Destination Europe

Northern Lights Cruise from Reykjavik Old Harbour

Posted on
December 30, 2019

Seeing the Northern Lights is something that eluded us during our visit to Lapland, so when we booked our holiday to Iceland, we looked into various tours that would give us the best chance of seeing them.

Northern Lights are best displayed under dark, clear skies, so you need to be away from city lights. There are both coach and boat tours available and we decided upon a Northern Lights Cruise with Elding.

Obviously, it needs to be dark to see the Northern Lights, so it is worth bearing that in mind if you plan to see them with young children, as the boat doesn’t leave Reykjavik Old Harbour until 9pm.


Elding is a whale watching boat and you enter the boat through their museum, complete with the huge skeleton of a Minky Whale.

Minky Whale

There is a small waiting area where the kids can take part in fun activities before boarding the boat.


Once on board, there are plenty of heated cabins for you to sit, one with a small cafe area, or you can sit outside. Thermal suits are provided at no extra cost and children under the age of 12 are required to wear a life jacket.


The journey out of the harbour takes around 15-20 minutes to Faxaflói bay, which is nice and sheltered so there is not too much boat movement.


One of the first things you spot as a giant tower of light, reaching into the night sky.


The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor art work by Yoko Ono which was erected on Viðey island in 2007 in honour of John Lennon’s memory. It is lit every year on October 8, and it illuminates the sky until December 8, the date he was assassinated in 1980. The tower symbolises Lennon and Ono’s fight for peace and we found out that there are time capsules buried below it that will be opened on John’s 100th birthday in 2040.


Throughout the 2 hour tour, the knowledgable tour guide is talking to you about how and why the Northern Lights occur, whilst looking for the first glimpses in the sky. It all got a bit much for these two though!


Sadly, after two attempts to see them, the clouds stubbornly refused to disperse so we didn’t get to see them, but if the lights fail to make an appearance, Elding offer you the chance to try again, as many times as needed (within two years) to catch the show – at no extra cost! We did manage to spot some bioluminescent krill in the wake of the boat though.


I would recommend checking out before you travel as they not only give you a weather forecast, but also an Auroral activity forecast.

This video from Elding was taken the day we arrived in Iceland – if only we had a booked our Northern Lights Cruise for that day!!

Have you seen the Northern Lights?

  1. Reply


    December 30, 2019

    It’s one of my dreams to go and see the northern lights. I love the idea of going on a cruise too!

  2. Reply

    Cynthia | What A Girl Eats

    December 30, 2019

    I’ve always wanted to see the northern lights. This is definitely a bucket list trip!

  3. Reply

    Lees Garcia

    December 30, 2019

    Very cool and original cruise! I have never seen the Northern lights but this would be an amazing date night!

  4. Reply

    Catherine Santiago Jose

    December 31, 2019

    One of my biggest dream in life is to see the Northern Lights and giving a chance to go on a cruise and to see that is really a great great experience.

  5. Reply

    Bella and Dawn at Dear Mummy Blog

    December 31, 2019

    The Imagine Peace Tower looks amazing and we’d love to see that, hopefully one day we’ll get to see the Northern Lights without cloud cover and you will too x

  6. Reply


    December 31, 2019

    I think I’d be devastated not to see them but I am sure it makes for an amazing experience regardless.

    We have toyed with the idea of going for our honeymoon next Christmas but I’m not sure we will get away without the kids x

  7. Reply

    Jennifer Gladwin

    December 31, 2019

    What a shame you didn’t manage to see them again. It’s brilliant that they’ll allow to you to return until you do though.

  8. Reply

    Lisa Rios

    January 1, 2020

    I looove the northern lights, yet I’ve never seen them! I need to get up north somehow.

  9. Reply


    January 1, 2020

    I didn’t realize that tribute was there. That’s interesting to know. I liked him.

  10. Reply

    Yeah Lifestyle

    January 1, 2020

    I have not seen the northern lights in person before so enjoyed seeing the lights and colours on your video. Looks like a fabulous experience for you and family.

  11. Reply

    Eileen M Loya

    January 1, 2020

    I haven’t seen the Northern Lights but that is a dream that I should make into a reality in this lifetime. You had the best of both worlds – witnessing a beautiful natural phenomenon while on a cruise! Wow.

  12. Reply

    Ashley R

    January 1, 2020

    This looks absolutely gorgeous. The photos look unreal. I’m sure the pictures don’t even capture a fraction of how gorgeous it is in person.

  13. Reply


    January 1, 2020

    What a beautiful view and place to visit especially in the evening. Love it!

  14. Reply

    Lyndsey O'Halloran

    January 2, 2020

    It’s good you get to try again if you fail to see the lights. Sounds like a fun trip to do.

  15. Reply


    January 4, 2020

    I think its so awesome of them to offer you more chances to see the lights if the cloud covers too much the first time around. The boat sounds amazing, I love the heated cabins especially! The peace tower is beautiful, I didn’t know that even existed!

  16. Reply

    Laura Schwormstedt

    January 4, 2020

    Shame that it was cloudy but still what a cool cruise and such a fantastic experience fo the whole family

    Laura x

  17. Reply

    Lara | Grits in the City

    January 5, 2020

    I would love to see the Northern Lights. What an amazing view!

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog