Land Of Ice And Fire - Cruising Iceland’s Fjords And Bays Is An Experience Of Wildlife And Wilderness

Icelandic yacht guests should play a game of ‘what’s-off-the-prow-next’. It could be a bull sperm whale, sidling confidently alongside your ship. A humpback-from-nowhere rocking a 360° breach. Or a pod of orcas, part of a family of 300 that guard Europe’s northwestern extreme. Borrow the captain’s Carl Zeiss binoculars to view an avian parade. Spot Atlantic puffins, rock ptarmigans and Arctic terns. A final game of ‘what’s-for-dinner’ depends what chef pulls up from the stern. Cod and haddock are plentiful. Would it be sacrilegious to watch Iceland play in the EURO 2020 football championships while eating ocean-fresh fish and chips?

By Kathryn Tomasetti • 16 January 2020

A vist to the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik

For provisioning hit the happening capital of Reykjavik. The Brokey Yacht Club welcomes smaller boats to moor alongside the glass cube of Harpa Concert Hall; serious superyachts like A and Octopus have anchored offshore then tendered in. Iceland’s biggest city can only be explored on foot. It’s a miniature charmer of fish shacks, coffee shops, knitwear stores and drinking spots - wonderful if you don’t mind the fact that all 120,000 residents are taller and blonder than you are. Stock up on local liqueur brennivin at Eimverk Distillery. This chest-swelling schnapps (made from potatoes, caraway seeds and foraged seaweed) is locally paired with Icelandic speciality fermented shark. It’s an acquired taste.

A paradise for adventurous explorer yachts

Sail north to the Snæfellsjökull National Park. The hardy can hike to a glacier summit atop an active volcano - which sounds scary but is a commonplace pursuit in this land of fire and ice. At Hellulaug, hot springs are circled by rings of pebbles beside the North Atlantic Ocean, offering a vivid alternative to the plunge pool. Timeless fishing villages like Ólafsvík warm sailors with seafood soup. More gentler activities include a breezy round of links at end-of-the-world Gold Club Jokull. Whales can be seen calving from the 18th hole.

To sample the Arctic Circle’s beauty of yachting? Head to the Westfjords, around which sits a Game of Thrones netherland of volcanic islands and screeching skuas. The bravest explorer yachts will anchor in the endless fathoms of Eyjafjörður, where hydrothermal vents bubble heat from the earth’s core. The best way to see them is with a scuba tank and extra-thick drysuit. Be prepared for friendly glances from wolffish and grey seals.

To book your Icelandic yacht charter now, contact the Bluewater Charter Specialists.