Frequently Asked Questions

 

WHALE WATCHING

  • The most common whale species that we see on our whale watching tours are humpback whales, minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. We can never guarantee any sightings, or a specific type of sighting, on our tours. In case of no sightings on our tours you will be offered a free return ticket to try again  
  • While summer (April – October) is the high season for whale watching in Reykjavík, we are fortunate to see whales year-round in Faxaflói Bay. You can always check our latest blog post from our daily diary for what we have been seeing in the previous days.
  • There is no best time of day to see whales in Faxaflói – every day and every tour varies.
  • We do not offer a standard combo tour for both whales and puffins, but there is a chance you will see some puffins from a distance on your whale watching tour in the summer months. We do offer a discounted rate when you book more than 1 of our tours – the Whales & Puffins discounted combo tour is available here. 
  • On our RIB Express Whale Watching tours we always make a stop at the puffin islands during their summer breeding season.
  • This depends on the tour, and the whales. We follow a strict code of conduct in accordance with IceWhale regarding how we approach and view the whales, so it is ultimately up to the whales. Some tours the whales are just next to the boat, and on other tours they are further away. If the sightings are not good because the whales are too far from the boat, we will offer a free return ticket to try again.
  • We do provide warm overalls on all our Whale Watching tours but we still recommend warm layers, sturdy shoes, hat and gloves for all our tours. Sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended for sunny days out at sea, even though this is Iceland the sun can sneak up on you out at sea. To see more about our recommended clothing for our Whale Watching tours we recommend reading our blog about How to dress for a Whale Watching Tour in Iceland.

 

NORTHERN LIGHTS

  • It is only possible to see Northern Lights when it gets dark at night, so roughly from the end of August until the middle of April. We operate our Northern Lights by Boat tours from September 1st – April 15th. During other months, the daylight in Iceland is too strong to see them – even at night.
  • We make a careful decision each afternoon based on the most updated weather forecast, keeping in mind cloud coverage, sea conditions, and Northern Lights activity.
  • A few times a season it happens that the sea conditions are to rough to sail out but we still have a very promising Northern Lights forecast. When this happens we have offered our customers to join a Northern lights tour on a bus for that night. The customer still gets to keep his ticket to join the Northern Lights by Boat tour on another night. Choosing this option you maximize your chance to see the Northern Lights but you for fit your right for a refund.
  • Yes we do offer our clients to book the Northern Lights by Boat tour with an included backup plan in case of any cancellations because of unfavorable Northern Lights forecast.  This option is even on a discounted price but is also none refundable. See the discounted Northern Lights by Boat with a Backup plan tour here.  This backup plan can also be selected for anyone that has already booked the original Northern Lights by Boat tour. See more information about our backup plan here.

 

PUFFIN EXPRESS

  • Yes we offer 1 hour Puffin tours from Reykjavík with a 100% sighting success. See more about our puffin tour here.
  • The puffins are only in Iceland for their summer breeding season, so our Puffin Express tour operates from May 1st – August 20th.

 

SEA ANGLING

  • The most common types of fish that we catch on our Sea Angling tours are cod, pollock, haddock, mackrel and Atlantic Wolffissh.
  • On our Sea Angling tours we operate bottom fishing tours, using weighted lines with hooks and bait.
  • We provide protective clothing, fishing rods and bait. We will grill the catch on board and serve it with potatoes and sauce. We can also provide fillets if given notice at the beginning of the tour for you to take home with you!
  • While it can happen, it is not common – the fishing grounds overlap with the feeding grounds for the whales, but the primary focus of this tour is on fishing.

