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Frequently Asked Questions and Useful Information

Where do you pick up from?

Pick-ups are included in the tour prices and are provided from designated bus stops, hotels, hostels and guesthouses in Reykjavik. Please be ready at the beginning of the pick up time or you may miss your bus, as we must not delay other customers.

Due to restrictions regarding driving/parking in downtown Reykjavík, we pick up from designated bus stops or ask you to meet us at a nearby hotel where we can pick you up. Find your accommodation from the drop-down list on the booking form. If it says „meet us at… „, please meet us at that specified pick up location. If it does NOT say „meet us at…“, we will pick you up directly from your accommodation. If your accommodation is not listed at all (airbnb, private addresses, etc.), please e-mail us at info@gtice.is, and we‘ll figure out the best pick up location for you.

Please note we do NOT pick up from neighborhood towns such as Hafnarfjörður, Kópavogur, Seltjarnarnes, Garðabær, Mosfellsbær, and others. This is due to the driving time to these locations, guides would not be able to complete the pick ups within the given time frame. If you are staying there, we kindly ask you to get to downtown Reykjavik by yourself and meet us e.g. at BSI bus station.

Please be ready outside the hotel or in a lobby at the beginning of the pick up time.

Pick-up times are given in the tours’ descriptions and generally take 30 minutes (up to 45 minutes for the Northern Lights tours). However, due to traffic conditions or having to locate other guests, pick ups may take longer.

Please make sure you do not board another company’s van or coach. Some do not check your voucher, and if you are not at the designated pick up location, we must not delay other customers.

Drop-offs are provided at the same places as pick ups unless otherwise arranged with the driver/guides.

Can we do Northern Lights tour after a day tour? Is there enough time?

It depends when the pickup time for the Northern Lights is. If 8:30 PM and later, you can easily go on Hot Golden Circle, South Shore Adventure and Snæfellsnes tour (you might not have enough time to go for a dinner, just grab something quick). If the Northern Lights tour’s pickup starts at 8:00 PM you will make it in time after Hot Golden Circle, but it can be tight after South Shore Adventure, and most likely you would not be back in time from Snæfellsnes tour. Glacier Lagoon tour collides with Northern Lights tour in all cases.

Will the Northern Lights tour be operated tonight or in upcoming days?

We have to make the decisions day by day as the weather forecast changes a lot in Iceland. We will make the decision about each night after the updates in the late afternoon, latest 6:30 PM, afterwards you can check our website – we post it on the front page, or give us a call.

How do we pay for the tours?

Payments

Payments are collected online while booking. We accept major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard. If you have problems with using American Express, please contact us by email.

What about food on tours?

On every day tour (not a Northern Lights tour), we make refreshment stops at cafés or restaurants, where you can purchase your lunch and snacks. Therefore you do not need to bring your own food for the tours. Please note that food is not included in the price of the tours.

Can I get vegetarian meals on tours?

Nearly all restaurants in Iceland offer vegetarian food. There is no problem with purchasing vegetarian meals on tours.

How many bathroom stops are on the tours?

There are a lot of bathroom stops at Hot Golden Circle, South Shore Adventure and Glacier Lagoon tour. Sufficient amount of bathroom stops are available on Snæfellsnes National Park.

Very limited bathroom stops are available on the Northern Lights tour – in fact, in most cases there are no bathroom stops available on Northern Lights tours. Therefore we advice passengers to use bathrooms right before the pickup starts.

How long is the stop at the Secret Lagoon on Hot Golden Circle tour?

The stop at the Secret Lagoon is about 1-1,5 hour, which gives you a great time to enjoy the bath. The water is 38-40°C warm, which would become too hot for staying in the water longer than one hour.

Difference between South Shore and Glacier Lagoon?

Most of the stops are different on the South Shore Adventure and Glacier Lagoon tour. South Shore includes stops between Reykjavik and Vík and Glacier Lagoon includes stops between Vík and Glacier Lagoon Jökulsárlón (with an exception of Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is included in both tours).

On Glacier Lagoon tour, the guide has the freedom to make an extra stop which could be one of those from South Shore; it is his right to decide which one (it is used also to give rest from driving to the guide as Glacier Lagoon tour is a long tour).

Can we cancel or change our reservation? What are the cancellation fees?

Cancellations or change of reservations by customers

Tours which are prepaid online have a 10 % cancellation fee (that means 90 % refund) when cancelled more than 24 hours prior to the departure. When a cancellation is received less than 24 hours prior to the departure full price of the tour will be charged and there is no refund. This cancellation policy may apply also when booked through a third party.

 

No Show
When a passenger is not present on the submitted pickup place at the beginning of the pickup time, the driver-guide is obliged to continue the pickup of other passengers and is allowed to start the tour without the missing passenger (in order not to delay the tour for the rest of the passengers). This is considered as “No Show” and no refund is provided.

For full information about our Terms and Conditions, please go here.

What is the refund policy?

Refunds of tours cancelled before departure by Gateway to Iceland

When the tour is prepaid online, a full refund will be issued in case a customer does not wish an alternative date of the tour or an alternative tour.

