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“A waste of 4 hours of our time”
Review of Life of Whales - CLOSED

Life of Whales
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Exciting whale-watching tour and catch sight of whales, dolphins, porpoises and seabirds in their natural habitat including a stop by the Puffin Island during the Puffin season (15th of May – 15th of August). Life of Whales commits to provide high quality tours, good prices with personal service while taking part with the passengers in an adventure at sea. Most usual sightings include Minke whales, White-Beaked Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises and occasionally Humpback whale.
Guernsey
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A waste of 4 hours of our time”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

Firstly, you should know that you will get colder than you can imagine on this trip. No matter how many layers you wear, you will need more. Make sure you use one of their all in one boiler suits or else you will freeze.
The stop near the puffins is pointless. They are so small that you can hardly make them out, even using the zoom on the camera lens. I appreciate that if you want to see puffins, you should go on the puffin tour, but then leave this bit out and speed things up a bit.
We saw a few whales, but always at a far distance and very briefly. At this point, we felt so cold that any enthusiasm for whales had ebbed. The minke whales keep far away from the boat. Since they are still hunted in Iceland, this seems very sensible self-preservation on their part.
Also, although our trip started at 5pm and was advertised as 3 hours, we did not dock back until 9pm. By then we were cold, bored, tired and regretting the decision to do the trip at all.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank AJ0nes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
whalewatchingexpress, Manager at Life of Whales, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
Many thanks for the review and for joining our whale watching tour.

We appreciate your comments and as you said it can get cold out on sea, so we always recommend that people dress warm - we do, as you said, provide brand new overalls that will keep you dry!:)

The puffins are indeed small birds, and therefore can be more difficult to spot them on the bigger boats, just because we cant approach the island like the smaller boats, and sometimes due to the tide we cant get as close - however we always stop by the islands during the puffin season as they do fly around the boat and swim on the sea close so we are able to see them, but we can never know what they will do on every tour:)

As you mentioned we have Puffin Express tours, on a small wooden boat that is quite lovely to go out on, and it can get extra close to the islands due to its size and shallow drought - so for people that specifically want to see the puffins, we recommend to take that tour as well:)

The tour is advertised as 3-3.5 hours and we always stick to that time, but we do have the odd times when the whales are a bit further out that we will take a bit longer - as we want to try our very best to find the whales and let our passengers have some time to enjoy the sightings. The boat has a warm inside area with big windows, so we hope that people take use of that if they get cold standing outside.

We hope you had a lovely time in Iceland and will visit again in the future:)

Kind regards,
Special Tours & Life of Whales Crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

45 reviews from our community

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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Saw some whales.”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

After being turned down for a few days due to the tour being cancelled (the bay was very windy making it not ideal) we finally went out at the 8:55am time slot. It was chilly before we even got out into the bay so I put on the dry suit overall type things they offer for free (highly recommend!).

The stop by Puffin Island was disappointing. The boats so far away you can barely see anything. Mostly looked like regular white sea birds. Maybe if I had binoculars it would've helped.

After being on the water for some time we finally got to see some minke whales. Very exciting when you see the fin come out of the water. With everyone wanting to get a glimpse of the whales it's very hard to get a good look if you don't have a good spot.

All in all, it was a neat trip.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Danic4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
whalewatchingexpress, Manager at Life of Whales, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
Many thanks for the review and for joining our whale watching tour.

We sure hope you had a nice time in Iceland - and glad that you got a chance to join our tour finally, as the weather has been teasing us a bit for the first couple of spring/summer months. We have been having great sightings this season and the Minke Whales in particular - which are always nice to watch:)

The puffins are indeed small birds, and therefore can be more difficult to spot them on the bigger boats, just because we cant approach the island like the smaller boats - we do have a Puffin Express tour on a small wooden boat that is quite lovely to go out on, and it can get extra close to the islands due to its size and shallow draught - so for the puffin lovers we recommend to take that tour as well:)

Thanks for sharing the pictures and hope to see you again in the future!!:)

Kind regards,
Special Tours & Life of Whales Crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Don't expect to see too many whales”
Reviewed May 31, 2013

They tell you that they have a 90% success rate, but that doesn't mean [--]. You'll probably see dolphins, which is nice, but unlikely that you'll see any whales. Got off a little late, but still a lot of time in the sea. Seeing the puffins is not very exciting, they are tiny and you see them from a distance. For 20-30 euros it would have been worth it, but if you charge me 50 euros, better deliver.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Ninjatuner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
whalewatchingexpress, Manager at Life of Whales, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Many thanks for joining our tour and for your review. We always appreciate any comments or points as we want our customers experience to be the best possible.

