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The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik
4.5
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The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik

By Elding Whale Watching
Recommended by 91% of travellers
91% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
Humpback, orca, blue, and minke whales patrol the Reykyavik coast, but you’ll have to leave the shore for the best chance of spotting them. This whale-watching cruise goes deep into the natural habitat of Iceland’s whales and dolphins, getting as close as possible without disturbing the animals. Let a guide direct your attention as you travel across Faxafloi Bay, where a blend of warm and cold ocean currents creates spectacular whale-watching opportunities.
from
£73.81
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99, max of 150 per group
Duration: 3h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Live guide: English
More

Highlights
  • Experience Iceland’s wildlife even on limited time 
  • Chance to see a range of whales and dolphins 
  • Multiple daily departures make this a convenient option 
  • Sustainable tour designed for minimum environmental impact

  • Excellent live guide
  • Overalls, raincoats and blankets
  • Admission to Wildlife Exhibition
  • Free WiFi on board
What's not included
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Make your way to a location in Reykjavik’s Old Harbour, and then board a whale-watching boat for a cruise on Faxafloi Bay. You’ll see views of Mount Esja, Akrafjall, and other landmarks on Faxafloi Bay as you cruise, with trained guides to watch for wildlife and help identify what you see. Some of the most common species are humpback whales, minke whales, harbor porpoises, and white-beaked dolphins, but some lucky visitors may even see blue whales, one of the largest animals on earth. The cruise is designed to reduce environmental impact, pollution, and disruption to the animal habitat, so you know your whale-watching experience won’t harm Iceland’s spectacular coastal ecosystem. Whales or dolphins are spotted on more than 90% of summer tours and 80% of winter tours. Should you not see a whale or dolphin, you’ll receive a complimentary ticket for a second tour. Note: To ensure the best whale-watching opportunity when conditions in Reykjavik are rough (especially in winter), the tour may depart from other harbors, such as Grindavík, Keflavík, Sandgerði, or Hafnarfjörður.

Start:
  • Elding Whale Watching, Ægisgarður 5c, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
    Meet us in the ELDING ticket office located at Ægisgarður 5c by the Old Harbour district in Reykjavík. Once at the pier, simply follow the red colour to find us! Be sure to arrive at least 15 min. before departure to ensure enough time to check in and to board the boat.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 7090P9

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • The tour may sometimes depart from other harbours when the conditions in Reykjavík are rough. In this case, the tour may be 1-2 hrs. longer than advertised.
    • Most travellers can participate
    • No whales or dolphins on your tour? Try again another day for FREE!
    • Please note that our fleet is not completely wheelchair accessible as there are steep stairs between lower and upper decks and high thresholds to get from the decks into the saloon as well as from the saloon to the toilets.
    • Wheelchair users are welcome to bring a foldable chair onboard our bigger boats, but if possible, please advise our office prior to departure as we may need to assist with boarding.
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 150 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    How much is The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik?
    The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik price starts from £72.97. Discover and book The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik on Tripadvisor
    What is the The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik cancellation policy?
    The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik on Tripadvisor
    Which company provides The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik?
    The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik is hosted by Elding Whale Watching. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Elding Whale Watching on Tripadvisor. Discover and book The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik on Tripadvisor
    How much time do I need for The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik?
    On average, this experience will take approximately 3h. Discover and book The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik on Tripadvisor

