Spreading a culture of “eco” tourism
Iceland’s wilderness is unique in many ways, perhaps most of all because it remains largely intact and undisturbed. This is a result of centuries of little population living in isolated harmony with their environment. Today, things are changing, quickly and irreversibly. Explosive growth in adventure tourism and local economic ambitions are putting Iceland's fragile environment under unprecedented and dangerous strain. There are few environmental laws to regulate the ways in which companies practice, and fewer authorities to enforce them. Today, Iceland's wilderness depends greatly on industry leaders to maintain a culture of environmental integrity by setting good examples. At Viking Rafting, we recognize and honour our responsibility to lead by example. We see sound environmental practice as a part of our commitment to setting and maintaining the highest professional standards within Iceland's whitewater industry.
Practicing what we preach
Our daily practices include filtering our trash to remove reusables, recyclables, and compost. In doing so, we minimizing our contribution of unwelcome black plastic bags to the environment. We keep all of our old and broken river equipment to use for spare parts and art projects... have you met Eddy?! We repair all of our equipment on site, and have even begun to design and produce some of our own gear. Where possible, we use reclaimed wood and salvaged materials in building projects before purchasing them new. We source almost all of the meat we serve (and consume ourselves) from local farms, and are working towards doing the same with our produce. We keep our vehicle use to a minimum by sticking to a fixed trip schedule and by sharing our long-distance shuttle service with other companies. We avoid installing unsightly toilet trailers or advertising billboards in the otherwise pristine river canyon. Most importantly we strive for ongoing improvement in our knowledge and our ways. To perpetuate the cycle of awareness and good practice, we partner with like-minded companies and promote those we know share similar environmental values.
Sharing a love for our wild playground
A paddler's relationship with the river is one that few others can truly understand. Our love, respect, and commitment to our natural environment was our lifestyle long before it became our "policy".
In our daily lives on the river, Mother Nature reigns supreme— she seduces us with her beauty, awes us with her might, and charms us with her style. What she often fails to show us is how vulnerable she really is and how much our actions hurt her. She depends on those who know her best to help others understand her needs. Here we recognize our duty to educate and inspire every one of our guests through one-of-a-kind whitewater experiences. In this way we strive to play a powerful role in raising awareness, shaping attitudes, and improving the ways in which we interact with nature.
Why do we care so much?
Paddling was once our passion before it was our business. Today, it still is.