The capital is a very convenient location to see the whales of Iceland so here is a breakdown of the best whale watching tours in Reykjavik.

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Amelia Rose Yacht Whale Watching Tour

We ended up choosing to go on this incredible yacht which took us out to the feeding grounds in style. The guide was absolutely brilliant and the bar served very nice drinks to warm up on the way back to the harbor. Check out this #1 whale watching tour in Reykjavik here!

Whale Watching In Reykjavik On A Yacht! - Sea Trips Amelia Rose

Whale Watching Tours In Reykjavik

There are many options when considering a whale watching tour in Reykjavik, including different boats, different times, and different amounts of people. The price of each of these options doesn’t actually vary that much, ranging from $90, to $150 per person which means that you should be able to choose the exact tour you want.

Take a look below at the top 10 whale watching tours in Reykjavik and if you want even more information on what you can fully expect from a tour like this then either watch our video or look at the information below the recommendations!

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#1 Best YACHT Whale Watching Experience

We ended up choosing to go on a luxury yacht called the Amelia Rose; this turned out to be a fantastic option. You get a very nice yacht with a fantastic top-deck viewing platform, a nice interior and bar, and an exceptionally good tour guide who provides information throughout the experience.

Check out our video below to see exactly what your tour will be like on the Amelia Rose

Whale Watching In Reykjavik On A Yacht! - Sea Trips Amelia Rose

I think choosing a yacht is the best option for people who want an incredible experience but are a little budget savvy as a ferry is slightly cheaper (but only just) and a yacht has fewer people and you get a much nicer boat.

We highly recommend the Amelia Rose whale watching tour in Reykjavik and you can book the exact tour we went on here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 3 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Tour Pace: Relaxed
  • Start Time: 9:15 am or 1:15 pm
  • Tour Guide: Yes

#1 Best FERRY Whale Watching Experience

For the most budget-conscious among you, a ferry is the best option. It is usually around 15-20% less than a yacht and offers very close to the same service. So, if you are looking for the most value-for-money whale watching tour in Reykjavik then this is the one for you!

You will board a larger boat that includes outside and indoor seating. This boat comes with a bar for food and drinks as well as an experienced whale watching tour guide. If you are staying a bit further away from the harbor (but still in Reykjavik) there is also an option for pick-up (for an additional fee). Book this #1 ferry whale watching experience in Reykjavik here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 3 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Tour Pace: Relaxed
  • Start Time: 9:15 am or 1:15 pm
  • Tour Guide: Yes

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#1 Best RIB Whale Watching Experience

It can be argued that the undisputed best whale watching in Reykjavik experience is on a RIB (rigid inflatable boat). These small, extremely fast vehicles get you to the feeding grounds quicker than any other transport which gives you the most amount of time with the whales. Not only this, but they also are closer to the water which means you are closer to the action (they can also get closer to the whales too).

You get all of the warm clothing provided (including goggles and life vests) and the seats even have suspension built in for additional comfort whilst you are crashing a long those waves! Check out the prices and availability of this tour right here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: 10+
  • Tour Pace: Fast
  • Start Time: Many Options
  • Tour Guide: Yes

Speedboat Whale Watching (RIB)

This is one of the highest rated whale watching tours in Reykjavik on a RIB. It is basically identical to the RIB tour above but is another fantastic option if you would prefer to book through Viator and not Get Your Guide.

The tour comes with thermals, goggles, hats, and gloves as well as having a maximum group size of 12. The tour guide is exceptionally experienced and, as the group is smaller, will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about your surroundings and the animals that you can see. Check out this fantastic RIB whale wathcing experience here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: 10+
  • Tour Pace: Fast
  • Start Time: 9am 11am 2pm
  • Tour Guide: Yes

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The Original Classic Whale Watching Tour (Ferry)

It’s called the original whale watching tour in Reykjavik and it certainly has the most reviews of any other tour available right now! It is a large ferry type boat with a maximum amount of travellers set at 150 people.

