The black-sand beaches, sea cliffs, and fjords of the Icelandic coastline host a diverse cast of creatures, from dolphins and whales to throngs of orange-billed puffins. Here’s what you need to know about Reykjavik-based RIB (rigid inflatable boat) cruises, which allow you to get close to coastal wildlife during exhilarating high-speed tours.
- Admire the Reykjavik skyline and spot noteworthy landmarks, such as Harpa Concert Hall and the Sólfar (Sun Voyager) sculpture, from the water.
- Cruise through Faxaflói Bay, stopping at Lundey Island or Akurey Island to see nesting birds during a puffin tour.
- Scan the water for sightings of surfacing minke and humpback whales.
- Enjoy the excitement of whizzing across the water at high speed.
- Learn about the behavioral patterns of seabirds, such as auks and gannets, from your guide.
Things to Know
- Most RIB tours depart from Reykjavik’s Old Harbour.
- Puffins are most visible during the breeding season, May to August. You can spot whales and dolphins in Iceland year-round, but more species are present during the summer months.
- Speedboats generally accommodate small groups of 15 people or fewer, guaranteeing an intimate experience.
- Most RIB tours provide warm waterproof overalls and life jackets.
- Many whale-watching tours offer complimentary tickets for another speedboat cruise if you don’t spot any whales the first time around.
- RIB speedboat tours typically last one to two hours.
- Boat engines can be switched off so as not to alarm wildlife and to allow you to appreciate the sounds of nature.