Whale Watching in Iceland

Before I went to Iceland, I knew that Whale Watching could be very hit or miss. Sometimes groups were treated to views of huge whales jumping from the water, while others had to make due with the odd whale fin or tail poking up from the water.

After our disappointing puffin tour the day before, we weren’t feeling great about our chances on the sea and discussed just skipping the whale tour. (The cost had been included in our Iceland Air package so we wouldn’t really be loosing any money).

Knowing we would feel guilty if we skipped it, we decided to give the three hour tour a go and dutifully showed up on the docks at 8:30. We treated ourselves to a quick fish breakfast on board and were ready to go.

Doing a whale impression

Unfortunately the whales were not so much ready.

Here’s the way whale watching works. You hang out on deck with the rest of the group and wait for the whale spotter to call out the whales. The Whale Spotter stands on a platform in the center of the boat and looks for whales so that she can alert the watchers.

Our Whale Spotter issues her wale directions as if the whales were part of a large global clock.

“Whale, 1 o’clock!”

Everyone would run to the right side of the boat and scan the horizon for signs of whale. But mainly I would just see this.

Just as I was debating if a particularly life like whale was in fact a whale I would hear.

“Whale, 10 o’clock!”

And then the rush of people would head to the left side of the boat to once again search the seas.

“Whale, 3  o’clock!”

After the 7th or 8th clock call (and without any whale sightings) we decided to throw in the towel and we headed below deck to grab a nap.

I’m not sure I really even believe whales actually live in Iceland at that point. Oh wait “Whale, 2 o’clock! Quick go check!”

If you want to read about some more successful whale watching trips in Iceland, you can check them out at Landlopers or at Don’t Ever Look Back.

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