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Whale Watching?

My son and I are going to be in Iceland at the end of June. I have been looking at going on a whale watching trip. Has anyone done this before? Is there a time of day you would recommend? Thanks!

Posted by
121 posts

Yes, where are you doing the whale watching? We did ours in Husavik and it was great. We did ours in the afternoon.

Posted by
5 posts

We are home-basing out of Reykjavik. so planned to do a tour from there...spending one night in Vik but have a rental car and plan to just day-trip a lot. I was looking at booking a smaller rib boat that leaves from Reykjavik, but wanted to make sure it would be worth it.

Posted by
5 posts

Because of the time of year with the amount of light there is during the day, we can do the tour as late as 8 pm...just wasn't sure if there was a better time of day to see some action?!

Posted by
7636 posts

We did an April trip, we went with Elding Whale Watching, whose boats depart right from the Reykjavik old harbor, which happened to be a half block from our hotel. We went in the afternoon. It rained, and they set everyone up with foul weather hooded coats and pants (think of the Gorton’s fisherman on the box) over our regular clothes. It was our first day, and we’d just landed that morning. It was a good way to stay up all day so we could get a full night’s sleep and try to stave off jet lag. So afternoon was convenient, and I didn’t question whether another time of day would’ve been better. That’s an interesting thought, though.

I don’t know whether late June weather and sea conditions would mean no extra seafaring clothing, but we needed ours. The boat had some kind of sensors checking the water. Once we got well away from land, the captain kept announcing that there were whales all around. He got more and more excited, and when he said go left, everybody did. Then right. Then supposedly either side was equally likely for spotting whales. But we never spotted anything until … a massive grayish brown body rose out of the water and launched forward, then disappeared back into the water. That was it, but it was magnificent. I don’t know if weather was a factor, or not being used to scanning the ocean (living 1,200 miles from one), but despite there supposedly being lots of whales around, we just got a glimpse that one time. Elding did make safety a priority, the boat was very comfortable for the group, and we did see a whale. I’d certainly recommend them, and maybe they can provide advice about the time of day (or evening?) for best success.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you so much! I think that is the same company I was looking at. I am going to take a chance and book the 8 pm small rib boat tour...my hope is that they wouldn't offer it at that time if you're not likely to see any activity, and that way we have the full day to explore other things, as we fly home the next afternoon. I'll update once we've experienced it!

Posted by
121 posts

With whale watching there’s no guarantee you’ll actually see anything, but generally the tours know where/when to go to get the best chance of seeing some action.

Posted by
2241 posts

We have never done a whale watching tour in Iceland since we see them here at home often enough. Last summer though, we were on a rib safari tour from Westmann Island and a pod of orcas suddenly appeared before our boat. The captain turned the boat off immediately an we just hung out and everyone was silent. The orcas came VERY close to the boat, about 15' away, which at first was cool to see, and then I kept thinking about how big they were and how small our boat was. Anyway, I just wanted to share that you may end up seeing whales when you least expect it, so keep your eyes open.