Sail out from Reykjavik harbor to observe the Northern Lights dance above the ocean waves!
The Northern Lights are a phenomenon simply out of this world. Out on the waves in the North Atlantic, you’ll have a chance to spy on the Aurora Borealis as it dances its timeless magic. Spirit yourself away from the hustle and bustle of Reykjavik and wrap yourself in the darkness of the open ocean. Leave the world behind and join us for a spellbound night of Nature’s most supernatural wonders.
Sept. - Apr.
2 - 2.5 hours
Meet on location
No min age
Reykjavík Downtown Harbor
Departs from Overwrite
- Tour highlights
- Small Group Experience
- Northern Lights
- Boat Tour from the Old Harbour
- Northern Lights Boat Tour
- Northern Lights Video
- English Language Guide
- Warm Overalls
- Café/bar and souvenir shop
Meet us at the Old Harbor in Reykjavík, also called the Downtown Harbor. In just 15 to 20 minutes, our expert sea crew will take you across those bracing North Atlantic waves to a place far enough away from the light pollution of Reykjavík. We monitor the aurora and cloud forecasts to make sure we go to the best place optimal for viewing.
The Northern Lights from Reykjavik Bay
The northern lights are a truly spectacular and unforgettable experience. You’ll never forget that magic moment when they first appear. They usually shimmer softly at first, before breaking out into more vibrant swirls of color rippling across the sky. Whether they’re delicate or dramatic, they’re always special to behold. The northern lights typically appear in hues of green and yellow, with blue, violet, and rose coming in a close second. As for the rarer reds, though still elusive, you’re likelier to observe these in Iceland than in any other country. So rest assured, you’re in good hands here!
The Science Behind the Aurora Borealis
While you’re waiting for the lights to appear, the boat crew will explain the science behind the majestic and magical aurora borealis. Your guide will also tell you all about some fascinating northern lights myths, stories, and legends from cultures around the world. We show our own specially made video in the ship café/bar. This is packed full of folklore, fun facts, and, of course, magnificent northern lights photography. We offer overalls to keep you comfortable on deck while you’re waiting for the lights to appear. There is also our cozy bar/café, video show, and souvenir shop to keep you entertained if you want to be in the warm for a while. As soon as those colors begin to appear, rest assured, we’ll fetch you!
Northern Lights are formed by certain reactions when particles emitted by sun collide with the earth’s atmosphere. These particles are transported by the solar wind to those areas around the north and south poles. We do our utmost, but due to the nature of the phenomenon, we can’t guarantee the northern lights will appear.
Meet on location means travelling to the location of the tour yourself and then meeting our tour guides rather than being picked up and taken to the location.
This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.
Here you should wait for your guide.
Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.
View our pick-up locations in Reykjavík.
Before and during activities on the multi-day tours consumption of alcohol is prohibited. If we suspect that a participant is intoxicated, we will prohibit them from joining the activity.
After the activities of the day are finished, you are welcome to have a drink and relax.
Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Elding has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summertime).
Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our jeep tours are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.
Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.
Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our self-drive tours.
All of our tours are guided in English.
No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.
The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.
Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.
For further information about the difficulty ratings and descriptions.
We’ve partnered with the Kolviður Fund in a new carbon offsetting program, which passengers can select to participate in at the time of booking.
The Kolviður Fund is the oldest, most respected carbon offsetting program in Iceland. With your support, one tree will be planted in special Kolviður forests in Iceland to carbon offset your tour with us.
Kolviður forests are strategically planted to absorb the maximum amount of CO2 and the forests are protected for a minimum of 60 years. During their lifetime the trees absorb carbon and store it in their root system, trunk, and branches. Trees also prevent soil erosion and maintain storage of carbon in the soil.
The Northern Lights are natural phenomena and we unfortunately cannot promise you will see them. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions.
For more information on the Northen Lights, please have a look at our Northern Lights information.
Unfortunately, there isn’t just one simple answer to this question.
There isn’t just one single setting for your camera that ensures great photos. But if you have manual options, you are probably best served with experimenting with various combinations of ISO, aperture, and exposure settings. As a rule of thumb, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have proven effective.
A good thing to keep in mind, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have given great results.
Different combinations may give very different results. Higher ISO setting will allow you to capture faster exposures, but the downside to this might be for example grainier images.
