Whales are a species of fully aquatic mammals often referred to as being the "gentle giants of the sea". They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and species and many of those species make their home in the coastal waters of Iceland.
Iceland as a country that has a long standing history with whales. Vikings would hunt these animals for food and resources as far back at the 12 century. While whaling still exists in Iceland today there are also a number of companies who dedicate themselves to the preservation of these animals and their habitats.
Whale watching tours typically leave from the Reykjavik old harbor and take approximately three hours, however there are also many tours that depart from places such as Húsavík or Akureyri in the north. Many companies go out on large specialized boats with wide viewing platforms and specially trained staff who are able to answer any of your questions. Some companies may also decide to go out on RIB boats which offer a much more high speed adventure and an ability to get a little bit closer to the action.
Puffins are a species of aquatic birds who are widely regarded as the "clowns of the sea" thanks to their brightly colored beaks.
The birds are highly adept at not only flight but also swimming and digging. They build their nests by burrowing into cliff faces during their mating season where over half of the worlds total population of puffins comes to Iceland to breed. While Puffins are highly regarded for their colorful faces they actually shed these beaks after the mating season revealing their true beaks underneath which are duller in color.
Puffin watching tours will typically leave from the Reykjavik old harbor and a puffin watching tour will usually take around one hour. Companies usually offer choices of going out in one of the high speed RIB boats which allow you to get closer to the birds and spend more time with the wildlife or they may go out in a small oak boat for a more peaceful experience