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6 Best Akureyri Whale Watching Tours (eco-certified)

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Planning a trip to Iceland’s north? Do add one of these best Akureyri whale watching tours to your itinerary. 

Whale watching is a popular activity in Akureyri and nearby areas such as Husavik. In this guide, we will share the top 3 whale watching tours in Akureyri that are eco-certified, and also share tips and insights on making the most of your visit to the second-largest city in Iceland!

6 Best Iceland Akureyri Whale Watching Tours (eco-certified) 

Best Iceland Akureyri Whale Watching Tours

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Best Iceland Akureyri Whale Watching Tour

Our pick is the Classic Whale Watching tour, which lasts 3 hours and is available all year round. This epic excursion takes place on a traditional oak boat with ample seating and viewing areas.

1. Akureyri: 3-Hour Classic Whale-Watching Tour

classic 3 hour whale watching tour in Akureyri iceland

BOOK this Classic 3 hour Whale Watching tour

♡ RATING: 4.4 Out of 5 stars – with more than 500 positive reviews

Why choose this tour?

This classic 3-hour tour leaves from the town of Akureyri, so it is an easy addition to your Northern Iceland itinerary. You will leave on a high-speed ship (and an operator) that is ecologically certified for whale watching. 

There is a live guide on board, and you will also find wifi and bathrooms. There is also a bar and cafeteria where you can purchase drinks and snacks. Plus there is ample indoor and outdoor seating to accommodate large groups. 

In 3 hours, you will get to see the majestic beauty of the Eyjafjord’s humpback whales and other marine life. 

The guide shares insights and tips on the behavior of the whales and they answer any questions you may have.  This is one classic whale-watching tour that you cannot miss! 

Note: If no whales or dolphins are seen on the date of your tour, you will be offered a complimentary ticket, valid for 2 years in Reykjavik and Akureyri

Tour Highlights: 

3-hour whale-watching tour

☑ Onboard a high-speed whale-watching ship

☑ Wifi on board

☑ Live Guide – English

☑ Overalls offered

“The guides were very nice and gave us a lot of interesting information about whales during the trip. Despite the rather bad weather with rain, we saw humpback whales and it was great! We can also only recommend putting on the offered overalls (available in different sizes) – they keep you warm and above all dry, making the experience on deck even more fun.” — Reviewer on GetYourGuide

2. From Akureyri: 2–Hour Whale Watching Express by RIB Speedboat

BOOK this 2 hour whale-watching express tour

♡ RATING: 4.6 Out of 5 stars

Why choose this tour?

Short on time? Join this express whale-watching tour from Akureyri. This excursion lasts 2 hours and is done on a specially made RIB boat, which allows you to get closer to the whales and wildlife than any other boat. 

Plus they are faster and smaller boats, meaning they cover a bigger area as you scout for wildlife giving you a wider chance of spotting whales, dolphins, and bird life without disturbing them in their natural habitat. 

And….you will be in the hands of an ecologically certified company who will share insights on humpback whales and alert you when they show up in the waters. 

This is a small group tour (of 12 passengers max), so you also get an intimate whale-watching experience.

Note: Minimum age to join the tour is 10 years of age, and the minimum height is 145 cm

Tour Highlights: 

2 hour whale-watching tour

☑ Specially designed RIB boats 

☑ Small group (12 people max)

☑ Whale and bird watching

☑ Life vest and necessary safety equipment

“Fantastic experience! Several whales are allowed to see up close. The good guide gave a lot of info, and both the guide and captain have a very good eye for spotting the whales. The suits are certainly warm enough, you will get gloves and glasses. I would do it again in a heartbeat!” — Reviewer on GetYourGuide

3. From Akureyri: Whale Watching in the Midnight Sun

Midnight sun whale watching

BOOK this Whale Watching tour in the Midnight Sun

♡ RATING: 5 Out of 5 stars

Why choose this tour?

Although a seasonal tour, this 3 hour whale watching tour is truly magical under the midnight sun. 

