Whale Watching in Iceland

Iceland’s surrounding waters are home to 23 different whale species, many of which are not shy to visitors. Whale watching tours have at least a 90% success rate at catching a glimpse of these beautiful giants. The most commonly seen whales are Minke whales, Fin whales, Humpback whales, Harbour Porpoises, and White-beaked dolphins. The best time to see them is in the summer, when they like to come to the surface more often. There are a variety of whale watching tours from different ports, so travelers can have the opportunity to see these magnificent whales from all over Iceland.

whale watching in Iceland

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash


Chances of seeing the most common whales off the coast of Reykjavík are 95%, and tours are available year-round. The most commonly sighted whales are Humpback, Minke, Harbour Porpoise, and White-beaked dolphins. Popular tours are Elding, Special Tours, and Whale Safari.

Elding offers a classic whale watching tour and a 2-hour express whale and puffin tour, as well as fishing tours. Special Tours offers a 3-hour classic tour which includes educational and interactive highlights and free tickets to return if there are no sightings. Their 2-hour express tour also offers free return tickets on those slow whale-watching days. Whale Safari also offers free return tickets, and is a more intimate boat ride on a RIB boat made for 12 passengers. These small boats give passengers a more close-up view of the whales than traditional whale-watching boats.

whale watching tours

Photo by Sho Hatakeyama on Unsplash


The tours coming from Akureyri offer a 99% chance of seeing whales and most are open year-round. The most commonly sighted whales are Humpback, Minke, Harbour Porpoise, and White-beaked dolphin. Popular tours are through Ambassador Whale Watching and Elding.

Elding is the same company that offers tours out of Reykjavík and they offer the same features to their port at Akureyri. Ambassador Whale Watching offers a 3-hour tour off the harbour of Torfunefsbryggja. They offer a comfortable ride on a first-class boat with professional, knowledgeable guides.


Boat tours in Húsavík have a 99% chance of seeing whales and most tours are open during the summer. The most commonly-seen whales are Humpback, Minke, Blue, and White-beaked dolphin. Popular tour companies are North Sailing and Gentle Giants.

North Sailing is a different experience than many other boat tours because they are eco-friendly, sailing on a wind-powered sailboat. They offer 3-hour original whale watching tours, 4-hour “Whales, Puffins, and Sails” tours, and 3-hour whale and puffin tours. Gentle Giants offers classic whale watching tours, big whale safaris, day-long tours, and fishing tours.


Chances of seeing a whale off the coast of Dalvík in northern Iceland are 98% and most tours are open during the summer. The most commonly sighted whales here are the Humpback whale and the White-peaked dolphin. A popular tour company in Dalvík is the Artic Sea Tours.

The Artic Sea Tours offers an adventurous tour of whale watching, sea angling, and bird watching, combined with food and drinks. Passengers get to taste freshly caught fish and drink traditional Icelandic refreshments.

Have you been in whale watching in Iceland? Is it in the future plans? Please share with us in the comments.