Destination Europe

Whale Watching with Sea Trips Reykjavik

Posted on
January 8, 2020

We couldn’t go to Iceland without booking a whale watching trip as it is one of the best locations in the world to spot a variety of whales on the coast.

The peak time for whale watching in Iceland is April to October, so we knew we were at the tail end of the season, and we had spoken to a few couples who had been out and not spotted anything during the week, but we were just as keen to see Iceland from the sea.


We booked a 3 hour trip with Whale Watching Reykjavik, who sail from Reykjavik Old Harbour.


Once we were onboard, the crew gave us a safety briefing and talked through the wildlife that we were hoping to see, with a screen which took us through images and facts about each whale.


The boat was warm and comfortable and provided life jackets for the kids and overalls for us to wear to keep us warm if we wanted them.


I would recommend that you wrap up warm and wear sturdy shoes when whale watching, as it is much colder at sea than it is on land and can get slippery on deck.


The trip takes you out into Faxaflói Bay which has rather shallow, nutrient-rich waters popular among minke whales and our lookout used a clock reference to tell us if and where he spotted a whale.

Minke Whale

It took a few moments for our eyes to adjust and spot the Minke whales, but once you know what you are looking for, you can catch glimpses of them as they come to the surface.

Minke Whale

Be prepared to move quickly as they do change sides of the boat and if travelling with small children, hold on to them as the boat does move suddenly. Poor Sebby slipped over at one point, so I chose to sit and watch with him, rather than move across the boat.

Minke Whale

We were treated to about 20 minutes of watching the whales feeding, plus a couple of dolphin sightings before heading back towards the shore.

Minke Whale

I did manage a couple of pictures, but they are at the surface for such a short amount of time that it is really hard to get a decent image.


On the way back to Reykjavik Old Harbour, the kids were happily settled in the warm cabin with a hot chocolate, whilst my husband and I enjoyed the views.


It was definitely a brilliant introduction to whale watching and we plan to head back to Northern Iceland soon, in the hope that we might spot Humpback and Orca’s next time.


Have you been whale watching?

  1. Reply

    Sabina Green

    January 8, 2020

    I love whales, so something like this would be fabulous. It is great that you got to see some in the wild. I agree, seeing humpbacks or orcas would be wonderful.

  2. Reply


    January 8, 2020

    Oh my word! What an amazing experience. This is something I would LOVE to do at some point!

  3. Reply

    Talya Stone

    January 8, 2020

    This looks so awesome! We really wanted to do this when we visited Reykavik but sadly it wasn’t the season for it. Hope to go back and experience it one day.

  4. Reply


    January 8, 2020

    Love whale watching. I went in Canada, off Vancouver Island and then swam with a humpback accidentally in Hawaii too!!!

  5. Reply

    Sarah Howe

    January 8, 2020

    What beautiful pictures! I bet it was quite emotional seeing them 🙂 I saw dolphins in Florida on a similar tour and I was a wreck. Or could be just me!! haha x

  6. Reply


    January 9, 2020

    What an incredible experience that must have been for you all. Wonderful memories for your children to cherish x

  7. Reply


    January 9, 2020

    Wow! That looks sooo amazing. It was seems as if it was definitely a brilliant introduction to watch all those magnificent whale. I would love to take my family Northern Iceland soon, hopefully on your next trip you get to see the Orcas.

  8. Reply


    January 9, 2020

    I really want to visit Iceland. This whale watching trip looks amazing! I’d love to see whales and dolphins in the wild

  9. Reply


    January 9, 2020

    Oh wow what an experience! I have never been whale watching, what a buzz though to actually see them in their natural environment.

  10. Reply


    January 9, 2020

    We spent out honeymoon in Iceland (over ten years ago now) and whale watching was one of the highlights of our trip. We saw them further up north, in Akureyri.

  11. Reply


    January 9, 2020

    I adore a mammal watching boat trip – I’m always making my husband go on them whenever we’re on holiday and I’d definitely take this one if ever in Reykjavik.
    C x

  12. Reply

    Liam Wilkinson

    January 9, 2020

    I love whales and this sounds a fabulous experience, the ability to see these, dolphins, sharks etc.. is something many people should do, p.s love the wooley hat

  13. Reply

    Natasha Mairs

    January 9, 2020

    I would love to see a whale! I saw some dolphins once and when the boat stopped my husband nearly feel in trying o take a photo as the boat was swaying so much

  14. Reply

    Melanie williams

    January 9, 2020

    Looks like you had an amazing time for sure. Just wish this was a little nearer to home x

  15. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    January 9, 2020

    This is 100% on my wishlist for when I go to Reyjavik as I think it would be such an experience to see. Although you’re right boats get very cold so you need to wrap up x

  16. Reply

    Mudpie Fridays

    January 9, 2020

    This must have been absolutely amazing. I’m so glad that you managed to see them. I went whale watching in Vancouver and saw Orca it was amazing although my photos don’t do it justice!

  17. Reply

    Elizabeth Williams

    January 10, 2020

    I’ve never been whale watching but I’d love to experience it one day. Looks like an incredible, memorable experience. I’ve tried capturing dolphins on camera before and it’s tricky as they are at the surface for such a short period of time.

  18. Reply

    Aimee Bradley

    January 10, 2020

    Oh wow those photos are gorgeous. Honestly so jealous what a great opportunity. It is on my bucket list.

  19. Reply

    Serin Quinn

    January 14, 2020

    This looks and sounds incredible! What an amazing experience, they’re such beautiful creatures aren’t they! x

  20. Reply

    Jennifer Gladwin

    January 14, 2020

    What an amazing experience, I’m so jealous! We’d love to go whale watching, especially my son who loves ocean animals.

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk