Humpback watching in Iceland | A fantastic experience

One of the things that we really wanted to do on our trip to Iceland was to get out on a boat and go looking for humpback whales.This tour was booked with Seatrips and started from the harbour . We were instructed to check in with the office 30 mins before the tour so at 8.45 we were there and delighted that the sun was out, the wind seemed to have calmed down and the tour wasn’t cancelled. After a quick coffee in a nearby hotel we wandered down to our boat, the Amelia Rose.We’d chosen this “luxury yacht whale watching trip” mainly as they took fewer passengers and it got great reviews on trip advisor and on first impressions we weren’t disappointed.

Humpback Whale Watching Tour, Iceland
Humpback Whale Watching Tour, Iceland

All about the whale watching tour

One of the things that we really wanted to do on our trip to Iceland was to get out on a boat and go looking for humpback whales.This tour was booked with Seatrips and started from the harbour . We were instructed to check in with the office 30 mins before the tour so at 8.45 we were there and delighted that the sun was out, the wind seemed to have calmed down and the tour wasn’t cancelled. After a quick coffee in a nearby hotel we wandered down to our boat, the Amelia Rose.We’d chosen this “luxury yacht whale watching trip” mainly as they took fewer passengers and it got great reviews on trip advisor and on first impressions we weren’t disappointed.

The boat or should I say yacht had been build for a Mexican millionaire businessman and was now in the hands of 2 Icelandic gentlemen. The captain, who’s name I didn’t get and drove the yacht and Mar who was our guide, barman, tea and coffee maker, whale watcher and assistant captain. There were to be only 15 of us on the boat today which was perfect and with us was American family who’d been on the Snaefellsnes tour with us the previous day who had the most adorable little girl Maggie who with her brother Connor were looking forward to going out to sea.

The indoor cabin area was quite opulent with large leather couches and wooden tables and was extremely comfortable.  That coupled with the fact that there was heating, tea and coffee facilities and a toilet meant that we had all the comforts we needed for the trip. We were allowed to visit the Captain on the bridge and he explained how the boat worked and our plans for the trip.  Outside there was plenty of area to move around and loads of vantage points to keep our eyes peeled for the whales. 

Off to find the whales 

Mar told us before leaving the harbour that the Amelia Rose was one of the most stable boats that provided tours and that he felt there was a good chance of seeing some whales today. No promises as wildlife is of course wild but he was quite optimistic. He said we’d sail for an hour to the feeding grounds and wait and watch. So we settled into the comfy cabin and watched out the windows as we left the harbour.

As we left the coast the sun was hitting the city behind us but if you looked to the left it was a bit dark and looming so we had no idea what weather we’d be encountering. 

The first part of the trip we explored the boat and just enjoyed the rise and fall of the waves and only after about 20 mins or so there was a shout of SPRAY which meant that their was possibly whales ahead and the spray was the blowhole as they came to the surface.  There did indeed seem to be 2 humpbacks moving back and forth, diving then surfacing and we followed them, at a distance, which was one of the best sights ever. 

As we left the coast the sun was hitting the city behind us but if you looked to the left it was a bit dark and looming so we had no idea what weather we’d be encountering. 

The first part of the trip we explored the boat and just enjoyed the rise and fall of the waves and only after about 20 mins or so there was a shout of SPRAY which meant that their was possibly whales ahead and the spray was the blowhole as they came to the surface.  There did indeed seem to be 2 humpbacks moving back and forth, diving then surfacing and we followed them, at a distance, which was one of the best sights ever. 

Humpback Whales Iceland
Humpback Whales Iceland

We’re having a whale of a day

There were two other boats in the vicinity and I couldn’t help feeling glad we chose the Amelia Rose as the other boats were pretty packed with people all suited up in wet weather gear and bobbing about on the sea whereas we had a little bit of luxury with our leather seated, wood carved, heated lounge.

We were with the whales for a while and snapping away and at one point they ended up right in front of the boat. Surfacing with their spray and then diving with a massive tail flick.We had a good few hours with the whales and the captain decided to move to another area where spray had been spotted so while he steered the boat there we headed down to the lounge for a hot chocolate and before long the should of “whales” permeated the boat again and it was jackets, gloves, hats on and cameras and binoculars out and this time I took a video on my phone.

As we headed back to shore the weather had indeed closed in a bit and the rain was just starting to gather pace. A different outlook to the skyline as we ventured home. What an experience I was truly magical and one of the best trips we’ve ever been on.

Booking resources for your trip

Flights

You can compare cheap flights on the Expedia platform or here on the Aviasales website.  Both will give you a good idea of how much its going to cost you to get to your chosen destination.

Accommodation

We have always tended to use Booking.com having said that if your on a tight budget another good site to try as a comparison is Hostelworld, If your looking to compare different sites you can do that on Hotellook, we tend to look on here first to make sure we are getting the best deal.

Tours & Tickets

You can book your visits as you go at the entrance to your chosen attraction or site.  Or you could use the following links to book in advance or just to find out what your choices are in the area. GetYourGuide and Tiqets are our go to choices you could try Viator to see how they compare.

For a full list check out our resources page. Don’t forget always shop around to find the best deal for you. What works for us should be good for you but it’s always reassuring to check.

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4 thoughts on “Humpback watching in Iceland | A fantastic experience”

  1. This sounds like it was suuuch an incredible experience! I always wanted to visit Iceland, defo have to add this to the list now ?

  2. How awesome. And what a luxurious boat to see them from! We sometimes get orcas in our bay here in New Zealand but I’ve never seen humpbacks before. That would be something.

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