Reykjavik is the perfect destination for any nature enthusiast and adventure-seeker. The beautiful city in Iceland is known for its stunning landscapes and breathtaking wildlife, including the majestic whales that inhabit its surrounding waters. Whale watching is one of the most sought-after activities in the area, and for an excellent reason. With so many tour options available, it can be challenging to decide on the best one. Therefore, in this post, we will guide you through the best whale watching tours in Reykjavik, ensuring you have a once-in-a-lifetime experience while respecting the natural environment.
The 21 Best Whale Watching in Reykjavik
- Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik Old Harbour
- Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik
- Whale Watching Cruise
- Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik
- 6 Day Around Iceland Adventure
- South Coast Classic Day Trip from Reykjavik With Live Guide and Touch Screen Audio Guide
- Reykjavik Whale Watching on a Luxury Yacht
- Golden Circle Classic Day Tour from Reykjavik With Touch Screen Audio Guide
- Small Group Reykjavik Rib Whale Watching Cruise
- Whale Watching 3 Hour Trip from Reykjavik
- Reykjavik Scenic Whale Watching Tour
- Whale Watching on Board a Yacht
- Reykjavik Whale Watching Boat Trip
- Reykjavik Hop on Hop Off Tour 24h Ticket
- Whale Watching from Reykjavik
- Rib Express Whale Watching Tour
- Whales and Puffins Combo
- Reykjavik Whale Watching by Rib Speedboat
- Reykjavik Small Group Whale Watching Cruise
- Whale Watching Express from Reykjavik
- Whales of Iceland Exhibition
The 21 Best Whale Watching in Reykjavik
1. Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik Old Harbour
Experience the magic of whale watching on a cruise from Reykjavik Old Harbour. With a knowledgeable guide, cruise the coastal curve of Iceland to marvel at whales in their natural habitat. Scour the sea for sightings of porpoises and dolphins as you listen to fascinating facts surrounding the majestic creatures that inhabit the Icelandic ocean. Heighten your chances of seeing whales on this tour, which boasts a success rate of 95% in summer and 80% in winter.
This whale watching tour from Reykjavik includes overalls, raincoats and blankets to keep you warm and comfortable during the cruise. You’ll have the chance to spot rare sea birds and other creatures in addition to the whales. The tour includes an admission ticket to the Wildlife Exhibition, food and drinks, as well as hotel pickup and drop-off.
Choose from multiple departures to best suit your schedule and meet us at the designated meeting point at Ægisgarður 5, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland. The knowledgeable live guide will lead you on a memorable journey to search for these magnificent giants of the sea.
2. Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik
Cruise Faxaflói Bay in search of humpback and minke whales during this whale-watching tour from Reykjavik. Stay warm and dry in provided thermal coveralls as you look for signs of their presence. Watch out for harbor porpoises, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, and humpbacks, and learn about some of Iceland’s most majestic native wildlife from an onboard guide. Choose between a 3.5-hour whale-watching cruise or a 2.5-hour high-speed boat version, both of which have indoor/outdoor viewing areas and multiple departure times to fit your schedule. With so much to see and learn, this whale-watching adventure is a must-do while in Reykjavik.
3. Whale Watching Cruise
Experience the beauty of Reykjavik from a different perspective on this unforgettable whale watching cruise. Embark on a spacious yacht from the Old Harbor and sail through Faxalfoi Bay while en route to observe local wildlife in their natural habitat, including minke, humpback, and even killer whales. With panoramic viewing windows on board, you won’t miss any exciting wildlife sightings. Plus, with provided overalls and onboard Wi-Fi to upload your live photos, you can stay warm and share your experience with the world. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Reykjavik’s landmarks from the water. And if you don’t see any creatures on your tour, receive a ticket for another day. Drinks and snacks are available for purchase, and there are spacious observation decks with ample seating to make your journey comfortable. Join us at Sea Trips Reykjavík, located at the Reykjavík Old Harbour close to the city center. Please arrive 30 minutes before departure time.
4. Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik
Whale watching enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the chance to witness the beautiful sea creatures in their natural habitat. Hop on a comfortable boat for a Reykjavik whale watching cruise and prepare to be amazed. With experienced and professional guides to assist you throughout the trip, the tour offers access to outside decks for an unobstructed view of the sea and enclosed cabin for those who prefer to stay in comfort. Keep your eyes peeled for minke whales, dolphins, and humpbacks while cruising along the stunning coast. The tour also features an indoor saloon stocked with snacks and beverages, sold on board, to quench your thirst and fill up your stomach. Book now and get ready for an unforgettable experience!