 

GENERAL FAQ/POLICIES

  • We kindly ask that you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure.
  • For all Whale Watching & Northern Lights tours, pick-up starts 1 hour prior to departure. For Sea Angling and Puffin Express, pick-up starts 30 minutes prior to departure. Please note that you must be ready at your designated pick-up location at this point, and that there is a 15-30 minute window for your pick-up to arrive.
  • No, there is no need to print your ticket. Note that you will need to check in at our ticket office prior to boarding the boat.
  • We do not have parking assigned to us, but there are plenty of pay-to-park locations nearby. There is also a free parking area in the next harbour (3-5 min waling distance), and our staff is happy to direct you there if needed.
  • Most of our tours are wheelchair accessible, depending on the size of the wheelchair – please contact our reception team at info@specialtours.is for more information.
  • We always recommend dressing warmly and wearing sturdy shoes. Please keep in mind that the weather in Iceland can change quickly and frequently, so it‘s important to look at the weather forecast throughout your stay.
  • To see more about our recommended clothing for our Whale Watching tours we recommend reading our blog about How to dress for a Whale Watching Tour in Iceland.
  • Our tours do not have an age limit, with the exception of RIB Express Whale Watching. You must be at least 10 years old & 130cm tall to join this tour.
  • By default all of our tours are guided in English. We do have German and Spanish guides on whale watching tours at certain times in the summer, and do our best to accommodate special requests given in advance. Please contact us at info@specialtours.is for more information.
  • Every boat except for our RIB Express boat has restrooms on board. Our Classic & Express tours also have a cafeteria where you can purchase food, snack´s and drinks.
  • Everyone handles seasickness differently, so it’s very hard for us to know if you will be sick on a tour. We post updated sea conditions ranging from good, rough, very rough, or cancelled on our office daily, and our reception team is always happy to discuss the conditions with you. We do provide complimentary sea sickness tablets in our ticket office and on board.
  • It’s no problem for pregnant women to join our tours, with the exception of the RIB Express Whale Watching trip. Depending on the sea conditions, we will sometimes advise that pregnant women not join the tour as the chances of them becoming sea sick are higher and they cannot take the sea sickness medication that we offer.
  • All children under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket. If you are older than 12, then it‘s up to you – we have life jackets and float-able overalls available for all passengers.
  • Our sizes range from infant up to adult XXXL.
  • Yes, of course! It‘s no problem at all to do these tours on different dates. Please send us an email to info@specialtours.is after booking and we can arrange this for you.
  • If nothing is seen on your Whale Watching or Northern Lights by Boat tour, you are entitled to join us for free on another tour – valid indefinitely! If this happens to you, please reach out to our reception team after your tour to rebook. Please note that there are no refunds available after you join a tour. See more about our terms and conditions here.

 

Refunds, Cancellations, Payments

  • All of our tours are weather dependent. If the sea conditions are too rough to sail, we cancel our tours as we want to keep everyone comfortable and safe.
  • Northern Lights tours may be cancelled if the conditions for seeing auroras are not suitable.
  • If your tour is cancelled, you can always reschedule for another day. If you are not able to reschedule AND have not already been on the tour before, you are entitled to a full refund.
  • If you booked directly through us, we can process your refund right away. Depending on your bank and credit card company, the refund can take 3-7 business days to show back up on your card. If you booked the tour through a third party, please contact them to verify this information.
  • We are very flexible, so as long as we have availability it‘s never a problem to rebook your tour. Please contact our reception team to rebook your wildlife adventure.
  • We have a 24 hour cancellation policy – as long as you cancel at least 24 hours before your tour, you are entitled to a full refund. If you have booked through a third party, please contact them as their policies may differ.
  • If you booked directly through us, we can process your refund right away. Depending on your bank and credit card company, the refund can take 3-7 business days to show back up on your card. If you booked the tour through a third party, please contact them to verify this information.
  • We have a 24 hour cancellation policy – if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance you are eligible for a full refund. If you have booked through a third party, please contact them to ask about their refund policy as it may be different.
  • You can pay with EUR, USD, GBP or ISK in cash before your tour. Please note that we can only give change back in ISK.
  • We do offer student, senior & group discounts – for more information please send us an email at info@specialtours.is
  • Here you can find out more about our terms and conditions.