Today the nice people at Special Tours invited me along on their Puffin Express tour. With me was Jolina, a fire-spinning Couchsurfer, who chose Iceland as her first destination on her 8 month trip around the world. The day didn’t start very well for us because when I went to pick up Jolina she was a bit lost and couldn’t find me and then we ran into troubles finding a parking space. As a result, when we arrived five minutes before departure, the boat had already left. Le crap, as the French would say.
Thankfully Clara at Special Tours hooked us up and we were back on schedule with the next boat at 12:30. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise and gave Jolina and I some time to get to know each other and head over to the Laundromat for some breakfast. Try their mango mint health juice, you won’t regret it!
The Puffin Express tour happens on an old boat called Skúlaskeið or “Old Skúli” but it takes 35 passangers at most. Because the boat is so small the guys at Special Tours are able to bring the boat right up to Akurey and Lundey, the islands where the puffins reside, but the sea around the islands is very shallow. It also makes the tour more intimate with great access to the guide who can answer all the questions you have about those adorable little creatures.
We were so lucky with the weather and although Special Tours promises a 100% viewing success I never thought we would see so many puffins. It was like a scene from The Birds – just much cuter. If I had a better lens for my camera I probably would have got better photos but there were binoculars available on the boat along with all kinds of books on puffins so there was plenty to see and do.
Special Tours is located at the old harbour or at Whale Watching Boulevard as I like to call it. The price is 3500 ISK for adults (20 Euro), 1750 ISK (10 Euro) for children 7 – 15 years of age and free for children under 7.
From May to August 20th the tours leave at 8:30 10:30, 12:30, 14:30 and 16:30. The duration is 1 hour.
To book your Puffin Express Tour, send an e-mail to info[at]specialtours.is or call them at +354-892-0099. For more information visit specialtours.is
Up until now, when people have asked me where to go see puffins I’ve told them about Látrabjarg in the Westfjords or the beaches in Vík. I never realised that there were a bunch of them right here in Reykjavík. Now all those Stuffed Puffins (toys, not some kind of exotic dish) that you see in all the Reykjavík tourist shops make a lot more sense.
I really enjoyed this tour. Even though I wouldn’t have seen any puffins I enjoyed just being out at sea and seeing the city from that angle. The fact we did see some puffins, bunch of them in fact, was an added bonus. 100% viewing success is pretty impressive.
I also really like the express factor of this tour. Whale watching usually takes 3-4 hours and if you if you have little time but you still want to experience something special this tour is ideal.
There wasn’t anything bad about it. I have to admit that I was a little bit annoyed that the boat we missed had left five minute before scheduled departure but to their defence we really should have been there sooner. If you don’t use their pick up service, make sure you are there in time.
Visit the I heart Reykjavík Facebook page for more photos of the tour today.