5. 6 Day Around Iceland Adventure
Take a 6-day adventure around Iceland to experience its best attractions. Starting from Reykjavik, you will tour the Golden Circle and explore the south coast’s black sands and basalt cliffs. Visit the eastern fjords, Akureyri, and Lake Myvatn for an unforgettable experience. Enjoy various adventures including hiking, a glacier walk at Skaftafell, and a whale watching cruise. With a small group of no more than 15 people, the tour offers a more personalized experience. The package includes accommodation for five nights, daily breakfast, air-conditioned transport, and free Wi-Fi. National Park fees, food and drinks, live commentary, and gratuities are also included. Join this fantastic tour at 08:00 AM sharp with multiple pickup points available. Don’t miss out on this wonderful Icelandic adventure.
6. South Coast Classic Day Trip from Reykjavik With Live Guide and Touch Screen Audio Guide
Explore Iceland’s southern coast on a full-day guided trip from Reykjavik and discover some of the country’s most breathtaking sights. With an audio guide that’s available in 10 different languages, you will learn about the stunning landscapes of Iceland as you travel comfortably in a climate-controlled coach. Visit the volcanic Vestmannaeyjar Islands, see numerous waterfalls, and be amazed by the picturesque black sand beaches. Also, witness the incredible Sólheimajökull Glacier for a full Icelandic experience. On-board free WiFi and USB chargers are available for your convenience, and headphones/earbuds are provided for the on-board audio guide. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience Iceland’s charm and beauty. Upgrade to include round-trip transport from your hotel.
7. Reykjavik Whale Watching on a Luxury Yacht
Discover Iceland’s aquatic wildlife on a relaxing cruise aboard a spacious yacht. Board your vessel at Reykjavik’s Old Harbor and venture out to Faxafloi Bay keeping your eyes peeled for whales, dolphins and during the summer months puffins. While you sail, admire the coastline dotted with mountains, Reykjavik landmarks and small islands. Your onboard guide will provide fascinating commentary on the local wildlife as you enjoy uninterrupted views from the observation deck. Stay connected with onboard Wi-Fi and warm up with cozy blankets provided by the crew. This tour includes free WiFi, warm blankets, and in case of no sightings a complimentary ticket to try again free of charge. The meeting point is at Harpa Yachts | Snekkjan ehf. – Ægisgarður 5G, Reykjavík Old Harbour, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland. It’s just a few minutes walk from hotels in 101, and taxi is also a very easy and affordable choice.
8. Golden Circle Classic Day Tour from Reykjavik With Touch Screen Audio Guide
Capture the spirit of Iceland with the Golden Circle Classic Day Tour from Reykjavik, featuring an audio guide with a choice of 10 languages. You’ll explore Thingvellir National Park’s mossy expanses and deep fissures, home to the world’s oldest existing parliament and the Geysir geothermal area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour includes a visit to the Gullfoss waterfall, the most impressive cascade in Iceland and a must-see for spectacular photos. The round-trip transportation from Reykjavik hotels is included (if option selected) along with national park fees. Your local guide will share insights on Iceland’s geologic history during the comprehensive tour. Also, in-bus free WiFi is available to stay connected.
9. Small Group Reykjavik Rib Whale Watching Cruise
Cruise Faxaflói Bay in a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) on a 2-hour small-group whale-watching expedition from Reykjavik. This amazing experience includes spotting minke and humpback whales, porpoises, and white-beaked dolphins in their natural habitat. You will also see puffins on the islands near Reykjavik Old Harbour and enjoy a picturesque view of the city’s most distinctive sights from the water. This small-group tour is limited to a maximum of 12 people, ensuring a more personalized experience. Along with a professional marine biologist guide, you’ll have access to all necessary safety equipment, use of coveralls, and food and drinks. The tour also includes a stop at the Sun Voyager sculpture and Harpa Concert Hall. The meeting point is Ægi, and hotel pickup and drop-off is included in the package.
10. Whale Watching 3 Hour Trip from Reykjavik
Set sail in style from Reykjavik’s old harbor on Iceland’s largest whale-watching ship, the Andrea. With an experienced guide, spot various types of whales, dolphins, porpoises and orcas as you cruise along the pristine waters. Stay warm and cozy with the overalls provided by the crew and enjoy the heated indoor seating and WiFi. Browse the souvenir shop or relax at the café during the trip. If you don’t see any whales, rest assured that you’ll be given another ticket for free. The company also offers hotel transfers, hot drinks and refreshments available for purchase. The app is available in five languages so you can learn more about the whales and dolphins you spot during the trip.
