Our Island Explorer cruise is always a firm favourite for Icelanders and visitors alike. We weave around the beautiful islands just outside Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik on the superyacht, Amelia Rose.
We departed from Reykjavik, we are based right in the centre in the Old Harbour. It is always exciting to go out and explore the bay, it changes every day and there is always something marvellous to see! These short days in winter are balanced out by the gorgeous natural phenomenon of the aurora borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights. If you want to see them have a look at the Northern Lights cruises that we offer here.
The great mountain of Esja was ahead of us, all white as she was covered with snow. The mountains around us always provide us with a beautiful backdrop to our photos, and, in front of them the cityscape of our wonderful capital city. To the north, over 100km away we could just make out the shape of the Snaefell peninsula, with the mighty glacier-covered volcano at its end, Snaefellsjokull.
Akurey was the first island we passed, not often visited, except by us, as it is rather small compared to Engey and Videy. However we appreciate it, and we often like to visit it, especially in the summer, when we look for the seabirds and puffins who nest there, safe on its craggy shoreline.
The freezing water around the islands is full of life, we frequently see beautiful animals like seals and harbour porpoises. One of the most common places we see them is just inside this island of Akurey! The water there must be incredibly rich there as feeding is the most common behaviour we record there, though often they play as well.
We make sure to keep an eye out for larger cetaceans too, like the white-beaked dolphins, or huge whales. Minke whales often love to come in amongst the islands regularly and even the mighty humpbacks will come all the way into the harbour, right up to where we keep our boats!
If you really want to see whales when you are in Reykjavik, Iceland, then have a look at our specific whale watching tours, we head further out to a feeding ground that we know they often frequent! The success rate is great thanks to the skill of our crew combined with the natural richness and underwater landscape of the waters here in Iceland.
We carried on on our island explorer cruise, to the next island, called Engey, the second largest island in the bay. Despite being relatively large it isn’t inhabited, but as far back as the early 13th century there was a farming and fishing community living on it. The only building there on it now is a lighthouse, a dynamic and beautiful building in its own right, and makes for a beautiful focal point for any photos taken by our customers.
After Engey island we went towards Lundey, better known by its English name. The name translates as Puffin Island and like the name suggests it’s home in the summer months to a bustling colony of Atlantic Puffins, one of several in the bay. Here in Iceland, we have 60% of the world’s population nesting, and, despite not being our national bird which is the gyrfalcon, it is beloved by Icelanders as well as tourists for its bright colourful plumage and clumsy antics! Despite the island being known for the puffins, it is a safe haven for many types of sea birds.
The last island that we passed close to on our Island Explorer cruise was Videy. During the night, for certain dates the- Imagine Peace Tower is lit from this island, shining up into the empty sky above us. During the day however, from the boat, pieces of art, designed by Richard Serra, can be seen positioned around the island.
Then the Island Explorer Cruise took us home, close along the coastline of our capital city, Reykjavik itself. We passed the famous Hofdi House where the meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov happened, effectively bringing an end to the Cold War, then the Sun Voyager sculpture, and finally the dynamic cultural centre Harpa.
Once again we made it back safely after a wonderful day out exploring the islands.