Faxaflói bay and Reykjavík’s Old Harbor are two of the most prominent hotspots for spotting Icelandic whales and birdlife. The whale and puffins tour takes you on an adventure across the country’s water, landmarks, and birds. The tour even offers an optional choice of visiting the museum at the Old Harbor or spending the morning in Reykjavík city during the last hour. The whales and puffins tour depends on the departure time and concludes approximately in 3-4 hours.
The tour begins with watching White-beaked dolphins, Minke, Humpback, and Harbor Porpoise whales at the Faxaflói bay. The North Atlantic waves, aquatic environment, educational lessons, and marine creatures make a powerful combination for environmentalists and nature lovers.
The whale watching tour begins at 9:00 AM and ends at approximately 12:15 PM to proceed towards puffin watching on a boat scheduled for 12:30 PM. Besides this, you can even choose 14:00, 15:30, and 17:00 slots based on preferences. You can even avail of whale watching departures at 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM if you wish to Reykjavik or Old Harbor museums.
In addition to a guided boat tour, you can relish the benefits like sightseeing, warm overalls, and rejuvenate with onboard snacks or coffee. The puffin watching tour lasts for one hour, and you receive binoculars for close-up sightings of different bird species in Iceland during the season. Besides puffins, the most commonly spotted sea birds include gannets and guillemots in the Reykjavík area.
The guided boat tours include two significant areas, namely the Faxaflói bay and Reykjavík’s Old Harbor. The tour guide takes you amidst the natural habitat of whales and puffins at Reykjavik from the Old Harbor without disturbing the sea creature.
1. Faxaflói Bay
The bay consists of five islands, viz, Akurey, Engey, Lundey, Videy, and Therney, and Icelandic word Lundin means Atlantic puffin. The island has the country’s second-largest puffin population.
Faxaflói remains open from the west and south-west coast of the country and consists of nutrient-rich water from the North Atlantic Current upwell close to the continental shelf. Whales often arrive at the bay because of the nutrient flow to the surface. The basin covers 4500 – 5000 km2 of the country.
2. Reykjavík Old Harbor
The transformation of Reykjavík Old Harbor has been the heart of the city since 1817. During the 20th century, it became the Icelandic industry center and has encompassed many museums, cafes, restaurants, and stores showcasing Icelandic history.
To date, most whale watching and puffin tours begin from the harbor, especially with an English-speaking guide. However, birdlife is thriving in the Reykjavík area, and visitors can view the puffins through the island by crossing the shallow draught near the harbor.
The tours are separate and depart at specific timings. You should carry an id proof to get on board and relish through this sightseeing, whale, and puffin watching experience. Wearing a raincoat is advisable for people that want to capture pictures with whales.
The tour includes onboard snacks or cafeteria, restrooms, WiFi, binoculars, and warm overalls. However, wearing warm clothes is advisable to avoid becoming seasick.
What to bring
Headwear & Gloves
Good to know
- It is necessary to book this tour in advance.
- Pick up in Reykjavik is available.
- The meeting point is at Geirsgata 11 – Reykjavik’s Old Harbour
- All whale watching tours are subject to weather conditions and sightings cannot be guaranteed. We reserve the right to cancel the tour due to bad weather conditions.
- If there are no sightings on the tour use tour ticket to join us on the next available day.
- It is possible to book a pick up for the tour for extra price. You can book the pick up in the booking process.
Most frequent questions and answers
You should schedule to be at our departure point 30 minutes before scheduled departure.
You can book pick up from your hotel in Reykjavik for this tour. You can book the pick up in the booking process.
The price for the pick up is ISK 4.000
Pick up will start 45 minutes before the tour departure.
Adults: ISK 2.000
Children 7-15 years: ISK 1.000
Children 0-6 years: ISK 0
If the tour gets cancelled due to weather you can choose between rescheduling the tour for another departure or receiving a full refund.
Free cancellation up to 1 day before the tour. If you cancel within 1 day notice, a 100% fee will be charged.
However, we always ask you to cancel the tour as soon as possible so we can adjust the schedule for the day depending on how many people will be joining the tour.
There is a cafeteria / Snack bar onboard
We have almost 100% sightings on this tour.
Yes, and you definitely should! The setting on the tour is full of amazing, scenic views.
This is, of course, a personal choice, we have often had pregnant women on our trips. This tour is listed as easy so if you do not feel uncomfortable on a boat, this tour should be ideal for you.
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