11. Reykjavik Scenic Whale Watching Tour
Take a scenic boat tour from Reykjavik’s harbor to experience Iceland’s rich marine life. Marvel at the great variety of whales and other marine animals in the Reykjavik area, including minke and humpback whales, harbor porpoises, and whale-beaked dolphins. Your journey will be accompanied by experienced, friendly, and professional guides, and the boat has heated indoor cabins with toilet facilities, as well as free onboard WiFi. Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Icelandic coast as you take in the beauty of our awesome ocean and the animals that call it home. The peak season for whale watching runs from April to October, but there are always magical creatures to spot in the ocean, so you never know what you might see. Book your spot now and experience the best whale watching in Reykjavik!
12. Whale Watching on Board a Yacht
Come aboard a luxurious yacht and experience the incredible wealth of marine wildlife just off the shores of Reykjavik City. This whale-watching tour offers the opportunity to see Iceland’s majestic whales, dolphins, and porpoises in their natural habitat. Watch from the triple panoramic decks in style and comfort, or unwind in the plush bar and lounge areas. With expert guides on board, learn about these amazing creatures and the ocean they call home. Warm blankets and WiFi are provided, and drinks and snacks are available for purchase. Hotel pick-up and drop-off can also be included. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable adventure on the Icelandic seas.
13. Reykjavik Whale Watching Boat Trip
Experience the thrill of spotting some of the biggest creatures on the planet with the Reykjavik Whale Watching Boat Trip. Venture out onto the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean on a mission to find the magnificent minke and humpback whales, alongside a range of other awe-inspiring aquatic species and wildlife.
Your adventure begins at a charming harbor in the center of the city, where you will board a comfortable and well-equipped boat with heated indoor cabins, toilet facilities, free WiFi, and warm flotation overalls provided. As you set out towards Kollafjöður, you will enjoy informative commentary from experienced guides about the area’s fascinating history and culture.
During the tour, you will be on the lookout for various species of whales, including minke and humpback whales, as well as dolphins, seals, and other fascinating creatures that call the ocean their home. You’ll also have the chance to gaze upon the stunning scenery of Iceland’s coastline, and even catch a glimpse of the beautiful Videy Island.
As a bonus, the tour offers complimentary seasickness tablets, and in the unlikely event that you don’t spot any whales, you’ll receive a free ticket to join the tour again. Food and drinks are available for purchase on board, and the tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off for your ultimate convenience.
Join us for an unforgettable experience and the chance to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
14. Reykjavik Hop on Hop Off Tour 24h Ticket
Your Reykjavik adventure begins with a hop-on hop-off tour that covers all the must-see spots in the city. The tour provides informative on-board commentary available in multiple languages.
You’ll get to visit the Whale Watching Center and have the chance to see the National Museum and browse the shops in the Kringlan Shopping Center. The Skarfabakki Harbor offers a stunning view of the city.
The Reykjavik Hop on Hop Off Tour stops at some of the most popular sites, including the Harpa Concert Hall, the Old Harbour, the Viking Maritime Museum, Whales of Iceland, the National Museum, Laekjargata, and Laugavegur Shopping Street.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see the amazing Mount Esja and Snaefellsjokull glacier while experiencing the blend of modern lifestyle and natural landscapes of Reykjavik. Choose between the 24 or 48-hour ticket and explore the city at your own pace with ease, comfort and convenience.
15. Whale Watching from Reykjavik
Climb aboard a boat operated by an environmentally certified whale watching company in Reykjavik and embark on an unforgettable adventure. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke, and orca whales, as well as white-beaked dolphins and harbor porpoises, all while enjoying the scenic backdrop of Iceland’s coastline. With access to a local partner’s whale-watching center, complimentary Wi-Fi on board, and the ability to purchase food and drinks, you’ll have everything needed for a comfortable and thrilling experience. Don’t forget to check out the Whale Diary online to keep up with sightings and conditions in the area and to help protect and preserve Iceland’s magnificent landscape, home to these beautiful creatures. Book your whale watching tour today and get ready for an adventure you won’t soon forget.
16. Rib Express Whale Watching Tour
Climb aboard a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) for a thrilling whale watching tour along the coastline of Reykjavik. Equipped with special shock suspension seating for a smoother ride, travel up to 12 meters long to spot whales and other marine life in the wild. With the help of an experienced guide providing information about the animals and the bay, you’ll benefit from warm flotation suits life vests gloves and goggles to keep you cozy and safe. During the summer months, stop by the island of Akurey to look for adorable puffins and see their nests along the coast during their breeding season. Enjoy a fast and exciting ride with the wind in your hair, reaching a comfortable cruising speed of 32 knots and getting plenty of time in the feeding grounds to discover these majestic creatures up close.