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 7090P9

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    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Elding Whale Watching
      3,937
      Reykjavik, Iceland
      Joined in July 2008
    • jeanphilippel456
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Easiest way to see the Northern Lights
      Northern Lights tours are often hit and miss because of the weather, but the Elding team made sure we could finally see them. Our original tour was cancelled due to the weather, but Elding contacted us early enough so we could re-arrange our plans for the day and re-schedule for the next tour at no charge. Once on the boat, Anna, our guide and Northern Lights hunter, provided us with plenty of great explanations about the Northern Lights, what to expect, how to get the best pictures, where to look, and more while being kept warm on the boat. And when the Northern Lights finally show up, Anna made sure we didn't miss them.
      Written 26 February 2024
    • NickiAsh101
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      An evening to remember
      This was a fantastic night - we were a party of 4 (2 couples). We were told that it wasn’t the best of nights to see the northern lights, it was cold, cloudy at times and over half way into the evening on our way back into the harbour our luck was in. The crew etc were amazing. Was an absolutely amazing experience. Thank you
      Written 25 February 2024
    • 729sup
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great company
      Lovely views of the city from the water, no Northern Lights, maybe next time, but a great trip to do anyway and a really efficient company with regards to information and rebooking.
      Written 25 February 2024
    • X6077ICmaryl
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Rare experience
      Didn’t think they would show but just in time they did. They kept the trip going longer to get full value of the lights. My only problem my phone wasn’t good enough to see full colour but other people shared theirs. Also able to download photos taken by the guide .excellent trip
      Written 23 February 2024
    • cazzkeeler
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      One of the best Whale Watching Experiences
      Fantastic trip. Went early morning and within 10 minutes of leaving the port we saw the first Humpback. Saw a total of four Humpbacks feeding, blowing water and diving. One of the best whale watching experience ever and this was our 6th trip of whale watching around the world. Staff/crew very friendly and knowledgeable. Definitely good value for money. Out for 3 hours. Recommend early morning tour as the whales were very active.
      Written 16 February 2024
    • jano128
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      We saw many whales
      It was not the season for whale watching and we doubted if we would see any. But the weather was great (but freezing cold) and we saw many whales. It was a great experience. After the first encounter, the crew went to another location where we saw another couple and then again on a third spot.
      Written 14 February 2024
    • A2ZTraveller
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      First Night Cruise
      Went on the cruise on our first night in Iceland. Picked up from our hotel in a minibus and taken to the boat. One of our party is on crutches and the entrance to the boat was not easy it was extremely icy. The cruise lasts around 2 hours in total but the boat doesn’t leave the bay so there is a lot of light around. On our night the northern light were not active (can’t be controlled by the operator) but had they been I think it may have been better to take the coach tour out of town to get to proper darkness. They do offer to re-book you for free if you don’t see the lights which they did but the re-booking doesn’t include the transfer to and from your hotel.
      Written 14 February 2024
    • Mccrackt31
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      Skip it
      If in Iceland to see the Northern Lights, this cruise will only get you seasick. You do not get far enough away from land for the lights to be any different. We saw them better out of our window at the Hotel Borg. No reason to do this. It is cold, wet, and uncomfortable. I am usually ok On boats, but this was ridiculous. Everyone was getting sick.
      Written 13 February 2024
    • TerriS
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      Not good for Northern Lights
      Do not use a boat tour to see Northern Lights. The boat stays in the bay and there is far too much light pollution to get great views of northern lights. Photos are difficult because the boat isn't still enough for the slow shutter speed needed to capture the lights. Would never have done this tour had I known the boat stayed in well lit areas...such a waste of precious opportunity and money.
      Written 12 February 2024
    • TractorMum
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Whale watching
      This was a great trip from start to finish The crew were welcoming and very well informed, they kept us informed and educated in an engaging way It was cold and snowing but we saw a lot of whales As well as the tour they are committed to conservation and sustainability
      Written 5 February 2024
    • V2656WAmarcusm
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      Don't do it
      I was told not to go on this trip, as they don't go far enough out to see the lights. On the night in question, there was heavy cloud cover, and the trip should have been canceled... giving us another opportunity to see them another night. However, they decided to go out anyway. We saw some vaguely bright clouds, but could not see the lights, unless we set our cameras very specifically to do so. They were impossible to see with your naked eye, and barley visible in camera. That told us that technically, we had seen the lights, and weren't required to give us the option to re-book for free. I understand that seeing them is based on conditions and luck, but why take us out of chances are very low too see them. I'm going to another country to actually see them, this was pretty dishonest.
      Written 28 January 2024
    • Kira S
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Poor weather
      The tour didn’t go ahead sadly due to bad weather, it was so foggy you couldn’t see 20 metres infront of you. The company let us know a few hours prior and were super useful and helpful when it came to getting our money back.
      Written 28 January 2024
    • O3147DLnathanc
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Northern Light amazing boat Tour
      What a brilliant tour which was made by all the staff we met, as we pulled out of the harbour we started to see the Northern Lights which were amazing. Our guide was knowledagable and enthusiastic which really made for a great time. We thank you for being part of making our trip to Iceland a truly beautiful experience.
      Written 24 January 2024
    • mcgahan27
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Whale watching Jan
      Crew were very helpful and informative. The protective clothes we were given were so needed and the wind chill was cutting. We got to see multiple whales, dolphins, seals and puffins. Over all a fantastic trip
      Written 22 January 2024
    • Adam T
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A great experience!
      A great trip to experience winter conditions in the North Atlantic around Iceland! We were fortunate to see a humpback whale which we watched for some time. All crew were welcoming and friendly.
      Written 20 January 2024
    See all 3 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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    4.5
    4.5 of 5 bubbles1,127 reviews
    Excellent
    905
    Very good
    128
    Average
    44
    Poor
    17
    Terrible
    33

