Best Whale Watching & Puffin Tours in Iceland
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Whale Watching & Puffin Tours
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The Reykjavik Whale Watching Tour
The Húsavík Whale Watching Tour
Whale Watching Tour with Transfer from Akureyri
Breidafjordur Bay Whale Watching Tour with Transfer from Olafsvik in Snaefellsnes Peninsula
The Puffin Tour from Reykjavik
Whale Watching & Puffin Safari RIB Boat Tour from Húsavík
Affordable 3-Hour Whale Watching Boat Tour from Reykjavik
Up Close 2 Hour Whale & Puffin Watching Boat Tour from Reykjavik
Luxurious 3 Hour Whale Watching and Wildlife Yacht Tour with Transfer from Reykjavik
Scenic 8-Hour Horse Riding & Whale Watching Day Tour with Transfer from Reykjavik
Family-Friendly Bundled Discount Tours of the Golden Circle & South Coast with Whale Watching
Exciting 2 Hour Whale Watching Boat Tour in the Westfjords with Transfer from Holmavik
Original 3 Hour Whale Watching Adventure in Oak Boats with Transfer from Husavik
Outstanding 3 Hour Sailing & Whale Watching Boat Tour from Husavik
Outstanding 2 Hour Whale Watching & Sea Fishing Boat Trip with Transfer from Hauganes
Small Group 7-Day Ring Road Tour with Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Transfer from Reykjavik
4-Day Guided Tour of the Complete Ring Road of Iceland with Jokulsarlon & Myvatn
Beautiful 1.5 Hour Hiking & Puffin Watching Tour of Ingolfshofdi on Iceland's South Coast
Whale Watching Luxury Yacht Cruise
Exciting 2-Hour Puffin and Whale Watching Tour with RIB Boat from Husavik
Combination 8 Hour ATV & Whale Watching Day Tour with Transfer from Reykjavik
Whale watching - Downtown Reykjavík
Express 2.5 Hour Midnight Sun Whale Watching Boat Tour from Reykjavik
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Whales & puffins in Iceland
The seas surrounding Iceland are unusual in that there is a delicate blend of warm and cold water mixed in the jagged fjords of the coastline. Coupled with the abundant sunlight of summer, these conditions create an incredibly hospitable environment for krill and fish and subsequently, the various species of whale that feast on them.
There is no better way to see these intelligent and compelling creatures than in the wild, and it so happens that many tours offer you the exclusive chance to see one—and some tours even combine whale watching with puffin spotting. From the small harbour porpoise to majestic humpback whales, you can hope to see over twenty species of cetacean creatures off the shores of Iceland.
With a still operative whaling industry, Iceland’s relationship with its whales is complicated. Although whale meat is sold here, only 2% of whale meat hunted in Iceland is sold back to its public, while a substantial part of the population harbours a loving and sensitive attitude to these gentle giants. In fact, many old whaling vessels have now been repurposed towards whale-watching. Often, there is a choice of larger, educational boats and smaller, faster catamarans for more intimate groups.
On a whale watching tour from Reykjavík, the most common species you can hope to see are white-beaked dolphins, Minke whales and Humpback whales. Less common species are orcas (killer whales), fin whales and pilot whales. The largest of them all, the blue whale is sometimes spotted off Skjálfandi Bay by Húsavík. This is one of Iceland’s favourite regions to look for these massive mammals and a whale watching tour from Húsavík is guaranteed to leave memories to last a life time.Some tours offer sea-angling as part of your experience, and in some cases, you will get to sample the catch, with some tours even offering to prepare your fish to be eaten.
One of the most iconic animals and motifs of Iceland is the adorable puffin, and there are many tours which offer you the chance to see one for yourself. The Atlantic puffin is native to Icelandic coastlines and over half of Europe’s puffin population come here to nest in the summer months, making Iceland the perfect destination to spot this charismatic critter.
Adorning postcards and souvenirs abound, the puffin is a prominent symbol of Icelandic wildlife and attract many who want to see one. Their rotund characteristics and striking colours make them a favourite of nature-lovers everywhere.
Their cuteness should not have you fooled; the Atlantic Puffin is a hardy seabird used to spending many months at sea. They are proficient swimmers and are capable of beating their wings 400-times a minute. A recent scientific discovery only adds further wonder to this fascinating species in that it was observed that under UV light their beaks demonstrate bioluminescence leaving scientists baffled as to why. Research is currently underway so we may know more about these delightful creatures soon.
Although they can be seen on cliffsides, some tour companies offer special boat-rides where you can get a more stable platform to view the birds. If you do try to catch a glimpse of a puffin from a cliffside such as Látrabjarg in the Westfjords, do be wary of not getting too close to the edge; puffins and other seabirds burrow into the cliffs, often making them unstable and therefore dangerous. An excellent destination to spot the puffins by boat is around the Westman Islands coupled with astonishing views of the craggy archipelago under the guidance of a local expert.
Often boat tours will offer puffin-spotting as part of a whale-watching expedition and what better way to spend the day looking for these tiny seabirds coupled with the titans of the sea.
Puffin and Whale watching tours are suitable for all ages, at an average duration of about three hours. Available around the country, these tours are a surefire way to get close to Iceland’s vibrant and exciting wildlife.
Frequently asked questions
What are the top three whale watching tours in Iceland?
Another top-rated whale watching tour in Iceland is a traditional whale-watching boat tour from Husavik, with an average of 4.4 stars by 138 travelers. This tour costs approximately 82 USD.
This is an affordable two-hour whale watching tour with a transfer from Reykjavik, rated an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars by 82 travelers. This experience costs about 94 USD.
Where is the best location in Iceland to see whales?
Do whale watching tours in Iceland offer hotel pick-up?
When is puffin season in Iceland?
Is it certain that we will see whales on our whale watching tour in Iceland?
What happens if no whales are spotted during my whale watching tour in Iceland?
Under what circumstances are whale watching tours in Iceland cancelled?
How long do whale watching and puffin tours last?
What should I wear and bring on a whale watching tour in Iceland?
What other wildlife might I see on a whale watching tour in Iceland?
Will I learn about the animals on my whale watching tour in Iceland?
Are the boat tours dangerous?
Can I smoke on the boat?
When is the best time to go whale watching in Iceland?
What types of whale can I see in Iceland?
How long does a typical whale watching tour in Iceland last?
Are whale watching tours in Iceland suitable for children?
Can I participate in a whale watching tour if I am prone to seasickness?
Additionally, choose a larger vessel, as they tend to be more stable, and opt for a seat in the center of the boat, where motion is minimized.
What type of vessel is used for whale watching tours in Iceland?
In Husavik, the so-called "Whale Watching Capital of Europe," you can go whale watching on a traditional oak boat, or you can even hop on a sailboat tour to spot whales.