17. Whales and Puffins Combo
Discover the adorable puffins of Reykjavík on a cruise departing from the Old Harbor. Board a large boat and sail to Faxaflói Bay to search for local whales. Don’t worry about the cold as warm overalls are provided, and inside seating is available. During the puffin tour, a guide will help spot the local wildlife with binoculars and guarantee 100% sightings. Hot drinks and refreshments are available for purchase. If no whales are spotted, another ticket will be provided free of charge.
18. Reykjavik Whale Watching by Rib Speedboat
Hop aboard a RIB speedboat and head out for a thrilling adventure just off Reykjavik’s coast. Marvel at the abundance of sea life Iceland has to offer such as majestic whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Begin your tour from Reykjavík’s Old Harbor and cruise among the small islands in the Faxaflói Bay as well as along the coast of Reykjavík. Admire fantastic views of the city and its landmarks like the Harpa concert hall as you search for wildlife in the water.
During your tour pass by Engey, the second-largest island of the Kollafjörður (Faxa Bay) fjord in western Iceland. Also, cruise past Lundey, literally “Puffin Island” in Icelandic, a small uninhabited island. Don’t forget that you’ll have the chance to go again for free if you don’t see any wildlife. Enjoy an intimate tour aboard a 12-seater RIB boat, and make unforgettable memories.
19. Reykjavik Small Group Whale Watching Cruise
Experience the incredible wildlife of the bay on the Reykjavik Small Group Whale Watching Cruise. Embark on a yacht cruise and admire the stunning coastline and the nearby islands. During the summer months, spot various sea birds including puffins. But the main highlight of the tour is the chance to witness the giants of the ocean – minke and humpback whales – in their natural habitat in Faxafloi Bay. The tour provides warm blankets and Wi-Fi on board, and in the event of no sightings, a ticket to return again. Book now for an unforgettable wildlife adventure.
20. Whale Watching Express from Reykjavik
Join a whale watching tour for an unforgettable experience in Reykjavik. Climb aboard an express boat and reach the whale watching grounds in just 20-30 minutes. The boat is equipped with modern technology and amenities for your comfort while at sea. Your guide will provide interesting information about the different whales and seabirds you’re likely to see while you watch nature from the viewing decks. Spend less time waiting and more time whale watching on board the express boat. The tour also includes warm overalls, Wi-Fi, and pickup from your location. Don’t waste time on your visit to Iceland and book this whale watching express tour now.
21. Whales of Iceland Exhibition
The Whales of Iceland Exhibition is a must-visit museum for those seeking to learn more about the magnificent marine life in the waters around Iceland. With life-size models of 23 whale species, interactive displays, and an audio guide available in 12+ languages, this is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures. You’ll also have the chance to watch the powerful documentary Sonic Sea, and learn about conservation issues and solutions at the Fin Whale Theatre. The museum is conveniently located just a short walk or drive from the heart of Reykjavík’s harbor. Your ticket includes entry to the museum – an unforgettable experience for adults and children alike.
Whale Watching in Reykjavik: Frequently Asked Questions
Are you planning a trip to Reykjavik and considering going on a whale watching tour? Whale watching is a unique experience that allows you to witness the beauty and majesty of some of the world’s largest mammals in their natural habitat. If this is your first time going whale watching in Reykjavik, you likely have many questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about whale watching in Reykjavik.
1. What types of whales can I expect to see during a whale watching tour in Reykjavik?
Reykjavik is one of the best places in the world for whale watching, as the city is located near two different whale feeding areas. During a tour, you might spot several species of whales, such as humpback whales, orcas, minke whales, and blue whales. Additionally, you may also get the chance to see other marine life, such as dolphins, seals, and various species of seabirds.
2. When is the best time to go whale watching in Reykjavik?
Whale watching tours operate year-round in Reykjavik, but the best time to go depends on the species you are hoping to spot. Humpback whales are commonly seen between May and September, while orcas and minke whales are typically seen year-round. The winter months may offer the chance to see larger baleen whales, like the blue whale. Additionally, the summer months (June to August) have the benefit of 24 hours of daylight, which can increase your chances of spotting whales.
3. What should I wear during a whale watching tour?
It’s important to dress warmly during a whale watching tour, regardless of the time of year. Reykjavik can be quite cold, especially out on the open water. We recommend wearing comfortable, waterproof clothing and sturdy, non-slip footwear. You may also want to bring a hat, gloves, and a scarf to protect your face and extremities from the wind. Don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars as well!
