Whale & Puffin Tours

Set sails in search for humpbacks, orcas, minke whales, and even puffins with one of these exciting Whale & Puffin Watching Tours in Iceland. Those looking to get to know the magnificent marine wildlife just below the Arctic Circle can do no better than one of these exciting excursions. Browse through our selection below. 

Whale feeding with birds flying around

About Whale & Puffin Tours

In recent years, Iceland has earned one of the top spots for best whale watching locations in the world. Over 20 species of whales and dolphins can be found in the waters around Iceland, and the success rate on excursions is over 90%.

There are three main locations for Whale and Puffin Tours in Iceland: Reykjavík City, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and North Iceland.

Those looking to join a Whale & Puffin Tour in the North will have the option of visiting either Akureyri or Húsavík — the latter is known as ‘The Whale Watching Capital of Iceland’.

While those exploring the West’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula can take a Whale & Puffin Watching Tour from Ólafsvík, a lovely little fishing village by Breiðafjörður Bay. 

A Whale & Puffin Tour from Reykjavík is a great activity for those who have a free day in the city. Tours depart from the Old Harbour, which is located only a short walk from the Laugavegur shopping street in the downtown area.

Read more about Whale Watching In Iceland here.

Whale Watching Tours in the Winter

Whale watching is a year-round activity here in Iceland. The subarctic waters around Iceland are filled with fish like herring and capelin in the winter, luring both whales and dolphins into the country’s bays. 

Sightings on whale watching tours in the winter is around 90%, meaning that there is a good chance you will spot humpbacks, minke whales or dolphins on your excursion.

All of the whale watching tours on Traveo offer the option of going on another excursion at a later date, in the unlikely event no animals are spotted on your trip.

Whale and Puffin Tours in the Summer

While whale watching in Iceland is a year-round activity, puffin watching is not. The Atlantic Puffins is a migratory bird and can only be seen around Iceland between late April to early September. 

Most whale watching tours in the summer include a spot of puffin watching. Many boats will go out of their way to sail past islands and skerries where these adorable birds are known to nest in the summer, while others will point out any time you can see these birds on the water.

Read more about Puffins in Iceland here.

While there is a good chance you’ll see whales on a winter whale-watching tour, there is even a better chance in the summer. Summer whale watching trips have around 95-98% success rate. As with the winter tours, if you do not see any animals on your trip, you are free to join another excursion at a later date.

Frequently asked questions

The most commonly spotted species on a Whale Watching Tour in Iceland is the minke whale. Other common species are humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, killer whales or orcas, and fin whales.

Summer is the best time to spot puffins in Iceland. They are a migratory species and can only be seen between late April and early September. 

Puffins can be seen at coastal cliffs all around Iceland in the summer. The best places to spot them are at Látrabjarg Cliffs in the Westfjords, the Westman Islands and Dyrhólaey Peninsula in South Iceland, in Breiðafjörður Bay in West Iceland, and Grímsey Island in the North. Just off the coast of Reykjavík City is an island called “Puffin Island” (Ludey) which is also an excellent place to see these adorable creatures.

When conditions for sailing aren’t suitable due to rough weather, the tour might get cancelled. In that case, you will be notified and offered a chance to reschedule or get a full refund.

Wear layers of warm and waterproof clothing. If it is cold, you will be provided with warm overalls onboard the boat. You should also wear good, waterproof shoes and a warm hat, scarf and gloves.

A variety of seabirds can often be spotted on Whale & Puffin Tours. These include guillemots, kittiwakes, and fulmars.

We offer two types of Whale Watching Tours. The cheapest and most popular option is aboard a big boat which has a large deck and spacious, comfortable interior. You’ll also find bathrooms onboard as well as a shop where you can purchase refreshments. The other option is a RIB boat which is smaller and comes with a personal guide/boat crew. They also have suspension seating which provides for smooth sailing. These vessels are both quicker and quieter than the larger boats, which means you can get closer to the whales.

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