Available in the summer months only, on this excursion, you will ride a high-speed custom-built speed and take in the views of humpback whales in the picturesque Eyjafjörður fjord. 

The ship has ample comfy seating indoors and outdoors and with a bar and cafe on board, so you can sip in as you go. 

You will have the company of an expert live guide who will share information on the whales, midnight summer as well as the wildlife and scenery of the area. 

Note: Just like the northern lights, the midnight sun is seasonal and weather dependent.

Tour Highlights: 

3 hour whale-watching tour

☑ Bar and cafe onboard 

☑ Wifi on board

☑ Live guide in English

☑ Midnight sun experience 

“The number of whales plus the midnight sun made this tour breathtaking.” — Reviewer on GetYourGuide

Other whale-watching and puffin tours near Akureyri

The north coast of Iceland is a haven for nature and marine life lovers. Although Akureyri is the second largest settlement in Iceland and is popular for whale watching, there are other options nearby.

Husavik is located just an hour’s drive from Akureyri and it provides an excellent opportunity to go whale and puffin watching on Iceland’s north shore. 

4. Húsavík: Whale Watching Tour with Guide

Husavik whale watching tour

BOOK this Husavik Whale Watching tour

♡ RATING: 4.4 Out of 5 stars – with more than 700 positive reviews

Why choose this tour?

This is one of the popular whale-watching tours near Akureyri. It is a 3-hour excursion that leaves Húsavík and takes you on the Skjálfandi Bay and brings you up close to whales, dolphins, and sea birds. 

You will get to cruise by Iceland’s north coast on a traditional oak boat and enjoy light refreshments onboard. 

Húsavík is known as Iceland’s whale-watching capital, and this tour gives you a good glimpse into the wildlife and landscapes that the country is known for. 

Tour Highlights: 

3 hour whale-watching tour

☑ Light refreshments

☑ Overalls provided

☑ Live Guide – English

☑ Ride a traditional oak boat

“It was an amazing experience, we were lucky enough to see at least 6-7 whales, some even very close to the boat. The tour is long enough to see whales and I also really enjoyed the guide’s explanations. The boat ride itself is also very nice as you are surrounded by the crazy landscapes of the Icelandic mountains. You are provided with a fisherman suit for cold weather and water splashes. It is not highly recommended for those who suffer from seasickness as the weather conditions can sometimes be adverse. Finally, refreshments are also provided on the boat..” — Reviewer on GetYourGuide

5. Húsavík: Whale-Watching Cruise and Puffins Guided Tour

BOOK this Husavik Whale-Watching Cruise and Puffins Guided Tour

♡ RATING: 4.6 Out of 5 stars – with more than 100 positive reviews

Why choose this tour?

This 3-hour whale-watching tour takes you to see whales, dolphins, and puffins on a COMBO experience.

You will be taken onboard a traditional oak boat to Puffin Island, which is the home of thousands of puffins. You will see them and whales in their natural habitat while sailing comfortably. 

Tour Highlights: 

3-hour whale and puffin-watching tour

☑ Light refreshments provided

☑ Live Guide – English

“We were lucky to have wonderful weather. All was very well organized, A very good guide/crew member Kaja has given us plenty of information about the whales, and the ocean the captain found, and followed at least 3 humpbacks, and dolphins. We were able to observe the life of puffins. And the cinnamon cake and warm chocolates at the end of such a successful trip. Thank you! Highly recommended!” — Reviewer on GetYourGuide

6. Húsavík: Big Whale Safari & Puffin Island Tour (RIB speed boat tour)

Husavik Akuryeri tour

BOOK this Big Whale Safari and Puffin Island tour

♡ RATING: 4.7 Out of 5 stars – with more than 400 positive reviews

Why choose this tour?

Embark on a 3 hour guided whale-watching tour to Puffin Island from Húsavík. This tour takes off on a specially designed high-speed RIB speed boat that makes sightseeing easy. 

You will get to take in the views of Puffin island and learn about nature, marine life, and puffins from an experienced guide onboard. 

