Video: 20 humpback whales swimming in North Iceland

Whale watching boat from Whale Watching Hauganes ran into a group of 20 humpback whales on their tour yesterday. Humpback whales are common around Iceland in summer, but they are very rarely seen so many together. They are 13-17m long and weigh 25-40 tons, so the show must have been impressive. A photographer on the tour caught this display on his drone.

“The owner, Árni, was sailing the boat on this trip. He said that in all his years he’s never seen anything like it,” says Whale Watching Hauganes marketing director Aðalsteinn Svan Hjelm, who was also on the tour.

Whistling whales

“It seemed like they were hoarding the food, and there was so much going on! When the whales came up to breathe they were whistling through their blow holes, they were breathing so heavily to get back down to the food as quickly as they could. Humpback whales eat around 2 tons a day, and there were around 20 of them… there must have been a lot of food down there!”


Photographer Slater Moore from California caught the display on his drone. He specializes photographing whales and according to Hjelm he plans to release more videos from this spectacular event, this is just the first taste.

See the whales from the shore

Whale Watching Hauganes is Iceland’s oldest whale watching company, with two old fashioned Icelandic fishing boat. It’s located in a small village called Hauganes in North Iceland, 25 minute drive from Akureyri. The fjord Hauganes stands by is a popular destination for whales.

“We can easily stand at the bank and look out to the ocean, see where the whales are and sail there. We recorded it last year, our whale watching boats were on average 18 minutes to reach the whales, and both this year and the last we’ve seen whales in all of our tours.”

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