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14-Day Legend Of The Icelandic Sagas
by Seabourn, July, 2023

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Maritime Consultancy
Capt. Gregory C. Daley



Lafayette, LA to Reykjavik, Iceland

  • Thursday, 6/29/23, and I'm off to the Seabourn 14-Day Legend Of The Icelandic Sagas

  • Kali arrives LVCC (Lafayette Veterinary Care Center) for 18 days boarding with four hours of play each day with her friends. Thankfully she loves it there.

  • Arrive Lafayette Airport at 9am, my usual two hours early for international flights. Depart on Delta 3598 commuter jet at 11:00 am to Atlanta. Arrive Atlanta 1:45 pm (1 hour time change.)

  • There is a two hour layover in Atlanta and then depart Atlanta at 3:41 pm on Delta 2023 to New York JFK airport. Arrived JFK at 6:20 pm. The five hour layover passes nicely in the Delta Sky Lounge. Depart JFK at 11:15 pm and arrive Reykjavik the next day (6/30) at 9:05 am.

  • Photos, En Route Journey

Arrive Reykjavik

  • Fridya, 6/30/23, Arrived Reykjavik one day early

  • Arrived in Reykjavik at 9:05 am. Met by Seabourn and driven to my hotel, the Radisson Blu 1919 Htel in Reykjavik. XXXXX

  • Iceland

  • Iceland is a Nordic Island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Iceland's capital and largest city is Reykjavík, which (along with its surrounding areas) is home to over 65% of the population. Iceland is the biggest part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises above sea level, and its central volcanic plateau is erupting almost constantly. The interior consists of a plateau characterized by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, and most of its islands have a polar climate.

  • According to the ancient manuscript Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in 874 AD when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent settler on the island. In the following centuries, Norwegians, and to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, emigrated to Iceland, bringing with them slaves or serfs of Gaelic origin.

  • The island was governed as an independent commonwealth under the native parliament, the Althing, one of the world's oldest functioning legislative assemblies. Following a period of civil strife, Iceland acceded to Norwegian rule in the 13th century. The establishment of the Kalmar Union in 1397 united the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Iceland thus followed Norway's integration into that union, coming under Danish rule after Sweden seceded from the union in 1523. The Danish kingdom forcefully introduced Lutheranism to Iceland in 1550.

  • In the wake of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, Iceland's struggle for independence took form and culminated in independence in 1918 with the establishment of the Kingdom of Iceland, sharing through a personal union the incumbent monarch of Denmark. During the occupation of Denmark in World War II, Iceland voted overwhelmingly to become a republic in 1944, thus ending the remaining formal ties with Denmark. Although the Althing was suspended from 1799 to 1845, the island republic has been credited with sustaining the world's oldest and longest-running parliament.

  • Until the 20th century, Iceland relied largely on subsistence fishing and agriculture. Industrialization of the fisheries and Marshall Plan aid following World War II brought prosperity, and Iceland became one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world. It became a part of the European Economic Area in 1994; this further diversified the economy into sectors such as finance, biotechnology, and manufacturing.

  • Iceland has a market economy with relatively low taxes, compared to other OECD countries, as well as the highest trade union membership in the world. It maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. Iceland ranks high in democracy and equality indexes, ranking third in the world by median wealth per adult. In 2020, it was ranked as the fourth-most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index, and it ranks first on the Global Peace Index. Iceland runs almost completely on renewable energy.

  • Icelandic culture is founded upon the nation's Scandinavian heritage. Most Icelanders are descendants of Norse and Gaelic settlers. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is descended from Old West Norse and is closely related to Faroese. The country's cultural heritage includes traditional Icelandic cuisine, Icelandic literature, and medieval sagas. Iceland has the smallest population of any NATO member and is the only one with no standing army, with a lightly armed coast guard.

  • Photos, Reykjavik and environs


  • Saturday, 7/1/23, Free Day in Reykjavik


  • Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói bay. Its latitude is 64°08' N, making it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. With a population of around 131,136 it is the center of Iceland's cultural, economic, and governmental activity, and is a popular tourist destination.

  • According to legend, the first permanent Norse settlement in Iceland was established at Reykjavík by Ingólfr Arnarson around the year AD 870, as described in the Book of Settlement.

  • Ingólfr is said to have decided the location of his settlement using a traditional Norse method: when land was in sight, he cast his high seat pillars overboard and promised to settle where the gods decided to bring them ashore. Two of his slaves then searched the coast for three years before finding the pillars in the bay which eventually became the site of Reykjavík.

