A stunning day on our Island Tour, departing from Reykjavik Old Harbour on our beloved superyacht, Amelia Rose. Today we were booked as a private tour and took some lucky people out for a luxury trip, around the fascinating islands that help shelter the gorgeous city of Reykjavik from the great Atlantic Ocean.
We departed on time, leaving the Old Harbour under blue skies and just a few fluffy white clouds, as glorious as weather can be. Iceland always looks stunning, whatever the weather, but we really make the most of these sunny days in winter, as the daylight hours are so few! However it balances out because in winter we get to see the mind-blowing natural phenomenon of the aurora borealis, the Northern Lights. Check out the awesome Northern Lights cruises we offer here.
The great mountains around us were covered with snow, providing a beautiful backdrop to every photograph our customers took, and the cityscape of Reykjavik itself always looks amazing from the water. The first island we passed was Akurey, often over looked as it is so small compared to Engey and Videy, however we often visit it in the summer to look for the puffins and other seabirds who nest there, safe on its craggy shoreline.
In the waters around the islands we often see beautiful animals like harbour porpoises, and the most common place we see them is just inside Akurey! It must be a great fishing ground for these dynamic creatures, and we have seen them hunting and playing there many many times.
We also keep an eye out for larger cetaceans, such as the white-beaked dolphins, or even whales. Minke whales come in amongst the islands regularly and humpbacks will sometimes come all the way into the bay, right up to where we keep our boats! However if whales are what you are really after have a look at our specific whale watching tours, we head right out into the open water to a feeding ground that we know they frequent! We have a very high success rate thanks to the skill of our crew, and the natural richness of the waters here in Iceland.
We carried on on our island tour, to the island of Engey, the second largest island in the bay. Despite its size it isn’t inhabited, however as far back as the early 13th century there were farming and fishing communities 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 photos.
The next island we saw was the infamous Lundey – or Puffin Island. As its name suggests it is home in the summer months to a huge colony of Atlantic Puffins, we have 60% of the world’s population here in Iceland and despite not being our national bird – that’s the gyrfalcon – it holds a special place in all of our hearts with its jolly colours and clumsy antics! Despite it being known for the puffins it is a haven for all sorts of sea birds.
The last island we pass on our Island Tour is Videy. At night, during set dates in winter the Imagine Peace Tower is lit from here, shining its beacon into the skies above us. During the day, from the yacht, you can see pieces of art around the island, designed by Richard Serra.
Then the island tour takes us home, along the coastline of Reykjavik City itself. Along it you’ll see 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 cultural centre Harpa.
We made it back safely after a beautiful day enjoying the best weather Iceland could possibly have given us!