    Dingers
    St Austell, UK69 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2020 • Solo
    I went whale watching g in February, already aware that this was not peak season. Unfortunately on my trip no whales or dolphins were seen but we did see harbour seals and lots of porpoises. The guide, Megan, was exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced. Local birds were also pointed out as well as some of the more significant landmarks. In all honestly, even though we didn’t see any whales/dolphins the views of the bay were simply stunning. It was definitely worth it. All were offered a refunded ticket lasting two years, which I think is more than fair. The small cafe inside was very reasonable priced and there were waterproofs/keep warms available to borrow. Despite nothing being seen it was well organised, well staffed and I would recommend.
    Written 19 February 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear Clare Marie D, Thank you very much for taking the time to rate and review our tour and services. We're glad you had a nice time on board despite the lack of wildlife, and that you enjoyed the enthusiasm and knowledge of our crew members. Hope to see you again on a future tour! All the best, The Elding team
    Written 19 February 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    HrhFlossie
    106 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2020
    Although we were unlucky enough to not see any whales, we all still had a 'whale of a time'!
    The tour was to start from another harbour, due to poor weather conditions (very rough seas). We took advantage of their overalls to keep us all nice and warm so we could stay outside the entire trip.
    The views from the boat of the surrounding towns and mountains were incredible. Seeing a whale would simply have been an added bonus. It was wonderful to see Iceland this way!
    The tour guide was amazing at delivering information, keeping us entertained and he made it that much more enjoyable!
    We have been given free tickets to use on our next trip until we get to see some marine life!
    Very professional and friendly company!
    Written 28 January 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear HrhFlossie, Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience with future travellers. We're glad to see you had a wonderful time on board despite the lack of wildlife. Respecting the animals, managing expectations and understanding the unpredictable factor of the tour is key when it comes to venturing out in search for cetacean. We're glad to see you enjoyed the 'little things' and look forward to welcoming you back on a future (complimentary) tour! All the best, The Elding team
    Written 29 January 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Simon
    Romiley, UK212 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The reception to pick up your tickets is located at the Old Harbour, and everyone we spoke with there was really friendly and helpful. On our day, warnings were up saying rough seas so sea sickness tablets were freely available and encouraged. This was a life saver for me as I get extreme sea sickness.

    The boat itself is clean and has plenty of seats, but I was out on deck the whole voyage... again there's plenty of space on various different levels.

    The guide was extremely informative and really enthusiastic about her subject. Unfortunately due to arctic gales she wasn't always audible but not her fault.

    A really good service feature is that if you don't see whales (we didn't, just the back of a solitary porpoise) you can go again and again for up to 2 Years until you see them! Cracking idea which I will not be taking up due to my sickness.

    The tour itself is a must do if you go to Iceland.

    One last thing... apparently Icelanders hardly ever eat whale meat. It's almost exclusively eaten by tourists wanting to try something "authentic". Please don't buy it. They don't.
    Written 20 February 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear SimonG2215, Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience with future travellers. We appreciate your honest and positive comments and glad you enjoyed our services despite the challenging tour. We would gladly have you back on a (calmer) future trip! Feel free to stay in touch if you do return. Best regards, Saga
    Written 21 February 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Neil A
    Norwich, UK50 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We did the Premium Whale Watching Tour on the RIB and it’s probably spoiled us for life . We went on the 8th August and the sea was preternaturally calm. The crew were awesome and cared for our safety ( there always one scurvy passenger that need a gentle reminder ) and they were very friendly and informative. But to be honest we were so lucky from a baby Minke whale that swam around and under us for 20 mins and then a sleepy humpback . But then things changed when a less snoozy Humpback decided to investigate . They came right up to the RIB ( advantage of a small boat) and literally swam up to us within breathing distance ( luckily we had all cleaned our teeth) . A roll and few fin slaps within 5 meters and we were all squealing like kids , I’m unable to upload the close video so have a more distant shot .. Such a joyous experience enhanced by the fact that the Elding team were squealing with us even though they were a marine biologist and professional boatswain . No one can promise what we experienced ( it was also my birthday ) but if it can happen these are the guys that can . Remember avoid restaurants that serve whale or puffin .
    Written 19 August 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for taking the time to share your view of our tour and services. We highly appreciate your kind comments. All the best, The Elding team
    Written 14 September 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Andy M
    Cardiff, UK17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2022 • Couples
    We were so pleased that the weather broke and that the trip was going ahead. I had been following the whale diary for about a month prior and the weather had out paid to several trips during January. We set off in clear skies and beautiful sunshine but this soon disappeared however didn’t detract from the trip. The crew were very professional and courteous and Megan who was in the main watchtower was an absolute font of all things flying and swimming. We saw seals , porpoises and dolphins plus lots of birds but alas no bigger creatures which was a shame but that’s the luck of the draw. The excitement is being out on the water in the hope of seeing something at any given moment. Great trip, well organised with knowledgable professional crew. Would do again in a heartbeat
    Thanks all
    Written 30 January 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for sharing your experience with future travellers. We're glad to see that you enjoyed the trip with our fantastic crew! All the best, The Elding team
    Written 14 September 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Caroline B
    West Sussex, UK82 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We had a great time on this trip. We’d actually booked for the Sunday and thought we would collect our tickets the day before. However, they said they don’t issue tickets the day before in case the trip is cancelled due to the weather. As the Saturday was such a lovely day, and Sunday would be our last day, we asked if it was possible to change to that day, and it was no problem.

