing!

North Sailing aims to become a leader in environmentally sound tourism around the coasts of Iceland and Eastern Greenland. We therefore consider our obligation to be twofold: the minimization of greenhouse gas emissions by our ships, as well as the enlightenment of our passengers with respect to environmental protection and sustainable resource usage.



It is becoming increasingly clear that the use of hydrocarbons cannot be sustained if a dramatic climate change is to be avoided. There are few places in the world where climate changes are as evident as in the northern hemisphere. Arctic sea ice has melted dramatically in recent years, breaking all previous records.


Closer to Nature – In respect to the living Nature

Amongst whales we find the largest animal species that have ever lived on the planet. Many of those species have been hunted to extinction and too many are still endangered due to various actions of man. As participators in whale watching, we are guests in their world and we ought to respect that. In addition to years of experience, which has given our crew valuable knowledge about how to approach the whales with minimum disturbance – international conventions on the matters are also strictly held.


Husavik Original Whale Watching (NS-1)

North Sailing has always had a policy based on respect towards the animals and the nature. By reducing the use of engine and minimizing the speed of the boats when sailing in the area, Co2- emission is substantially lower, and the noise from the boat less disturbing for the whales. Both these factors also have a positive effect on the passenger’s experience.



From Ecofriendly to Carbon Neutral


Green Whale Watching (NS 2) – Whales, Puffins and sails

From 2002 North Sailing has in addition to ordinary whale watching, offered whale watching and other tours in renovated traditional schooners. Those tours provide a whole new dimension when exploring the nature and its wildlife. By using the wind-energy directly for propulsion both energy and emission is saved. When sailing, the boats are silent, which is a great advantage for both whales and passengers.


Carbon neutral operation 


In 2015, North Sailing became the first whale watching company in the world to offer carbon neutral  whale watching. In cooperation with some other actors, North Sailing has developed a unique hybrid propulsion system that allows running the ship on renewable energy instead of fossil fuel. Schooner Opal was converted to run on this system and was launched on July 12th by the Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson.


During 3-4 hour whale watching tours, schooner Opal runs on electricity from batteries, which in turn are charged in harbour by green renewable energy from the Icelandic energy grid. In close contact with whales, and with little wind, only electricity is used for propulsion.

When sailing the ship, the propeller functions as a turbine to produce electricity for the batteries. This electricity is used for both propulsion and for running the equipment on board.


In longer tours, electricity can be produced with generators or windpower.


The aim of North Sailing in few years perspective, is to convert all its whale watching ship to carbon neutral vessels, based on the experience from the Opal project.


Because our future depends on it !