This is another fantastic option for budget savvy travellers but I would avoid a ferry if you are going during peak times (during holiday periods) as 150 people is a lot. Check out this exact tour right here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 3 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Tour Pace: Relaxed
  • Start Time: 9am 1pm
  • Tour Guide: Yes

Whale Watching & Dolphins (Yacht)

This is another fantasitc Yacht experience with an very nice interior that includes a bar for refreshments. This company does actually run some tours on the Ameila Rose (our number 1 recommend tour) but, if you are going to go with this company, then see if you can get on the Harpa yacht as this is even smaller and has an even smaller group size, which is always nice. Check out prices and availability here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Tour Pace: Relaxed
  • Start Time: 1:15 pm
  • Tour Guide: Yes

Small Group Whale Watching (RIB)

Another exceptionally high rated RIB whale watching tour in Reykjavik that offers full gear and an exceptional on board tour guide. This tour is very slightly more expensive that our top recommended RIB experience and this is the only reason it is not at the top. It is only around $10 more so if the other is fully booked then check out the availability of this tour right here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: 10+
  • Tour Pace: Fast
  • Start Time: 10am 12pm 2pm 4pm
  • Tour Guide: Yes

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Whale Watching In The Midnight Sun (Ferry)

Fancy something a bit more unique? If you are going whale watching in Reykjavik during the summer months then you will be able to choose this cool midnight sun experience and watch the whales in the middle of the night!

Everything esle is essentially the same as the other ferry tours above but the beautiful golden hue at this time of year may make the entire experience that little bit more magical for you. Check out prices and availability here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 3 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Tour Pace: Relaxed
  • Start Time: 8:30 pm
  • Tour Guide: Yes

Whale & Puffin Tour (RIB)

If you love puffins (why wouldn’t you) then this is a great tour to combine seeing the puffins in the summer months as well as the whales! You will go to see the puffins in their natural habitat and then zoom off into deeper waters to see the wahels in their feeding grounds. Best of both worlds! Check out prices and availability right here!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 2 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: 10+
  • Tour Pace: Fast
  • Start Time: Many Options
  • Tour Guide: Yes

Whale Watching & Northern Lights Combo Tour (Ferry)

If you are in Iceland during the winter months (when the Northern Lights are observable) then you can combine a whale watching tour with a northern lights tour. They are not both on the boat, rather you go and see the whales during the day and then later on go on a northern lights hunt.

You could book these tours sepereatly but you will save a little bit of money combing them here so check out prices and availability now!

Key Information

  • Tour Duration: 6 Hours
  • Pickup Included: No
  • Age Suitable For: All
  • Tour Pace: Medium
  • Start Time: 9 am 1 pm
  • Tour Guide: Yes

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The Different Boats Explained

RIB

A RIB (rigid inflatable boat) is basically a small speed boat designed for speed across the water. These boats are extremely fast and usually have a maximum amount of passengers of 12. This makes them require less time to get to the whales feeding grounds.

It can be argued that a RIB is the best way of experiencing whale watching tours in Reykjavik. this is becasue you are closer to the water, closer to the whales, and you have the smallest group size. You also get the added thrill of travelling at high speeds across the water.

However, this does come with a caveat. RIB whale watching tours in Reykjavik are more expensive (around double), they are not suitable for anyone under 10, they are not the most comfortable of rides (understatement of the year), and they are not suitable for anyone with any back issues or who are pregnant.

If you love the speed, have the budget, and you are not a small child then absolutley the RIB is the option for you! Book our #1 rated RIB whale watching tour in Reykjavik here!


Yacht

A yacht is basically a fancy ferry which has a nicer interior /exterior and usually a nice bar. The other benefit of choosing a yacht is they can take less people than the ferries so your tour is not going to be as packed.

Overall the yacht tours are only a little more than the ferry tours and you get that little bit more class for your experience. If that is not that important to you then check out the ferry below. If a budget option with a bit of style does appeal to you then check out our number 1 recommended yacht tour here!