  • The name is of Old Norse origin, derived from the roots reykr ('smoke') and vík ('bay'). The name is said to be inspired by steam rising from hot springs in the region. The name has been translated as Bay of Smoke in English language travel guides, or variations thereof, such as Smoky Bay, Smoke Cove, Steam Bay, etc.

  • Reykjavík has a subpolar oceanic climate closely bordering on a continental subarctic climate in the 32°F isotherm. At 64° North, Reykjavik is characterized by extremes of day and night length over the course of the year. From 20 May to 24 July, daylight is essentially permanent as the sun never gets more than 5° below the horizon. Day length drops to less than five hours between 2 December and 10 January. The sun climbs just 3° above the horizon during this time. However, day length begins increasing rapidly during January and by month's end there are seven hours of daylight.

  • Despite its northern latitude, temperatures very rarely drop below 5 °F in the winter. The proximity to the Arctic Circle and the strong influence of the North Atlantic Current, an extension of the Gulf Stream shape a relatively mild winter and cool summer. The city's coastal location does make it prone to wind, however, and gales are common in winter (influence of the Icelandic Low). Summers are cool, with temperatures fluctuating between 50 and 59 °F, rarely exceeding 68 °F. This is a result of exposure to the maritime winds in its exposed west coast location that causes it to be much cooler in summer than similar latitudes in mainland Scandinavia.

  • Contrasting this, winter days are milder than anywhere in far southern Sweden and the vast majority of Denmark. Reykjavík averages 147 days of rain (more than 1 mm) per year. Droughts are uncommon, although they occur in some summers. July and August are the warmest months of the year on average and January and February the coldest.

  • In the summer of 2007, no rain was measured for one month. Summer tends to be the sunniest season, although May averages the most sunshine of any individual month. Overall, the city receives around 1,300 annual hours of sunshine, which is comparable with other places in northern and north-western Europe such as Ireland and Scotland, but substantially less than equally northern regions with a more continental climate, including the Bothnian Bay basin in Scandinavia.

  • Nonetheless, Reykjavík is one of the cloudiest and coolest capitals of any nation in the world. The highest temperature recorded in Reykjavík was 78 °F, reported on 30 July 2008, while the lowest-ever recorded temperature was −12 °F, recorded on 21 January 1918. The coldest month on record is January 1918, with a mean temperature of 19 °F. The warmest is July 2019, with a mean temperature of 56 °F.

    ▪ Alþingishúsið – the Icelandic parliament building.
    ▪ Austurvöllur – a park in central Reykjavík surrounded by restaurants and bars
    ▪ Árbæjarsafn (Reykjavík Open Air Museum) – Reykjavík's Municipal Museum
    ▪ CIA.IS – Center for Icelandic Art – general information on Icelandic visual art
    ▪ Hallgrímskirkja – the largest church in Iceland
    ▪ Harpal Reykjavík – Reykjavík Concert and Conference Center
    ▪ Heiðmörk – the largest forest and nature reserve in the area
    ▪ Höfði – the house in which Gorbachev and Reagan met in 1986 for the Iceland Summit
    ▪ Kringlan – the second-largest shopping mall in Iceland
    ▪ Laugardalslaug – swimming pool
    ▪ Laugavegur – main shopping street
    ▪ National and University Library of Iceland (Þjóðarbókhlaðan)
    ▪ National Museum of Iceland (Þjóðminjasafnið)
    ▪ Nauthólsvík – a geothermally-heated beach
    ▪ Perlan – a glass dome resting on six water tanks
    ▪ Reykjavík Town Hall – city hall
    ▪ Rauðhólar – a cluster of red pseudo- craters
    ▪ Reykjavík 871±2 – exhibition of an archaeological excavation of a Viking-age longhouse, from about AD 930
    ▪ Reykjavik Art Museum – the largest visual art institution in Iceland
    ▪ Reykjavík Botanic Garden
    ▪ Reykjavík Maritime Museum – a maritime museum by the old harbour
    ▪ Safnahúsið, culture house, National Centre for Cultural Heritage (Þjóðmenningarhúsið)
    ▪ Tjörnin – a small lake in central Reykjavík
    ▪ University of Iceland

  • Photos, Reykjavik and environs

Embark Seabourn Venture

  • Sunday, 7/2/23, Embark Seabourn Venture and Depart Reykjavik, Iceland

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  • The Arctic Circle marks the southernmost latitude at which, on the December solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the sun will not rise all day, and on the June solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the sun will not set. These phenomena are referred to as polar night and midnight sun respectively, and the further north one progresses, the more pronounced these effects become. For example, in the Russian port city of Murmansk, just 3° above the Arctic Circle, the sun does not rise for 40 successive days in midwinter.

