Whales of Iceland

Head out on the open water for close-up views of the Atlantic's most magnificent mammals.

Whales of Iceland: Our most recommended tours and activities

Reykjavik Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: 24 or 48-Hour Ticket

1. Reykjavik Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: 24 or 48-Hour Ticket

A modern, trendy and forward-looking city that is at the same time rooted in nature, Reykjavik offers the best of both worlds and is a magical place to visit. Your 24 or 48-hour ticket gives you access to the city on a hop-on hop-off tour with on-board multi-lingual commentary. Mount Esja keeps lookout over this northernmost capital, and on a sunny day the mystical Snaefellsjokull glacier appears crystal-like and baby-blue on the western horizon. Take in sites such as the Reykjavik harbor, the Town Hall, the National Gallery of Iceland, the Pearl Hallsgrimschurch, and the Laugardalur thermal pools and spa. The tour stops along the route are as follows:  1- Harpa Concert Hall  2- The Old Harbour 3 - Viking Maritime Museum 4 - Whales of Iceland 5 - National Museum 6 - Laekjargata 7 - Laugavegur Shopping Street 8 - Reykjavik Art Museum - Kjarvalsstaðir 9 - Hallgrimskirkja 10 - BSI Bus Terminal 11 - Perlan 12 - Kringlan Shopping Centre 13 - Hilton Reykjavik Nordica 14 - Laugardalur Valley 15 - Skarfabakki Harbour (summer only) 16 - Hofdi House

Reykjavik: Whales of Iceland Museum Entrance Ticket

2. Reykjavik: Whales of Iceland Museum Entrance Ticket

Visit the largest museum of its kind in Europe at the Whales of Iceland, and see life-size models of 23 types of whales spotted in the waters around Iceland. Spend a few hours gaining a new perspective and greater appreciation for these majestic animals. Take a leisurely 20-minute walk (or a short drive) from the heart of Reykjavík to the harbor. Upon arrival at the Whales of Iceland Museum, play with interactive displays and read detailed information about 23 species of aquatic mammals. Marvel at the leviathan of the sea at a display of a blue whale that stretches nearly the length of a basketball court. Learn more about the narwhal, the “Unicorn of the Sea” and see the “horn” or “tusk” which is actually an elongated tooth. Stroll among the displays of beluga, humpback, minke, and killer whales.  Absorb in-depth information about the marine mammals around Iceland with an audio guide. Visit the Fin Whale Room to learn more about the threats that whales face and what we can do to resolve them. Be sure to watch a screening of the film Sonic Sea, shown daily at 10:30 AM, 12:15 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:45 PM. All ticket holders are welcome to join the daily guided tours in English at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. On your way out, stop by the Whale Cafe for a drink and a snack beneath the whales.

From Reykjavik: Whale Watching Tour by RIB Boat

3. From Reykjavik: Whale Watching Tour by RIB Boat

Climb aboard a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) equipped with special shock suspension seating for a smoother ride. Look for whales and other marine life in the wild. Travel aboard the 12-meter long boat to get extra close to whales in a way that is safe for passengers and the animals. Benefit from warm flotation suits, life vests, gloves and goggles to keep you cozy and safe, and avail of the services of an experienced guide who will provide information about the animals and bay in English.  Stop by the island of Akurey to look for adorable puffins during the summer. See their nests along the coast during their breeding season. Head out to the bay on a fast and thrilling ride with the wind in your hair. Reach a comfortable cruising speed of 32 knots and get plenty of time in the feeding grounds. Then, take a scenic route back along the coast of Reykjavik. After your tour, you can visit the Whales of Iceland Museum, located in the Grandi harbor district of Reykjavik. Here, you can discover more about the various whale species of the Atlantic, with exhibits on whale biology, migration, and conservation.

