Iceland Yacht Charter

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Seljalandsfoss - Iceland

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Iceland is a breath-taking destination in the Northern Europe. It is a rewarding experience for a wide range of reasons: Historic mansions, delicious cuisine, unique shopping opportunities, scenic coastal landscapes, excellent conditions for all water sports, and of course, beautiful beaches. What's more, this year-round destination is strikingly different and offers winter sports and a whole host of festivities over the Christmas and New Year period.

Reykjavik alone has an abundance of activities, from the golden sands of Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach and peninsular golf clubs, to myriad museums and an electric nightlife. Farther from the capital, discover scenic parks like Reykjanesfólkvangur, a nature reserve with a Mars-like landscape created by volcanic and geothermal activity. Whales, seals and puffins can be sighted along the coast while guests kayak, fish, snorkel or Scuba dive, and arctic foxes roam across the land while you scale mountains, visit icy caves and enjoy a whole season of winter sports.

Five quick reasons to visit Iceland

Dramatic coastlines, Unusual volcanic and geothermal sites, Fantastic nightlife, Thriving modern culture, Captivating wildlife

More about this part of the Arctic Circle

Iceland is ideally positioned west of Northern Europe and Svalbard, with Greenland, Canada and the northernmost corners of the USA farther west. This makes Iceland an ideal destination for a luxury yacht charter itinerary that takes in multiple destinations, particularly on extended cruises by explorer yacht. The region has an abundance of natural wonders, including glaciers, waterfalls, volcanic and geothermal sites of interest and many worthy UNESCO World Heritage Sites both natural and industrial. Winter sports lovers and wildlife watchers will be enchanted with the diversity on offer, while photographers will be richly rewarded with sensational land and seascapes at any time of the year.

The waters are rich in sea life and fishing enthusiasts of all experience levels will have myriad opportunities to catch something delicious to be cooked by your professional on board chef. Scuba divers, meanwhile, will have the chance to try dive sites much different to those of the tropics, swimming beneath glaciers and discovering cold-water corals and seagrass meadows.

Icelandic Yacht Charter Experiences

Iceland is a place of stark contrasts, and this is most prominent in the brilliant bright days and the void-like nights. The play of light makes this destination a photographers’ paradise for unusual sights such as the ice caves and glaciers, and in summer when wildflowers such as arctic cotton is flourishing, the coasts come alive with beautiful bright colours.

The sunlight provides surprising warmth from July through to September, and although it is advisable to bring layers for all weather, it is possible to spend your days outside in T-shirts and shorts. On land, hike through magnificent parks such as the Snæfellsjökull National Park and pass by amazing waterfalls and some of Iceland's flourishing bird species.

The beaches are amazing wherever you travel and vary between golden white sands to black volcanic grains. The coasts around Snæfellsjökull National Park and Reykjavik are particularly spectacular.

In winter, take a helicopter ride into the mountains for winter sports, dog sled across the tundra and marvel at the shifting Northern Lights.

In the water, kayak to beautiful seagrass meadows and coral-covered lagoons, drift dive beneath ice fields as the sunlight pours through the surface. After so long in the cold, warm up in one of the geothermal spas surrounding Reykjavik or dip into your on board Jacuzzi and whale watch while your expert chef prepares a delectable lunch or dinner. As night falls, savour the warm interiors of your luxury yacht as you host your own party to rival the capital's, or have a cosy and intimate evening watching the latest blockbusters as you cuddle up on the sofa.

Even when the weather isn't perfect for outdoor activities, there is still plenty to do during your stay: In addition to Reykjavik's aforementioned nightlife, the capital boasts fantastic cafes, restaurants, boutique shops, international brands and galleries. The museums offer an illuminating look into local history and geology as well as more unusual topics, such as the Icelandic Phallological Museum, where most of the country's marine and land animals are represented.

yacht in iceland

Things to Consider:

Yachting seasons & climate:.

The heart of winter in December and January sees a low of -3°C/27°F and a high of 3°C/37°F, while the peak summer months of July and August experience a low of 8°C/46°F and a high of 13°C/55°F, which can feel all the warmer in the sunshine. The rainfall is at its lowest during July and August, and heaviest in January when it is more likely to fall as snow.

Sea temperatures average around 5°C/42°F in winter and 11°C/53°F in summer.

