Another delightful day on our Island Explorer Tour, departing from Reykjavik Old Harbour on the superyacht, Amelia Rose.
by Lucky Byfleet
We left Reykjavik Harbour on a calm day, the sky was grey but visibility was still excellent. Our country is always stunning, whatever the weather, even on stormy days Iceland is dramatically beautiful. The days in winter are short but that is when we get to see the awesome natural phenomenon of the aurora borealis, also called the Northern Lights. Check out our most popular Northern Lights cruises that we offer here.
The great mountain of Esja ahead of us was covered with snow, providing a beautiful backdrop to our photos, and the cityscape of Reykjavik looked stunning back towards land.
At first we passed the island of Akurey, sometimes unappreciated as it is so small compared to Engey and Videy, however we love it, and often visit it in the summer to look for the seabirds who nest there, safe on its craggy shoreline, most especially the beloved puffins.
The water around the islands teems with life, we often see beautiful animals like harbour porpoises. One of the most common place we see them is just inside this island of Akurey! They enjoy fishing ground there and we often see these delightful creatures hunting and playing there.
We also always look for larger cetaceans, like the white-beaked dolphins, or even whales. Minke whales love to come in amongst the islands regularly and even the great humpbacks will come all the way into the bay, right up to where we keep our boats!
However if you really want to see whales then why not have a look at our specific whale watching tours, we head out to sea, to a feeding ground that we know they often frequent! We always have a very high success rate 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 tour, 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. Now the only building on it is a lighthouse, which is beautiful in its own right and makes for a beautiful focal point for any photos taken by our customers.
The next island we passed was Lundey, its name translates as Puffin Island. Like the name suggests it’s home in the summer months to a bustling colony of Atlantic Puffins, one of several in the bay. 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 and tourists alike for its bright, bold colours and clumsy antics! Despite the island being known for the puffins it is a haven for all sorts of sea birds.
The final island we pass close to on our Island Explorer Cruise is Videy. During the night, for set dates that can be found here on this website – Imagine Peace Tower – A great beacon is lit from this island, shining up into the sky above us. During the day however, from the boat, pieces of art, designed by Richard Serra, can be seen around the island.
Then the island explorer tour took us home, close along the coastline of our capital city, Reykjavik itself. We saw the famous Hofdi House where the meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov happened, effectively bringing an end to the Cold War, the Sun Voyager sculpture, and the dynamic cultural centre Harpa.
Once again we made it back safely after a lovely day out exploring the islands.