Jokulsarlon Boat Tour
Jump aboard this incredible boat trip in one of the world’s most inspiring places: the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Cruise between the marvellous icebergs that make this site so beautiful and well-renowned.
To begin this tour, you will meet at the cafe at Jökulsárlón twenty minutes before your departure, where you can exchange your vouchers for boat tickets. From here, you will proceed to board the amphibious vessel on land and wait for it to drive into the water.
No doubt, before getting aboard, you will have been marvelling at the spectacle of Jökulsárlón. When immersed in the lagoon, however, with the icebergs surrounding you from all angles, you will experience a different kind of beauty; this otherworldly environment is simply breathtaking.
You will spend forty minutes exploring the lagoon. There will be an English-speaking guide on board who will tell you all about the area's formation, history and future. You will even have an opportunity to taste the ice; considering it is thought to be about a thousand years old, this is quite the unique experience.
As you cruise through the lagoon, keep an eye out for seals. Many of these adorable creatures call Jökulsárlón home, and they can often be seen playing in the water or basking on the bergs.
The glacier lagoon is considered by many to be the most beautiful sight in Iceland, and an amphibious boat is one of the best ways to view it in all its glory. Once the tour is complete, however, do not forget to take a walk to the Diamond Beach to see where the bergs wash up after reaching the sea. A full day could be spent exploring this area, but the boat tour is sure to be the highlight.
Do not miss your opportunity to see Jökulsárlón from amongst the ancient ice. Book now to make sure you get your place on board. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: May. - Sep.
- Activities: Sightseeing, Boat Trip
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English
- Highlights: Jökulsárlón
Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s most famous glacier lagoon. Conveniently located in the southeast by Route 1, about halfway between the Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Höfn, it is a popular stop for those travelling along the South Coast or around the circular ring road of the country.
It stands out, however, due to the fact that it also fills with icebergs breaking from the glacier, some of which tower several stories high.
These icebergs, other than their scale, are notable for their colouration. Although they are, as expected, largely white, most are also dyed electric blue in part, with black streaks of ash from eruptions centuries past.
When the icebergs finally make it across the lagoon, they either drift out to sea or wash up on the nearby shore. Because of the way they glisten against the black sands of Breiðamerkursandur, this area has been nicknamed ‘the Diamond Beach’.
In spite of being a rather recent formation, Jökulsárlón is the deepest lake in the country, with depths reaching 248 metres. With a surface area of 18 square kilometres, it is also growing to be one of the largest.
Jökulsárlón has not been around since Iceland’s settlement; it only formed around 1935. This was due to rapidly rising temperatures in the country from the turn of the twentieth century; since 1920, Breiðamerkurjökull has been shrinking at a dramatic rate, and the lagoon has begun to fill its space.
Today, the expansion of Jökulsárlón is accelerating. As recently as 1975, it was just 8 square kilometres, and now that size has more than doubled.
In the relatively near future, it is expected that the lagoon will continue to grow until it becomes a large, deep fjord.
Though a dark omen for Iceland’s glaciers and ice caps in general, the retreat of Breiðamerkurjökull has resulted in an incredibly beautiful, if temporary, site. This has not been overlooked by Hollywood.
Jökulsárlón has been featured in the James Bond films A View to Kill in 1985 and Die Another Day in 2002, 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and 2005’s Batman Begins.
In 2017, Jökulsárlón was enveloped into the Vatnajökull National Park, thus it is now fully protected by Icelandic law.
Because of the wealth of herring and capelin that the tides bring into the lagoon, Jökulsárlón is somewhat of a hot-spot for Iceland’s wildlife.
In summer, it is a nesting site for Arctic Terns; stay well away from this area, as these birds are notorious for the fierceness with which they protect their eggs, dive-bombing the heads of any they see as a threat. Skuas also nest on the lake’s shores in this season.
Seals can be reliably spotted here throughout the year, swimming amongst or else hauling out on the icebergs. Jökulsárlón provides them with a safe haven to rest and socialise, especially considering the waters of southeast Iceland are renowned for their population of orcas.
Departure time : 09:40, 10:40, 11:20, 12:20, 12:30, 13:20, 15:50, 16:20, 17:20, 18:10
What to bring:
Good to know:
Please be at the Jökulsárlón café minimum 20 minutes before your departure to check in and exchange your vouchers for boat tickets.