    We had an English guide, Rob, who was very knowledgeable, explaining what to look for when trying to find whales and dolphins, the different types found in the area, why those types liked it there, what they ate, how to tell them apart and so on. He was very informative and clear.

    The boat was well equipped with toilets, seating inside and out, and a bar area to get hot drinks and snacks (the most reasonable prices too). They can also provide you with a waterproof all in one to keep you warm and dry off your clothing isn’t sufficient.

    We were lucky and saw 2 whales popping up and down regularly for a while, and then some dolphins.

    A great trip.
    Written 28 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    julesamd
    England60 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2020
    Very well run and planned trip. The boat was clean and before you go on the boat the ticket office provided anti sickness pills which was great idea and good customer service! I took one and had no issues, but some people sadly did but this is expected.

    Sadly we didn't see whales - lots of seabirds and the views were excellent, it was clear day and the guide bless her was frozen but gave great commentary - it was a shame we didn't see much.

    The cafe area on board is excellent and heated so you could escape the cold winds and warm up before going back out.

    Staff very friendly and we will return one day and do the summer months to hopefully see more. We were offered tickets to return but chose not to do that as we are unsure when we will return, but really appreciated the gesture.

    Highly recommended.
    Written 29 March 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for taking the time to review our services and share your experience with future travellers! All the best, The Elding team
    Written 13 September 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Andrew
    Pontyclun, UK1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful experience. Not only was the guide extremely knowledgeable, they took great care not to harass the whales by hanging around them too long, particularly when other boats showed up. I was amazed at the number and variety of animals we saw - humpbacks, minke and a fin whale, as well as a pod of young dolphins. A very memorable afternoon, and highly recommended.
    Written 16 August 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Many thanks for rating our services and for sharing your experience with future travellers! All the best, The Elding team
    Written 13 September 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Anthony S
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2021 • Couples
    This tour was professional and safe, on a comfortable vessel with lots of places for clear viewing. The guide was informative and passionate, and very skilled in sighting wildlife. We were prepared for the possibility of not seeing anything, but we’re so blessed to see birds and three different species of cetaceans, including four individual humpbacks feeding, breaching, and fluking, seemingly just for us. Elding is careful to stay away from other craft, and to treat the wildlife with respect and distance, letting the animals determine the length and nature of the encounter. We appreciated this respectful conservatorship attitude toward animals who just wanted to have their lunch. We would highly recommend this tour and this company.
    Written 15 August 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Many thanks for rating our services and for sharing your experience with future travellers! All the best, The Elding team
    Written 13 September 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Judy, Belgium
    Belgium4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2022
    A friendly crew and a knowledgeable, qualified and enthusiastic guide Estel Sanchez who rightly can be called an environmental educator helped to make the trip truly memorable. The whole team are doing excellent work not only showing nature but helping to preserve our precious sea life.

    We were told that we had been very lucky in our sightings which included four humpbacks and at least ten minkes. We were also lucky with the weather - grey clouds thinning and the sun appearing on the horizon as well as calm waters.

    As an extra after-tour service, you can receive photos taken by the crew (83 on our trip) as well as a short written report.

    The photos are spectacular and will help keep the wonderful memories alive.
    Written 23 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and for rating our tour. We highly appreciate your kind review! All the best, The Elding team
    Written 19 September 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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    The Original Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavik provided by Elding Whale Watching