  • The position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed and currently runs 66°33′49.3″ north of the Equator. Its latitude depends on the Earth's axial tilt, which fluctuates within a margin of more than 2° over a 41,000-year period, owing to tidal forces resulting from the orbit of the Moon.

  • Consequently, the Arctic Circle is currently drifting northwards at a speed of about 48 ft per year.

  • Video, Submarine Experience (1 Minute)

  • Video, Submarine Experience (16 Minutes)

  • Video, Touring the Ship (23 Minutes)

  • Photos, Reykjavik and he environs

Grundarfjordur, Iceland

  • Monday, 7/3/23, Grundarfjordur, Iceland


  • Grundarfjörður is a town in the north of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the west of Iceland. It is situated between a mountain range and the sea. The nearby mountain Kirkjufell forms a small peninsula.

  • The town received the right to do commerce in 1786. Around 1800, French merchants came to Iceland and lived in Grundarfjörður, where they constructed a church and a hospital of their own. The town became wealthy through the fishing industry, and this wealth is shown in the style of the original, luxurious houses being built. The road to nearby Stykkishólmur crosses a lava field called Berserkjahraun. The name of the lava field comes from the Eyrbyggja saga, according to which two Berserkers were slain here by their master, because one of them fell in love with his master's daughter.

  • Photos, Grundarfjordur and environs

Vigur, Iceland

  • Tuesday, 7/4/23, Vigur, Iceland


  • Vigur is the second largest island of the Ísafjarðardjúp fjord in Westfjords, Iceland. Located just south of the Arctic Circle, the island is around 6,600 ft in length and 1,300 ft in width. The island is most noted for its thriving seabird colonies—particularly Atlantic puffins —traditional eiderdown production and historical buildings.

  • The two story Viktoriuhús, built in 1860, is one of the oldest timber buildings in Iceland and is part of The Historical Buildings Collection of Þjóðminjasafn Islands. Iceland's oldest seaworthy boat, Vigurbreiður, is also on Vigur.

  • Today, there is only a single farm located on Vigur. In the seventeenth century the farm on Vigur was home to Magnús Jónsson, a wealthy man who collected and commissioned manuscripts. The first reference to Vigur in the written record is 1194 but it may well be referenced earlier than that under a different name.

  • A windmill, built in c. 1840, is also located on the island. It is the only surviving historic windmill in the country and possibly the northernmost windmill in the world.

  • Each year around 3,500 nests of the Common Eider are found on Vigur. The nests are lined with Eider Down which is collected by the farmer once eggs have hatched and chicks vacated. The Eider Down is dried, sorted and cleaned by hand using methods passed down through generations.

  • Vigur is home to one of the largest puffin colonies in Iceland as well as a rare colony of Black Guillemot. It also hosts vast numbers of Arctic Tern and other Arctic seabirds.

  • Photos, Vigur and environs

En Route to Greenland

  • Wednesday Morning, 7/5/23, En Route to Greenland


  • Greenland is an island country in North America and part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It lies between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Greenland is the world's largest island. It is one of three countries that form the Kingdom of Denmark, the others being Denmark and the Faroe Islands; the citizens of all these countries are citizens of Denmark and of the European Union. The capital of Greenland is Nuuk.

  • Though a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe (specifically Norway and Denmark, the colonial powers) for more than a millennium, beginning in 986. Greenland has been inhabited at intervals over at least the last 4,500 years by Arctic peoples whose forebears migrated there from what is now Canada. Norsemen settled the uninhabited southern part of Greenland beginning in the 10th century, having previously settled Iceland. Inuit arrived in the 13th century. Though under continuous influence of Norway and Norwegians, Greenland was not formally under the Norwegian crown until 1261. The Norse colonies disappeared in the late 15th century, after Norway was hit by the Black Death and entered a severe decline.

  • In the early 17th century, Dano-Norwegian explorers reached Greenland again. When Denmark and Norway separated Greenland became Danish in 1814 and was fully integrated in the Danish state in 1953 under the Constitution of Denmark, which made the people in Greenland citizens of Denmark. In 1979, Denmark granted home rule to Greenland; in 2008, Greenlanders voted for the Self-Government Act, which transferred more power from the Danish government to the local Greenlandic government. Under the new structure, Greenland has gradually assumed responsibility for a number of governmental services and areas of competence. The Danish government retains control of citizenship, monetary policy, and foreign affairs, including defense. Most residents of Greenland are Inuit. The population is concentrated mainly on the southwest coast, and the rest of the island is sparsely populated. Three-quarters of Greenland is covered by the only permanent ice sheet outside Antarctica. With a population of 56,081, Greenland is the least densely populated region in the world. 67% of its electricity production comes from renewable energy, mostly from hydropower.

