Frequently Asked Questions About Our Whale Watching Tours in RIB boats.
How should I dress for the tour?
We recommend wearing sturdy flat bottom shoes and dressing in warm clothing, maybe a wool sweater or fleece, as it is a bit colder on the water than on land. On board we will use warm float-able overalls along with a personal flotation device which are both supplied by us. If you have gloves and warm hats bring them along!
I am prone to sea sickness, is the tour advisable for me?
It depends on the conditions on the day of the tour. In the ticket office you can get the current information about sea conditions. If you visit us on the day of the tour or the day before we will advise you what to do. We also offer free motion sickness tablets if you want to take one before the tour. If we recommend that you do not do the tour on a particular day, we can will help you alter your travel itinerary.
What kind of wildlife am I likely to see?
We frequently see on our tours; minke whales, humpback whales, white beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. You will also see a variety of seabirds including but not limited to; the puffins make a spectacle of themselves from approx. the 15th of May to the 15th of August, as well as the gannets, fullmars, guillemots, skuas, arctic terns.
Where do you go on your tours?
For the Whales, Puffins & Reykjavík tour we head out to Faxaflói, the main search area is located out on the bay between Reykjavík and Akranes although we sometimes head out to the direction of Keflavík close to where the international airport is located!
For the Express Puffin Tour we cruise off to islands there are located just outside of Reykjavík. On the RIB boats it only takes us approx 5 minuets from the harbour to reach the islands. They are called Engey, Lundey and Akurey and it varies between tours and sightings how many visit per tour.
You can see a map of the sailing area at the bottom of this page ↓
So how does it work? How is the tour organised?
We start by putting on our special overalls (flotation suits), PFDs and more at our service center in the harbour 30 minutes before departure. Next you will meet your whale guide and the captain of the boat you will be travelling on. They will introduce you to the safety procedures, assign you a seat and give you a general over view of how the boat works. Next up is the tour itself. We normally start with a short 5 minute ride over to the puffin island. There we take about 10-15 minutes to view the birds before heading onward to where whales are frequently spotted. We spend about an hour searching for and viewing/photographing the whales if we find them. We then cruise back in the direction of Reykjavík and ride along the coast, viewing the Sun Voyager sculpture and the skyline of the city. Our final stop is at the ocean side of the famous Harpa Concert Hall.
How do the flotation suits work?
They are designed to keep you warm on the boat as well as warm and floating in the ocean. Wearing these excellent suits is compulsory, by law in Iceland. They also make for some fantastic selfie opportunities.
Do I have to take my clothes of to wear the flotation suit?
No, you wear them over your normal clothes. We recommend a fleece or warm wool sweater underneath. However we kindly ask you remove your shoes while getting dressed in the overalls.
Do you supply gloves and hats?
No, we don't supply gloves and hats. We have a hard time keeping them available, as they keep getting “lost” :). So bring your own gloves and hat, they are very useful on the tour. But have no fear, if you forget to bring them, you can buy them in our service centre.
How many are on each tour?
Our boats seat 12 passengers plus one guide and one captain.
What kind of shoes should I wear?
Wear just about any kind of shoes as long as they are not open (like sandals, high heels etc). So that means that running shoes, hiking shoes, wellingtons, boat shoes (yes, like the hipsters wear) are all good. If you only have open shoes, then you can still go since we can supply you with special over-shoes in our service center.
Can I wear glasses on the tour?
Yes, you can wear your glasses and sunglasses if you'd like. We will supply you with special goggles to wear over your glasses if you prefer. If you have contact lenses, we recommend using them on the tour.
Why is there a height & age limit for the RIB boats?
Those limits are set for safety reasons. Each individual in our tour needs to be able to touch the bottom of the boat with their feet while sitting on the saddle-like seats. That is very important especially during the full speed of our scheduled tour as we will teach you a technique we call "riding" the waves to maximise your comfort and safety during the tour. If in doubt you are always welcome to come visit us down at the Harbour and a member of our crew will escort you down to the boat to check if someone you are travelling with can sit safely on the boat.
However when we are running private tours we are more flexible in regards with these limits as we can drive more cautiously or slowly then the scheduled tours demand to meet the requirement of every passenger on the boat.
Do you sell any refreshments on board?
No, our RIB boats are open boats made for agility and speed and do not have a cafeteria. Some people like to bring a small bottle of water or some refreshments with them and keep in the pocket of the suit. The tour itself is only two hours so there is no need to bring anything along!
Is it safe to bring a camera?
You are of course welcome to bring your camera or phone along on the tour but it's always at your own responsibility. Most of our guests, as well as our crew members, do bring phones and cameras with them on the tours and some have captured unbelievable photos and videos. There are pockets on the overalls you wear that are ideal for storing smartphones and small cameras. Larger cameras or SLR with straps is best to keep around your neck and strap in under your suit while sailing on the boat. We don't want to risk it moving around while the boat it sailing. Your guide and captain can explain all of this and how to best keep the camera stored both safely and in a way that you can quickly grab it if something exciting starts happening all of a sudden!
Are there toilets on board?
No, our RIB boats are open boats that do not have toilets. Make sure to use the toilet in out service center before the tour starts. :)
Do you offer discounts for children?
No, our RIB boats only seat 12 passengers and are very often sold out so every passengers pays the same price.
Do you offer discounts for groups?
Please contact our sales office at firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and we will be happy to make you and your group an offer.
Do you offer wheelchair access?
No, unfortunately our boats are not wheelchair accessible.
I am pregnant, can I join the tour?
Yes, you are able to join the tour if you are pregnant in the first trimester, but we recommend consulting your doctor before doing so. Please keep in mind that pregnant women can often be more vulnerable to sea sickness. If you are further along then 3 months we do not recommend going on the RIB boats. You can still go whale watching on our bigger boats :)
What is the minimum age for children to go unsupervised on a tour?
Children under the age of 18 years cannot go alone on our boats unless we have some form of written permission from the parents.
Do you offer hotel pick up?
Hotel pick-ups/drop-offs in the Reykjavík area are available upon request to email@example.com for an additional charge. They start 45 minutes before your chosen departure time. Please be ready to leave from your hotel reception or if you are staying in a home, outside.
However you should keep in mind that we are located at the Old Harbour in Reykjavík easily within walking (0-15 min) distance from all hotels located in zip code #101 in Reykjavík. We encourage you to walk! For the environment and for your health :)
Is there parking close by?
My tour was cancelled. What do I do next?
The Whale Safari 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. That is we will give you a 100% refund of your money if we cancel your tour due to weather and you can not go on another date.
We did not find any whales on our my tour, do I get a refund?
Well, this is nature and nature is its own master, so sometimes we do not find whales. This happens very rarely (we find whales in over 85% of our tours). In these cases we will give you a return ticket on our classic whale watching tour that is valid for two years both in Reykjavík & Akureyri.
Do I need to book a seat on the tour before hand?
Yes, most definitely. We have a very limited number seats on each tour (only 12 per boat!). So if you want to be sure get a seat, book and pay for it well in advance. Having said that you can always give us a call to check on the availability. Our telephone number is +354-497-9000.
If you can't find the answer to your question(s), please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
You can send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +354 497 0000.