Clothing to Pack For Your Charter:

The changeable weather in the Arctic could mean that you are wearing winter layers one day and then T-shirts and shorts the next: A windproof, waterproof layer is an essential item, especially during the winter, as are a good pair of gloves and a warm woollen hat. Clothing should be breathable for sports and for comfort, and layers should be easy to add or remove to suit activity level, the time of day and local weather conditions. Bug spray is also recommended for the summer months to keep away biting midges.

Main Ports and Marinas:

Reykjavik Port (Iceland), Keflavik (Iceland), Rif Port (Iceland), Vestmannaeyjar Port (Iceland)

Famous Restaurants & Clubs:

Dill Restaurant (Reykjavik, Iceland), Matarkjallarinn (The Food Cellar) Restaurant (Reykjavik, Iceland)

A Must See Attraction:

Snaefellsjokull National Park, Londrangar (Hellnar), Svodufoss (Rif), National Museum of Iceland (Reykjavik), Art Museum Ásmundarsafn (Reykjavik), The Culture House (Reykjavik), Gelleri Fold (Reykjavik)

Best beaches to visit in your yacht:

Alftanes, Búðir, Grótta, Reynisfjara, Breiðamerkursandur, Vestrahorn Beach, Raudasandur, Sandvik Beach

Best time to go:

When to go is dependent on what you want to do and see: There couldn't be more of a difference between the winter and summer months, making Iceland a destination you could return to and discover even more. Summer is when the wildlife awakens and birds flock to the shores for mating displays and nesting. Daylight hours are long and this is a fantastic time for water sports and sunbathing along the various beaches. In winter, the landscape is covered in a thick blanket of snow for dog sledding and other winter sports. This is the best time to visit ice caves and dine or party beneath the Northern Lights.

Further Charter Information

Yacht Rentals Available: Go here for the current list of yacht rentals in Northern Europe.

Full Iceland Yacht Charter Guide: Go here for the essential Northern Europe yacht charter guide.

News: Read the latest superyacht news about Northern Europe.

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Guide to Iceland

A geographical phenomena teeming with wildlife and captivating scenery

Thundering waterfalls, hot springs and spellbinding vistas, Iceland is undoubtedly a destination that will captivate anyone looking for an adventurous yacht charter vacation . Lying on the constantly active geologic border between North America and Europe , Iceland is a land of vivid contrasts of climate, geography and culture that is waiting to be explored.

Begin your magical Nordic adventure in Iceland’s capital of Reykjavík. Cosmopolitan, modern and green, the city is abuzz with a profound culture, history and nightlife. Spend some time making the most of the atmosphere generated by this bustling city with its highbrow museums, vibrant bars and elegant shops all in close proximity to the port. The central core of streets around Laugavegur is where you’ll find a range of engaging museums such as the Saga museum that offers an accessible introduction to Iceland’s stirring past. Be sure to explore the quaint villages, marvellous restaurants and diminutive towns for yourself before heading out into the starkly beautiful wilderness of ice fields, waterfalls and lava. 

Spread either side of Reykjavík, southwestern Iceland extends barely 200km from end to end yet nowhere else are the country’s key elements of history and land so intertwined. Filled with some of Iceland’s most iconic scenery and explosive landscapes, this is where guests can enjoy the likes of the famous Blue Lagoon, Hekla Volcano and the hot springs at Landmannalaugar. More essential historical and geological features that you must see during your yacht charter include the original parliament site at Þingvellir, Geysir’s hot water spouts, and the immense Gullfoss waterfall.

An Iceland yacht charter allows you to access some of the most beautiful scenery with no restrictions. Kayak along the dramatic coastline and witness stunning sea arches up close from a perspective that isn’t possible any other way. Alternatively, grab your hiking boots and take a walking tour ashore to discover the vast wildlife and unique landscapes in the area. Why not take a helicopter tour for another perspective of the indescribable landscape and see if you can spot any whales from the air? There is no better whale watching than Iceland whale watching which is best to do near the beautiful and angelic Siglufjörður.

If you’re searching for unique experiences, there is no doubt that Iceland is definitely the destination for you. Take a plunge into the Silfra fissure and snorkel between tectonic plates, this is the only place in the world where you can actually swim in the gap between two continents. Formed by the Eurasian and North American plates slowly ripping apart, this area of water is 60m deep and reveals another intriguing part of Iceland that not many people have seen. In the evening, encounter an intimate dinner experience in the only Volcano on earth that you can go inside. A fine dining experience inside Thrihnukagigur Volcano’s magma chamber, what more could you ask for?

Quite simply unlike anything else, an Iceland yacht charter will leave you feeling energised, inspired and humbled thanks to the magnitude of sights and expereinces you can immerse yourself in during your vacation. If you are interested in a private crewed yachting vacation in this region, start planning your next vacation with a recommended yacht charter broker today. 

