What is the right season to see whales?
Whales and dolphins tend to stay in the vicinity of Iceland year round, so there really is no 'right season'. Each year the availability of food in our waters change and with that so does the abundance of whales. As we have decades of experience whale wathing in the Reykjavík area we have a pretty good idea of what to expect, but keep in mind that these are wild animals and therefore sightings cannot be predicted or guaranteed.
What time of day is best for sightings?
We haven't found the whales to be more active at any specific point of the day, so the chances are equally as good in the morning as in the afternoon. Whales and dolphins are wild animals and they can move very quickly, so there is no way of knowing if, where and when we will see them. Whales are marine mammals which means that in order for them to stay alive they need to come up to the surface every so often to breathe, which is our chance to spot them.
What am I likely to see on the tour?
The four most common species in Faxaflói bay are the Minke whales, White-beaked dolphins, Habour porpoises and Humpback whales, although we have also spotted Orcas (Killer whales), Fin- and Sei whales and Pilot whales to name but a few. We also see lots of seabirds year round including Gannets, Arctic Terns and even Puffins (seasonal from May-Aug). The surrounding areas of the bay is also not to be missed as Reykjavík seen from sea is unlike any other. On a good day you will catch sights on the horizon of Snæfellsnes peninsula to the North and Reykjanes peninsula to the South - the landscape is truly breathtaking!
How do you find the whales?
Finding the animals is a team effort. We look out for indicators like splashes, a blow from the whales, black backs or dorsal fins or flock of feeding birds. No sonars are used finding the whales as it can be harmful to them, besides it can affect their echolocation system. We also work closely with different operators in the area by notifying each other of whale sightings and then take turns watching them - no boat should stay more than 20-30 min. with the same cetacean.
How close do you get to the animals?
It is entirely up to them how close we get. We abide by a code of conduct for responsible whale watching to make sure we do not disturb any natural behaviour. Whales are curious animals and therefore it is not uncommon that the whales swim up to our boats and spy on us and dolphins are often seen bow riding and jumping out of the water next to our boats.
Will I see Puffins?
If you are travelling between May and August you are likely to see Puffins on the tour. We do not stop by their nesting grounds, but they can often be seen flying about at sea, swimming about or hunting for food. If you are interested in birdwatching, we also offer special Puffin watching tours.
How should I dress on board?
There is no dress code but we always recommend dressing warm as it is a bit colder on the water than on land. On board we offer use of warm floatable overalls, raincoats and blankets free of charge but sturdy shoes, gloves and hats might also come in handy, especially during the winter months.
I am prone to motion sickness, is the tour advisable for me?
It usually depends on the wind speed and conditions at sea. Follow our Whale Diary on the day of your tour to stay updated on the conditions or stop by our ticket office and we will advise you what to do. If our recomendations is not to do the tour on a particular day, we can help you alter your travel itinerary if possible. We also offer free motion sickness tablets if you want to take one before boarding (not advised for young children or pregnant women).
What happens if there are no sightings on my tour?
If there are no whales or dolphins / northern lights seen on your tour, we will offer you a complimentary ticket to try again. The voucher is valid for the same service for at least 2 years and for returning passengers only. We recommend doing the tour early on your holiday so you have the option to go again another day.
What facilities are on board?
All our boats (except the RIB's) have an on board café where you can buy light refreshments during the tour, a heated indoor saloon and basic toilet facilities. In case of an emergency we have floatable vests and life rafts and all our crew is trained in maritime safety - our equipment is up to code and is inspected on a regular basis.
Are your boats wheel chair accessible?
Yes, most of our boats are wheel chair accessible (except the RIB's), however each boat has more than one level with somewhat steep stairs and there are no elevators on board. This means little or limited access to indoor areas and toilet facilities.
I am pregnant, can I join the tour?
Yes, you are able to join our Classic tour, although we do recommend asking about weather conditions and sea state before embarking as pregnant women can often be more vulnerable to sea sickness. Pregnant women are not advised to join our Express tour.
What is the minimum age for children to go alone on a tour?
Children under the age of 16 will not be permitted to board unsupervised unless we have some form of authorisation from a parent or legal gaurdian. Young children must be under adult supervision at all times while on Elding premises.
Do you offer discounts?
Please check our current price list for special children fares. If you are a group of more than 10 people, make sure to send our sales team an email via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to make you an offer.
Do you offer hotel pick up?
Yes, (although we do recommend walking if you are staying withing the city centre) we offer pick up and drop off at bus stops near hotels and guesthouses in the greater Reykjavík area for an additional charge. Check our current price list and pick up locations.
Is there free parking at the harbour?
The Old Harbour is a compact sector with very limited parking. We recommend using the designated parking lots or houses in the nearby area that have hourly rates. Check our location's 'how to get here' to see your options.
My tour was cancelled - what do I do next?
The Elding team happily advises and assists you to find a new departure date if possible when the weather conditions are better. No charge is made on our behalf if you cannot join our tour due to cancellation of the tour.
I need to cancel my booking - can I get a full refund?
Individuals can cancel bookings up to 24 hrs. prior to departure without penalty, but we ask that groups of 10+ pax give us at least 48 hr. notice. If booking a combo- or partner tour or through a third party, make note that other cancellation policies may apply.
If you can't find the answer to your question(s), please don’t hesitate to contact us directly. You can send an e-mail to email@example.com or call +354 519 5000.