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History

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1980

The beginning of river rafting adventures

Icelandic couple traveled to Nepal for a great river rafting adventure. They wanted to share their beautiful experience in Nepal with the Icelandic people, so they started searching for rivers that were suitable for rafting. One day they came across the stunning Hvítá (White River), they knew immediately that this was exactly what they had been looking for. They named their company Bátafólkið (The Boat People) and the team quickly grew.

The Birth of Arctic Rafting

In 1997 Bátafólkið began its operations in North Iceland on the River Jökulsá Austari, which is a very exciting world class level 4 rafting river. Another Icelandic explorer, called Daddi Bjarna, enjoyed the same kind of inspiring rafting trip in the Himalayas. The same as Villa and Bassi, he decided to launch an Icelandic river rafting operation in 1997. However, his company was located in the East and he called it Arctic Rafting. His river was Eyvindará, also a world class level 4 river. Arctic Rafting began offering combo trips, they were the first company to do so. These trips brought together Whale Watching and River Rafting.

2001

Arctic Rafting expands to Hvita River

In 2001, Arctic Rafting moved their operations to the Hvítá River. At this time the sport wasn’t very big in Iceland and close friendships were formed within this tight-knit group of people.

2005

The Birth of Arctic Adventures

In 2005 the two companies decided to merge and they formed Arctic Adventures together. River rafting is only a summer activity and the group wanted to explore ways to use the equipment and show people the very best of Iceland all year around. And therefore, the focus was not only on river rafting, other activities were taken into the operation, and not long after snorkeling in Silfra and hiking on Sólheimajökull glacier were added.

2009

Glacier Guides launches at Skaftafell

The company continued to grow and in 2009 the Glacier Guides project was launched. Glacier Guides offers hiking and climbing tours on glaciers together with other exciting adventures in the area. Its base camp is located at Skaftafell, within Vatnajökull National Park, home to the great Vatnajökull, the mightiest glacier in Iceland. This company is easy to recognize with its turf roof and the American school bus they use to transport people to and from the glacier.

The company expands

In 2010 the company’s operations were further increased. Incentive trips for corporations to Greenland, Iceland and other locations in the Arctic area were included, in cooperation with Mr. Henry Köhler. A Berlin-based local office was launched, named Arktische Abenteuer, which conducted our operations in the German-speaking market.

2012

The birth of Trekking in Iceland

In 2012 a hiking and trekking brand with the name Wild Iceland began its operations, this later became Trek Iceland. The Icelandic Highlands have always fascinated Icelanders, as Icelandic tourism grew word about this spread very fast.

2013

Arctic Family expands for more rafting adventures

In 2013 another aspect of the Arctic Family was created when we founded Viking Rafting in partnership with guides, Anrup Gurung and Chris Doyle-Kyle, who had been with us for many years. This company focuses on and continues to offer rafting trips in North Iceland. These tours offer challenging and very exciting level 4 rafting on Austari Jökulsá, an absolutely stunning river in beautiful Skagafjörður. Their base is located in north Iceland, at a farm called Hafgrímsstaðir.

2014

Arctic Family adopts Trek Iceland

The following year, 2014, Trek Iceland became part of the Arctic Adventures Family. It is today one of the largest branches of Arctic Adventures, its main focus is the famous and truly one-of-a-kind Laugavegur trail.

2015

Arctic Family adopts Arctic Sea Tours

We had concentrated on the land for quite a while so now it was time to turn our attention to the sea! Arctic Sea Tours joined the Arctic Family in 2015. They operate in North Iceland, at Dalvík on picturesque Eyjafjörður: whales are their passion.

The same year, Snowmobile.is also became a part of our Arctic Family, contributing their magical glacier skimming tours.

Milestone year – snorkeling, diving tours

Our glacier operations in the Skaftafell area and at Sólheimajökull glacier had blossomed, and we felt it was the right time to find better accommodation for our guides and staff. We very much like the feeling that we are a family and we decided this would be the right time to buy two houses for our teams to live in, one is in Hvolsvöllur and the other at Kirkjubæjarklaustur. We also developed two new aspects during the year: Our diving and snorkeling operations took a big leap forward when we founded Dive Silfra, intensifying our focus on snorkeling and diving trips. Last but not least, Scuba Iceland became part of the Arctic Family.

Arctic Family welcomes Extreme Iceland

The Arctic Adventures family has taken over Hotel Hof 1, which has been renamed Adventure Hotel, a very well suited name! This will be our place to meet up in South East Iceland, it is the perfect place to stay before and after one of our tours in the area.

Another big step was taken in 2017 when Arctic Adventures acquired Extreme Iceland. This was a very welcomed addition to the Arctic family and they brought you, even more, options for adventures all around Iceland.