  • Photos, Greenland

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

  • Wednesday Afternoon, 7/5/23, Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland


  • Ittoqqortoormiit, formerly known as Scoresbysund, is a settlement in the Sermersooq municipality in eastern Greenland. Its population was 345 as of 2020 and has been described as one of the most remote settlements on earth.

  • The former name Scoresbysund derives from the English Arctic explorer and whaler William Scoresby, who was the first European to map the area in 1822. The name "Ittoqqortoormiit" means "Big-House Dwellers" in the Eastern Greenlandic dialect. The region is known for its wildlife, including polar bears, muskoxen, and seals.

  • Ittoqqortoormiit was founded in 1925 by Ejnar Mikkelsen and some 80 Inuit settlers (70 persons from Tasiilaq and four families from western Greenland). They were brought on the ship Gustav Holm and settled 249 miles south of the last known Inuit settlement in northeastern Greenland (Eskimonæs at Dødemandsbugten on the south coast of Clavering Ø, (17 miles southwest of later Daneborg, 1823).

  • The settlement was encouraged by the colonial power Denmark which at the time had a growing interest in Northeast Greenland. At the same time, the colonization was intended to improve declining living conditions in Tasiilaq, from where the settlers were more or less voluntarily transferred. The settlers soon prospered on the good hunting conditions of the new area, which was rich in seals, walruses, narwhals, polar bears and Arctic foxes.

  • Before that, the area itself had been home to a dense population of Inuit in the past, as testified by ruins and other archeological remains.

  • Ittoqqortoormiit Municipality was a former municipality of Greenland. It is now part of Sermersooq Municipality.

  • Photos, Ittoqqortoormiit and environs

Hekla Havn, Scoresby Sound, Greenland

  • Thursday Morning, 7/6/23, Hekla Havn, Scoresby Sound, Greenland


  • Among the islands in the Scoresby Sound the largest is by far Milne Land and the other islands in the sound are near it. Milne Land has an area of 1,511 sq mi and is located to the west of the basin in a central position. Other islands are Storo and Sorte Island off the northwestern shore of Milne Land, Rode Island further south in Rode Fjord, Danmark Island off Milne Land's southern coast, and the Bjorne Islands off the northeastern headland of Milne Land.

  • Danmark Island lies at the eastern end of Fon Fjord by its mouth. Ten kilometers before the mouth, the fjord has a branch in the northeastern shore named Rensund that separates Danmark Island from Milne Land to the north.

  • Located in the southeastern shore, Hekla Havn is the natural harbor used as a base for expedition ship Hekla in 1891–92.

  • Scoresby Sund, the longest fjord in the world, cuts into the East Greenlandic Mountains 350 kilometers (216 miles), is 50 kilometers (30 miles) wide and occupies an area equivalent to the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. This is one of the most remote and wildest regions on Earth. It was named in honor of English explorer William Scoresby who mapped the fjord in 1822.

  • Wildlife, including muskox, foxes, Arctic hares, short-tailed weasels and lemmings are commonly seen in the large river-valleys. Near Hekla Haven, large areas of expansive tundra dotted with hundreds of freshwater ponds have transformed into the brilliant reds and yellows of Arctic autumn.

  • Scoresby Sound is a large fjord system of the Greenland Sea on the eastern coast of Greenland. It has a tree-like structure, with a main body approximately 68 mi long that branches into a system of fjords covering an area of about 14,700 sq mi. The longest of the fjords extends 210-216 mi inland from the coastline. The depth is 1,310-1,970 ft. in the main basin, but depths increase to up to 4,760 ft. in some fjords. It is one of the largest and longest fjord systems in the world.

  • On the northern side of the mouth of the Scoresby Sound stands Ittoqqortoormiit, the only permanent settlement in the region, with a population of 469. The name of the sound honors English explorer William Scoresby, who in 1822 mapped the fjord area in detail.

  • Scoresby Sound lies between Jameson Land to the north, and Knud Rasmussen Land to the south. To the west beyond Milne Island is the Renland peninsula. The land surrounding the fjord is mostly mountainous, with steep rising edges. At Nordestbucht on Jameson Land is the Gurreholm research station, founded in 1937. During the Second World War it was the site of the US Coastguard’s Bluie East Three weather station.

