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Whale watching from Husavik

Iceland Whale Watching Holidays

We’re proud to have pioneered whale watching in Iceland back in 1993, when we became the first company to operate a whale-watching boat trip out of Husavik. It’s a truly spectacular destination for encountering these majestic, captivating creatures.

During summer, you can watch humpback whales breaching in the golden light of the midnight sun. And in winter you can see pods of orca hunting herring against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains. Over 20 species of cetacean are found in the seas around Iceland. The varieties most commonly seen range from the diminutive harbour porpoise and white-beaked dolphin to orcas, minke whales and gentle giants like the sperm, fin, humpback and blue whale.

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Winter Whale Watching Holidays in Iceland

Orcas and Aurora

from £1076
excluding flights
4 nights Mar
Combine the excitement of seeing orca and the northern lights on this guided short break.
  • Wildlife
  • Winter Break
  • Northern Lights
  • Escorted
  • Short Break
  • Whale Watching

Best seller

Iceland

Winter Wildlife and Aurora Self Drive

from £652
excluding flights
5 nights Jan-Mar, Dec
Combine orca and aurora watching with a stay in Reykjavik on this winter self drive holiday
  • Wildlife
  • Northern Lights
  • Self Drive
  • Whale Watching
Iceland

Summer Whale Watching Holidays in Iceland

Northern Highlights

from £972
excluding flights
7 nights May-Sep
Take an unforgettable fly drive from the East Fjords to Lake Myvatn
  • Self Drive
Iceland

Circle Iceland in a Week

from £995
excluding flights
7 nights May-Sep
Throw yourself into Iceland on this one week fly drive and pack all its wonders into one incredible trip
  • Self Drive
Iceland

Into the Blue – Whale Watching in Iceland

from £2931
excluding flights
8 nights Jun
A 9-day small-group holiday, Into the Blue is led by award-winning guide, Cathy Harlow, combines spectacular landscapes with three whale watching hot spots.
  • Wildlife
  • Escorted
  • Whale Watching
Iceland

Iceland Odyssey

from £1969
excluding flights
15 nights May-Sep
Get to know the real Iceland at a relaxed pace on this circular self drive.
  • Self Drive
Iceland

Year round opportunities

Peak season for whale watching is April to September when you stand a good chance of witnessing the acrobatic antics of humpback whales. Blue whales are also regular spring and summer visitors, particularly off the coast of North Iceland in top whale watching locations like Skjalfandi Bay and Eyjafjordur. Our new and exclusive Into the Blue small-group holiday encompasses Iceland’s top three whale-watching locations as you explore the country under the midnight sun with expert guide Cathy Harlow.

“I’m amazed at the number of whale species you can see in Iceland.  Some are resident, others migratory, arriving via a mid-Atlantic whale highway to where the cold East Greenland current and the warmer Gulf Stream meet.  The resulting upwelling of nutrient-rich water creates an open-all-hours snack bar for whales and dolphins and outstanding whale watching opportunities for us.”
Cathy Harlow, Iceland Guide

During winter whale watching in Iceland focuses on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the west of the country where orcas gather to feed on large shoals of herring, typically between January and March. In the more southerly coastal waters, you can spot whales year round, with excursions operating from Reykjavik harbour. No matter, which season you choose to search for cetaceans, you’ll also be able to enjoy the added spectacle of large flocks of seabirds, stunning scenery and sublime, ever-changing Arctic light.

Ways to travel

Our close ties with the tourist industry in Iceland allows us to offer dedicated whale watching holidays led by expert teams of guides and naturalists. Our popular, Orcas & Aurora holiday lets you search for killer whales by day off the coast of Grundarfjordur and the northern lights by night.

Independent travellers can also enjoy whale encounters with excursions threaded into our diverse collection of summer self-drive holidays. At Husavik, ‘Europe’s Whale Watching Capital’, you have the added charm of setting out in a sailing schooner or a beautifully restored oak fishing boat, while from Reykjavik fast and fun RIB boats add an extra thrill!

25 Years of Whale Watching in Iceland
Read our blog
We saw more orcas than people and the northern lights were absolutely spectacular... we could not have wished for more.
Kim Savage & Lizz Whitehouse, Orcas and Aurora

Blogs you may like

“What a sight!” Whale watching in Husavik

Maria, our Customer Services Supervisor and whale-watching enthusiast, had an experience of a lifetime during a whale-watching tour from Husavik in North Iceland.
  • Travel Stories
  • Wildlife

Monday, 5th August 2013

Destination Specialist

Northern Lights and Killer Whales – trip diary 2014

Cathy Harlow, one of the expert guides of our Orcas and Aurora escorted holiday, gives us her updates on the 2014 season so far...
  • Northern Lights
  • Wildlife

Thursday, 6th February 2014

Destination Specialist

Mark Carwardine: Whale Watching in Britain & Europe

Award-winning writer and specialist lecturer on our Orcas and Aurora with Mark Carwardine holiday, Mark Carwardine shares an excerpt of his Guide to Whale Watching in Britain and Europe.
  • Wildlife

Friday, 15th April 2016

Destination Specialist

What’s Special about our Orcas & Aurora trip?

Gary Ward travelled on our Orcas & Aurora escorted holiday in Iceland three years running. We caught up with him to find out why the trip has such an appeal.
  • Northern Lights
  • Wildlife

Monday, 10th February 2014

Destination Specialist