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RIB Boat Tour Along Reykjavík Coastline

Disclaimer: The tour operator does not refer to the tour as a ritual and there is no guarantee that you will get sideways rain (or hail shower) in the face nor wet dried fish on the tour, as weather conditions vary.

We went on a RIB boat tour in the capital area the other day. The tour started by the harbor in Kópavogur, close to Sky Lagoon, and was operated by a new family run company (RIB Adventures), that started offering RIB boat tours in the capital area late last year, meaning this year is the first full season they have. The RIB boat tours are available from approximately April to October.

Sky Lagoon has become known for their seven step ritual, which consists of these steps:

  1. Relax in the lagoon and breathe in the ocean air
  2. Take a cold plunge to awaken your senses
  3. Open pores, cleanse your skin and remove toxins in the sauna
  4. Step through energizing cold mist
  5. Exfoliate your skin with their signature Sky Body Scrub
  6. Relax in 46° C steam to allow your body to take in the final healing steps
  7. Close your eyes, feel the results and cherish the moment in a refreshing shower

Inspired by the Sky Lagoon ritual, we started our own little ritual for the upcoming boat journey. The first step was breathing in the ocean air on the harbor and cherishing this window of relatively calm weather between storms. Our senses were fully awakened and excited to embark on this adventure on the waves at speed. 

Dark clouds gathering over Bessastaðir
Dark clouds gathering over Bessastaðir. Photo: Gudmundur F. Magnusson

After stopping the boat for a moment by the coast of Álftanes, by the residence of the president of Iceland (Bessastaðir), the captain revved up the engine for the second step of the ritual and we were bumping over the waves at increasing speed towards the horizon, shaking out toxins from our bodies. 


Then he took direction towards the coast of Seltjarnarnes and it was interesting to see the city from this angle, different from walking, cycling or driving within the city and also different from the bird’s eye view from the volcano helicopter tour that we tried recently. 

After Seltjarnarnes, the captain sped up again, heading towards Fossvogur, the bay between Reykjavík and Kópavogur, around Nauthólsvík. There, it was time for the third step of the ritual, a stop with some snacks and refreshments, harðfiskur (dried fish) with butter, drinks and healing energy at the front of the boat. The weather was alright, overcast and dry but we could see the sun hiding far away with its crepuscular rays by the horizon, symbolising distant hope that maybe one day, the sun would bless us with its full presence again.

Pit stop for some refreshments
Pit stop for some refreshments. Photo: Monika Kosińska

We started the fourth and last step of the ritual when it suddenly started to rain heavily and the dried fish instantly turned into wet soggy fish, the crew quickly packed the refreshments and the captain rushed the boat back towards the harbor in Vesturvör. The rain and hail shower hit us hard in the face due to the speed, opening our pores and cleansing our skin (albeit in a rougher way than Sky Lagoon). 

When we passed by Sky Lagoon, its guests started waving at us, not realizing that they were disturbing us in the middle of the most important step of our ritual, where we were exfoliating our skin with signature Icelandic sideways precipitation. But being polite as we are, we did our best to look up from the ritual to wave back at them. Sideways rain and wind from all directions simultaneously are the main reasons why umbrellas generally don’t work in Iceland, they will usually just break and/or fly away.

Below, you can see before and after photos from the tour and the ritual to better understand the effects:

Before, excited and high on fresh ocean air
At the beginning of the ritual, excited and high on fresh ocean air
After the ritual, feeling reborn
After the ritual, feeling reborn and cherishing the moment 

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