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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Whale watching trip with Elding in Reykjavik, Iceland

Off on the cold seas to search for Whales with Elding

One of the activities I was most looking forward to in Iceland was the whale watching trip we had booked - The possibility of seeing these beautiful and captivating mammals in their natural habitat was really exciting, and I had built my expectations up unbelievably high (Possibly not a good idea?). The thought of seeing Minke and Humpback whales out in the open seas forced me to struggle through my terrible hangover and persevere, would it be worth it?

Nature and Animals are unpredictable - They don't follow schedules or time

The Tour operator - Elding - "Adventure at Sea"

The company I booked the tour with was Elding (www.elding.is) who are primarily a whale watching tour operator in Reykjavik but also provide other excursions such as Sea Angling and Northern Lights cruises. I chose Elding for the following reasons:

  • 95%/80% (Summer/Winter) chance of a sighting
  • Many positive reviews
  • Hotel pickup service (Approx £7.50 extra)
  • Proven track record with an extensive diary archive of past trips
  • Reasonable prices (Approx £43.00 p/person for adults)

The pickup service was great and you got dropped off right outside the Elding tour base in Reykjavik harbour (Map shown below if you want to make your own way there). All in al I found Elding to be a first rate tour provider and would definitely recommend them to anyone visiting Iceland.

Elding ticket office in Reykjavik Harbour

Out onto the open seas in a red body suit!

So first things first you have to exchange your voucher for an actual ticket at the ticket office - This is a fairly straight forward process and takes maybe 5 minutes? Next, it's onto the ship!

Looking out from Rekyjavik harbour

I'll take you back maybe 7 hours first however - Picture the scene, sat in the "English Pub" in Reykjavik, drinking Jaegerbombs and Vodka Red Bulls - A band is playing old 70's and 80's rock music, your having the time of your life and what you are doing right now seems like such a good idea! ...Fast forward back to the present.... your stomach feels off, you have a headache, you feel dead on your feet... what's that, your about to go on a choppy boat ride... Excellent! Needless to say, I felt this way, and I do not advise a night on the town to anyone before a whale watching trip!

Pre Red body suit on the boat On the seas, note how I'm wrapped up and Ant's not because hes too manly! The barren shoreline of Iceland Mast and various Antennae on the ship

As the boat rolled out we were given the option to put on warm all-in-one suits - I would strongly recommend this as the sea air is bitterly cold and the suits really do keep you covered up (Ant didn't wear one and subsequently suffered!). The boat ride was quite varied, sometimes smooth sailing on calm waters, while at other times quite choppy with strong winds blowing head-on.

The stunning Ejsa mountain range

The scenery was spectacular, you could see Reykjavik and the surrounding mountain ranges clearly, I think the mountain range was Esja - The peaks were covered in snow and surrounded by clouds which created a bold effect. Now onto the main aim of the tour - To see whales! In short... we didn't see any.... not a single one... nada... zero...zilch.... I kid you not! We were one of the unlucky 20% who had no sightings on an Elding tour - I just couldn't believe it! I had travelled to Iceland with the specific aim of seeing a whale and I failed miserably! We saw various species of birds, but no sea life whatsoever - The whales were obviously taking a day off, or down at the local pub.

If you don't see any whales, just enjoy the ride and soak up the scenery - Don't get too disappointed

To say that we didn't see anything I still enjoyed the trip and did not regret booking it, I would also still recommend it to anyone visiting Reykjavik, after all 80% is a high chance of a sighting. Yes it would have been amazing to see some whales, but it obviously just wasn't my day - These things happen and as I stated above, you can't set store by nature! So don't let this review put you off - Take the chance, book the tour, whatever happens you will have a great experience!

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