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Top 4 Glacier Boat Tours in Iceland: A Comprehensive Roundup

Top 4 Glacier Boat Tours in Iceland: A Comprehensive Roundup

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 in the land of Fire and Ice, you’ll want to experience a glacier boat tour.

With 269 named glaciers in Iceland, it’s safe to say that there are a fair few 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.

But, with so many boat tours available, picking the best trip for you can be daunting. That’s why 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
Olly gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.

Small Boat Glacier Lagoon Tours

1. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach

Looking for a great glacier lagoon Iceland boat tour? This one may be right for you!

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). Along the way, marvel 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

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 you're there, you can marvel at the floating icebergs and take in the spectacular scenery. Remember to book your boat cruise in advance so you are guaranteed to see the beautiful icebergs up close.

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

3. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Boat Tour from Reykjavik

This Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Boat Tour from Reykjavik is one of the best iceberg boat tours in Iceland for a day trip.

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

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

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

There are over 269 named glaciers in Iceland, with these great frozen features covering 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 on.

  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.

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

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

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 the most famous. It's known for its glistening icebergs, magnificent seal colonies, and beautiful views of the adjacent glacier.

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

More Iceland Travel & Adventure Guides

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 travel blogger & photographer. Traveling non-stop since 2018, I've published over 600 travel guides on We Seek Travel. These draw on my personal experience to share unique itineraries, accommodation tips, & fun adventure guides covering hikes, viewpoints, beaches, waterfalls, & tours. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

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