From Reykjavik: Whale Watching Tour by Fast Catamaran

4. From Reykjavik: Whale Watching Tour by Fast Catamaran

Join a whale watching tour for an unforgettable experience in Iceland. Climb aboard a modern boat and head to the whale watching grounds in just 20-30 minutes. Glide at high cruising speed, making it great fun for the adventurous. Embark on your whale watching tour via express boats, which are fast and equipped with the latest technology. Cruise in comfort with amenities both inside the cabin and out on deck during your time at sea. Reach the whale watching grounds in record time and keep your eyes peeled as you sail. Waste no time on your visit to Iceland.

Reykjavik: Whale Watching Tour, Whales of Iceland Exhibition

5. Reykjavik: Whale Watching Tour, Whales of Iceland Exhibition

Board your boat in Reykjavík's Old Harbor and sail to Faxaflói Bay. Faxaflói has a rich variety of wildlife, but you'll most commonly spot minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises and humpback whales. Ask your knowledgeable guide any questions you have throughout the tour and they'll be happy to answer.  You'll also visit the Whales of Iceland Exhibition. The exhibit features 23 life-size models of all the whale species found in Icelandic waters. Immerse yourself in the exhibit with virtual reality headsets, information stands, audio guides and videos. After the exhibition, grab a coffee and pastry at the café and relax in the exhibit's dreamy ambiance. Whales of Iceland offers two live-guided tours every day, available at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM. This is free for all ticket holders. Note: You can choose the order in which you do these two activities.

Reykjavik: Midnight Sun Whale Watching Tour

6. Reykjavik: Midnight Sun Whale Watching Tour

Whales are the most mysterious of creatures, and some of the best whale watching in the world is just off the coast of Iceland’s capital, where the ocean currents create excellent viewing conditions. Climb aboard a whale watching boat operated by the only environmentally certified whale watching company in Iceland, and explore the southern part of Faxafloi Bay in the Midnight sun of the summer months. On the 3.5-hour tour you will get up-close to whales such as playful minke, as well as see abundant sea birds, dolphin and harbor porpoise. Whales are seen on more than 95% of summer tours, often surfacing within a few meters from the boats. To ensure that the animals are not disturbed, boats sail at a constant speed towards the whales' habitat. This is part of a sustainability policy, trying to minimize oil use and pollution. Guides have all gone through an extensive training program, based on exclusively developed guiding principles. They will provide valuable information about the wildlife and scenery in an entertaining way. And as a successful whale watching tour is a team effort, the crew work closely with passengers to spot the whales, helping you feel an important part of the experience.

Reykjavik: 2-Hour Northern Lights by Boat with Backup Plan

7. Reykjavik: 2-Hour Northern Lights by Boat with Backup Plan

Sail from Reykjavík's Old Harbor for a fantastic and unique experience chasing the famous northern lights. Your expert guide will explain the scientific facts about this amazing natural phenomenon, share stories and myths about the lights and answer all your questions. Please note that it's never guaranteed the lights will show up during the tour.  Here's the bonus: In the event that the tour must be postponed because of cloud cover, you won't be let down. Another activity awaits you. You'll head to the Whales of Iceland Museum, just minutes away from the harbor, where a guide will greet you for a tour of the exhibit. You'll see full-sized whale models and try out fun and interactive technology. A 10-minute Northern Lights photography workshop will be available on-site. After touring the exhibit, including a fascinating 25-minute video, you'll end the night with a Northern Lights-themed cocktail with a twist on the house and a ticket to try the Northern Lights Boat Tour again at the next available date. Please note that this tour is non-refundable, as an adventure is guaranteed regardless of weather conditions.

Other Sightseeing Options in Whales of Iceland

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What people are saying about Whales of Iceland

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 571 reviews

Thought provoking and haunting experience with full size models gives you an appreciation of these magnificent cetaceans but also highlights the damage that human kind is really causing to marine life and these amazingly intelligent sea mammals.

All of the highlights were covered so that when we went back the next day we knew which attractions we wanted to hop off and spend some time at.

Icelanders are so friendly and helpful . Great to see the city and get your bearings xx

It was great to see this superb animal in life size.Surely it's worth the money.

The exhibition was extremely interesting and the whale watching awesome