Skip to Content
4 Glacier Boat Tours in Iceland: A Comprehensive Roundup

4 Glacier Boat Tours in Iceland: A Comprehensive Roundup

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

From epic zodiac iceberg tours to breathtaking glacier lagoon trips, here are the best glacier boat tours in Iceland.

Whether you’re an adventure traveler looking to squeeze in every slice of Iceland’s natural wonders, or you’re on a short visit and want to tick off yet another epic bucket list goal, you’ll want to experience a glacier boat tour.

With 269 named glaciers in Iceland, it’s safe to say that there are many to explore. However, in terms of boat tours, you’ll want to visit Iceland’s glacial lagoons. The two most well-known are Jökulsárlón and Sólheimajökull both offering breathtaking views.

Book: My top tour is the unique Glacier Kayaking Tour that has you kayaking next to the huge floating icebergs!

I’ve created this detailed guide rounding up the top 4 glacier boat tours in Iceland, including up-close-and-personal zodiac boat trips and kayaking experiences to help you plan your dream adventure.

Iceberg in an icelandic glacial lake
Views across the Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

Small Boat Glacier Lagoon Tours

1. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach

This guided tour departs from a meeting point in Reykjavik and takes you to the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon. Along the way, you'll make a few stops at Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, and Skaftafell National Park.

Once you arrive at the famous Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, you can either walk along the shores or hop on a boat trip (if you select that option). You will watch as 1,000-year-old icebergs break away from the Vatnajökull glacier and float on the water next to you.

On the way back, you'll stop off at the famous Diamond Beach and admire the gorgeous chunks of ice glistening on the black sand.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and diamond beach
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

2. South Coast and Glacier Lagoon: Jökulsárlón with Boat Tour from Reykjavik

If you're looking for an Iceland glacier lagoon boat tour that takes you along the south coast, this is it!

After being picked up from your accommodation in Reykjavik, your English-speaking guide will take you to spend the day exploring some of the best sights in the country.

Your first stop of the day is the famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This lagoon is Iceland's largest and deepest glacial lagoon. It branches from Breidamerkurjokull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier. While there, you can take in the floating icebergs and the spectacular scenery.

On your way back to Reykjavik, you'll stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall, visit Diamond Beach, and have dinner in Vík, Iceland's southernmost village.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon full-day trip
Boat tour on the jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

Tip: Remember to book your boat cruise in advance so you are guaranteed to see the beautiful icebergs up close.

3. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Boat Tour from Reykjavik

For the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Boat Tour, you will be picked up from your hotel in Reykjavik and taken to Skaftafell National Park. Once there, you will hop on a boat and cruise along Jökulsárlón Lagoon for 30-40 minutes to admire the huge icebergs.

On your way back to Reykjavik along the Ring Road, you'll stop at the waterfalls of Stjórnarfoss and Seljalandsfoss, some of the most beautiful natural wonders in southeast Iceland.

You will then stop off in Vík, the southernmost point of Iceland which is also a great place to stay. You will see the black sand beaches and sea stacks off the coast before being dropped off in the capital city of Reykjavik.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon & boat tour from reykjavik
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Unique Glacier Kayaking Tours in Iceland

4. Kayaking on the Sólheimajökull Glacier Lagoon

Finally, one of the best glacier boat tours in Iceland will take place on a kayak!

Your tour will begin when you meet your local guide at the Sólheimajökull parking lot. From there, you will be geared up and ready to hop in your kayak and glide along Sólheimajökull Glacier Lagoon.

Once on the lagoon, you'll be immediately immersed in a world of iceberg-filled waters with spectacular views of Sólheimajökull Glacier, which can only be seen from the water.

After a few hours of paddling along the water, you'll head back to the shore.

Kayaking by the glacier
Kayaking on Sólheimajökull Glacier Lagoon

What are the Best Glacier Lagoons for a Boat Tour in Iceland?

With over 269 named glaciers in Iceland, these great frozen features cover 11% of the country's total land area. However, not all ice caps, outlet glaciers, and mountain glaciers have a large glacial lake to explore.

Below are the two best glacial lagoons in Iceland that you can take a boat tour.

  1. Sólheimajökull Glacier Lagoon - Located in southeast Iceland, Sólheimajökull is an outlet glacier of the Mýrdalsjökull icecap. Exploring the Sólheimajökull Glacier Lagoon is a unique experience as you can only see the Sólheimajökull Glacier from the water.
  2. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon - Also located in southeast Iceland, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of the country's deepest lakes and holds floating icebergs that are over 1,000 years old. The lagoon connects with the Atlantic Ocean, so it's composed of sea and freshwater, giving it its unique color.

Book: Looking to explore more of Iceland's frozen attractions? Don't miss these incredible ice cave tours!

Visiting glacial lake in iceland
Olly looking cold on a Glacier Tour

My Tour Selection Process

  • Tour Criteria: I only choose high-value tours run by experienced guides with high safety & sustainability standards. I look for variety, locations, price, reviews, & accessibility.
  • My Experience: After traveling extensively in Iceland & booking many tours myself, I've handpicked the best glacier boat tours in Iceland that offer great value for money.
  • Top Reviews: All tours on this list have earned a high customer rating of at least 4/5 stars on travel sites like Viator & GetYourGuide. I have included links to book the best price for each tour.
  • Local Insights: I've met many locals, tour guides, & travelers during my time in Iceland. Many options on this list come directly from recommendations given to me on the road.

Read more about how I review & select tours & experiences.

Years Traveling
Olly gaspar

I'm Olly, a full-time traveler since 2018. Each tour in this guide is handpicked by me. Read my travel review ethics statement.

Where to Stay Near Iceland's Glacier Lagoons

Looking for great accommodation picks in Iceland? Below are three cool places to stay near the country's epic glacial lagoons.

Sólheimahjáleiga guesthouse with grassland surrounding landscapes

1. Sólheimahjáleiga Guesthouse

Just a short 10-minute drive to Sólheimajökull Glacier Lagoon this guesthouse farm stay offers beautiful gardens, large bedrooms, and free parking.

Bedroom suite at ekra glacier lagoon

2. Ekra Glacier Lagoon

A great base for those wanting to explore Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Featuring rooms that cater to small groups, free WiFi, and private parking.

Bedroom suite with spectacular views at fosshotel glacier lagoon

3. Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

A luxurious choice that offers breathtaking views over the surrounding landscapes with large windows and private hot tubs. A great restaurant and bar are located on-site.

FAQs About Iceland's Glacier Boat Tours

Which glacier lagoon in Iceland is the best?

While there are many beautiful glacier lagoons in Iceland, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is the most famous. It's known for its glistening icebergs, magnificent seal colonies, and beautiful views of the adjacent glacier. My personal favorite is the Kayaking Tour (If you consider this a boat) as it gives a unique and different perspective!

How do I get to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon?

The best way to get to the glacier lagoon is by hiring a car, bus tour, or joining a guided boat tour. If you join a guided boat ride, you will get to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Iceland glacier lake

I hope this detailed guide has helped you find Iceland's best glacier boat tour. While you're here, don't miss my other detailed guides for more adventure inspiration, ideas, and accommodation tips.

If you're staying in Reykjavik and looking for a great day trip, start with this roundup of the best Golden Circle tours!

Iceland glacier boat tours
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.