Whale of an adventure in Iceland

It is imperative to keep in mind, just like the Northern lights, you are never guarenteed to see any whales on whale watching tours. PIC biologyfisherman

It is imperative to keep in mind, just like the Northern lights, you are never guarenteed to see any whales on whale watching tours. PIC biologyfisherman

In 1994 the only way for visitors in Iceland to see whales up close was by watching the Free Willy movie from Hollywood. In the time since no fewer than 14 companies have started offering whale watching tours all around the country and some others do so unofficially.

Iceland is a grand place to witness these beautiful beasts of the sea up close and statistics show most visitors take time out for a whale watching tour. These are formally possible from Dalvik and Husavik in the North, Westman Islands in the South and from the Reykjavik area. See a complete list of companies and prices below.

Overall some 23 species of whales make their way through Icelandic waters every year but some are rarely seen at all. Those species most likely to chance upon while sailing are:

Blue whale, Sei whale, White-Sided dolphin, Fin whale, Minke whale, Humpback whale, Harbor Porpoise, Orca whale, Long-Finned Pilot whale, Sperm whale and Northern Bottlenose whale. Of those Minke whales and Orcas are most widely seen on whale watching cruises.

Although every company offering whale trips and tours will brag about their fine chances of finding whales the truth is that it´s not always the case. It is entirely possible to stay for hours in a boat without seeing a single beast.

Whale watching companies

  • Sjosigling > Daily cruises from Reykjavik harbor. 2015 price for adult: 45€ / 60$
  • Hvalalif > Daily cruises from Reykjavik harbor. 2015 price for adult: 45€ / 60$
  • Elding > Daily cruises from Reykjavik harbor. 2015 price for adult: 48€ / 63$
  • Special Tours > Daily cruises from Reykjavk harbor. 2015 price for adult: 48€ / 63$
  • Viking Tours > Departures on request from Westman Islands. 2015 price for adult: —-
  • North Sailing > Daily departures from Husavik harbor. 2015 price for adult: 54€ / 70$
  • Gentle Giants > Daily departures from Husavik harbor. 2015 price for adult: 52€ / 68$
  • Arctic Sea Tours > Daily departures from Dalvik harbor. 2015 price for adult: 48€ / 63$
If you find yourself elsewhere close to the sea do not hesitate to ask local fishermen on their way out for a ride. Perfect way to get to know the rugged people of Iceland.
 

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