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Flying Fox yacht charter

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from $4,368,000 p/week ♦︎

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from $2,831,000 p/week ♦︎

O'Ptasia yacht charter

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from $980,000 p/week ♦︎

Project X yacht charter

88m | Golden Yachts

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Lady S yacht charter

93m | Feadship

from $1,501,000 p/week ♦︎

Maltese Falcon yacht charter

Maltese Falcon

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from $490,000 p/week

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from $3,000,000 p/week

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Superyacht Charter Iceland

Iceland Yacht Charter

Private Yachting Cruises in Iceland

Formed by the pure, raw energy of glaciers and volcanoes, an Iceland superyacht Charter offers a fascinating landscape – from flat plateaus and mountainous peaks, to ice cold glaciers and steaming thermal springs. Small towns and villages are clustered on the edge of dramatic fjords and thunderous waterfalls. Rent a crewed motor or sailing boat with YPI to have the best cruising possible in Iceland. This is an example of a nine day yacht charter itinerary for Iceland. Yacht charter itineraries are created individually for every client based around personal preferences and how you want to spend your time onboard your superyacht in Northern Europe.

Superyacht Charter Rejkavik

Hubble Bubble

Once settled on your superyacht in Rejkavik, the northernmost capital city, head straight off with your private guides to explore the Reykjanes Peninsula, a UNESCO Geopark – your first taste of Iceland. Walk across the Mid Atlantic Ridge at the only point in the world where it comes ashore on the Bridge between Continents linking Europe and North America. Head to Gunnuvher, a bubbling, boiling area of thermal springs and steam vents – also home to Iceland’s largest mud pool. Visit the fishing village of Grindavik set in the lava fields. Finally, immerse yourself in the warm, mineral rich geo-thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon – perfect to ease the kinks after your flight. For cocktails and dinner explore the vibrant town of Rejkavik; try The Lobster House for wonderful fish and seafood or perhaps The Food Cellar with great cocktails and piano bar.

Superyacht Charter Grundafjordur

Grundafjordur

Journey to the centre of the earth.

Arrive in Grundafjordur overlooked by the Kirkufell Mountain. Earlybirds may like to take a pre-breakfast stroll to the Kirkufellsfoss – the waterfalls at the base of this spherical mountain. After breakfast, head for the Snaefellsjokul National Park with your local guide team. Make an attempt at the Snaefells mountain – a stratovolcano topped by a glacier, made famous by Jules Verne who used this mountain as the starting point for his famous novel; more recently it will be recognisable to fans as locations in the Game of Thrones blockbuster series. Take a snowmobile or snowcat to reach the summit. Go underground at the 8000 year old Vatnshellir lava cave; visit the black sand beach of at Djupalonssandur or Black Pearl Beach, so named for the perfectly smooth round pebbles of lava. Snap the money shot of the Snaefellsjokull glacier through Gatklettur – a hole in the rock which perfectly frames the glacier. Finally, enjoy a delicious dinner on board your private motor or sailing yacht.

Superyacht Charter Flatey Island

Flatey Island

Birds galore.

Wake up as your private superyacht arrives at Flatey Island. This is the largest of a group of 40 islands in the bay of Breidafjordur. The colourful, well-preserved houses are over 100 years old – great for your Instagram. See the fertility god Freyr fashioned from driftwood by artist Jon Gunnar Arnason.. Visit the church: the ceiling mural is of the local landscape and residents of the island. Jesus is depicted wearing an Icelandic sweater. Enjoy the scenery as the motor or sailing boat cruises to the Latrabjarg Cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland. These impressive cliffs – the largest sea-bird cliff in Europe - are home to countless nesting seabirds such as puffins, gannets, razorbills, fulmars and guillemots. The photogenic puffins will pose obligingly providing more Instagram moments. Cruise round the and north-western coast of the Westfjords to the stunning Arnafjordur. Enjoy a gourmet dinner on deck in these magnificent surroundings under the midnight sun.

