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Akureyri Whale Watching


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We are stopping in Akureyri Iceland on our Fire and Ice cruise in early August 2020. I am wondering about taking the ships tour to go whale watching or booking independently. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We will be on the Island Princess.

 
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We always book independent trips but there is no guarantee you will see whales. We actually saw whales alongside the ship while sailing near Isafjord.  I can really recommend FAB Tours who can show you around Akureyri and surrounding area in a small  minibus.  This was our favourite stop as there is so much to see nearby. We asked to be dropped in the town rather than at the ship and walked through the town which was pleasant.

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Hi OP, we cruised the Norwegian Fjords and circumnavigated Iceland on the Pacific Princess last September. We tend not to take ship excursions (unless a million cruise ships are in Flåm and they have block-booked the railway!) and similar to dronnygirl we took a tour with FAB from Akureyri (their Lake Mÿvatn" tour - we'd highly recommend).

 

Regardless of whether you take a ship's tour or an independent, I'd check the independent companies' websites for all your PoC to check the expected sightings. Also keep your eyes peeled - we had a fantastic whale watching experience, just from our ship...

Edited by BritinSoCal
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Not sure where in Canada you are, but our one regret in Iceland was doing a whale watching tour which we could have done back home much easier.  If you are near a coast, take advantage of that opportunity and do something in Iceland you can only do there, like the Diamond tour or Myvatn tour.

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Thank you for the input Nitemare. We are in Ontario  it we have travelled Canada coast to coast. Others in our party have not. But from the responses I think your suggestion of Myvatn might be the way to go. I appreciate the suggestions.

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3 hours ago, Cg52 said:

Thank you for the input Nitemare. We are in Ontario  it we have travelled Canada coast to coast. Others in our party have not. But from the responses I think your suggestion of Myvatn might be the way to go. I appreciate the suggestions.

If you  are also calling at Reykjavik then FAB tours give a discount for booking tours from both locations. 

At Myvatn you can swim in the lagoon but we were given the choice of having a quick look round and moving to see another site or swimming.  We all 8 on the trip voted to have a quick lunch at Myvatn then move on. Good move as there are so many different sites to see.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

We will be there in August. Our ship offers two whale watching excursions. One is directly from Akureyri, and is an "included" tour, so costs nothing extra. The other is from Husavik, and costs an extra $219.  Has anyone done a whale watch out of Husavik? Is the difference worth the price? In other words, does it offer a better chance of actual whale sightings that time of year?

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8 hours ago, wishIweretravelling said:

We will be there in August. Our ship offers two whale watching excursions. One is directly from Akureyri, and is an "included" tour, so costs nothing extra. The other is from Husavik, and costs an extra $219.  Has anyone done a whale watch out of Husavik? Is the difference worth the price? In other words, does it offer a better chance of actual whale sightings that time of year?

What kind of boats do they each use, and are they the same amount of time?

 

We did a RIB tour out of Húsavík in August while we were on a self-drive trip around Iceland. From the research I did beforehand, it sounded like the bay near Húsavík had incredibly high chances of spotting whales, so since we had the option of going anywhere, that’s what we opted for.

 

In the end, we weren’t terribly lucky with the big whales and saw just one humpback briefly. (But we had a huge pod of dolphins follow us back, swimming around the boat and actually leaping out of the water. So the passengers collectively agreed to cut the whale search short and just drive around playing with the dolphins instead!)

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It's not clear what type of boats are used, but they clearly aren't RIBs (there's another port where the excursions uses a RIB, and this is clearly spelled out there). 

 

Your excursion sounds like fun, though not optimal for whale watching. I'm actually tempted to forego the whales and go to Godafoss instead.

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On 12/16/2019 at 7:04 PM, Nitemare said:

Our three favorites in Myvatn were the Nature Baths (like Blue Lagoon, but cheaper and much less crowded), climbing Hverfjall (steep, but it's got steps so not difficult) and the geothermal area Hverir

 

 

I agree with this. and actually, the Blue Lagoon is man made and a tourist trap IMO, where as the Myvatn baths are natural springs and not man made. Too many people overlook this area and Dettifoss. On our last cruise we rented a car and drove to both of these areas. So worth it!

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3 hours ago, pmjnh said:

the Myvatn baths are natural springs and not man made.

This isn't true. Just like the Blue Lagoon, the Mývatn baths are created from run-off from the nearby power plant. "The water supplies for the lagoon run straight from the National Power Company´s bore hole in Bjarnarflag... The lagoon itself is a man-made construction." https://myvatnnaturebaths.is/lagoon/

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We did a whale watch out of Husavik a few years ago.  Saw a few whales (but not as many as Bay of Fundy in NS).   Two types of trips offered  - on what looks like a large fishing boat (about 80 people) and another on a zodiac (maybe 12-15).   The zodiac tours provide what looks like rubberized survival suits which you need to fight the spray.  It is cold (below 50F) and choppy out there.   On the bigger boat, which we took, they provided heavy duty parkas and what looked like rubberized waders (w/o the boots).   They gave us a welcome hot chocolate and cookies as well. They also run (in season) a combination whale watch and bird tour (of a nearby island with lots of nesting sites).   We were off season for that.   

 

What was most impressive about Husavik was a decent size whaling museum in the dock area.   Informative and well done.  Husavik is a reasonable drive from Akureyri and takes you right past Godafoss (waterfall of the gods) - a must see.   We did Husavik (1/2 day), Myvatn (Dimmuborgir lava formations)  and Godafoss, returning to Akuyeyri in the same day, using Akuyeryi's Hotel Kea as our base for touring the area.   Lots of daylight for touring in the summer months in Iceland. 

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We spent 10 days in Iceland a couple of years ago, driving the ring road.  We did the whale watching out of Husavik Harbor using Nordursigling in a traditional oak boat, saw lots of mostly Minke whales, but altogether a great experience.  From Akureyri, I would definitely see Godafoss, as it is only about a 30 minute drive away.  It is breathtaking!  I would also recommend the Hverir geothermal area.  

Myvatn is an experience I'll never forget!  If you have any problems with nudity I'd probably opt for the Blue Lagoon near Reykyvik instead.  Myvatn is less visited by tourists, so the large public pre-shower experience is a bit uncomfortable for some.  I believe Blue Lagoon has private showers to use.  (Believe it or not, Blue Lagoon is about the only attraction we did not experience on our trip!)

Dettifoss would be a rather long trip in the car from Akureyri, and the roads can be rough, depending on the time of year you visit.  

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