Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik

Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik
Whales are known to breach, providing whale watchers with an incredible acrobatic show.
Killer whales are often spotted on whale watching tours from Reykjavík.
The whales often appear extremely close to the whale watching vessels.
Being curious animals, the whales off the shores of Reykjavík are known to come extremely close to the whale watching vessels.
Whale watching tours offer the chance of an up-close and personal view of the gentle giants that call Reykjavík's waters home.
Whale watching tours are conducted on beautiful vessels.
4.4
Based on 91 traveller reviews

Jump aboard this whale-watching excursion to see the incredible wealth of marine wildlife just off Reykjavík’s shores. This tour is a must for nature-lovers, and fits perfectly into a busy holiday; you leave straight from the capital city’s Old Harbour and return approximately three hours later.

You will arrive at the harbour in good time for your departure, either by making your way there yourself or through a pick-up you can request during booking. If taking this trip during summer, you will have a choice between two boats, which you can select based on your sense of adventure and the nature of your group.

The first vessel, and the only one operated year-round, is one of the largest whale-watching boats in Iceland. It has a fantastic educational and interactive focus on board, where you can learn more about the whales, as well as a café.

The second vessel is one of our newest additions to the fleet, a fast-cruising catamaran. It promises to get you to the prime whale-watching location in just twenty minutes so that you can immerse yourself in the activity immediately. These express tours are only available during the summer months. Trips on this tour are approximately an hour shorter.

On the first boat, you will spend roughly three hours out on the ocean looking for whales (approx. two hours on the second). As you travel out, your guide will point out the natural features surrounding the capital; in clear weather, you should be able to see both the Reykjanes Peninsula and the Snæfellsnes peninsula, as well as the ‘whale fjord’, otherwise called Hvalfjörður. 

Four species can be regularly seen on these tours: harbour porpoises, white-beaked dolphins, Minke Whales and Humpback Whales. It is not at all unheard of, however, to see orcas (or killer whales), pilot whales, Fin Whales, and even Basking Sharks. On top of these incredible animals, during summer you can expect to see a wealth of seabirds, most notably including the puffin. Your experienced guides can answer any questions you have as you hunt for and marvel over these majestic creatures. 

Each tour yields entirely different results. The animals’ behaviour change throughout the day; you might catch them breaching, socialising, feeding or just basking near the surface. If by chance, you are not lucky enough to see a marine mammal, you will have another opportunity to take this tour for free until you do.

You will return to Reykjavík after three hours on the sea, hopefully after many exciting sightings and an up-close look at some of Iceland’s marvellous creatures. Because of the convenience and length of this tour, there will still be plenty of opportunities to make the most of the rest of your day, either on another tour or within the capital.

Do not miss your chance to see the magnificent whales, dolphins and porpoises of Iceland. Set sail into Faxaflói bay for your opportunity. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: All year
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Activities: Whale Watching, Boat Trip
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Languages: English, German
  • Highlights: Reykjavík, Faxaflói, Reykjanes, Hvalfjörður, Keflavík
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : 08:00, 09:00, 12:00, 13:00, 16:00, 20:00.

Please be at your pickup location in time for your departure. Should your pickup location be at a bus stop and you need assistance finding it, seek guidance in your Hotel's reception or contact your tour provider directly.

Included:
  • Guided Boat Tour

  • WI-FI

  • Warm Overalls

  • WCs On Board

  • Free ticket to try again if there are no sightings!


What to bring:
  • Clothes subject to weather


Good to know:

Tours on the larger whale watching boats run at 13:00 throughough the year, with departures at 09:00 from 1 March - 15 November and at 17:00 from 15 May - 30 September due to the changing daylight hours.

Tours on the faster express boat run at 10:00 and 14:00 from 1 June to 30 September, with an additional departure at 21:00 from 15 June - 31 July.

German speaking guides are only used on the larger whale watching vessels during the summer months (May 1 - Sept 30). Please note that listed pick up times are for pick up by bus, not boat departure. If you are not using pick up, please be at the harbour 30 minutes before departure.



Verified reviews

Average4.491 reviews
English
All ratings
Edit review
It was freezing cold with the wind, but the suits they provided for us to wear really helped warm us up. Our guide was very nice and knowledgeable about the wildlife and we got to see 3 out of the 4 species we were on the lookout for, so overall success and a good time!
Edit review
Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The weather wasn't the best but the captain and guide were amazing. The captain made as much effort as possible for us to have sightings and we saw a minkey whale, several dolphins and porpoises. Overalls are provided against bad weather conditions, so just make sure to dress warm enough. The guide was well informed and the captain was in constant communication with other guided boat tours to see where there are sightings and take us there, would definitely recommend this tour.
Edit review
Edit review
Very nice crew. At least one professional guide was on the upper deck and kept an eye on all sorts of wild animals in sight. Our guide was a marine biologist who also had a good knowledge of birds. On the way to the feeding area we saw several Razorbills, Northern Gannets, Black Guillemots, and a good number of Common Guillemots/Common Murres-very nice experience with a birder like me! We were so lucky to spot at least two Humpback Whales right after we arrived at their feeding area, which was actually not too far off shore. We had a pretty good view of them breaching over water and breathing, for around 20 minutes, during which we also experienced truly Icelandic weather like short showers of hails. Nevertheless, they are REALLY AMAZING animals to see. Worth a try or a few more, though sightings are not guaranteed, also mind if you get sea sick easily, since the sea can be quite rough in winter.
Edit review
Special Tours had great customer service! Our Christmas whale watching experience was canceled due to poor weather. I didn't have much hopes for a reschedule because I was only there one more day and I had previously booked month prior. However, Special Tours got my boyfriend and I rescheduled for the next day! Upon checking in we got to decide if we'd like complimentary sea sickness tablets and which of two vessels we'd like to go out on. We chose the smaller of the two and I'm so thankful we did because we actually saw a humpback whale! It was nearing the end of our trip when they got a call from another boat of a whale sighting and since we were on a smaller, quicker boat we hauled it there to see too! The tour guide Johnathon made the journey fun telling us so much about the nearby land, folklore and of course sea life. The the water resistant bibs seemed clean and in good mend, the bathroom was clean and more spacious than I had expected. Really could not have asked for a better experience. My boyfriend and I were both thrilled with Special Tours even if we hadn't seen a whale. They will give you a voucher to come again if there is no spotting which is just remarkable when you really think about the time, resources and effort they put into each ride despite definitely not being capable of controlling nature.
Edit review
Absolutely fantastic trip. Although we did not see any big whales, we were lucky enough to see some dolphins swimming right next to our and jumping around several times. The ship provides good snacks and drinks indiside and also warm jacket. Very spacious inside.
Edit review
Excellent tour, sadly we didn’t see any Whales but can not fault the Company for organisation. They provide thermal suits and life belts, and the guide is a qualified Marine Biologist which makes for a very educational trip. They gave us the option of a full refund or rebooking when seas were rough too. I would fully recommend them.
Edit review
We all enjoyed this trip, saw lots of dolphins and a Minke whale so we were happy. Staff very friendly and we had a great talk about the whales on the way back.
Edit review
Edit review
Amazing! The tour guide was helpful and made the tour very enjoyable. The captain made a good effort to go towards any sihn of whales and we ended up seeing some amazing sights.
Loading best prices
Free cancellation
No credit card fees
No booking fees
Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavik