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Elding Whale Watching | Whale & Dolphin Watching

Elding watching Humpback whaleMinke whaleMinke whaleHarbour PorpoiseHumpback whaleHumpback whale's blow

Elding Whale Watching is a family-owned company and the first to offer whale watching from Reykjavík. We specialize in guided whale watching and other adventures at sea all year round. 

We are committed to provide high quality tours in a way that minimizes the environmental impact caused by our activities. We are EarthCheck certified and our boats hold the Blue Flag. During the summer months teams of international researchers and volunteers accompany our tours, which is an important contribution to the understanding of coastally occurring cetaceans. We follow IceWhale’s codes of conduct for responsible whale watching and to ensure that the animals are not disturbed by our presence, our boats do not rush but sail at a constant speed towards their habitat. This is also a part of Elding's sustainability policy, trying to minimise the oil use and pollution. As a result, the whales often surface within a few metres from our boats..

All Elding's guests get free entry to Elding's Whale Watching Centre. On board this “floating museum”, you find information about whales, birds, marine life and the research projects conducted on board our boats. Deep within the hull of the ship, below the ocean’s waterline, you can enjoy videos of whales and see a whale's skeleton, baleen plates and more while hearing the whales’ songs echo.

Check out our online Whale Diary for daily updates on Elding tours.

Check out our videos on Youtube:


January • February • March • April • May • June • July • August • September • October • November • December


Short (1-3 hours) • Half-day (3-6 hours)

Vessel types

Large boat (50+ passengers) • Small boat (0-50 passengers)

Times and prices

Times 2013
EL-01 Whale Watching: 
Duration: 2,5-3,5 hours. 
Season: 1 April – 30 September
9:00 1 April - 30 September
10:00 1 June - 30 August
13:00 April - 30 September
14:00 1 June - 30 August
17:00 15 May - 15 September

EL-02 Midnight Whale Watching: 
Duration: 2,5 to 3,5 hours
Season 15 June – 31 July: 
Departues: 20:30

EL-03 Winter Whale Watching:
Duration: 3 to 5 hours
Season: 1 October - 31 March
Oct and March Departures: 9:00 and 13:00
November-Febrúary: 13:00

Prices 2013
Whale watching (EL-01/EL-02/EL-03):
Adults: €50 / 8.000 ISK
Children (7-15 years old): €25 / 3.500 ISK
Children (0-6 years old): Free

Pick up and drop off;
Adults: €6 / 1,000 ISK
Children (7-15 years old): €3 / 500 ISK
Children (0-6 years old): Free

About our skippers and naturalist guides

All members of the Elding crew are skilled and experienced. The captains have a long tradition of working on the ocean and operating vessels. Just as other crew members they are very friendly and knowledgeable of the area. Our guides, many of them marine biologists, go through extensive training based on guiding principles developed exclusively for Elding by wildlife expert Janine Eaton. The guides provide entertaining and valuable information about the wildlife and the scenery.

A successful whale watching tour is a team effort, and our crew therefore works closely together with the passengers on spotting the whales, making each tour an exciting and unforgettable experience. English is spoken during the tours, and other languages can be arranged upon requests in advance.


Access to wheelhouse • Carbon neutral • Deck with 360?vision • Disabled access • Hands-on materials (bones, shells etc) • Naturalist guide(s) as well as skipper • On board video • On-site visitor center / museum • Onboard research • PA system • Posters / displays / maps • Public participation in research • Reading material available • Restrooms / toilets on board • Scenic backdrop to encounters • Snacks / drinks • Support conservation • Use a code of conduct

We frequently

See a whale's tail • See leaping dolphins • Watch whales and dolphins

Baleen Whales

Blue Whale • Fin Whale • Humpback Whale • Minke Whale

Toothed Whales

Killer Whale / Orca

Ocean Dolphins

White-beaked Dolphin


Harbour Porpoise

Other wildlife and points of interest

Blue whales, fin whales, sei whales and killer whales are sometimes seen on our tours when we have departed from other harbours in the area October 2011 has been different from other years with quite many sightings of blue whales and fin whales. Seals and basking sharks are sometimes seen and its common to see a variety of sea birds such as puffin, fulmar, arctic tern, eider, common guillemot, arctic skua, black headed gull, gannet, kittiwake, great skua, great black-backed gull, lesser black-backed gull, shag.

Reykjavík Old Harbour, Ægisgarður 5
Town / City
State / County
Zip / Postcode
00354 5195000
Mandy Goodwin
Traveled: 2014-06-04, Reviewed: 2014-06-22
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
Trip exceeded all expectations! Have always wanted to see whales and we saw 9 or 10 Minke whales - some at fairly close quarters! Boat crew were very knowledgeable and helpful. Also, they seemed genuinely passionate about people not going to restaurants that served whale meat. Would definitely recommend Elding to anyone wanting to do a trip.
Tracy Ler
Brilliant trip!!
Traveled: 2013-09-28, Reviewed: 2013-09-16
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
We really enjoyed our trip and think this company is just brilliant.

Before stepping onto the boat that took us out,we walked through another boat first which had a museum in the hull we could wander around.