  • The Hall Bredning basin splits into several branches including the Nordvestfjord, Ofjord (Øfjord)—which splits into the Rype Fjord and Hare Fjord, Rode Fjord (Røde Fjord), Gase Fjord (Gåsefjord) and Fonfjord (Fønfjord). Between the Ofjord and Fonfjord lies the largest island of the system, Milne Land.

    ▪ Fonfjord (Fønfjord)
    -- Rode Fjord (Røde Fjord)
    -- Vestfjord
    ▪ Gaasefjord (Gåsefjord)
    ▪ Hurry Inlet
    ▪ Ofjord (Øfjord)
    -- Hare Fjord
    -- Rype Fjord
    -- Snesund
    ▪ Nordvestfjord
    -- Flyver Fjord

  • Photos, Hekla Havn and environs

Rødefjord, Greenland

  • Thursdaay Afternoon, 7/6/23, Rødefjord, Greenland


  • Deep in Scorseby Sound in the King Christian X Land of eastern Greenland, is a wonderland of geological color in the Rødefjord, or Red Fjord. The entire ford is walled with cliffs of 300-million-year-old Permian red sandstone, which stands out between the deep blue sky and the ink-blue waters of the fjord dotted with shining white icebergs. Røde Ø is a monolithic icon island of the rock, which is sometimes called New Red because it is geologically slightly younger than the Old Red Devonian layer that pleases eyes in Scotland and Spitsbergen. On the island’s southern shore, there is a small sea cave that should be navigable by Zodiacs, and a picturesque intrusion of columnar basalt that earns itself the nickname ‘braendestabelen’ or ‘pile of firewood.'

  • The 3.1 mi to 6.8 mi wide Rode Fjord is located in the inner Scoresby Sound. At its southern end the fjord is a northerly continuation of the Fonfjord. On the western shore, near the confluence, the Rolige Brae glacier flows into the fjord and a little further south the Vestfjord branches off to the west. There is a small island in the area named Rode Island (Røde Ø).

  • At the northern end the Rode Fjord is a southern offshoot of the Ofjord. From the confluence of the Ofjord, the Hare Fjord runs in a westerly direction and the Rype Fjord branches to the northwest while the wider Rode Fiord branches to the southwest off the western shore of Storo Island for about 31 mi. This fjord separates the larger island of Milne Land from the mainland coast in the west. The Snesund is a shorter fjord branching off in a northeasterly direction about halfway through the Rode Fjord separating Storo and Sorte Island from Milne Land.

  • Rødefjord is world-famous for its iceberg graveyard. Three large tidewater glaciers including 2-mile wide Rølige Brae glacier drain into fjord. Hundreds of icebergs, having calved from the glacial faces, are trapped in the shallows of the bay. Elegantly sculpted by wind and water into a blue-ice wonderland of picturesque forms, they are one of the most dramatic landscapes imagina.

  • Photos, Rødefjord and environs

Bear Island, Scoresby Sound, Greenland

  • Friday Morning, 7/7/23, Bear Island, Scoresby Sound, Greenland

  • At the head of Øfjord is a scenic group of low-lying rocky islands known as the Bear Islands. Sydkap (South Cape) situated at the north end of Scoresby Sund is set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Stauning Alps. Here colossal icebergs, some in excess of 330 ft. high and 0.6 mile wide, have run aground in the shallow water.

  • Expansive areas of lowland are carpeted in the reds and yellow hues of autumn foliage. On many of the barren rocky outcrops sit huge solitary boulders, delicately balanced as if carefully placed by a giant. Known as erratics, they were carried here great distances by moving ice, and are a testament to a time when all the land was buried deep under glaciers. Early peoples known as the Thlish culture established a small settlement here. The stone ruins of their houses are silent reminders of these pre-historic whale hunters. Whale bones can still be seen as well as the occasional muskox skull.

  • Photos, Bear Island and environs

Sydkap, Scoresby Sound, Greenland

  • Friday Afternoon, 7/7/23, Sydkap, Scoresby Sound, Greenland

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  • Entering the broad Scoresby Sund in northeast Greenland, and bearing to starboard, we traced the northeastern coast of the fjord at its broadest reach, before it splits into three smaller fjords. Just there we come upon a headland intruding beyond a small bay. This is Sydkap, or South Cape. The slopes are rounded, made up of glaciated floors of stone interspersed with colorful tufts of tundra vegetation. On the headland stand two huts, one sturdy-looking red one, and another ruinous and bleached. This is a likely place to inspect the hut, still used by people hunting musk oxen or fishing the nearby rivers for arctic char. The slopes offer places to contemplate the majestic parade of icebergs, including some tabular specimens as large as two kilometers long, proceeding out of the Nordvestfjord and passing our review point bound for the Greenland Sea. The scenic scale of the panorama, the colors of the sky, the sea and the tundra plants, and the patient parade of ice giants in the sound comprised another perfect Greenland experience.