Ferry

This is the cheapest option and is essnetially exactly the same as the yacht option but with more people on a slightly less fancy boat. You will still get a place to buy refreshments and some seating indoors but the amount of people on the boat will roughly double to 150-200.

Going on a yacht means that it is very easy to move from one side of the boat to the other to maximise your chances of seeing a whale. However, on a ferry, this is going to be much more difficult. I genuinally do not think this is going to affect your whale watching tour in Reykjavik that much as the captains always swing the boat around to show both sides anyway.

If the most affordable option sounds good to you then check out our number 1 recommended ferry whale tour here!


What Can You See?

Minke Whales

Minke whales are the most common whale in all of Iceland so this is the whale you are most likely to see on your whale watching tours in Reykjavik.

You can see minke whales on any of the whale watching tours in reykjavik on this list

Humpback Whales

Humpack whales come to Iceland in great numbners during the summer months and they are the ones which, so famously, jump out of the water (breach). It is not the most common of sight to see on a whale watching tour but they do it so keep your eyes peeled!

Humpack are the most acrobatic of all the whales that you can see on a whale watching tours in reykjavik

Harbor Porpoises

These tiny adorable porpoises can be seen in large numbers but due to their size you may have to keep your eyes EXTRA peeled to see them!

Keep your eyes peeled for harbour porpoises during your whale watching tours in reykjavik

Puffins

Everyone loves these adorable little colourful birds and, in the summer months, they are in Iceland in GREAT numbers. You should be able to many hundreds of them during this time!

In the summer months you can see these everywhere on a whale watching tours in reykjavik

When To Go Whale Watching In Reykjavik

You can go on whale watching tours in Reykjavik all year round however the best time to go has to be from April – September. At this time of year there are many more whales present of the coast of Iceland and you will almost be guarenteed to see many sightings.

Some of the great whales do stay throughout the winter months so the chances of sightings around Reykjavik are still good but much lower. The weather is also much colder so remember to wrap up VERY warm!


What To Take With You

Iceland is called Iceland for a reason so make sure you take some warm clothing, even in the summer months. We have a very good list of recommended clothing below so if you see anything you do not currently own then remember to click through the links to see prices and availability in your area!

HOT FEET Winter Boot Socks

If you're going to be wearing boots, especially in colder climates, then you need to grab yourself a decent set of cold-weather socks. These thermal socks from HOT FEET don't break the bank and will keep your feet warm in some of the coldest weather. You also get 8 pairs!

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100% Cotton Cable Sweater

Cotton is the way to go to keep you warm on cold nights staring up at the beautiful starry sky, surrounded by ice and snow. This is from Amazon Basics so you're not paying a premium for a famous brand but you're still getting that thick cotton quality.

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Fleece Lined Long Johns & Base Layer

If you really feel the cold but already have a decent jacket and insulated trousers, then you have to check out these fleece-lined thermal long johns and top base layer. These will fit under your outer clothes and give a massive increase to your warmth whilst paired with other quality winter wear. A must-have for someone who struggles with the cold.

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Classic Ear Warmers

Jade prefers wearing ear muffs because it gives her more options to style her hair whilst also keeping her little ears warm. If that sounds like something you might struggle with then check out these fantastic ear warmers that come in a variety of colours!

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KINGSBOM -40F° Waterproof & Windproof Thermal Gloves

If you need a pair of no-nonsense, warm, waterproof, and windproof gloves that will work with your touch devices then we highly recommend checking out these gloves. I recommend getting slightly larger than you think as the sizing is on the small size.

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C.C Cable Knit Fleece Lined Beanie

This beautiful cable knit beanie comes in a huge variety of colours and will keep your head warm in some of the most difficult of conditions. If you will be wearing your hood up a lot then I recommend getting one without a pom.

