FAQ – Whale Watching

What kind of whales will I see on my Whale Watching tour from Reykjavík?

The most common whale species that we see on our whale watching tours are humpback whales, minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. We can never guarantee any sightings, or a specific type of sighting on our tours. In case of no sightings on our tours you will be offered a free return ticket to try again.

What time is best to see whales?

While summer (April-October) is the high season for whale watching in Reykjavík, we are fortunate to see whales year-round in Faxaflói Bay. You can always check our latest blog post from our daily diary for what we have been seeing in the previous days. There is no best time of day to see whales in Faxaflói, every day and every tour varies.

Can I see whales and puffins on the same tour?

We do not offer a standard combo tour for both whales and puffins, but there is a chance you will see some puffins from a distance on your whale watching tour in the summer months. On our RIB Express Whale Watching tours we always make a stop at the puffin islands during their summer breeding season.

How close will I get to the whales?

This depends on the tour, and the whales. We follow a strict code of conduct in accordance with IceWhale regarding how we approach and view the whales, so it is ultimately up to the whales. Some tours the whales are just next to the boat, and on other tours they are further away. If the sightings are not good because the whales are too far from the boat, we will offer a free return ticket to try again.

What should I wear on your Whale Watching tours?

We recommend dressing warmly, it is colder on the sea than in land. We do provide warm overalls on all our Whale Watching tours but we still recommend warm layers, sturdy shoes, hat and gloves for all our tours. Sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended for sunny days out at sea, even though this is Iceland the sun can sneak up on you out at sea.

Are Dolphins Whales?

The fact that dolphins are whales seems to cause a lot of confusion among people. The short answer is: Yes, dolphins are a type of whale.

Where can i check the tour status?
Our tours status and sightings can be checked on our Daily Diary page.

FAQ – Northern Lights

When can I see Northern Lights?

It is only possible to see Northern Lights when it gets dark at night, so roughly from the end of August until the middle of April. We operate our Northern Lights by Boat tours from September 1st – April 15th. During other months, the daylight in Iceland is too strong to see them – even at night.

How do you decide if you will sail or not for the Northern Lights?

We make a careful decision each afternoon based on the most updated weather forecast, keeping in mind cloud coverage, sea conditions and Northern Lights activity.

What if there is a promising Northern Lights forecast but the sea conditions are to rough to sail out?

A few times a season it happens that the sea conditions are too rough to sail out but we still have a very promising Northern Lights forecast. When this happens we have offered our customers to join a Northern lights tour on a bus for that night. The customer still gets to keep his ticket to join the Northern Lights by Boat tour on another night.

FAQ – Puffin Express

Can I see Puffins on a tour from Reykjavík?

Yes, we offer 1 hour Puffin tours from Reykjavík with a 100% sighting success. 

When can I see puffins in Iceland?

The puffins are only in Iceland for their summer breeding season, so our Puffin Express tour operates from May 1st – August 20th.

FAQ – Sea Angling

What kind of fish do you catch on your Sea Angling or Sea Fishing tours?

The most common types of fish that we catch on our Sea Angling tours are cod, pollock, haddock, mackrel and Atlantic Wolffissh.

What kind of fishing is it?

On our Sea Angling tours we operate bottom fishing tours, using weighted lines with hooks and bait.

What’s included on your Sea Angling tours?

We provide protective clothing, fishing rods and bait. We will grill the catch on board and serve it with potatoes and sauce. We can also provide fillets if given notice at the beginning of the tour for you to take home with you!

Can we see whales on the Sea Angling tour?

While it can happen, it is not common – the fishing grounds overlap with the feeding grounds for the whales, but the primary focus of this tour is on fishing.

FAQ – General

When should I arrive for check-in?

We kindly ask that you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

What time is my hotel pick up?

For all Whale Watching & Northern Lights tours, pick-up starts 1 hour prior to departure. For Sea Angling and Puffin Express, pick-up starts 30 minutes prior to departure. Please note that you must be ready at your designated pick-up location at this point.

Do I need to print my ticket?

No, there is no need to print your ticket. Note that you will need to check in at our ticket office prior to boarding the boat.

Where can I park my car?

We do not provide a parking but in our office area there is usually no problem to find a free spot.

Are your tours wheelchair accessible?

Not all our tours are wheelchair accessible, depending on the size of the wheelchair – please contact our reception team at info@reykjaviksailors.is for more information.