When a tour is purchased through a third party (tourist office/booking agency or a hotel), please take your voucher back to the third party and they will issue the full refund after reconfirming with Gateway to Iceland that the tour was cancelled.

 

Refunds of delayed, altered or shortened tours after the departure

When a tour is delayed due to weather, any unsafe travel conditions or unforeseen circumstances, no refunds are provided if the tour still operates.

When the tour is altered or shortened after the departure due to weather, any unsafe travel conditions or unforeseen circumstances, a partial refund is provided. The percentage of the refund is calculated according to how much of the initial itinerary has been completed.

Cancellations or change of reservations by customers

Tours which are prepaid online have a 10 % cancellation fee (that means 90 % refund) when cancelled more than 24 hours prior to the departure. When a cancellation is received less than 24 hours prior to the departure full price of the tour will be charged and there is no refund. This cancellation policy may apply also when booked through a third party.

 

No Show
When a passenger is not present on the submitted pickup place at the beginning of the pickup time, the driver-guide is obliged to continue the pickup of other passengers and is allowed to start the tour without the missing passenger (in order not to delay the tour for the rest of the passengers). This is considered as “No Show” and no refund is provided.

Refunds for Northern Lights tours

Refunds of tours cancelled before departure

If a Northern Lights tour has been cancelled by Gateway to Iceland and you have not submitted backup dates or contacted us to re-book within 48 hours, you will automatically receive a full refund.
If the booking has been made through a third party, please inquire the third party for the refund.
Backup dates:
If you have provided the backup date(s) and the tour is cancelled, you are automatically re-booked for the backup date. If you do not show up on your backup date, it is considered as “no show” and no refund is provided.

 

Refunds for tours which have operated
When a Northern Lights tour was decided to operate and the passenger was present on the tour, then there is no right to demand a refund even if no Northern Lights have been seen. Gateway to Iceland gives all effort to take the right decision whether to operate the tour or not based on careful analysis of all forecasts both weather and solar activity. However, Northern Lights are a natural phenomena and thus Gateway to Iceland cannot control whether the sighting will be valid or not. In case the tour is considered as a not valid sighting, we offer a “Northern Lights ticket” which represents the right to either:

  • participate on a Northern Lights tour free of charge*, or
  • receive one free admission to the Aurora Reykjavík – Northern Lights Center (aurorareykjavik.is).

In case you can’t go on another Northern Lights tour, nor visit the Aurora Center, we do not want you to feel like you missed out so please keep the ticket for your next visit to Iceland and have 2.000 ISK discount on any day tour operated by Gateway to Iceland which is already scheduled at the time you intend to book it and has seats available.

* When you wish to use the “Northern Lights ticket” for a free Northern Lights tour trip, please give us a call as soon as you can to reserve a seat on the next operating tour. Please make sure you have your Northern Lights ticket to give to the driver/guide.

For full information about our Terms and Conditions, please go here.

What is included in the price of the tours? Is food included?

Included

All entrance fees within the tours are included in the tours’ prices unless otherwise stated in the description of the tours.

 

Excluded

Drinks, food or other refreshments are not included in the tours except Private Luxury Northern Lights tours.
We do make refreshment breaks at all our tours (except Northern Lights tours), therefore you do not need to bring your lunch, you can purchase it at the restaurants/cafés.

What to bring for tours? Which clothes is recommended?

Solid, warm & waterproof shoes as well as warm rain & wind proof outdoor clothing is recommended for all the tours. For the best comfort we recommend having mittens and hat even in the summer season. (Please see the question below about weather and temperature).

For Northern Lights tour please dress really warm (imagine you will need to stand outside in freezing wind for several hours).

For Hot Golden Circle please do not forget to bring your swim suit and towel.

What is the weather like in Iceland? How cold is it?

Average temperature and precipitation in Iceland:

average temperature

Source: www.yr.no

Two most reliable sources of the weather forecast are:

Please remember that weather in Iceland changes rapidly and we cannot count on long term forecasts.

How about the daylight? Is it completely dark in winter?

Luckily no :) Even during the shortest days in a year, there are several hours of a daylight every day – between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.

If you wish to check a specific time of a year we recommend to use www.suncalc.net
(if you take a look at the time of sunset/sunrise note that it does not take in an account the timezone change if you view the website from different time zone – that means it will show you when the sunset/sunrise is at your current time. Iceland uses GMT+0 and does not follow daylight saving time in summer).

How long in advance should we book tours?

In general – the earlier, the better. Consider the fact that our tours are operated only in small groups (maximum 19 passengers on a tour), therefore the number of seats is limited.

We recommend to book Northern Lights tours as soon as possible. Those are sold out first. For day tours, we recommend to book at least few days ahead, if you really want to make sure you will have a seat reserved, please book at least one or two weeks  in advance.

How about tipping in Iceland?

Tipping in Iceland is not required but always appreciated.

Is it obligatory to have child seats/boosters?

Yes it is requested by Icelandic law to have child seats / boosters. Some families are already travelling with their own, but if you would like us to provide you one on a tour, please send us an email.

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