Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


Former whale hunting boat becomes an Eco-friendly whale watching vessel

By Staff

  • Raised from the dead The sunken vessel being lifted from the seabed in Sandgerdi harbour. Photo/Emil Páll

Whale watching company North Sailing, located in the town of Húsavík in North Iceland, is currently having a future addition to its fleet carefully restored at the local shipyard under the watchful eye of North Sailing’s master craftsmen, according to a news release by the company.


Towards better times The vessel's hull in Húsavík harbour before taken to the shipyard for restoration. Photo/North Sailing

It's a sign of the time that the vessel was once used by whale hunters but will now be used to peacefully admire those beautiful creatures.

The boat sank in Sandgerði's harbour, a fishing village located on Reykjanes peninsula in Southwest Iceland, some years ago. However, once hoisted back to the surface, the hull was bought by North Sailing for restoration.

The restored wooden boat will be launched and ready for whale watching activities as of 1 July.


A bloody past Once the boat of whale hunters, now a whale watching vessel. Photo/North Sailing

This ninth ship in North Sailing’s fleet will become one of the world’s eco-friendliest whale watching vessels, running entirely on batteries and charged with Iceland’s green land-based electricity. Then this old vessel will not only have been completely restored but will also have done the full circle. Once a vessel for whale hunting, now an eco-friendly vessel for whale watching. 

According to Gústaf Gústafsson, director of product development, marketing and sales at North Sailing, the company has recently offered its passengers the chance to visit the shipyard to monitor the restoration process.

Read more: 13 Reasons to visit North Iceland in the Spring

Since 1994 North Sailing has carefully restored six historic, Icelandic wooden vessels, and subsequently taken a leading role in the preservation of a vital part of Icelandic coastal culture.

As from 1 April, North Sailing offers two daily departures for its whale watching tours from Húsavík. The town is located in Skjálfandaflói bay, which is one of Iceland's very top places for spotting whales.

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