Northern Lights Cruise Deluxe
Enjoy this 3-hour evening cruise with Harpa Yachts departing from Reykjavík Old Harbour in search of the natural phenomenon we call Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis.
On this tour, we encounter many other interesting sights. We cruise along the beautiful coastline and enjoy the city lights from a different view! While our main goal in this tour is to see the Northern Lights we can enjoy the clean ocean breeze and gaze at the starry night sky while we wait. When particles from the sun hit earth’s atmosphere it creates a bright light with colours fluctuating in hues of green to red to sometimes purple.
We get to see Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre from another angle. Along the coastline we see the art sculpture Sun Voyager, a dream boat and an ode to the sun and the famous house Höfði, where the agreement to end the Cold War was signed in 1986.
Our experienced crew will keep an eye out for the Aurora Borealis activity to find the best route, while you enjoy the scenery from the vast darkness behind the small island in Faxaflói bay. Among them is one of Iceland’s most famous Islands, Viðey, where the Imagine Peace Tower by Yoko Ono’s lights up the night sky from October 9th – December 8th and few other days.
If it gets chilly you can wrap around you a warm blanket or purchase a hot beverage from our onboard shop where we offer a selection of light refreshments. This deluxe cruise offers a more personal service and less crowded scenery with fewer passengers. We recommend booking in advance because we limit group size to no more than 35 passengers to enhance customer satisfaction. On board, you will find information and educational multimedia about the Northern Lights. The vessel is very stable and spacious which is convenient when taking photos.
Check the availability by pressing 'Choose a date' and join us for a mesmerising cruise!
- Available: Oct. - Apr.
- Duration: 2,5 hours
- Activities: Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Northern lights hunting, Cultural Activity
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English
Faxafloi is a large bay in the southwest of Iceland, located between the peninsulas Snaefellsnes (to the north) peninsula and Reykjanes (to the south).
The main fjords of the bay are Borgarfjordur, Hvalfjordur, Kollafjordur and Hafnarfjordur. Some of Iceland's largest towns are located by the bay and Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, lies on its southeastern shore.
Faxafloi bay is popular for whale- and birdwatching, sea angling and has great fishing grounds. In Kollafjordur is Videy Island, featuring the Lennon/One Peacetower, Richard Scerra's 'Milestones' and other attractions, along with great birdlife. The mountain ring seen from the bay, among which Snaefellsjokull glacier may be spotted on clear days, is particularly beautiful.
From the Skarfabakki pier at Sundahofn harbour in Reykjavik (around 5 km from the center) you can take a ferry to Videy island in Kollafjordur bay.
Videy is best known internationally as the location for the Imagine Peace Tower, envisioned and built by Yoko Ono, widow of musician and ex-Beatle John Lennon. Videy had a monastery in the Middle Ages and Skuli Magnusson, often called 'the father of Reykjavik' resided here. His house, Videyjarstofa, now displays paintings by renowned Icelandic artists.
A great sculpture by one of the world's most renowned sculptors can be found on the west side of the island, Richard Serra's Milestones.
Videy is an important historical site and has beautiful nature, with spectacular rock formations along its coast. Over 30 bird species breed on the island.
Many well-known Icelanders rest in the island's graveyard, among them the great author Gunnar Gunnarsson, who wrote such masterworks as Fjallkirkjan ('The Church on the Mountain'), Svartfugl (The Black Cliffs) and Adventa ( The Good Shepherd).
The Sun Voyager (Sólfarið) is a large steel sculpture of a ship, located at Sæbraut by the seaside of central Reykjavík. The work is one of the most visited sights in the capital, where people gather daily to gaze at the sun reflecting in the stainless steel of this remarkable monument.
The sculpture serves as an ode to the sun where it gracefully faces north across Faxaflói Bay. A popular misconception is that the Sun Voyager represents a Viking Ship. However, that is not quite the case. According to the sculptor’s vision, the piece rather accounts for a vessel of dreams; a premonition of the promise land, a plight for hope, pursuit, progress and freedom.
The sculptor is Jón Gunnar Árnason, who described his vision as one of the possible origins of the Icelandic people. When Jón visited the island of Bockholm in Finland, he claimed to have experienced an uncanny feeling that he’d been there before, many centuries ago.