  • Photos, Sydkap and environs

King Oscar Fjord, Greenland

  • Saturday Morning, 7/8/23, King Oscar Fjord, Greenland


  • King Oscar Fjord cuts 68 miles from the Greenland Sea into the island’s eastern coast, forming the northern border of the Scoresby Land peninsula. It was named by A.G. Nathorst in 1899 for Oscar II, who was king of both Norway and Sweden between 1872 and 1907. It is a major fjord, up to 16 miles in width, with breathtaking shorelines of looming mountains cradling glaciers within their passes. Along with the varied wildlife to be seen, the fjord offers impressive geological panoramas revealed by sparse arctic vegetation on the slopes. Its northern end abuts Ella Ø island, as well as Lyell Land and Scorseby Land, offering dramatic views of the fjord and the Stauning Alps to the southwest.

  • Other branches of the King Oscar Fjord system are, on the western side:
    ▪ Kempe Fjord
    -- Dickson Fjord
    -- Röhss Fjord
    -- hedin Fjord
    ▪ Narwhal Sound
    ▪ Segelsällskapet Fjord
    -- Alpefjord
    -- Forsblad Fjord
    ▪ Mesters Vig
    ▪ Antarctic Haven

  • Other branches of the King Oscar Fjord system are, on the eastern side:
    ▪ Sofia Sound
    ▪ Vega Sound
    ▪ Dream Bay (Drømmebugten)

  • Photos, King Oscar Fjord and environs

Alpe Fjords, Greenland

  • Saturday Afternoon, 7/8/23, Alpe Fjords, Greenland

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  • Located within the Northeast Greenland National Park, you understand Alpe Fjord’s name when you survey the breathtaking span of tall mountains lining its eastern shore. Photographers will also want to have their long lenses ready, because this is a place where musk oxen are frequently seen. Many icebergs create endlessly fascinating studies of form, color, and light.

  • Photos, Alpe Fjords, Greenland and environs

Ella Island, Greenland

  • Sunday Morning, 7/9/23, Ella Island, Greenland

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  • Ella Island sits at the confluence of five iceberg-filled fjords and is considered one of the most stunning island landscapes in Greenland. It is the home of the legendary Sirius Dog Sled Patrol. Established in 1941 to enforce Danish sovereignty in Greenland, the elite Sirius Patrol is comprised of 12 men in 2-man teams that travel by dogsled for months at a time. There are few locations on Earth that can boast such an awe-inspiring view as the patrol’s basecamp. Vertical cliffs rise 4,400 feet directly behind the bright red buildings of the base, creating an almost surreal scene.

  • Lauge Koch had a cabin on the northern side of the island named Eagle's nest. The botanist Thorvald Sørensen spent the years 1931-1935 here. His observations formed the basis for his doctoral thesis in 1941.

  • During World War II, US forces had an installation on the island called Bluie East Four.

  • In 1971 a meteorite was found on Ella Island, classified as an L-6 chondriteIn 1971 a meteorite was found on Ella Island, classified as an L-6 chondrite.

  • Photos, Ella Island and environs

Blomster Bugt, Greenland

  • Sunmday Afternoon, 7/9/23, Blomster Bugt, Greenland


  • The broad valley of Blomster Bugt (Flower Bay) gets its name from the colorful flowering plants on its shores. The landing attracts us with fantastical geologic formations, a lake with great northern divers raising their young, a quick-footed population of white arctic hares and frequent groups of grazing musk oxen. There is an early 20th-century hunters’ hut to poke around, and the tundra meadows guarantee some of East Greenland’s most memorable views.

  • Photos, Blomster Bugt and environs

Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord, Greenland

  • Monday, 7/10/23, Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord, Greenland

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  • The Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord is one of Greenland’s largest fjord systems, penetrating the eastern coast at Foster Bay from the Greenland Sea. It is completely contained in the huge East Greenland National Park, with two main tributary fjords, the wide Nordfjord to the north and the smaller Geogfjord to the south. The Nordfjord culminates in the broad face of the great Waltershausen Glacier, the largest one flowing from the Greenland Ice Sheet. In the other direction, at the end of Ymer Island, stands the looming, reddish mountain called the Devil’s Castle, with a striking lighter-colored band running diagonally across its face.

