FAQ’s − River Trips

The first thing you need to know about our trip is that we give you a DRY SUIT! This incredible piece of gear should keep you 95% dry during your rafting trip, but they will NOT keep warm! There is nothing tropical about our river or environment. The water we will be rafting on is fed directly by a Glacier, so its very COLD. The key to being happy on the river is to stay warm. We strongly encourage you to bring multiple layers; tops, bottoms, and socks to keep you feeling comfortable while rafting. If you bring the correct clothing, you be cold at all. What do we mean exactly? Let us explain…
What to Wear on the River
⦁ Thermal underwear / base layers
⦁ Warm fleece top / wool sweater
⦁ Fleece pants / extra long johns
⦁ Thick wool socks / hiking socks (at least 1 pair)
⦁ AVOID COTTON. As you are paddling down the river you are going to sweat.
When cotton gets wet, it makes you cold.
⦁ Fleece, wool, and synthetics are the best materials to wear because when
they get wet, they keep your body warm. If you only have cotton, we can still make it work!

All clothing worn on the river should be of a material that keeps its insulating ability when wet. We highly recommend fleece, wool, and synthetic materials. DO NOT WEAR COTTON, so NOT your jeans and favourite hoodie!

WHAT ELSE TO BRING
⦁ Dry clothes for after the river
⦁ Any necessary medications (asthma inhalers, etc.)
⦁ Waterproof camera (optional)
⦁ Thirst for adventure & sense of humour!

Please trust us when we say that the river can be the worst of all thieves, and that any valuables you bring with you on the raft (cameras, sunglasses, laptops, etc.), are likely to disappear to the bottom of the rapids when you are fully distracted and least expecting it. Trust us, we’ve learned our lesson too many times, and we’ll do our very best to avoid saying “I told you so”! Hide your valuables somewhere that you can find them safe and dry after your trip.

– All rafting equipment: drysuit, PFD, helmet, booties, gloves
– IRF and WAFA certified, professional raft guides and safety kayakers
– Transportation between our rafting base and the river
– Riverside refreshments (hot chocolate on all trips, food on East trips)
– Iceland’s ultimate rafting experience!

Each and every one our Trip Leaders, Guides, and Safety Kayakers hold the following certifications:

– International Rafting Federation (IRF) Award, meaning that they meet internationally-recognized industry standards in professional knowledge, skills, and experience (for more information on IRF standards, click here)

– Advanced Wilderness First Aid or higher

– Swiftwater Rescue Technician Level 1 or higher

– Many other country-specific qualifications in professional river guiding and instruction (UK, New Zealand, Canada, etc.)

GRADE 1: EASY
Fast moving water with very small waves and without obstructions. Passages are obvious and easily navigated. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.

GRADE 2: NOVICE
Simple rapids with regular small waves, easy eddies, and gradual bends. Wide, clear channels make navigating easy without scouting. Little manoeuvering is required, and rocks and obstructions are easily avoidable. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated Class II+.

GRADE 3: INTERMEDIATE
Rapids with strong currents, large waves, powerful hydraulics, and obstructions that may be difficult to avoid. Controlled manoeuvres are often required to navigate, although passages are simple and have relatively little objective danger. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Rapids at the lower and upper end of this difficulty range are designated Grade 3- and Grade 3+ respectively.

Grade 4: ADVANCED
Difficult yet predictable rapids with large, irregular waves, boiling eddies, powerful hydraulics, steeper gradient, and some unavoidable obstructions. Passages are often difficult to recognize, and require precise boat control and skillful manoeuvering to navigate. Scouting is likely necessary for safe passage, and self-rescue is difficult. Rapids at the lower and upper end of this difficulty range are designated Grade 4- and Grade 4+ respectively.

GRADE 5: EXPERT
Long, powerful, obstructed, and unpredictable rapids that expose paddlers to significant danger. Rapids are steep with large, unavoidable waves and major hydraulics, congested chutes, and many obstructions. Complex, demanding routes require precise boat control, “must make” moves, and a high level of mental and physical fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, and difficult to reach. Scouting is necessary but may be difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is often difficult even for experts. Proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential.

GRADE 6: EXTREME
All previous difficulties increased to the absolute limit of practicability, suitable for teams of specially prepared experts only. Runs of this classification are rarely attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible.

First of all, let us congratulate you on your bravery for considering a rafting trip! The main reason we recommend being able to swim is that swimmers are generally more comfortable in the water and less likely to panic if they fall overboard. You will be wearing a high-flotation buoyancy aid on your rafting trip, so an ability to swim is not essential for staying afloat. However, on East Glacial River trips, there is a greater chance of falling out of the raft and swimming may be necessary to get back to the boat or to avoid dangers in the river, so we recommend being able to swim if you want to raft on our Whitewater Action trip.

Yes

Statistically rafting is safer than most things we do, including driving our cars, walking up and down stairs, and probably even eating lunch. Rafting often gets stereotyped as an “extreme sport” because it is an exciting outdoor-adventure activity. What this means is that it is subject to the unpredictabilities of nature and its outcomes cannot be guaranteed. That being said, the rivers we raft are very familiar to us and safety is always our number one priority. We do not hesitate to cancel or discontinue a trip if the level of risk becomes too high. We prepare all participants with thorough instruction and safety briefings as well as with the best personal safety equipment (helmets, buoyancy aids, and drysuits) and guides in the industry.

That depends on many things, including your sense of adventure, age, fitness, time, budget, etc. If you are 18 years of age and are coming to satisfy any kind of craving for adventure, regardless of previous experience, then our Whitewater Action trip on the East Glacial River is where you should be. This trip takes you through some of the most beautiful and pristine river wilderness in Iceland, some of Europe’s best whitewater, and one of the world’s most remote rafting day trips! For those traveling with little ones as young as 6, with crippling phobias of water or equally good reasons to want to stay “dry”, who still wish to explore beautiful river scenery and smaller splashes, our Family Rafting trip on the West Glacial River is perfect for you too! If you’re looking to take on the next level of adventure, then be sure to check out our 3-Day Rafting Expedition on the East Glacial River for one of this planet’s greatest short rafting expeditions!

Light refreshments are included on all of our rafting trips. On the Whitewater Action trip on the East Glacial River, you will have the very unique opportunity to visit a place we like to call the “Extreme Waffle Café”. Immediately after conquering the biggest rapid on the river, you paddle over to the shore and and indulge in a tasty spread of freshly baked waffles, homemade jam, whipped cream, and hot chocolate, all courtesy of the local farmer above the canyon! On our Family Rafting trip on the West Glacial River, you get to enjoy some tasty hot chocolate which we mix directly out of a riverside hot spring! If you are still hungry, either before or after your trip, we have snacks and a “Lunch/Dinner of the Day” available for sale at our base.

We raft on remote glacial rivers in northern Iceland, so generally speaking, yes! But that doesn’t mean that you have to be. We spend a lot of time and effort preparing for our trips and part of that is making sure that you are properly equipped. We (and only a handful of other rafting operators in the world) provide you with drysuits for the river, which allows us to raft safely and comfortably in all conditions. We also supply you with neoprene gloves and booties to make sure your hands and feet are as happy as the rest of you! It is up to you to bring adequate warm clothing to wear from head-to-toe underneath the drysuits (thermal underwear, fleece/wool/synthetic layers are best; cotton is not).

We often take photos, but very seldom videos. On trips with a photographer, we will play a slideshow of trip photos on the big screen at the bar when we get back to our base. Those who wish to take home a copy will have the opportunity to charm our photographer into letting them do so! Should you wish to arrange photos in advance, please let us know and we will make sure to have a photographer along on the trip.