Sailing on open sea, feeling the sun on your face and the wind in your hair – what better way is there to kick off your vacation? From Reykjavík harbour several tour companies offer exhilarating boat tours. What do you think of a whale safari, a puffin tour or sea angling? Going on a bout tour is a great way to enjoy Iceland, and seeing Reykjavík from the sea while sailing through Faxaflói bay is a wonderful experience.
How do you feel about discovering Reykjavík and the small islands in Faxaflói bay by kayak? Kayaking combines active outdoor recreation with nature exploration. Paddling close to the islands gives you the best closeup views of seabirds and oceanic wildlife.
Do you want to have a whale of a time? Good news, you don’t have to travel far to go on a whale safari, as Reykjavík offers good whale watching options. Different whale watching companies have regular departures from the Old Harbour area. White-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises are seen year-round in Faxaflói bay, a large bay next to Reykjavík, stretching between Reykjanes and Snæfellsnes. In summertime, there are regular sightings of humpback whales and minke whales. You can choose to go on a bigger boat with a refreshment bar, or on a small RIB boat. The bigger boats have snug inside areas that offer shelter from bad weather, but the small boats have the advantage that you can get very close to oceanic wildlife. At the ticket offices you can ask for complimentary motion sickness pills, but don’t worry, tours are cancelled if the waves are too high.
In summertime, puffin colonies are found all around Iceland. The first small flocks arrive in April and the last ones leave in September, but the best months to see puffins are from May to August. Just off the coast of the Reykjavík, puffins breed each year on three small islands. Most whale watching companies offer puffin watching tours. For puffin spotting, it’s best to be on a small boat and to bring binoculars. Puffins are tiny, and the closer you can get to them, the better the experience will be. Next to puffins, common sights during these tours include arctic terns and the great skua.
You do not require any patience when fishing out on open sea. If anything, your arms might get tired from all the cod, mackerel and pollock you’re reeling in. Once arrived at the perfect fishing spot, the boat will be brought to a standstill and all you have to do is throw your rod out and enjoy. Worried about what to eat for lunch? When going on a sea angling tour, your freshly caught fish will be prepared with a side of potatoes and homemade remoulade or tartar sauce. A great substitute for having lunch at a restaurant, and it’s not going to get any fresher than this.
Northern lights by boat
The northern lights are a magnificent sight. They are best viewed far away from city lights, so going out of town to darker spots will give you a higher chance of seeing them. Taking a northern lights boat tour out to the dark sea offers great viewing opportunities. But please note that the northern lights season is from September till mid-April, so it’s not possible to see the northern lights at the moment.