  • The fjord system boasts the full panoply of Greenlandic wildlife, from four species of seals, walrus, beluga, and narwhals in the sea to caribou, musk oxen, polar bears, arctic foxes, and arctic hares and other small mammals on land. The birds are likewise encompassing, from breeding populations of seabirds to gyrfalcons, geese and eider ducks, upland birds such as ptarmigans, snowy owls and ravens. The fjord is renowned for the exceptionally tall, steep mountains that line its waterways.

  • The fjord is bounded by the Suess Land Peninsula and Ymer Island to the South, with the Antarctic Sound separating them and connecting with the King Oscar Fjord system to the south. Frænkel Land, Andrée Land and the Gauss Peninsula lie to the North of the fjord.

  • The branches of Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord are:
    ▪ Dusenfjord
    ▪ Antarctic Sound
    ▪ Nordfjord
    --Muskox Fjord
    ▪ Geologfjord
    ▪ Isfjord
    ▪ Kjerulf Fjord

  • Since its structure is made up of deep, drowned valleys, the Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord has almost no small islands in its interior. Small and rocky Bjorne Island (Bjørneø) is located near the mouth of Geologfjord, north of Cape Weber, the easternmost end of Andrée Land. Ättestupan is a cliff rising to a height of 4,300 feet from the southern shore of Frænkel Land, on the northern side of Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord.

  • Photos, Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord and environs

Sea Day, Greenland to Iceland

  • Tuesday, 7/11/23, Sea Day, Greenland to Iceland

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  • Travel from Greenland to Iceland. Depart Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord, Greenland on Mon Jul 10th at 5pm and arrive Akureyri, Iceland on Wed Jul 12th at 7am.

  • Photos, Sea Day

Akureyri, Iceland

  • Wednessday, 7/12/23, Akureyri, Iceland

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  • Akureyri is the second largest urban area in Iceland with a population of around 18,000. Nicknamed ‘The Capital of the North,’ it is situated at the head of Eyjafjörður, the longest fjord in Iceland, only 62 miles from the Arctic Circle. Surrounded by snow-streaked mountains, the Akureyri hills flourish in summer with a profusion of arctic wildflowers. Mt. Kerling is the highest peak visible from town, at 5,064feet. Often cloudy, with a mild climate, Akureyri has much less precipitation than its southern counterpart Reykjavik. It is a cultured city, with a university, numerous galleries, museums, art exhibitions, and live theater performances.

  • Nearby Hrísey Island is a spectacularly beautiful and peaceful island often called ‘The Pearl of Eyjafjörður,’ with an atmosphere of calm and settled tranquility. Numerous Atlantic puffins fly overhead, and the occasional whale is seen traversing the fjord.

  • Akureyri is an important port and fishing center. The area where Akureyri is located was settled in the 9th century, but did not receive a municipal charter until 1786. Allied units were based in the town during World War II. Further growth occurred after the war as the Icelandic population increasingly moved to urban areas.

  • The Norse Viking Helgi magri (the slim) Eyvindarson originally settled the area in the 9th century. The first mention of Akureyri is in court records from 1562, when a woman was sentenced there for adultery. In the 17th century, Danish merchants based their camps at the current site of Akureyri, which was one of the numerous spits of land in Pollurinn. The main reasons for choosing this spot for trading operations were the outstanding natural harbour and the fertility of the area. The merchants did not live at Akureyri year-round but returned home in the winter.

  • Photos, Akureyri and environs

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

  • Thursday, 7/13/23, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

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  • The remote town of Seydisfjördur is perched at the end of a narrow twisting fjord in East Iceland. A very picturesque village of 700 people, it is known for its thriving arts scene and large number of resident artists. Tourism is on the rise as well, as its natural setting of mountains and waterfalls is simply breathtaking. Surrounded by impressive 3,560-foot-tall snow-capped mountains, Seydisfjördur is home to the Technical Museum of Iceland. It was settled by Norwegian fishermen in 1848 and quickly became an important trading center between Iceland and Europe. It is known throughout Iceland for its colorful Norwegian-style wooden houses..

  • A road over Fjarðarheiði mountain pass (elevation 2,000 ft) connects Seyðisfjörður to the rest of Iceland. Seyðisfjörður is surrounded by mountains with the most prominent Mt. Bjólfur to the west (1085 m) and Strandartindur (1010 m) to the east. The fjord itself is accessible on each side from the town, by following the main road that leads through the town. Further out the fjord is fairly remote but rich with natural interests including puffin colonies and ruins of former activity such as nearby Vestdalseyri from where the local church was transported.

  • There are several waterfalls in the town. A popular hiking path starts at the town center, following the East bank of the Fjarðará, the river that flows through the center of town. Further up the river there are 25 waterfalls. During the winter, a skiing area is used in Fjarðarheiði mountain pass.