What should I wear on your tours?

We always recommend dressing warmly and wearing sturdy shoes. Please keep in mind that the weather in Iceland can change quickly and frequently, so it‘s important to look at the weather forecast throughout your stay.

Can I bring food on my tour?

You are welcome to bring food and non-alcoholic drinks on the tours. Our Whale Watching Classic and Whale Watching Express boats also have a snack bar on board where you can purchase a selection of food, snacks and drinks.

Is there an age limit for the tours?

Our tours do not have an age limit, with the exception of RIB Express Whale Watching. You must be at least 10 years old and 140cm tall to join this tour.

What languages do you offer on the tours?

By default all of our tours are guided in English. We do have German and Spanish guides on whale watching tours at certain times in the summer, and do our best to accommodate special requests given in advance. Please contact us at info@reykjaviksailors.is for more information.

What services are available on the boats?

Every boat except for our RIB Express boat has restrooms on board. Our Classic & Express tours also have a cafeteria where you can purchase food, snacks and drinks.

Will I get seasick?

Everyone handles seasickness differently, so it’s very hard for us to know if you will be sick on a tour. We post updated sea conditions ranging from good, rough, very rough, or cancelled on our office daily, and our reception team is always happy to discuss the conditions with you. We do provide complimentary sea sickness tablets in our ticket office and on board.

I‘m pregnant. Can I join the tours?

It’s no problem for pregnant women to join our tours, with the exception of the RIB Express Whale Watching trip. Depending on the sea conditions, we will sometimes advise that pregnant women not join the tour as the chances of them becoming sea sick are higher and they cannot take the sea sickness medication that we offer.

Do I have to wear a life jacket?

All children under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket. If you are older than 12, then it‘s up to you. We have life jackets and floatable overalls available for all passengers.

What is the smallest or largest size of overall you have?

Our sizes range from infant up to adult XXXL.

Can I split my combo tours into 2 different days?

Yes, of course! It‘s no problem at all to do these tours on different dates. Please send us an email to info@reykjaviksailors.is after booking and we can arrange this for you.

What if I don‘t see anything on my tour?

If nothing is seen on your Whale Watching or Northern Lights by Boat tour, you are entitled to join us for free on another tour. If this happens to you, please reach out to our reception team after your tour to rebook. Please note that there are no refunds available after you join a tour.

Why was my tour cancelled?

All of our tours are weather dependent. If the sea conditions are too rough to sail, we cancel our tours as we want to keep everyone comfortable and safe.

Northern Lights tours may be cancelled if the conditions for seeing auroras are not suitable.

What if my tour gets cancelled?

If your tour is cancelled, you can always reschedule for another day. If you are not able to reschedule and have not already been on the tour before, you are entitled to a full refund.

My tour was cancelled. How long do I have to wait for a refund?

If you booked directly through us, we can process your refund right away. Depending on your bank and credit card company, the refund can take 3-7 business days to show back up on your card. If you booked the tour through a third party, please contact them to verify this information.

My plans have changed. Can I reschedule or cancel my tour?

We are very flexible, so as long as we have availability it‘s never a problem to rebook your tour. Please contact our reception team to rebook your wildlife adventure.

We have a 24 hour cancellation policy, as long as you cancel at least 24 hours before your tour, you are entitled to a full refund. If you have booked through a third party, please contact them as their policies may differ.

What is your refund policy?

We have a 24 hour cancellation policy. If you cancel at least 24 hours in advance you are eligible for a full refund. If you have booked through a third party, please contact them to ask about their refund policy as it may be different.

Can I pay in another currency?

You can pay with EUR, USD, GBP or ISK in cash before your tour. Please note that we can only give change back in ISK.

Set against a backdrop of stunning coastal landscapes, Reykjavik’s whale watching tours provide the opportunity to encounter humpback whales, orcas, and minke whales in their natural habitat. 

Our experienced guides share their knowledge and passion, offering insights into the behavior and conservation of these majestic creatures.

Whether you choose to sail in the warmer months, witnessing the annual migrations, or brave the winter chill for a chance to see the Northern Lights dancing above the waves, our whale watching experiences promise unforgettable moments. 

Join us for an eco-friendly adventure that connects you with the wonders of the North Atlantic, leaving you with memories to cherish. 

Book your Reykjavik whale watching tour today and dive into the enchanting world of Icelandic marine life.

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