If the shutter speed is above 15 seconds it will result in a slight star movement.
Wider angle lenses are usually more versatile in low light settings, but longer lenses give you different options for compositions. Make sure that you remove all lens filters, as they may distort images. You will probably get the best results with manual setting for infinite focal length
A refund is not available if the northern lights tour goes ahead and no northern lights are seen but we do offer you the chance to join a Northern Lights Minibus tour free of charge.
Please go to My Adventures to re-book your tour.
When Northern Lights tours are cancelled it’s usually due to unfavourable weather conditions.
In that case, your options will be to:
1. Reschedule for another day.
2. Find another tour to do and use the deposit for it.
3. Get fully refunded.
Like you might have heard, the northern lights are a pretty difficult thing to predict. You can check en.vedur.is to see the forecast and if the level is high and the skies are clear then it’s very likely that the tour is going. We do update our website’s tour departure sheet with the information at 17:00 pm the latest. If the tour is cancelled, you will receive an email from us.
If we think there is no chance at all of seeing the lights we will cancel the tour. We don’t want to bring you out and disappoint if there is no chance to see the lights.
Yes, the guide will take a photo of you with the northern lights behind you. These can be single or group photo’s and free of charge.
The Northern Lights season is said to be from late August until mid-April. However, if you want to increase your chances of seeing them, it is best to wait until the clear winter months of mid-September until March.
If luck and weather are on your side, then you will be able to see the Aurora Borealis above the inviting streets of Reykjavik. Whether you see the lights or not are dependant on two different factors. The first being the weather. If the sky is clear, no clouds, then you are halfway there to seeing the astonishing spectacle that is the Northern Lights (although light pollution can sometimes be a problem). Increased solar activity is the second half so, if these two merge together you may well be able to see the Northern Lights from Reykjavik.
There is a saying in Iceland, if you don’t like the weather just wait 5 minutes. This might sound like a joke but it is strangely true! Thanks to the beloved Gulf Stream, our country enjoys a cool, temperate maritime climate, this means refreshing summers and fairly mild winters. So basically, Iceland maintains a surprisingly moderate temperature all year around. For further information about the weather in Iceland and how to dress for it.
If your tour includes a glacier activity it’s very important to dress appropriately. Dress in 3 or 4 upper layers such as a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment, topped off with a waterproof windbreaker. Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet. Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best and then wind/waterproof pants over. We also recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy due to the high UV and sunlight reflection from the glacier.
You will need sturdy hiking boots that fit crampons for the glacier hiking tours.
The drive from KEF airport to Reykjavik takes around 45 minutes. If your flight is delayed, please call our customer service team to go over what options you may have.
These are the two most common ways to get from the airport to Reykjavik city:
The cheapest and most convenient way of getting to and from Keflavik International Airport. The shuttle drops you off at the BSI Bus Terminal downtown or takes you all the way to your hotel or the closest drop off location. If you’re arriving on the same day as your tour departures we highly recommend to pick BSI Bus terminal as your pick up location.
Book your airport transfer in Iceland.
The quickest way to get to Reykjavik city is by a taxi. The taxis can drop you off at any of our pick-up locations. Taking a taxi is always more expensive than the airport shuttle.
For further information about getting to and from Keflavík International Airport.
Driving in Iceland can be tricky for two different reasons. The first being the weather conditions, especially in the winter months. The second reason is that if you’re not experienced in driving in conditions such as ice and snow then it could become dangerous.
If you are choosing a self-drive tour or to meet on location then make sure you have checked the driving conditions to make sure it is safe. At road.is you can find all the latest updates about travelling around Iceland. You should still check in the summer months just to make sure there is no storms or other types of weather warnings.
Iceland is a very high-tech country and we actually have one of the highest rates of Internet usage in the world. Many restaurants and cafés, especially in Reykjavik, have free Wi-Fi access, so if you have a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone you can get Internet access almost anywhere. All of our vehicles also have free Wi-Fi.
Tipping is not a requirement in Iceland although it is permitted and is well received in most cases.
Here is the plus side to a cold country like Iceland. No dangerous insects survive here! Iceland has about three areas where some mosquitoes have now settled but nothing you will have to worry about on our tours. So, to sum it up, no you will not need any repellant!
Operated by our trusted partner
Price from: 10.990 ISK