One of the things that we thought would be fun to do when visiting Reykjavic was to go on a boat tour to see the puffins. The kids loved the idea and we didn’t at all dislike it. There was a fair amount of pleasure in thinking about seeing these birds up close.

Despite our good intentions of picking a time to take such a tour, we didn’t plan ahead very well for our day in Iceland’s capital city. We started out with a desire to explore Reykjavic and see where it took us. It was on our way to visiting the Whales of Iceland exhibit (linked to our post) that we found ourselves walking past Reykjavic Sea Adventures. Quickly, we stopped to find out what times they ran puffin tours only to discover that they had just completed their last tour for the day. This was unfortunate, as our only other day in town was already booked and so it would seem that we would miss seeing the puffins.

We figured on having to chalk our plans up for a loss when the owners offered to take us on a private tour right then and there if we so desired. As we were visiting in mid-August, Reykjavic Sea Adventures promised 100% chance of puffin sightings. With that promise, and a quick discussion, our family agreed that going out to see these fine birds would be a memorable and fun experience. We walked right over to the boat and climbed aboard.

Our captain was a quiet man who clearly knew what he was doing and where he was going. He took us straight out to a little island which was covered in puffins. When our boat came to a rest next to the island, the puffins began flying next to the boat, over the water around us. It was an amazing and incredible experience to see them in flight! This is definitely something that we do not see everyday where we live and unique experiences such as these is what makes traveling the world such an incredible experience! Doing something you seldom do, seeing something that you’ve never seen before is, quite simply, thrilling.


We would encourage anyone going to Reykjavic to take a tour out to see whales or puffins – whatever your fancy. If you have smaller children, the puffin tour is absolutely perfect. Having a private tour allowed us to sit and stand anywhere on the boat that we liked and to enjoy the experience at our leisure. Aside from the main viewing deck, there is a top deck which you are invited to visit in order see the birds more clearly. Our captain provided binoculars which the children enjoyed using. It was rather chilly out close to the island, so we stayed as long as we could manage and then asked our guide to return to shore. All told, we were out on the water for about an hour. It was perfect for our family!

Truly, this was an experience worth having in Iceland. We highly recommend Reykjavic Sea Adventures for a puffin tour, if you are interested in taking one. They were gracious, accommodating, and provided us with a terrific memory to take with us on our way. We’re so glad that we didn’t have to miss out!

A few additional notes to consider:

  • You can book a tour with Reykjavic Sea Adventures online, in advance.
  • We (the parents) are both first borns and in a habit of planning things out in great detail in “normal life.” When it comes to vacation though, we strive extra hard to relax and go with the flow. (Essentially we plan not to plan. This makes us feel better, ok?) In the case of Iceland, we decided to be a little bit more relaxed about plans and didn’t research our options to death as we might normally do.
  • We discovered that the cost of living in Iceland is much higher than in the U.S. You can save money when traveling in Iceland by planning out your activities in advance and being very thoughtful about your purchases. In order to stretch your dollar further, you’ll want to research your options (from restaurants to hotels) and pick the activities which are the most important to you when traveling in this gorgeous country.

As seeing the puffins were important to us, we were well-content with our choice. Just note that advance planning in Iceland is key in making sure you a.) have the experience you want at b.) the price you are more content to pay.

Is it worth it? Oh yes.