And during the puffin season (April 15 – August 20 approximately), you can observe thousands of colorfully beaked cuties on the island.  

On this tour, you also have a high chance of seeing whales – humpback whales, blue whales, etc. The guide on board will search for the majestic whales and alert you when they notice. 

“Watching whales in their natural environment from a RIB speedboat is a unique experience.”

Tour Highlights: 

3-hour whale and puffin-watching tour

☑ RIB high-speed boat 

☑ Wifi on board

☑ Live guide

“This was amazing! We did the night tour (9 PM) at the end of July. We were nervous that it would be too dark to see anything, but that was certainly not the case. The sunset and the mountains were beautiful. Parking was easy in front of the office and it was a short walk down to the water. When you first arrive, you will get suited up into a flotation device outfit. It also helps to keep you warm, although I would recommend bringing a hat and wearing warm clothes. After you get suited up, you head out to the boat and first visit a puffin nesting ground. There were tons of puffins. We then headed out to search for whales. We were lucky and saw three humpback whales. They were very active, which I think is partly due to it being dusk. We also saw some seals. Our guide was very knowledgeable and taught us a lot about whales. I would highly recommend this tour, especially since it is on a speed boat, so it gives you a higher chance of seeing whales.” — Reviewer on GetYourGuide

Whale Watching in Akureyri – North Iceland

Akureyri and Eyjafjordur are blessed with a variety of whale species, including humpback whales, minke whales, pilot whales, northern bottlenose whales, sei whales sperm whales – even the majestic blue whale! 

Whale watching tours in Akureyri
Whale-watching tours in Akureyri

A captivating boat tour from Akureyri on Icelandic oak boats will grant you an unforgettable encounter with these incredible creatures. 

The exact type that you may spot is dependent on luck as well as seasonality; however, there’s no doubt that your expedition will be one for the books!

Other than Akureyri, the town of Husavik is a great place to spot whales and go on puffin-watching tours. In fact, Husavuk is known as ‘the whale watching capital of Iceland’, and its location on the shores of Skjálfandi Bay makes it perfect for sighting marine creatures. which is a haven for marine life.

Read: One day in Akureyri itinerary

The season for Whale Watching: Iceland Akureyri

Whale watching in Akureyri is a popular pastime that can be enjoyed all year round, as humpback whales make their way into the fjord to feed. 

Best Iceland Akureyri Whale Watching Tours
Best Iceland Akureyri Whale Watching Tours

There’s always an excellent chance of seeing these majestic creatures during your excursion!

More details:

  • Blue whale: The largest animal known to have ever existed, the blue whale can be occasionally seen in summer months, typically from mid-June and mid-July.
  • Humpback whale: Often found in most oceans in the world, humpback whales are seen all year round in Akureyri Iceland.
  • Minke whale: These are smaller whale species, at 10 metres in length. They can be spotted from May to October in the fjords and are quite popular in Iceland.
  • Northern bottlenose whale: They are a species of beaked whale that can be seen in both summer and winter months.

Read: Best guided tours in Iceland

FAQ: Iceland whale watching Akureyri

Can you see whales in Akureyri?

Yes, you can see whales in Akureyri! The fjords along the northern coast of Iceland are home to several species of whale including minke, sei, fin, and humpback whales. During the summer months between late April and September, visitors to Akureyri have a good chance of spotting these majestic creatures as they travel to and from feeding grounds.

How to see whales in Akureyri? 

Traditional whale watching can be done via boat tours or a whale-watching cruise. Oat and/ or wooden boats are popular ways to see Blue whales and beaked dolphins. 

Typically these tours last 3 hours (from end to end). You can also add a trip to Puffin Island during puffin season to see these cute creatures as well. 

How to dress on whale watching tours?

When going on whale-watching in Akureyri, be sure to dress warmly and wear a life jacket at all times.

So there you have it! These were some of the best whale-watching tours in Iceland’s north that are worth checking out!

Read more of our Iceland guides:

Pin: Best whale-watching tours in Akureyri Iceland

whale watching in Akureyri
Whale watching in Akureyri Iceland

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