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Before you fork out for a whale watching tour in Iceland

A quarter of whale watching tours seem to be a total waste of time while only fleeting sights are got the rest of the time.

A quarter of whale watching tours seem to be a total waste of time while only fleeting sights are the norm the rest of the time.

Team Total Iceland has been collectively thinking about whale watching tours and trips these last days and weeks. What got us going is the fact the there is no refund if no whales are spotted.

Now, one party of our group has taken a safari in Botswana and was automatically offered a new tour, free of charge, at her convenience after little was spotted on the first tour. Same is offered if you go on most Northern light tours in Iceland. If there is no sighting some companies will offer you another tour free of charge. On whale watching trips in Iceland you get no such thing and no refund either.

Which is odd since bubbling about in a small boat way North in the cold Atlantic for a few hours is infinitely more uncomfortable than driving on dirt tracks through the forests and savannas of Botswana. No need to stop regularly for puking as is often the case on whale watching trips.

No need to stop regularly for puking

When we pay for something we are doing so to see something special or for want of something. If we do not get it there is an option for complaint in any normal field of business. Except for whale watching. Only course of action is to write an online review or some such nonsense.

Which brings us to the tip of the day. If you arrive in summertime and want to go visit the Heimaey island you will have to take the ferry across from the mainland. It is on that ferry that passenger regularly spot pods of dolphins, killer whales and on occasion other types of whale quite unexpectedly. This is especially the case if you take the ferry from Thorlakshofn town and not Landeyjahofn harbor. The difference being that only when Landeyjahofn harbor is closed for some reason does the ferry sail all the way to Thorlakshofn which takes all of three and a half hour each way. Weather holding you will more often than not witness some marine life on the way. If not, then book a whale watching tour later.

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