There are a few things most of our visitors in Iceland do and one of them is whale watching. This can be done all around Iceland and you can easily join a trip in all parts of Iceland. To give you a little help, we put together a list, by far not a comprehensive list, but only a few chosen ones you can have a look at while driving around Iceland.
If you are looking for a whale watching company in Reykjavik, you will have quite a few to choose from. Here we would recommend our buddies at Reykjavik Sailors, a new company on the scene. They are running a great ship with a cozy saloon with snacks and drinks and whatever you might need for a comfortable sail on the waters of Iceland. They also cater special dinner tours and what not. Besides, if you have a sailor looking like this on board, how can one resist? Since it is in Reykjavík, you can go on a tour before getting your rental car and hit the road.
GPS: 64° 9’9.68″N 21°57’0.59″W
If you drive 25 minutes north of Akureyri in the north of Iceland, you will arrive in the village of Dalvík. That is where you find the whale watching company Arctic Sea Tours. They are running a charming oak boat and offers light refreshments on board. As everybody else, they can’t offer whale sightings with a 100% guarantee but they do offer you a second trip for free in case you wouldn’t get to see whales and in case of cancellations due to weather, you’ll get a full refund of course. After the tour, we recommend you continue to drive north to Ólafsfjörður, another little picturesque fishing village.
GPS: 65°58’15.46″N 18°31’43.55″W
Húsavík has been a whale watching center for ages and there are a lot of great companies there, catering for the whale seeking tourists. We chose North Sailing, mostly because of their beautiful Schooners. Established in 1995, they have from there an impressive fleet of wooden ships and have enjoyed international recognition for their services. They are also working for the Húsavík Research Center (University of Iceland) and Húsavík Whale Museum, conducting research on whales.
GPS: 66° 2’46.46″N 17°20’35.65″W
Whale watching Akureyri might have the newest and most modern whale watching ship in Iceland. They have a modern 200 people vessel and a fast 600 hp RIB to get out on the fjord fast.
Elding & Whale Safari together started this company back in 2000 so their collective experience of running a whale watching company here in Iceland must be quite extensive.
GPS: 65°40’59.94″N 18° 5’14.55″W
West Tours has been running different types of tours for over 20 years. Their fleet consists of fast RIB’s that takes you fast and securely to where the whales are, if there are around. Warm overalls, life jacket, guidance and light refreshments are included. They have daily departures and also on request. The boats takes a maximum of 12 passengers. This is a great way to experience the majestic Ísafjarðardjúpið, The Ísafjörður fjord.
GPS: 66° 4’15.36″N 23° 7’16.45″W
We couldn’t find many whale watching tours in the Eastfjords of Iceland but Hotel Hildibrand in Neskaupsstaður have boats they run on schedule between the 1st of May until November. After November, you can get private tours for groups. The hotel posts daily if and when they are going out with the boat. There are also small boats you may rent for yourself. A pod of around 50 Dolphins are often present in the fjord. Visit their homepage to find out more.
The fjords in East Iceland are so fun to drive and the nature around Neskaupsstaður sure offers some spectacular views, not to mention you get to drive through a few great tunnels south of the village.
GPS: 65° 8’51.12″N 13°41’26.88″W
In Westman Islands you’ll find Viking tours who offers a few different trips. Not only do you hopefully get to see an abundance of whales, you’ll see Surtsey or get to circle around Heimaey, the main island, all depending on what tour you chose. You can easily go to Westman islands in your car by booking a ticket here. The departure is either from Landeyjahöfn or, as has happened a lot, if the harbour is full of sand, the ships leaves from Þorlákshöfn.
GPS: 63° 26’33.42″N 20°16’16.93″W
When you are driving around Iceland in your rental car, you have quite a few of Whale watching tours to chose from. It seems though that on the east side of Iceland, there are fever around. There are boat tours for bird, seal and nature watching but whale tours are few. We didn’t find many whale watching tours in South Iceland either except on Westman islands. You can of course go on an Amphibian boat tour on Jökulsárlón, the ice lake, but there won’t be any whales there.
Whatever tour you chose, prepare yourself for a possible cold trip so dress well. It’s easier to take off clothes if you are warm than to dress up if you don’t have th proper clothes with you and make sure you camera/phone is fully charged and most importantly, have fun and enjoy the trip. You are most likely in for a very unforgettable experience!
Happy travels! #GoIceland