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Marine and Coastal Activities


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Boat-Based Excursions
Whales and Dolphins (and other species) can be best viewed from a boat at the water's surface. This allows passengers to get close to the animals without actually being in the water with them.
In their own environment these animals are fascinating to watch, and often will approach and interact with the vessel and people on board. Most countries require boat operators offering such trips to be in possession of a Permit to allow them to approach these animals. Boat trips usually also encounter a host of other species that would not normally be seen from land.
With all boat-based whale and dolphin watching, care must be taken not to harm or frighten the animals. It is also not a good idea (and may be illegal) to get into the water with these animals - remember they are wild, and should be treated with respect.

Please note: In most countries of the world, a Permit is required for anyone or any vessel (boat, aircraft, helicopter etc.) to approach whales and dolphins (Cetacea) closer than about 300 metres. There is also encouragement for Operators working under the Permit conditions to have adopted a Best Practice for their business, where they will practice at all times taking first consideration of the animals and environment, in order to minimize the impact on the animals of their presence.

Operators with the following icons show their status in this regard:

best practice This indicates they conform to Best Practice principles. Should you experience or observe something that is contrary to this practice, please e-mail us a Complaint with as much detail as possible (date, time, vessel name, location and names of any operator on the vessel) to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

permit holderThis indicates the operator has the required Permit to conduct Whale & Dolphin Watching Tours and can approach the species closer than the limits imposed on the public, and within the distances specified by the Permit conditions.

Please note that a copy of the Permit and Permit Conditions should be displayed on the tour vessel at all times.

Bátaferðir - Boat Tours

Country: Iceland - Province: Northern Iceland - City: Dalvík
Main Activity: Whale & Dolphin Watching (boat based)

Scheduled boat tours for whale watching, sea angling and bird watching in Dalvik, 44 km (26 miles) north of Akureyri, Iceland. Each tour takes about three hours in a beautiful oak boat. read more...

Dolphin and Whale Spotting

Country: Iceland - Province:  - City: Keflavik
Main Activity: Whale & Dolphin Watching (boat based)

Departures are from Keflavik main harbour, just a 5 minute drive from the international airport or 40 minutes west of Reykjavik. Depending on the weather, departures are sometimes from Sandgerdi or Grindavik. read more...

Elding Whale Watching

Country: Iceland - Province: Western Iceland - City: Reykjavik
Main Activity: Whale & Dolphin Watching (boat based)

Elding Whale Watching Reykjavik is a merger of Elding Whale Watching and Hafsúlan Whale Watching (WWC). The company is now the largest whale watching operator in Iceland and is conveniently located in the Old Harbour of Reykjavik. read more...

Gentle Giants

Country: Iceland - Province:  - City: Husavik
Main Activity: Whale & Dolphin Watching (boat based)

The traditional tour – out in the wilderness – Unforgettable adventure at sea. Watching the wonders of nature! Whale watching tours depart from Husavik, up to 7 times daily, during the summer. All tours are under the guidance of experienced captains who know every inch of Skjalfandi Bay. Our ticket centre is conveniently located in the centre of Húsavík. Visit us there. read more...

Hvalalif - Life of Whales

Country: Iceland - Province: Western Iceland - City: Reykjavik
Main Activity: Whale & Dolphin Watching (boat based)

Life of Whales invites you to an exciting adventure at sea. Based in Reykavik, Life of Whales is located in the Old Harbour from where they depart on trips out into Faxafloi Bay, the whale watching lasting approximately 3 hours. read more...

Niels Jonsson

Country: Iceland - Province:  - City: Huaganes
Main Activity: Whale & Dolphin Watching (Boat Based)

Niels Jonsson is an old company that started in the tourism industry in 1989.The boat is a tradition old oak fishing boat built in 1973, with a spacious deck and capacity for 45 passengers. read more...

North Sailing

Country: Iceland - Province: Northern Iceland - City: Husavik
Main Activity: Whale & Dolphin Watching (boat based)

North Sailing is a leading company in tourism and Icelandic coastal culture and was the first company in Iceland to organise and offer regular whale watching tours. With the focus on whale watching North Sailing has branched out and runs restaurant Gamli Baukur and Café Skuld, both situated in the harbour area. North Sailing owns and operates six traditional Icelandic oak boats which are environmentally friendly and moreover preserve national heritage that otherwise would be lost. read more...

Sea Sailing

Country: Iceland - Province: Northern Iceland - City: Reykjavik
Main Activity: Whale & Dolphin Watching (land based)

As we sail out on the bay the mountains take on a whole new personality from the open sea, where the peace is broken only by the swooping seabirds trailing the boat. Our destination is the natural habitat of the whales, and more often than not we have a close encounter! No two trips are alike and nature surprises us with a different spectacle every time. read more...

Viking Tours

Country: Iceland - Province: - - City: Vestmannaeyjum
Main Activity: Whale & Dolphin Watching (boat based)

Vestmannaeyjar, or The Westman Islands, are truly a wonder of Nature. The youngest island of the Vestmannaeyjar, Surtsey, was born in 1963 and the oldest one is around 40.000 years old! read more...

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