Nowadays, we are more than used to airplanes. Traveling from one place to another in just a few hours is something we consider quite normal. The truth is, it has not always been the case. In the past- a not so remote one, may I add. The option of visiting other places or countries was sometimes limited to boat or ship trips. We all have heard of the Titanic, haven’t we? We may have better technology and options now, but sailing the seas still has a certain romantic and nostalgic air. If you are an ocean lover, you should know that there is a different way of traveling to our Nordic Island. In this post, we will talk about the Ferry to Iceland.
The Unknown Iceland Ferry
That’s the best way to describe a ferry to Iceland: unknown. Not many travelers know this option is available both within Iceland and to Iceland. The possibilities are indeed somewhat limited. After all, Iceland is a relatively small island, and connections to other ports are far from country to country. Therefore, the options available are usually to those ports closest to the island. However, do not be discouraged, since, although few, the possibilities are quite interesting. We are sure these routes will inspire many to expand their journey through these Northern latitudes. We will then start with the international options:
Ferry from Denmark to Iceland
That is one of the most attractive international routes. The ferry departs from the Hirtshals terminal, located on the Jutland Peninsula in Northern Denmark, destination Seyðisfjörður in Iceland. Service is offered by Smyril Line, a Faroese shipping company.
The route is carried out by MS Norröna, one of the company’s main ferries. The Norröna departs once a week from Denmark, except in the high season, where two departures are offered per week. It is a three days long trip. Now, during the journey through the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, you will see many exciting points along the route. The ferry will pass north the Shetlands islands archipelago, 170km (110 mi) from the Scottish mainland. There stands Muckle Flugga, Britain’s most northerly lighthouse.
Faroe Islands ferry
This same route that departs from Denmark will make a stop in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. Two days after leaving Denmark, you will arrive in the city, and you will be able to do a little sightseeing and get to know the area for a few hours.
The city has a population of about 13,000 people, walking through its streets is quite pleasant and will help you regain energy to continue your journey across the seas, next stop: Iceland! You will love the views when the ferry leaves the port. I think it is a small sample of what awaits you in Iceland since the Faroe Islands have a certain similarity.
Prices of the ferry vary according to the season, total passengers if you will bring your vehicle with you, and the cabin you choose. You can download the calendar and prices here.
Extend your ferry trip to Norway, maybe?
The same route that we mentioned before is done in reverse—in other words, leaving Iceland, visiting the Faroe Islands, and returning to Denmark. But if you have time to spare and you still want to continue the adventure, you can extend your route to Norway. Daily routes leave from the same Danish port to Langesund, Norway. Or the other way around! Norway- Denmark- Faroe Islands and Iceland. It sounds like fun!
Many of you may think the journey is way too long to be done by ferry. But these ferries are not just tiny ships with hardly any amenities or services. They are quite large, so large that the inexperienced eye might mistake them for a cruise. The MS Norröna, for example, has restaurants, shops, entertainment areas, gym and swimming pool. Three days on the route from Denmark to Iceland is nothing when you have all these options at your fingertips.
Ferries in Iceland – Routes available
If you do not feel like sailing between countries, you will always have the option to board a boat within Iceland. These ferries can be an excellent option for those looking to save up time and shorten the drive between cites. Let’s check what options we have available:
Ferry to Videy Islands
This ferry will not save up time as the island is close to the coast of Reykjavik. However, it is the only option you have to visit the beautiful island. The Elding company runs this ferry. If you purchased the Reykjavik City Card, know that the trip is free.
Ferry to Grimsey Island
If you are looking for an adventure as close to the north pole as possible, this is your ferry. Grimsey is the northernmost island in Iceland. The ship departs directly from Dalvik port and takes about three hours to reach the island. You can check the schedules right here.
Ferry to the Westfjords
Traveling to the southern area of the Westfjords would take approximately 3h 30 min. Directly from Reykjavik to Hólmavík. The Sæferðir ferry will shorten this time considerably. It departs from Stykkishólmur on the Snaefellsness Peninsula destination Brjanslaekur on the West fjords. Price list here.
If you wish to visit the northernmost point fog the Westfjords, Hornstrandir, you can take the ferry that leaves from Ísafjörður. This is a small ferry, so you will not be able to take your rental car with you.
The ferry to Westman Islands
This archipelago of 15 islands is located in the south of Iceland, 30 minutes by boat from Landeyjahöfn. It is called Vestmannæyar in Iceland, and it is an excellent area for bird sighting and learn about volcanic activity. The island was evacuated due to the eruption of the Eldfell volcano. It covered several houses and under tons of ash and dust, which can be visited nowadays. The ferry is scheduled seven times per day, and the trip takes approximately 35-40 minutes one way.
Ferry to Iceland: A different way of traveling
There are other routes besides those mentioned, but they are already rather rare and are usually used by locals. They are not as focused on visitors though you might still be interested. Ferries are available in small villages in remote areas of Iceland. This is the case of the Ferry to Látravik in Norðurfjörður or by ferry to Papey, near Djúpivogur, which have routes available during the summer mainly.
Do not miss the opportunity to get to know Iceland in this peculiar way. You can mix this way of a trip with a memorable road trip. We are sure you will love both!