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MOERDENG Women's Mountain Waterproof/Windproof Jacket

If you are thinking of going into colder climates then you have to make sure you have a suitable jacket to go along for the ride. This ski jacket is waterproof and windproof which helps keep out the cold and a fleece lining which helps to keep in the warmth. The jacket is also extremely affordable compared to other brands meaning your comfort is no longer going to cost you an arm and a leg!

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CAMEL CROWN Fleece Lined Waterproof/Windproof Pants

People often buy really good gloves, hats, boots, and jackets when they are going into colder climates but neglect the need for a good pair of waterproof/windproof trousers to go along with it. These brilliant fleece-lined trousers will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable for those long days in the freezing cold.

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Where To Stay In Reykjavik

Staying in Reykjavik does not need to break the bank and, on the other hand, has some of the most amazing accommodation options in the whole country. Have a look at my personal 4 favourite accommodation options below and if none of those pique your interest, use the map below to see accommodation options throughout the city!

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Other Things To Do In Reykjavik

Snowmobiling On A Glacier

This is defineetly the best thing we have ever done in ICedland and is 100% recommended for you to do it over anything else. These snowmobile tours actually start way up near Gulfoss waterfall but you can choose the option to be picked up from Reykjavik which is why this is defeinetely one of the best things to do here. Check out our video below to see what you’ll be getting, read our full article here or book the exact tour we went on here!

Snowmobiling In Iceland - With Mountaineers Of Iceland! - Langjökull Glacier!

A Mega Jeep Up Onto A Glacier

If you don’t think you would be able to handle a snowmobile but you still want to experience the top of the glacier then check out this insane mega bus which has all of the luxury and comfort andone would want and gets you views that people will be very jealous of. See our full article here or book the exact tour we went on here! Also, Check out our video about it below!

The BEST Iceland Glacier Tour! - Driving Up Into The Whiteness

Hiring a 4×4

If you want to get out of the city and check out more of the countryside then the only way to do this is by 4×4! Check out everything you need to know about hiring a 4×4 in Iceland here or watch the video below for more inofrmation!

Renting A 4x4 In Iceland - Every Tip & Trick In The Book!

Food & Drink Tour

This 3 hour walking food tour might actually be the highest rated tour in the whole of Iceland. Currently it has over 7000 reviews and nearly every single one of them is 5 star. You will get to see so much of this gorgeous city with an experienced guide and also get to taste some of the best food and drink availabile in the whole of Iceland! Check out the tour in more detail here!


Helicopter Tour – Glacier Summit Landing

If you have walked around Reykjavik and have just about had enough of seeing it from eye level then why not have a go seeing it from above! You will fly over the city and up to a nearby mountain where you will land and have a walk around with no one else in sight! Check out our #1 recommended helipctoper tour in Reykjavik or check out all of our recommended helicopter tours here!

A red helicopter on top of a mountain covered in snow - Iceland helicopter tours

Blue Lagoon

How can anyone come to Iceland and not visit the world famouns Blue Lagoon. This increidible spa complex can be accessed from Reykjavik by bus or by arranging a tour with pick-up. This is one of the must-do activities when in Iceland so make sure you check out tickets with transfer right here!


Frequently Asked Questions

How Likely Is Seeing A Whale In Reykjavik?

In the summer months it is almost 100% as there are so many feeding off the coast. In the winter months it is slightly lower but you have a good chance to see dolphins as well.

When Is The Best Time To Go Whale Watching In Reykjavik?

April – September but the winter months are not bad if thats you’re only option.

How Long Is A Whale Watching Tour In Reykjavik?

From 2-3 hours

Can I Get A Refund If We Dont See A Whale In Reykjavik?

Not usually, however most tours will offer to give you a free ticket for another day.

What Whales Are In Reykjavik?

Humpack whales and minke whales mostly.


Thats our entire guide to whale watching tours in Reykjavik! Let us know if this has been helpful in the comments and if you booked on any of the tours let us know how they went!