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Whale watching companies to merge

The owners of Icelandic whale watching companies Elding and Hafsúlan recently announced that they had signed an agreement to merge, creating the biggest whale watching company in Iceland.

The new company is expected to have about 60,000 customers in 2007. Last year the two companies had 50,000 customers in total. Fréttabladid reports.

Einar Steinthórsson, managing director of the new company, said the merge enables improved service. “We aim to offer all sort of activities at sea, such as whale watching, rod fishing, bird watching and a variation of cruises,” said Steinthórsson.

“We intend to enlarge the educational information center in the old capelin ship and to offer trips all year round and possibly invest in a new whale watching ship,” he added. The new company currently has four ships.

Steinthórsson said nine out of ten customers are foreign tourists, but in the last few years Icelanders have become more interested in the tours the two whale watching companies have to offer, especially fishing and cruises, which have doubled as confirmation parties or weddings.

The new company will apply for an environmental recognition from the Green Globe next spring. If approved it will be the first whale watching company in the world to be recognized in that way.

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