Chasing the Northern Lights by boat from the ocean is an incredible experience. As you sail away from the coastline of Reykjavik watching the Northern Lights on the North-Atlantic ocean with beautiful mountains and the city beams in the backdrop, is something you will forever cherish.
On the Northern Lights by boat tour, you get to enjoy the amazing views of the beautiful coastline of the capital Reykjavik as you look for this beautiful phenomenon of nature. When you look at the Northern Lights it seems to be as if Mother Nature is shooting fireworks and thereby lightening up the sky.
About the Northern Lights
These mysterious Northern Lights also known as the Aurora Borealis is an ancient subject of myths and scientific miracles that has remained immemorial till today. The aurora is said to set off on the surface of the sun when the solar activity ejects a cloud of gas. When this ejection of the cloud of gas collides with the magnetic field it leads to complex changes in the magnetic tail region thus generating currents of charged particles flowing into the Polar Regions. These particles when they collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the earth’s upper atmosphere yield a dazzling Aurora Borealis.
Our boat tour will take you off the coast of Reykjavik to witness the majestic Northern Lights as they sparkle in the night sky. This exclusive tour takes you off to a perfect spot where you get to admire the Auroras.
The Tour Itinerary
You will sail out from Reykjavik´s Old Harbour in our great boats. On this 2 hours boat tour, you will be accompanied by an experienced, friendly, and professional guide. In only about 15-20 minutes you will reach a prime location away from the city lights where it is perfect for viewing the Auroras. Your guide will share with you several facts on the science responsible for the magical phenomenon of the Northern Lights and narrate to you different stories and related myths. You are recommended to put on the free overalls provided to you that will help keep you nice and warm out on the deck.
The tour lasts for about 2-3 hours depending on when the lights appear. The ride will take you out of Reykjavik to Faxaflói Bay where the night sky is covered with stars. This boat ride offers excellent viewing areas on the outside deck and also a warm and cozy seating area inside where you can rest when it gets too cold outside.
In the heart of the sea, away from the pollution, you can get to see the Northern Lights in its most intense form. As you depart from shore under the dark night of the North Atlantic Ocean you get to experience the flowing, ever-changing colors of the Aurora Borealis.
The tour is dependent on the sea and weather conditions hence if the boat tour needs to be canceled due to unfavorable conditions, we then provide you with other interesting options. By chance, when the weather is good, but still you don’t get to catch the lights during your tour we will give you a complimentary ticket so that you can take our tour some other day to try again. We are committed to not to disturb the balance of the environment and hence ensure that fewer boats set out at a time on the water.
Book this 2-hour night tour to chase the Northern Lights while sailing into the ocean off the coast of Reykjavik which will turn out to be an unforgettable experience for you.
English Speaking Experience Northern Lights Guide & Expert
Northern Lights hunt
Heated indoor cabins with toilet facilities
Free Wi-Fi on board the boat
Warm flotation overalls
Every night is different when it comes to the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights Experts will find the best locations each night to watch the northern lights.
What to bring
Warm clothes – it gets cold during the night.
Good to know
- Seasickness tablets are available on the boat.
- You will have plenty of time to take some photographs of the northern lights.
- Light snacks, sandwiches, coffee, tea, beer and soft drinks are sold on board the boat.
- Pick up and drop off from hotels in Reykjavik are not included but can be added with extra charge. See booking engine.
- Pick-ups must be booked with a minimum of one hour before the tour departure time, all pick-ups booked after that will be discarded.
- All of our tours are subject to weather conditions and sightings cannot be guaranteed. We reserve the right to cancel the tour due to bad weather conditions.
- In case that you don’t see the Northern Lights, you can reschedule for another departure for free.
- Food and drinks are not included in the tour.
- The duration of the tour is normally around 2 – 2,5 hours.
- Find more Northern Lights tours here.
- Find more Northern Lights boat tours here.
Most frequent questions and answers
Pick up is not included on the tour but can be added with extra fee.
Due to regulations of Reykjavik City, tour companies are allowed to stop at certain designated bus stop locations in the city center to pick up passengers. You can find the pick up locations in the drop down menu when booking.
Check the booking engine to see if your accommodation is available for pick up. If not, find the closest designated pick up location on busstop.is
If the tour gets cancelled due to weather, we will help you rebook the tour or you will receive a full refund.
Yes, and you definitely should! The setting on the tour is full of amazing, scenic views.
This is, of course, a personal choice, we have often had pregnant women on our trips. This tour is listed as easy so if you do not feel uncomfortable with sitting on teh boat, this tour should be ideal for you.
If you are unfortunate enough to miss out on them on our tour, we offer you to rebook on to another evening. Details of how to rebook in case of no lights will be supplied by the guide.
The northern lights guide can help you with setting up your camera so you can capture the northern lights.
You can also read the article about How to photograph the Northern Lights in Iceland to be more specific on how to capture the northern lights on a photo.
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.
Our northern lights experts will be following the forecast all day to see if the northern lights are likely to show up or not. If the tour is cancelled, you will receive an email from us.
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.
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.
The Northern Lights season is 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, you will be able to see the Aurora Borealis from Reykjavik. However, the light pollution in Reykjavik will make the northern lights less visible so we always recommend that you travel out of the city to get the best views.
Whether you can see the lights or not depend on two different factors.
1 – Weather – if the sky is clear, no clouds, then you are halfway there to seeing the spectacular Northern Lights.
2 – Increased solar activity
If these two merge together you may well be able to see the Northern Lights from Reykjavik
Read more on seeing the northern lights from Reykjavik here.
No, it’s not necessary but it will increase your chances of getting the best view of the lights.
It can be hard to find where the northern lights are most likely to show up. The northern lights experts that will take you on the tours have years of experience when it comes to this. They will take you to the location where you are most likely to get the best possible view of the northern lights each night.