Close Up | Whale Watching Tour with Puffins & Reykjavik Coast

Minke Whales are less frightened of smaller vessels.
Although unusual behaviour for them, Minke Whales do breach on occasion.
An adorable puffin on one of the islands in Faxaflói Bay.
Humpback Whales are the most fun to watch, as they are very active at the surface.
It is usually only possible to photograph harbour porpoises in still weather.
A perfect, still day for whale watching from Faxaflói Bay.
Based on 20 traveller reviews

Marvel over the bountiful marine and avian life just off the coast of Reykjavík with this whale- and puffin-watching tour. Conducted in a RIB vessel, this excursion will get as close as possible to the animals, without disturbing their natural behaviour, and is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

Your RIB will be waiting for you at the floating pier by Reykjavík’s Old Harbour. Each boat has just twelve seats, ensuring a personal and intimate experience. After getting into your overalls and life-jacket, you’ll board, strap up, and zip out into Faxaflói Bay.

Before reaching open water, you will be able to marvel over Reykjavík’s coastal landmarks. The most notable of these is the Harpa Concert Hall, an incredible feat of modern architecture, and the Sun Voyager, a beautiful sculpture representing adventure into the unknown.

As you get further to sea, more scenery will unfold around you. You will be able to see the mountainous and verdant Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord), and the barren and volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula. In particularly clear weather, you will be able to see all the way over to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

The wildlife you seek could appear at any time. The species that frequent Iceland’s waters most regularly are minke and humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbour porpoises. However, it is not unheard of to see other creatures, such as orcas, pilot whales, fin- and sei whales and the great blue whale (although rare in our waters).

The guide on board is an expert at locating these cetaceans and can tell you all about them throughout the tour. Due to how small your vessel is, these explanations will hopefully go on when one of the marvellous creatures of the deep is mere metres away.

Whales, dolphins and porpoises are not the only highlights of this tour, however. The birdwatching opportunities are also incredible. Dozens of species, such as kittiwakes, fulmar and arctic tern, can all be seen in the sky and water, and you are also very likely to see puffins (during the season 15 May - 15 August).

After admiring the marine life of Faxaflói bay, you will be whisked back to Reykjavík’s harbour. On the way back you have ample views of the bay’s surrounding areas and the astonishing view of the city from sea.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see some of Iceland’s most beautiful animals! Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Apr. - Oct.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Activities: Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Bird watching
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: 10 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Reykjavík, Faxaflói, Snæfellsnes, Reykjanes, Hvalfjörður, Sun Voyager, Reykjavík Harbour
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : 10:00 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 20:00,

You meet us at the departure location.
  • Expertly guided whale safari in a 12 seater RIB boat

  • Puffin watching from 15 May - 15 August

  • Warm overalls, gloves, goggles and necessary safety equipment

  • Reykjavík views including Harpa Concert Hall, Sun Voyager and more

  • Toilet facilities

  • Refreshments

What to bring:
  • Warm outdoor clothing

  • Headgear and gloves

  • Good shoes

  • Camera

Good to know:

Puffins only colonise Iceland during a limited time (15 May - 15 August) and therefore tours undertaken out of this timeframe are not guaranteed to see them.

In the unlikely event of no whale or dolphin sightings, you will be offered to join a Classic Whale Watching tour on the bigger vessels free of charge.


Average rating 5 / Number of reviews 20

This was THE MOST FUN THING I'VE EVER EVER DONE ON THIS PLANET. I'm serious. It's 2 days later and I'm back in Chicago now and I still can't stop smiling from it. This boat was WILD. If you like adventure, this is a must. We sat in the front on the way out (when you're going against mother nature's waves!) and it was gut-droppingly awesome. A thousand times better than the most terrifying rollercoaster you've been on. And I mean that in the best way! If you don't want all that action - just sit in the middle/back and it's a lot softer. We did on the way back and it was a really pleasant experience (although it's still pretty intense to sit anywhere on that boat if you're not used to the sea- I don't think this is for young kids, elderly people, or people who don't like a little edge in their vacations). It was exhilarating, and we were ALIVE feeling the power of the ocean. It was worth it if just for the ride itself - And then we got to see a bunch of dolphins and had a fun speed boat tour along the still harbor coastline of Reykjavik. This was the absolute best thing I've ever done on a trip. I may change careers. The guide and captain were delightful and spirited. Our Spanish guide with a long red/brown beard (I hate to say we forgot his name because he was the BEST). He taught us a lot about the whales and dolphins and birds. A totally rewarding, crazy fun experience. It's a MUST! Skip the big boat - get raw and real and feel the power of the sea in the rib boat!

The speed boat was pretty awesome and we got to see some whales from a distance. Everything was as advertised but I would recommend you skip the pickup and meet them by the harbour, it´´s very close to downtown where most of the hotels are. We paid around 10 bucks for a pickup which we could have walked in 5 minutes. Wish we had known that beforehand but that was not their fault. The tour itself was again, great!