We calculate every year our success rate, and in the summer time we have around and over 90% success rate, and in the winter around 80% and over. We have four types of whales on the bay, Minke Whale, White-Beaked Dolphins (Toothed Whales), Harbor Porpoises and Humpback Whales - all listed in our brochures and on our website. We always stop by the puffin island during the summer (no extra cost involved) and it does depend on the tide as to how close we get to the island. The boat is quite big it cant get as close to the island as the smaller boats that we use for exclusive puffin tours - so if our customers are looking to see more of the puffins we recommend our Puffin Tours that have a smaller boat that goes closer to the island:)

As it is a wildlife tour we can never guarantee any sightings or how many whales are seen per tour, but as I have said above, we have a very good chance of seeing whales and this week for example we have seen up to 7-8 Minke Whales on some of our tours, and you seem to have seen the White-Beaked Dolphins which are a part of the Toothed Whale family:)

We hope you had a lovely time in Iceland and will visit again in the future.

Best regards,
Life of Whales Crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dumfries Scotland
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Life of Whales”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Picked this boat up from the harbour, based on recommendations as it has one of the biggest boats. It was quite a calm sunny day and we were out for over 3 hours. The guide on the boat spotted some dolphins but no one in our group of four saw them or any whales. The stop at Puffin Island did have puffins, but we were too far away to see them clearly, take binoculars if possible. Quite a few people were sick, even though it was not too rough. Take travel sickness pills early on, I did and was fine. The crew offer them for free. They also have all in one boilersuits you can borrow to keep you warm, as even at the end of May it was quite cold. Be warned the boat turns quite sharply at times and this causes it to tilt at a fair angle. I slipped off the last step during one of these turns and twisted my knee a bit, so hold on to the rails as you move around. This should be renamed watching for whales, rather than whale watching and we were unlucky and didn't see anything. Be prepared to be disappointed and if money is tight invest in a tour where you are guaranteed to see something. As we didn't see whales we were all offered a free voucher for another trip, but the weather was too rough on our last free day. I enjoyed the boat trip and the views of Reykjavik from the boat.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank DumfriesTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
whalewatchingexpress, Manager at Life of Whales, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Thank you for your review and for joining our tour - we are happy that you enjoyed the boat trip, and Reykjavik sure is nice to see from the ocean angle:)

We have a success rate of over 90% sightings in the summer time, but of course its a wild life tour and we can never guarantee sightings - and you unfortunately were in the few percentage that didnt see whales. We always stop by the puffin island during the summer (no extra cost involved) and it does depend on the tide as to how close we get to the island. The boat is quite big and it cant get as close to the island as the smaller boats that we use for exclusive puffin tours - so if our customers are looking to see more of the puffins we recommend our Puffin Tours that have a smaller boat that goes closer to the island:)

We always offer our customers tablets for sea sickness if they wish and we also have overalls for everyone on board:) May this year was extra cold in Iceland, but this past week we have had a really sunny time - Weather is quite unpredictable in Iceland:P

As it is a wildlife tour we can never guarantee any sightings or how many whales are seen per tour - and no tour from here can guarantee sightings, but as I have said above, we have a very good chance of seeing whales and this week for example we have seen up to 7-8 Minke Whales on some of our tours.

We hope you had a lovely time in Iceland and will visit again in the future.

Best regards,
Life of Whales Crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlisle, England, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Blue & white boat”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

No doubt this activity is all about the luck of the day. For me, it was a sunny, calm day. We saw minke whales, puffins and so many dolphins one could not fail to be pleased.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Sheila S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
whalewatchingexpress, Manager at Life of Whales, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
We thank you for your review and for joining our tour:)

We are very happy that you got to see a lot of whales and got the great weather too! We sure hope you had a very nice time in Iceland during your visit and that you have a chance to visit again in the future:)

Best regards,
Life of Whales Crew
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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