  • The first telegraph cable connecting Iceland to Europe made landfall here in 1906. A large dam was constructed here in 1913, which produced power for the country’s first high voltage AC power plant, a revolutionary achievement for its time.

  • Photos, Seydisfjordur and environs

Papey Island, Iceland

  • Friday, 7/14/23, Papey Island, Iceland

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  • Papey, Celtic for ‘Friar’s’ Island, is situated 3 miles off of the eastern coast of Iceland. Although the largest island in Eastern Iceland, it is only 0.77 sq mi in area. Its windswept, grassy slopes rise to 190 feet culminating in a rock formation called the Castle. Rocky sea cliffs surround much of the island, providing excellent habitat for nesting sea birds. Guillemots occupy Papey until mid-summer while Atlantic puffins abound until mid-September. Seals and eider ducks can be found here during breeding season.

  • Although there is evidence of early Norse settlement, the island takes its name from Irish monks known as ‘papar’ who presumably occupied the island. The medieval Icelandic ‘Book of Settlements’ mentions this as a place inhabited by these ‘Vestmen’ (men of the west).

  • Today, a lighthouse, a dwelling and a church are on the island. The small church, with its white picket fence and red roof is the oldest wooden church in Iceland, built in 1902.

  • Photos, Papey Island and environs

Heimaey, Westman Islands, Iceland

  • Saturday, 7/15/23, Heimaey, Westman Islands, Iceland

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  • Heimaey Island is the largest in the Westman Islands located four miles off the south-west coast of Iceland. One of the most visually impressive islands in Iceland, it is ringed by tall, vertical sea cliffs many hundreds of feet high. Heimaey is also the home to over eight million Atlantic puffins, more nesting puffins than anywhere else on earth. A local story tells that puffin chicks, taking their first flights at night, often become stranded in the village streets, where the local children rescue them and set them free the next day.

  • In January of 1973 the island received the nickname, ‘Pompeii of the North’ when a volcanic eruption and lava flow destroyed half the town. This caused a crisis when the town’s only harbor was nearly blocked by advancing lava. Nowadays it is a lively place with a vibrant culture and over four thousand residents. Archaeological excavations suggest that people lived in Heimaey as early as the 10th Century.

  • In tradition, Herjólfur Bárðarson was said to be the first person to settle in Heimaey. According to the Landnáma, he built his farm in Herjólfsdalur (literally: Herjólf's valley) about 900. The archaeological excavation in 1971 of ancient ruins in Herjólfsdalur revealed that there had been a settlement nearly 100 years earlier.

  • In 1627, three Arab pirate ships from the Ottoman-controlled Barbary Coast raided several towns on the south coast of Iceland and outlying islands. They attacked Grindavík and Heimaey. In Grindavík, townspeople could flee into the lava field of Reykjanes and hide indefinitely. Heimaey was so isolated that it was vulnerable, and people suffered. Many heroic stories were told of the people who survived the invasion, most notably Guðríður Símonardóttir. Better known as Tyrkja-Gudda (Turkish-Gudda), she was taken by the pirates from her home at Stakkagerði on Heimaey to the slave market in Algeria. From there she bought her way back to Iceland through Tunisia, Italy, and Denmark—Iceland was then under Danish rule. Upon returning to Iceland, she married the poet Hallgrímur Pétursson. The Hallgrímskirkja Lutheran church in Reykjavík is named in his honor.

  • At 01:00 on 23 January 1973, a volcanic eruption of the mountain Eldfell began on Heimaey. The ground on Heimaey started to quake and fissures formed. The fissures grew to 5,200 feet in length, and lava began to erupt. Lava sprayed into the air from the fissures. Volcanic ash was blown to the sea. Later, the situation deteriorated. When the fissures closed, the eruption converted to a concentrated lava flow that headed toward the harbor. The winds changed, and five million cubic feet of ash blew on the town. During the night, the 5,000 inhabitants of the island were evacuated, mostly by fishing boats, as almost the entire fishing fleet was in dock.

  • The encroaching lava flow threatened to destroy the harbor. The eruption lasted until 3 July. Icelanders sprayed the lava with six million tons of cold seawater, causing some to solidify and much to be diverted, thus saving the harbor. During the eruption, half of the town was crushed and the island expanded in length. The eruption increased the area of Heimaey from 4.3 sq mi to 5.19 sq mi. Only one man died in the eruption. The eruption is described by John McPhee in his book The Control of Nature.

  • Photos, Heimaey, Westman Islands

Reykjavi, Iceland to Lafayette, LA