Arctic Adventures is currently operating different trips from Reykjavik as well as glacier tours from Sólheimajökull and Skaftafell, snorkeling and diving at Þingvellir (Thingvellir) and snowmobiling on Langjökull glacier. In addition to rafting on the Hvítá River, we offer many other activity tours around Iceland. Choose us as your tour provider and you can be sure to go home with a story which is really worth telling!

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Today

Why Arctic Adventures?

The Arctic Adventures Family consists of very interesting and adventurous people from all over the world. We all share a need to be really professional, each of us in our own field, and everyone possesses something really unique which is highly valued by everyone else in the team. Some people are passionate river rafters or mountain climbers, while others really thrive on numbers and calculations. There is one thing, though, which we all have in common: a tremendous love and passion for outdoor adventures and total respect for nature. This really is the connective tissue which binds the Arctic Family together.

Sustainability

Although Arctic Adventures has achieved official recognition as a sustainable tour company we still strive to find improvements. We believe that if a company, such as Arctic Adventures, wishes to thrive in the future there's only one way to achieve this: to work in harmony with nature, local communities and the people living in them. We seek to purchase local goods where possible, to reduce long-distance procurement and to abolish the use of goods made by companies who fail to recognize environmental guidelines or their worker's rights. Arctic Adventures undertakes voluntary work with local communities and landowners in the areas where tours are operated. We make donations to organizations and support charities in various ways. This declaration is revised annually.

How we operate to Minimize Our Carbon's Footprint

Iceland's wilderness remains largely intact and undisturbed which makes it unique and very precious. The rapid growth in adventure tourism is subjecting this fragile environment to an unprecedented level of strain. The Arctic Adventures family is committed to sharing its love and respect for Icelandic nature with each of our guests to provide a one-of-a-kind experience. We lead by example, continuing to set new standards in Iceland's young adventure tourism industry. We hope to promote attitudes and practices which will keep our wilderness areas intact for future generations to enjoy. We are continually striving towards new and creative ways to evolve our company in harmony with Iceland's beautiful but fragile nature.

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Responsible Traveling

Our mission statement is simply: “Nature is the adventure.” We have tailored our tours in such a way that there will be no harm to or impact upon nature. We show our clients how nature can be treated with respect, we can pass through it without leaving a mark and take away only photographs and memories.

1. Take nothing but pictures.

2. Kill nothing but time

3. Leave nothing but footprints.

4. Make nothing but memories.

Our certifications & Awards

Being a sustainable tour operator is something which we, at Arctic Adventures, take very seriously. It is also important for us to be able to reassure our customers concerning this. Our Certifications are an official recognition of our sustainability status. We are motivated to find additional ways to improve and to keep pace with new sustainability developments.

We have a lot of love for what we do, and this passion translates into many awards we've gotten over the years.

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Guide Training and qualifications

All of our guides need to go through extensive training and first aid courses to be qualified to guide the trips within Arctic Adventures.

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Work with us!

We are always looking for talented people to join our great Arctic Adventures family.

Arctic Adventures places great emphasis on professional recruiting, searching for people with particular skills, educational qualifications, attitudes, and values.

Our employees must be ready to take on challenging but exciting tasks. At Arctic Adventures we have an excellent group of employees who have a passion for their work, clear goals and respect for each other and our customers.

Our customer care is always here for you. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions may be amended from time to time and apply to all of our services.

By accessing, browsing, using and/or completing a reservation through our (mobile) website you acknowledge and agree to have read, understood and agreed to be legally bound to the terms and conditions set out below.

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Cancellation Policy

All cancellation fees held by Arctic Adventures are only intended to cover our direct cost of amending and/or canceling your reservation. By accessing, browsing, using and/or completing a reservation through our (mobile) website you acknowledge and agree to have read, understood and agreed to be legally bound to the cancellation policy.

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Privacy Policy

Our privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their ‘Personally identifiable information’ (PII) is being used online. PII, as used in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.

Brand assets

Our press team love working with journalists and influencers around the world. Find our logos to download and learn more about opportunities.

Our Brands

ARCTIC ADVENTURES

Arctic Adventures is the oldest and the biggest brand. It began as a river rafting operator back in 1983 and grew to one of Iceland’s biggest tour operators over the years. Today, Arctic Adventures is dedicated to sustainable tourism and providing quality tours for small groups. 

ARCTIC ADVENTURES

INTO THE GLACIER

Into the Glacier is a tour operator, offering tours to the largest man-made ice tunnel on the planet. It began with the crazy idea of drilling a hole in the Langjökull, the second-biggest glacier in Iceland. Today, Into the Glacier invites everyone to see the giant glacier from inside. 

INTO THE GLACIER

Guest Blogging Guidelines

Do you have an Iceland itinerary with travel tips from your last vacation? Or a journal entry on hiking the Icelandic Highlands? We are looking for creative story ideas that our readers will find interesting and informative.