Our Whale Watching Experience In Iceland

So if you’re coming to this not having read my previous posts about Iceland then you might want to read up on where we stayed and our trip to the famous Blue Lagoon first.

To catch up though this was a trip where whilst there Mr Bbed and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary — aaaahhh!

Our sons’ gift to us was a whale watching trip out of the harbour at Reykjavik with a company called  Elding Tours. They are one of the longest running tour operators in Iceland and have been successfully taking visitors out to sea for 17 years. We were so excited when the kids presented us with a letter all about it before we left for our trip. Natural history and the world around us is of great interest to us as a family and our eldest son is a Zoology grad so its in the blood so to speak.

We were advised to arrive by 9 am and to be suitably clothed as it’s always much colder out at sea than on land and after all it was still only March. Our hotel was ideally placed as it was on the marina so it was literally a 2 minute stroll for us. On arrival  everyone was presented with an anti sickness tablet which made me a little bit anxious about what to expect on the high sea!

There was a selection of thick padded jumpsuit type pull-ons ( don’t get excited fashionistas!) to take advantage of and everyone did believe you me.



I’ve spoken in previous posts about the light in Iceland. It can literally change in seconds and I took so many photos because I became so in love with how it did this.  It’s breathtaking and I’ve never felt like that anywhere in the world I’ve ever visited. Look at this one below as we left the harbour at Reykjavk. This is about 9.30 am ish.


And more — I did a lot of this — just snapping away!!


The tour guide ( I forgot her name as soon as she said it — it’s what I do — sorry!) was incredibly infortmative and clearly loved her job as she was as excited as us trying to spot something in the water. It was like it was her first time. Her enthusiasm was infectious.


After about half an hour out we were soon spotting white beaked dolphins  jumping  playfully through the icy blue waves by our side, behind us and up in front. Then —- the most exciting thing happened and what we truly had hoped for — a HUMPBACK WHALE appeared!!!! I have never been so excited. The guide said that this was the first sighting of the season!! I knew the kids would be delighted that their gift had enabled us to witness and experience this!!


My photos don’t do  justice to what we saw …..




So check out the same whale on Elding’s Instgram page!! Obviously, there were some skilful photographers on our boat.

If you look on their page you can see my comment  on the same day when we got back to shore “WE WERE THERE!”

We felt like we were taking part in a Planet Earth documentary and it was very humbling. We humans really do take a lot for granted. When you see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat there are no words. Mr Bbed and I were very moved which some might think a little crass but it’s truthfully how we felt.

Humpback really gave us a show. He stayed close to the surface for over 45 minutes not deep diving once all the time he was by us. In fact, we had to leave him eventually and head back to shore because we were running out of time. I was sad to see the last of him and with a flick of that huge tail it was almost like he was waving goodbye.  The trip lasts for 3 hours in total and it didn’t disappoint. However, much like the Northern Lights, Mother Nature doesn’t perform to order and you literally just don’t know what you may or may not see.


We thought the trip was very well organised — you’d expect this after so many years doing it though wouldn’t you?  The day itself was simply perfect weather wise — a ‘perfect storm’ you might say with everything lined up for the Humpback to show.

It’s not cheap – 10990 ISK each which works out around £78  per person at current exchange rates but then everything is expensive  in Iceland. We will always be grateful though,  that our two thoughtful kids came up with such a memorable experience for us to treasure forever.

I would love to know if you’ve been whale watching in Iceland or anywhere else in the world so we can add to our bucket list. Please let me know in the comments. xo


  1. April 18, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    Inspirational stuff. I’d absolutely love to see a breaching whale. No doubt I’d be looking the wrong way or changing batteries in my camera if one did do that while I was aboard a boat.

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      April 18, 2017 / 2:14 pm

      That was our problem exactly, Stuart! Always too late for the best shots 😉

  2. Clare
    April 18, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    Hi my husband and I have been out whale watching with Elding and stayed in the Mariner hotel twice.
    Both times it was magical, we saw many beautiful sea creatures on our first trip but no Humpback, the second time we went out we did see a juvenile and it breached at least three times !!!!!!
    Whale watching has always been on my bucket list and I feel so blessed that we got to go. I tell my husband we should now move to Reykjavik but he tells me he would never see me as I would always be out on whale watching trips.
    For me it really was the adventure of a life time xx

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      April 18, 2017 / 7:00 pm

      Ha Clare — I always want to move wherever we have a great holiday! You are right though — nature like Reykjavik has to offer really gets to you and you have experienced it like me. We are very lucky 🙂 Thanks for stopping by xo

  3. April 18, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    This sounds amazing Sharon! I really want to go Whale watching although it would scare me if we actually seen one! They’re so big!

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      April 18, 2017 / 6:58 pm

      It was Danni! They are REALLY big in real life but it’s not scary. The only way I can explain is you know how excited you feel about say — Christmas? ( I still do!!) Well its that sort of feeling — at least for me xo

  4. April 19, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    Wow how cool! what a brill trip you had! would love to take the girls there when they are a bit older!

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      April 20, 2017 / 12:29 pm

      Hi Catherine! I’m sure you all would love it 🙂

  5. January 25, 2018 / 4:55 pm

    Another reason why I booked the hotel on the marina, we also want to do this. The trip is a present for my husband’s 50th birthday so this is a very handy post as he too wants to go whale watching!

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      January 28, 2018 / 8:32 pm

      It was breath taking. Obviously, you can’t plan nature but when it does its stuff its certainly does it so well! xo

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