What we liked most is that the staff were really helpful and knowledgable and also soo friendly. We got the impression they genuinely care about the dolphins and whales and most importantly are strongly against hunting whales for meat.

We had a very successful trip,spotting numerous dolphin and a minke whale. The boat kept a good distance away and used low speed.
50th Birthday Special!
Traveled: 2013-06-12, Reviewed: 2013-06-11
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
We loved our trip. The staff seem to be so caring of the environment in which they work, which has to be a huge consideration. We felt at peace with the environment and wildlife. Elding looked after us really well, we had warm suits and blankets so was able to thoroughly enjoy being on deck heading out to sea. The guide was informative and charming and the whole experience was pleasant even before we reached the main sighting area. We knew it was not a certainty to see anything but we were really lucky. At close hand we saw minke whales, dolphins and wonderfully and spectacularly the humpback whale who surfaced and dived several times. This was such a spectacular sight that the boat stayed out for longer than the normal duration of a trip. For us ... the trip of a life time for our joint 50th birthday.
Teresa Brown
Amazing Tour Ran By An Efficient Company
Traveled: 2013-01-23, Reviewed: 2013-01-27
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
What a brilliant company, they really seem to care that you get the best experience possible by paying close attention to where the whales could be, sailing from whichever harbour they believe is going to be the most promising. Meeting always takes place in Reykjavik harbour by the ticket office for a cost of around 8000ISK 35-40GBP (tickets can also be booked online with a 5% discount) and company coaches will transfer you to whichever harbour they are sailing from that day if it's not going to be Reykjavik, this is included in the price of your ticket. To pass the time before the sail there is an Elding museum on board a boat at the bottom of the harbour where you can buy a souvenir, check out the skeleton of a Humpback and get up close and personal with baleen plates, the museum is oposite the whaling ships.....whale watching one side, whale killing on the other :( We had a comfortable transfer to a different harbour and on the way the staff provide sea sick pills which can take up to an hour to work so best to take them as soon as possible. There are other pills that you can buy yourself that work within 20 minutes (we got ours from Boots), my partner and I took these and we were absolutely fine even when the sea got a little choppy. With it being winter we prepared for it to be cold and wet so didn't use the onboard jumpsuits but they looked warm and comfortable and in good condition too. Our tour starting with an inquistive grey seal, I wasn't holding out too much hope for a whale as they had been hiding (we went out on the Friday before with a different company that sailed from Reykjavik harbour and we didn't see anything, not even a porpoise) but after about an hour a crew member spotted a blow, they really know what they're looking for and followed the birds in the direction of fishing boats and this is where we saw a Humpback....Wow!!! He/she even fluked for us :) we stayed with the whale for a good while. We also saw lots of Gannets diving for fish which is a great sight, we even saw a successful catch. On occassions when nothing is seen on a trip they provide free return tickets that I believe are valid for 2 years (we got one of these with the other company we used on the Friday but couldn't use it on the Wednesday as they don't sail on Wednesday's). Elding sail every day unless the conditions are too dangerous. I highly recommend Elding, their professional business and friendly staff. It's no wonder they are considered the best. We shall definitely be returning to iceland and it's Elding all the way !! Finally a quote taken from the a whale don't eat a whale !!!!!!!
Evan Landy
Not just whale watching but a whole package of marine education/awareness, topped off with a great trip to sea
Traveled: 2012-09-05, Reviewed: 2012-09-08
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
The trip started with the best waiting room I have ever experienced, a 'floating whale museum' with ample information, videos and literature on the whales and dolphins of Iceland. The weather was not too favourable so we were driven slightly South to sea watch from a calmer area of water. Once to sea we saw porpoises and a variety of sea birds, including some spectacular feeding gannets. Although we did not see a whale the crew were very clear about expectations and it was not surprising due to unfavourable weather that we struggled to see more. To cap it off Elding offered everyone a complimentary ticket for a future trip in the hope that next time we may get better sightings.

Elding clearly do a lot for the conservation and research of the cetaceans in Faxafloi Bay & adhere to high standards of whale watching, going well above the call of duty in customer service. Great to know there are such whale watch operators out there, I'm sure many operators could learn a lot from Elding.
5 star trip!!
Traveled: 2011-03-28, Reviewed: 2011-10-24
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
Elding Whale Watching is by far the best company dealing with cetaceans that i have encountered. They are not only very well organised but extremely interested in protecting the environment and the animals whilst providing an unforgettable experience to the passengers. I am a marine biologist and my field is on marine mammals and i can tell this: I was amazed at how much accurate information they were able to pass to the passengers during the trips without making it sound boring and complicated to people who are not aware of these particular topics! Another very good point that i was very happy about is that they would talk about the problems cetaceans face nowadays and explain why conservation is important to protect them. All the passengers would be listening and ask questions along the trip so it was obvious that everyone was very focused in what the guides were saying. Another very good point is that all the guides were so excited every time there was a sigthing that people could see that they do care and are living that moment with us and with as much emotion as us, even though they probably see those species every day!

In summary: 5 stars whale watching company!! I advise it to anyone who's interested in wildlife because if you do go with them, you won't ever forget the experience. I certainly didn't!
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2013 Responsible Whale Watch Partnership:Click here to read more about the partnership