The story goes that as ancient explorers from the centre of the known world set out to the four different cardinal directions, some set out towards the rising sun and made port at Mongolia. There, they settled down, until discovering the scribes of the explorers from the original journey who had ventured out west. With the discovery of another fatherland, the people yet again set sail, but this time they headed back towards the setting sun. After having followed the sun for years, they eventually ended up on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
When Jón was looking out to sea from Bockholm, he envisioned a vessel of dreams that would take him the rest of the way home; to the newfound promise land of the setting sun. He carved his vision into a granite rock by the sea, and thus the sun ship was born in his mind.
- Learn more about the origins of the Icelandic people here: Where did Icelanders come from?
- Get acquainted with the whales of Faxafló Bay on this Whale Watching Tour from Reykjavík.
As the city of Reykjavík celebrated its 200-year anniversary in 1986, the town council of Vesturbær held a competition for works of exterior art. The Sun Voyager was deemed as the winner, and an aluminium prototype was donated to the city of Reykjavík. In August 1990, shortly after the death of Jón Gunnar, the final piece was revealed at its current location by Sæbraut.
The site of the sculpture was considerably disputed. Many have pointed out the fallacy in the ship’s mast facing north, as opposed to west; to adhere to the original concept behind the artist’s vision. Jón originally wanted the ship to be situated in the western part of Reykjavík, or by the coastline of Ánanaust. Eventually, and with the artist’s consent, the small headland on Sæbraut got chosen. Although the headland has no name, the artist comically referred to it as Jónsnes—or Jón’s Peninsula.
- Visit the Sun Voyager and other Reykjavík Landmarks on this walking tour with a local guide.
- See a full list of Reykjavík Tours here, for exciting adventures that set out from the capital.
Below, you can see a time-lapse video of a day in the life of the Sun Voyager sculpture.
Harpa is Rekjavík’s premier concert hall and conference centre. Opened in 2011, it was designed by a collaboration between Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, and the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects.
The idea for a purpose-built concert hall in Reykjavík had been tossed around since the 1880s, but it wasn't until this millennium that it began to gain traction. Construction finally began in 2007.
It’s future, however, was left uncertain in the wake of the financial crash of 2008, when it was left partially constructed and the funds to finish it were lacking. The Icelandic populace was divided between having a half-finished construction site facing their downtown or spending money no-one was sure they had.
The Icelandic government, however, decided that it was the only building in the country that warranted being raised, in spite of the dubious future of the economy, and fully financed its completion.
- Find out more with Nanna's blog on Harpa
Harpa won the prestigious Mies van de Rohe award in 2013, otherwise known as the European Prize for Contemporary Architecture, and is featured heavily in any tour of the city. Its structure is beautiful and unique; it has a facade of 714 glass panels, all of which are a different shape and built with an LED light that allows for shows whenever the sky is dark.
Olafur Eliasson is world-renowned for his large-scale installation art, and for the influences he takes from the natural world. This is clearly exhibited in Harpa; it reflects the basalt landscapes of Iceland and the dark coloured glass creates beautiful effects with the natural light.
Studio Olafur Eliasson employs 90 people, from architects to graphic designers, craftsmen to art historians. Based in Berlin, they work across the world, and are well-known for works such as London's 2007 Serpentine Gallery Pavillion and the annual event Life is Space.
Henning Larsen Architects are similarly successful. They have collaborated on the construction of dozens of buildings in over twenty countries, such as the Copenhagen Opera House and Uppsala Concert Hall in Sweden. They are currently working on the creation of thirteen buildings around the world, many of which they scored the opportunity to work on due to their competition-winning designs.
Today, Harpa is one of the jewels in Reykjavík’s crown. The hall hosts exhibitions, concerts, cultural events, meetings, and festivals such as Airwaves, Sónar and the Reykjavík Fashion Festival. Home of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and the offices of the Icelandic Opera, it is a centre of culture in Iceland’s capital.
Many internationally known artists from around the world have performed here, including people such as Eddie Izzard and Cyndi Lauper. It also regularly showcases native talent, such as Björk and Of Monsters and Men.
- Find out more about the Music of Iceland
Below, you can see a video showing Harpa's construction.
Starting time : 20:15 21:15,
Please note that hotel & guesthouse pick-up starts approx. 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
Inside & Outside Area
Café & Souvenirs Shop
Hotel & Guesthouse Pickup
What to bring:
Good to know:
Our crew follows the daily weather forecast and a decision is made everyday around 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm if the tour will be able to operate. All passengers, hotels and booking offices are notified via email.
We recommend to dress in warm clothes as the weather can change quickly.