Big Whale Safari & Puffins | RIB Boat Tour from Húsavík

Big Whale Safari & Puffins | RIB Boat Tour from Húsavík
The coastal scenery of Skjálfjandi bay is spectacular.
A Humpback Whale shows whale watchers its enormous tail flukes.
In summer, whale watches from Húsavík often have 100% success rates.
The opportunity to touch a Humpback Whale is not something to turn your nose up at.
Puffins are better swimmers than fliers, and better fliers than runners; taking off is always a clumsy affair.
A pair of Humpbacks exhaling together after a long dive.
Based on 37 traveller reviews

See the giants of the deep and the world’s most adorable bird on this boat trip from the whale-watching capital of Europe. Those with a passion for wildlife should make every effort to join this unbelievable tour.

You will find your little whale watching boat at the harbour in the charming northern town of Húsavík. You’ll notice that it is much closer to the water, and with far fewer seats, than the larger vessels, which will allow you to have very intimate encounters with every creature you see.

When everyone is in their overalls and lifejackets and has boarded, your boat will zip out into Skjálfandi Bay. It will not take long at all before the whales and dolphins of these arctic waters begin to show.

The two most common species of cetacean here are both surface performers and acrobatics, making almost every sighting with them breathtaking. These are the mighty Humpback Whale and the gregarious White-beaked Dolphins. The next most common species, Minke Whales and Harbour Porpoises, are very charming, if a little less exciting.

These, however, are not the only marine mammals you may see. Húsavík is the whale watching capital of Europe largely because of its incredible diversity; you have a decent chance of seeing Blue, Fin, Pilot and Beaked Whales, as well as orcas.

The puffins are likely to be numerous throughout the tour. You may see them flapping wildly overhead, diving for fish, or just relaxing on the surface of the water. Your boat is small enough to approach their nesting islands up close, where you can see them protecting their burrows in lifelong pairs. The puffin season is from April 15th – August 20th.

These islands, and the surrounding landscapes, are beautiful and dramatic, so any time where you are not marvelling over the animals, you can appreciate the stunning views.

After you have seen what is likely to be a huge wealth of life, you will return to Húsavík’s harbour.

Witness Iceland’s incredible animals on this once-in-a-lifetime tour. Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Apr. - Oct.
  • Duration: 2,5 hours
  • Activities: Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Bird watching
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 7 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Attractions: North Iceland, Húsavík, Lundey
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : 08:30. 09:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 15:30, 17:00, 19:00, 21:30,

Tour starts from Húsavík harbour, northeast Iceland – look for the blue flags
Please arrive at the Ticket Center in Húsavík, northeast Iceland, at least 30 minutes before departure to collect your tickets. Boarding is 20 minutes before departure. It is the passenger's responsibility to arrive in time, otherwise, there is a risk of losing reserved places on board.
  • A specialized guide

  • Warm safety overalls

  • A little surprise from a local winemaker

What to bring:
  • Warm, waterproof clothes and footwear

  • Protective bags for cameras

Good to know:

Weather and sea conditions

Tours are dependent on weather and sea conditions. For your safety and comfort, we reserve the right to change or cancel departures, even with short notice, should weather or other conditions change. In case of cancellations due to weather, customers receive a full refund or can change their departure depending on availability.

Whale sightings

Our whale watching tours take place in wild nature, which is very unpredictable. The chances of seeing whales are up to 98%, but sightings cannot be guaranteed. If no whales (dolphins included) are seen on the tour, passengers are welcome to join a GG1 Whale Watching tour free of charge, depending on availability. Passengers can get a voucher for a free GG1 Whale Watching tour that is valid for the passengers of the original booking. The voucher is valid on tours where availability and bookings in advance cannot be made. The voucher is valid unlimited. We do not refund tickets if no whales (dolphins included) are seen on the tour.

RIB speedboat tours

All tours on the RIB speedboats (including GG2 Big Whale Safari & Puffins), are not allowed for passengers with heart- or back problems or pregnant women. The minimum age limit for children on the RIB speedboats is 7 years or minimum 140 cm in height.

Puffin season

The puffin season is from April 15th – August 20th, outside that time period more focus is on whales.

Minimum number of passengers

A minimum number of passengers is required for all our tours. If the minimum number is not reached, we reserve the right to change or cancel departures, even with short notice. In such cases, customers are offered alternative options or a full refund.


Verified reviews

Average4.737 reviews
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nice trip. just suggest those who get seasick, it maybe too strong for you. double consider this.
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This tour was also great! We were on a small, easily maneuverable boat and both our guide (Therisa) and captain were wonderful. The jumpsuits were warm, and it was great that they included gloves! We saw 2-3 whales up close at least 3-4 times each, which is just magnificent! We didn't see any puffins, which was a little disappointing, but understandable. I would definitely recommend this tour.
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We had a great guide, from France, he told us a lot about the birds and the whales. It was very nice to be able to hear him clearly on the boat. He was enhousiastic, helpful. The skipper was very skilled, taking us op to the whales in no-time, trying to give us all a change for nice pictures. The wheather was nice, we all had a suit, against the cold. Just a perfect trip to remember!
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You don't need a PHD in whale biology to understand that Húsavík is the place to be if you plan to go whale watching in Iceland. This is where the whales hang out. Furthermore, one should opt for a rib-boat, it's a superior experience. Also, there is no shortage of puffins as they hang out in droves at a nearby bird island.
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We saw three blue whales playing together that day and our guide said it was a very very rare chance of seeing that! We are too lucky to see that once in a life time scene. The guide and captain actively lead us to the whales and make sure we get the greatest chance of seeing them. Love it, thanks for the tour!
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we've seen at least 7 whales, including blue, fin, humpback and even one hybrid. that was an amazing experience. please remind to be there at 15mins before the departure!! I missed that important info and was late, but the guide was so kind to wait for me.
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So, I know I got lucky with weather but this tour was magical. It was sunny, not too cold, and not super windy. We saw 3-4 different humpbacks many times each, with the first almost as soon as we got a distance from the Harbour. A couple times they were practically next to the boat. Our tour guide (Aksel) and our captain did a fantastic job spotting the whales and getting us there quickly. Aksel was extremely knowledgeable about the whales so while we waited for them to surface again we weren’t just sitting there. When time was almost up, we drove closer to the mountains for a spectacular view. They even shared Brennivín with us before heading back (which to my surprise I enjoy). I would do it his tour again.
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Very cool experience. Well organized and enjoyable. Definitely bring and wear gloves and hat if you have them. It gets cold out on the water!
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