I have always been fascinated by whales, and Orcas (Free Willy anyone?). So when I learned that Whale Watching in Iceland was a quite popular activity to do, I couldn’t resist the urge to be so close to whales.
I made sure we included a stop by the north, during our Iceland with kids road trip.
Our whale watching in Iceland
The day before the Whale watching, we decided to look into the different options available around Husavik, Akuyeri and Hauganes.
We ended up choosing a tour with Whale Watching Hauganes:
- The time of the departure was the most convenient for us. We had to stop at Godafoss in the morning, allow for travel time between Lake Myvatn and the place we would select, but also take into account the kids’ needs.
- The Tour operator reported a 100% success rate of spotting whales in 2017.
We arrived at Hauganes around 13:30 for the 100% Whale Watching tour starting at 14:30.
Upon arrival, we showed the email with the reservation details and we were asked to choose an overall jacket. It was an easy task for everyone but for my 3 years old daughter. There were only 5yo+ jackets!!!
We looked ridiculous but felt warm very quickly!
We were so excited that we couldn’t stand still, and were the first ones on-board!
The tours usually last between 2.5 and 3 hours depending on the wind and weather conditions. We started sailing at a fast pace to reach the Whale area in the middle of the fjord.
Once there, the captain stopped the boat and asked us to start looking for any suspecious activity in the water. So we all stood up and started looking everywhere, until we heard the captain screaming “1 o’clock!”. That meant that we had to look in a certain direction. They started the boat and drove next to the whale location.
We then stopped and admired the first Humpback Whale of the tour for quite a while.
The captain explained that the whale comes up to the surface every 12 minutes or so and does 5 successive little jumps, with the last one being the tallest before diving back in the sea.
In between two dives, we asked tons of questions to the captain, who knew the name of all the whales in the area. When the timer mark hit 10 minutes, we started starring again and trying to be the first one to spot the whale!
After half an hour with the first whale, we went to other areas and manage to see a total of 4 humpback whales during the tour. Some of them were really close.
On our way back, we saw numerous dolphins and birds.
Was Whale Watching worth it
My husband and I loved it, we enjoyed learning more about whales in general, seeing these majestic creatures from so close.
My son, who was 5 at that time, liked it, he enjoyed trying to be the first one to spot the whale, watching them jumping, but he lost patience after seeing the second whale.
My daughter was not so impressed! She couldn’t care less about the whales. She was more interested by the biscuits offered and barely looked at the sea. She even ended sleeping in the captain’s cabin.
They were also the only kids on board, so couldn’t play with “new” kids.
Who much does a whale watching tour cost
The tour we did costs 9.900 ISK (77 euros per person), with kids under 7 going free. We found a 10% discount online which helped.
Before booking a tour, make sure it is suitable for kids. Some tours use speed-boats where kids under 7 are not allowed. So take your time to see the different options.
Overall, and except my 3yo daughter, we were pretty happy to take a break from driving around Iceland.