(Iceland Flag)

(Iceland Map)


On Thursday evening we sailed around the north coast of Iceland and crossed the Arctic Circle.

10 minute video of my cruise around Iceland when we crossed the Arctic Circle.



All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

We sailed into Akureyri, Iceland as the sun was rising on a beautiful day.
Akureyri is a town in the northern part of Iceland;
it is the second largest urban area after Greater Reykjavík area.
As of the April 1, 2008 census, the town had a total population of 17,304.
Sailing into Akureyri, Iceland at dawn Sailing into Akureyri, Iceland at dawn

The Gođafoss (Icelandic: waterfall of the gods) is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland.
It's located in the Mývatn district of North-Central Iceland at the beginning of the Sprengisandur highland road.
The water of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.
Gođafoss Gođafoss Gođafoss

5 minute video of Gođafoss waterfall.

Námafjall is a high-temperature geothermal area with fumaroles and boiling mud pools.
At a depth of 1000 meters the temperature is above 200 degrees C.
As is characteristic for other hot spring areas there is a hot spring smell
at Námafjall which is caused by the steam and the fumarole gas, such as hydrogen sulfide.
Namafjall Hverir geothermal site in Iceland Mývatn scenic view Mývatn scenic view

8 minute video of Námafjall and Mývatn.

Dimmuborgir "The Dark Fortress" are a true wonder of nature and nowhere else to be seen in the world,
on dry land. They are huge lava rock formations which make you feel like you stepped into another world.
The formation of these extraordinary lava cliffs and pillars is caused by lava ponds.
The hot lava streamed over these ponds trapping the water underneath the lava.
Steam issued through vent in the lava pools and formed these pillars,
which then remained standing even after the crust around them had gone away.
Lava Formations Lava Formations Lava Formations

5 minute video of Dimmuborgir's lava formations.

Our next stop was Skútustađagígar.
The shores along the south side of the lake are home to many pseudocraters,
formed during volcanic eruptions when lava flowed over wetlands, eventually
resulting in steam eruptions and forming these medium-sized craters.
Skútustađagígar Skútustađagígar Skútustađagígar

6 minute video of Skútustađagígar and the pseudocraters.

After Skútustađagígar is was a very scenic drive back to Akureyri.
Skútustađagígar Icelandic Horses The Icelandic Landscape

Iceland is a very beautiful country and I hope to return someday for a longer visit.
Eyjafjordur Fjord Eyjafjordur Fjord Akureyri across Eyjafjordur Fjord

11 minute video of my drive through northern Iceland.

Iceland’s second largest city appears like it was transplanted from the Swiss Alps.
It sits on the southwestern shores of Eyjafjordur Fjord, one of the most breathtaking fjords in all of Iceland.
Rising up immediately behind the city are azure farmlands that slope gently up to basalt mountains.
The mountains are capped by snow year round.
Akureyri across Eyjafjordur Fjord Akureyri shoreline Church of Akureyri

One of the most extraordinary aspects of Akureyri is its warm climate.
Although its sits only 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, it has some of the best weather in Iceland.
Downtown Akureyri Akureyri Sea Princess docked in Akureyri

At 6:00 P.M. we set sail through Eyjafjordur Fjord away from Akureyri.
Sailing away from Akureyri up Eyjafjordur Fjord Sailing away from Akureyri up Eyjafjordur Fjord

11 minute video of Akureyri, Iceland.


Last evening at 9:00 we crossed inside the Arctic Circle. It was beautiful outside at the time. The sun was setting, the sea was real calm, you could see the north coast of Iceland, temperatures were quite warm considering where we were and it was so quiet. It was not the first time I have been inside the Arctic Circle. The last time was back in 2000 when I was in Barrow, Alaska. This was the first time while at sea though.

Today's port was Akureyri, Iceland. It's a town of about 17,000 people on the north coast of Iceland. Weather was beautiful. A little cloudy and cool as you would expect Iceland to be. But we had quite a bit of sun as well. The picture below was taken as we were arriving at sunrise this morning.

Our tour took us about 90 minutes outside the city. We drove along the fjord. It was early in the morning and there was this layer of fog about midway up the mountains. You could see the base of the mountains and the tops as well with the fog in between. Very beautiful. Our first stop was the majestic Godafoss Waterfall.

Next it was off the geothermal area. We saw bubbling mud pools, volcanic craters, and lakes. The steam was coming out of some of the craters with such force in roared like a freight train.

Below is a scenic view in Mývatn very near the area above.

We took a walk through Dimmuborgir "The Dark Fortress" where all the unique formations were formed by the lava flow. The last time the volcano erupted here was 1970. I didn't realize that there is a continental divide on this island. One side is Europe and the other North America. We crossed it several times today.

Our next stop was at Skútustađagígar, home to many pseudocraters.

That was our last stop. It was a scenic drive back to Akureyri from there.

Below is scenic Eyjafjörđur, the longest fjord in Iceland. It is 60 kilometers long and we sailed up and down it today to visit Akureyri.