4. Can I guarantee that I will see whales during a tour?
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will see whales during a tour. While our tour operators follow whale spotting patterns and take you to areas where whales have been spotted before, these are wild animals and move freely. However, our operators have a high success rate in finding whales, and on the rare occasion that no whales are seen, guests are offered a return ticket free of charge for another tour.
5. Is it safe to go on a whale watching tour?
Yes, it is considered generally safe to go on a whale watching tour in Reykjavik. The tour operators take safety very seriously and have strict protocols in place, such as providing life jackets and ensuring that the boats are inspected regularly. However, since the weather can change quickly in Iceland, it’s important to follow all instructions given by the tour operator and to listen to the crew at all times.
6. Can I bring my children on a whale watching tour?
Yes, most tour operators allow children on their tours. However, it’s important to check the minimum age limit and safety requirements of each tour operator before booking. Additionally, depending on the age of your child, you may want to ensure they are comfortable on a boat and not prone to seasickness.
7. How long do whale watching tours last?
Whale watching tours typically last between 2-4 hours, depending on the chosen tour and distance of the whale spotting area. Some tour operators offer shorter or longer tours, so you have the option to choose an itinerary that best suits you.
8. Can I bring food and drink on a whale watching tour?
Most tour operators provide refreshments on their tours, but you are also welcome to bring your snacks and drinks. It’s important to note that alcoholic beverages are not allowed on board.
9. How much does a whale watching tour in Reykjavik cost?
Prices for whale watching tours in Reykjavik vary depending on the tour operator and package you choose. The average cost is around 10,000 – 15,000 ISK per person, or around 70-100 USD. Some tour operators offer special group rates and discounts for children and seniors.
10. How do I book a whale watching tour in Reykjavik?
You can book a whale watching tour in Reykjavik in advance online or directly at the harbor. We recommend booking in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure availability. Additionally, booking in advance can sometimes result in discounted pricing.
How to do whale watchin in Reykjavik
Iceland is a beautiful country known for its incredible landscapes and unique wildlife, especially the whales that inhabit the surrounding waters. If you’re planning a trip to Reykjavik, whale watching is a must-do activity. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you make the most of your whale watching experience.
Step 1: Choose the right time of year
Whale watching can be done year-round in Reykjavik, but the best time to spot these majestic creatures is during the summer months of June, July, and August. During this time, the waters are warmer, and the whales are more active, making them easier to spot. However, if you’re looking to see the Northern Lights, you may want to visit during the winter months.
Step 2: Choose the right tour operator
Choosing the right tour operator is crucial for a successful whale watching experience. You want to make sure you’re with a company that has experienced guides, comfortable boats, and a good reputation for respecting the whales and their environment. We recommend doing some research ahead of time and booking with a reputable company like Elding, Special Tours, or Reykjavik Sailors.
Step 3: Dress appropriately
It can get chilly out on the water, even during the summer months, so it’s important to dress appropriately. We recommend wearing warm layers, a waterproof jacket, and comfortable shoes with good traction. Don’t forget to bring a hat and gloves, even if it’s sunny when you set out.
Step 4: Listen to the safety briefing
Before setting out on your whale watching adventure, your tour operator will provide a safety briefing. This will cover important information about the boat, what to do in case of an emergency, and how to best view the whales while keeping a safe distance. Pay close attention and follow all instructions provided by your guide.
Step 5: Keep your eyes peeled
Whales can be elusive creatures, so it’s important to keep your eyes peeled and be patient. Bring a pair of binoculars or use the ones provided by your tour operator, and scan the water for any signs of movement or splashing. Whales often breach the surface of the water to breathe, so keep an eye out for any spouts of water or air.
Step 6: Respect the whales’ space
Whales are wild animals, and it’s important to respect their space and behavior. Your tour operator will provide guidelines for how close you can approach the whales, but always err on the side of caution and give them plenty of room to move and breathe. Never attempt to touch or feed the whales, as this can be harmful to both you and the animal.
Step 7: Enjoy the experience
Whale watching in Reykjavik is an unforgettable experience that you’ll never forget. Take time to soak in the stunning scenery, breathe in the fresh ocean air, and appreciate the beauty of these incredible creatures. Don’t forget to snap some photos, but also take some time to just enjoy the moment and be present in the experience.
Book Your Tour Now
With these simple steps, you can have a safe, successful, and unforgettable whale watching experience in Reykjavik. Just remember to choose the right time of year and tour operator, dress appropriately, listen to the safety briefing, keep your eyes peeled, respect the whales’ space, and most importantly, enjoy the experience.
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