I could barely believe how close we got to the whales during this trip. Being so close to such magnificent creatures was mindblowing. Being on a rubber boat made this very special. The other tours were done on fishing vessels so I think this is the best whale watching tour in Iceland.

This was so awesome! Super friendly guides and such a thrill! Way more fun than the 'regular' slow boat tours I have been on, because of the added spice of the Rib boat. Never been on one before, and it was just amazing. We went on a wonderful and sunny day, saw a bunch of puffins too! Highly recommended!

This whale watching and puffin tour is a must do when staying in Reykjavík. It was so much fun and so exciting. The guides were also very professional. We went out on a very sunny day so the view was amazing and we saw a lot of puffins. Highly recommended for people that are in for an excited experience.

I've been on several whale watching tours around Iceland but this one takes the crown, never been on a RIB boat before and it's truely amazing! Really fun and adventurous although we haven't seen whales we saw a lot of puffins flying around us. If you want to experience the ocean life on a funny and unique way this tour is the right thing. Highly recommend it.

This tour is a must do in Reykjavík! I had never been on a RIB boat before and that in itself was such a blast, and the views were so stunning it was like we'd travelled to Middle-earth! The guides were friendly and the puffins were flying all around us. Definitely a 5-star experience!

I can honestly say I enjoyed this tour. I was a bit afraid that whale watching might be boring.... as being on a boat alone is not the greatest fun. Especially if it´s a whale watching tour and you don´t see whales. This tour though was fast and exciting, so in a sense it was like being on a roller coaster. And although we didn´t see any whales, we saw a lot of puffins.

What a great experience! Went out on a lovely sunny day, got to see puffins and the breathtaking skyline of Reykjavik. Adrenaline, cool boats and fun guides! What a great way to experience nature and Iceland! 5 stars all the way!

Did this tour on a great sunny day and it was truly awesome! e saw puffins flying around us and the guides made sure that we would enjoy the ride. This is by far the best way for doing the whale and puffin watching in Reykjavik!!! To bad I can only give 5 stars, as it deserves a lot more :)

If not the best, then definitely among the best experiences ever, not just in Iceland! Make sure you take the first two seats...great visibility, tons of adrenaline (at least for someone who doesn't plunge into the ocean on a daily basis), and the views are simply amazing! Not only did we get to see the whales and the puffins, but also got a chance to see the Snæfellsjökull volcano from far, far away (that's because we were lucky enough to catch an astonishingly sunny day, with clear skies and calm waters). And the guide...she was not only well prepared and constantly pointing us in the right directions, but also funny, witty, always making sure everyone was ok with the speed, boat pitching, etc. So when in Iceland: this whale watching tour is a definite must! Consuela

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GENERAL: These terms apply to purchases of service(s) from the web address, which is run by Elding Whale Watching. The terms identify on the one hand Elding’s rights and duties and on the other the service buyer’s rights and duties. All communication regarding reservation of services, changes and cancellations shall be in writing and may be sent using e-mail or fax, or through the postal service, if time permits.

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CHANGE OF RESERVATION: If you need to make changes to your reservation we ask you to send us a notification as soon as possible, and not later than 12 hours before departure. Changes received less than 12 hours before departure may be subject to levy according to Elding Whale Watching’s current tariffs and the policy of our service partners.

CANCELLATION POLICY: For cancellations we ask you to send us a notification as soon as possible, and not later than 24 hours before departure in order to receive a full refund. In case of cancellation on our behalf we notify you with as much notice as possible using the contact details provided in the booking process and naturally refund the tour price.

VALIDITY OF PRICES: All rates quoted are based on current purchasing prices in Iceland. Elding Whale Watching reserves the right to increase prices already quoted or published in our price lists without notice in the event of currency fluctuation, government taxes, or any other cost increases that are outside our control. Any eventual changes in rates will not be made with less then 4 weeks’ notice before scheduled departure.

CHILDREN: Discounts for children are subject to the nature of the services and our service partners terms.

TOUR DEPARTURE: All our tours start from Reykjavík’s old harbour. The departure time is indicated on your confirmation/voucher. It is the service buyer’s responsibility to arrive at our tour office in time to check in and to board the boat.

LIABILITY: Elding Whale Watching reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables, change or cancel tour dates should the necessity arise, including irregularities due to adverse weather. The tours are run in wild nature and we can never guarantee sightings on a particular tour. In the unlikely event that no whales or dolphins are spotted during the tour we do not refund the tour price but offer a complimentary whale watching tour valid for two years. The estimated duration of tours are standard times and can change according to sea conditions. All activities are undertaken entirely at clients own risk and they must behave in a fit and proper manner at all times in accordance with Elding Whale Watching guidelines and must take proper responsibility for their own safety. All tours and outdoor activities carry inherent risks and Elding Whale Watching does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions or are caused by factors outside of human control (Force majeure). Elding Whale watching, it’s managers and staff accepts no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage of passenger’s property on our boats. With the purchase of your trip you agree to these conditions, understand its implications and accept responsibility for your participation during your tour.

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Close Up | Whale Watching Tour with Puffins & Reykjavik Coast

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