A nice view of our ship docked in Akureyri from across Eyjafjörđur in the photo below.

The highlight of the day was as we were driving back into Akureyri this afternoon. There was a bottle-nosed whale and her calf in the harbor. They were breaching out of the water and splashing all around. I had to shoot it from the bus window. I have not looked at it yet. I hope I got some good video of it. It was quite a show. I walked back over to that area after the bus dropped us at the ship. But they must have been worn out by that time. They would come up for air every ten minutes or so and then disappear. We saw them very near where the picture below was taken.

I walked around beautiful Akureyri for as long as I could after my tour.

We sailed away at 3:30.

They had a polar bear plunge on the ship as we sailed away. The folks had to stay in the ship's pool for five minutes. It looked like about 50 people did it. It took about two hours to sail back out the fjord and now we are turning west and are going to sail around the coast of Iceland this evening. This ship is really starting to feel like home. After three weeks on board I have no desire to ever leave. About half of our days on this part of the cruise are 25 hours long. We set our clocks back an hour every couple of days.

More later,

Click on email photos for the large full-size photograph.



We sailed into Iceland's capitol city of Reykjavik at 10:00 A.M.
Sailing into Reykjavik, Iceland Sailing into Reykjavik, Iceland Iceland's Ţingvellir National Park

Ţingvellir, is a place in Bláskógarbyggđ in southwestern Iceland, near the peninsula of Reykjanes
and the Hengill volcanic area. Ţingvellir is a site of historical, cultural and geological
importance and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland.
Iceland's Ţingvellir National Park Iceland's Ţingvellir National Park Iceland's Ţingvellir National Park

We battled the weather a bit today with occasional light rain, but it never got too bad.
Iceland's Ţingvellir National Park The scenic Icelandic landscape Icelandic Horses

5 minute video of Iceland's Ţingvellir National Park.

Geysir (sometimes known as The Great Geysir), in the Haukadalur valley is the oldest known geyser
and one of the world's most impressive examples of the phenomenon.
Geysir Geysir Geysir

9 minute video of Iceland's Geysir.

Gullfoss (English: Golden Falls) is in the canyon of Hvítá River in southwest Iceland.
Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. The wide Hvítá rushes southward.
About a kilometer above the falls it turns sharply to the left and flows down into a
wide curved three-step "staircase" and then abruptly plunges in two stages.
Geysir Gullfoss Gullfoss

4 minute video of Gullfoss waterfall.

8 minute video of my drive through southwest Iceland.

Perlan (English: The Pearl) is a landmark building in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland.
It is 84 feet high. Perlan is situated on the hill Öskjuhlíđ where there had been hot water storage tanks.
In 1991 the tanks were updated and a hemispherical structure placed on top.
The Icelandic landscape The Pearl Reykjavik, Iceland from the Pearl

11 minute video of Reykjavik, Iceland.


Today was another fun day in Iceland. We pulled into port here in Reykjavik at 10:00 this morning.

Our tour left immediately after docking. We had a lot of ground to cover and only a short time to do it in. We headed east across the beautiful Icelandic landscape. There is almost never a time when you can't see steam coming up out of the ground here. There are hot springs everywhere. The picture below was taken just before we docked.

Our first stop was at Parliament National Park. A nice rocky area where North America and Europe separate. This Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs down the center of the Atlantic Ocean. Iceland is the only place on earth where this phenomena is visible on dry land. There are a lot of earthquakes here. They average several hundred per day. Most can't be felt on the surface but they have had some very strong quakes here. The most recent was last May.

Our next stop was at a very active geothermic area loaded with geysers. One of the geysers there erupts every 5 minutes. That is what you see below.

Not far from Geysir was Gullfoss Falls. Another very impressive waterfall.

When we got back to Reykjavik we visited Perlan (The Pearl in English). This is several large water tanks on a hill in town. They built an observation platform on top of them and you get a nice view of the city from there.

The picture below was taken from Perlan.

Below is a wide view of the city of Reykjavik from Perlan.

Unfortunately Hallgrímskirkja, the largest church in Iceland was covered in scaffolding. At 240 feet high I was disappointed I didn't get to see it. You can see it covered in scaffolding in the picture above. The picture below is how it should look.

(The picture above was borrowed from Wikipedia.)

It was back to the ship after the Pearl. We drove past the building where Reagan and Gorbachev had their famous summit in 1986 on the way to the ship.

(The picture above was borrowed from Wikipedia.)

We didn't get back to the ship until 6:00. Half an hour late because we were supposed to sail at 5:30.

It is a sea day tomorrow and the Captain says it may be an interesting one. We are heading for the southern tip of Greenland. There is a strong gale going on there now and we are heading directly into it.

More later,

Click on email photos for the large full-size photograph.

83 minute video of my 3 days in Iceland.
Note: This is a compilation of all the videos above.

Click on the arrow above to continue to my next adventure, GREENLAND.

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