Superyacht Charter Isafjordur

Horseriding and Hiking

Make an early start to hike to the Dynjandi Waterfalls or take the superyacht's tender ashore to its base. Dynjandi are the largest falls in Westfjords, cascading down 100m of tiered rock. Enjoy a late breakfast while the yacht continues its journey around the craggy coast to Isafjordur, the capital of the Westfjords, first established as a trading post in the 16th century. Take a stroll around the town; visit the Maritime Museum and the Museum of Modern Life for a true insight into the Icelandic culture and day to day life. Hike to the top of Naustahvilvt, 500m high, known as the Troll’s Seat, overlooking the town. Horseriding can be arranged with treks through the valley or take to the water for some kayaking. A private visit can be arranged to Aedey Island, home to one farming family breeding Eider ducks for the production of Eider down. Head into town for dinner – try Tjoruhusid for great fish and seafood or stay on board for another gourmet feast from your chef.

Superyacht Charter Hornstrandir

Hornvik, Hornstrandir

Outlaw country.

Wake up off the spectacular Hornstradir National Park. There are 580 square kilometres of stunning views including what was formerly known as the Western Horn, Hornbjarg, which has cliff peaks reaching 534 metres above sea level providing habitat for many seabirds. This nature reserve is a haven for wildlife; with no roads and uninhabited by humans since the 1950’s, the Arctic fox, the birds, seals and plantlife have all thrived. Spend the day with your professional guides exploring this wonderful wilderness. Hike to the top of the spectacular Hornbjarg; trekking south, see Iceland’s most northerly glacier, Drangajokull, in the distance. Keep your cameras at the ready for any wildlife spotting – the arctic fox particularly is unafraid of human contact since hunting has been banned for many years. Hike through the lowlands in the footsteps of Iceland’s famous outlaw Fjalla Eyvindur – the man of the mountains. After a long day, soak in the hot tub sipping a cocktail before enjoying dinner in the tranquillity of your private luxury boat.

Superyacht Charter Siglufjordur

Siglufjordur

Herring heritage.

An overnight cruise brings your superyacht to the pretty town of Siglufjordur. Siglufjordur’s interesting heritage was as the main processing port for herring on the north coast and it is still reliant on fishing – although no longer for herring. Now it is a nice well-established town. Visit the Era of Herring museum to learn of the challenges faced. There is also a pictorial memorial to be seen in the Photographic Museum. The town’s second claim to fames is as the setting for the dark TV drama ‘Trapped’. Golfers can finally get their fix at the 9 hole course just outside the town and shoppers can hunt for some local handicrafts. Take the kayaks for a tour of old shipwrecks or go hiking in the surrounding mountains with local, knowledgeable guides. Visit the Folk Music centre located in one of the oldest houses in the town, Madame House, to see recordings of people playing folk instruments, chanting poetry and nursery rhymes. Take a tasting tour of Icelandic beers at Segull 67 brewery before enjoying dinner in town.

Superyacht Charter Husavik

Bay of Houses

Superyacht Charter Akureyri

Crossing the Arctic Circle

Walk to the north of Grimsey island to cross the Arctic Circle; see the large concrete sphere marking the current position. It is calculated that by the year 2050 the Arctic Circle will have moved north beyond the island and, indeed, Iceland due to the shifting in the earth’s axis. See thousands of birds, including puffins, perching on the basalt columns of the cliff face. Cruise south into the Eyjafjordur past the island of Hrisey to the capital of the north, Akureyri, with your private motor or sailing boat. Akureyri is immediately identifiable by the distinctive Akureyrarkirkja, the Lutheran Cathedral designed by Guojhon Samuelsson in the 1940’s. See the impressive Botanic Gardens which thrive in the microclimate of the one of the northernmost cities. Head to Glerartorg Mall for some shopping or follow the Glera river along the walking trail. Enjoy the lively evening scene in town. Try the local beer Viking or why not bathe in beer at the Kaldi Beer Spa?

Superyacht Charter Dettifloss Falls

Dettifloss Falls

The father of the falls.

After a hearty breakfast on board your superyacht, professional guides will collect you to drive you inland to the most geologically active area in Iceland, Myvatn. The lake, at 277m above sea level, provides panoramic views of boiling mud pools, surreal formations in caves and craters in the lava fields wetlands rich in birds and plantlife. Experience hot spring bathing at Myvatn Nature Baths. Take a dog sled ride with Siberian Huskies across this stunning landscape. The trip will continue to Godafoss – the ‘waterfall of the gods’ – a hundred foot wide spectacle of water tumbling over the cliff. Adrenaline junkies may like to take a separate trip to the Jokulsa Austari – the East Glacial River Gorge - do some exhilarating whitewater rafting. Return to the yacht for a farewell cocktail party organised by the crew.

Superyacht Charter Dettifloss Falls

Boat & Catamaran charter in Iceland - Yacht Rental

Iceland yacht rental.

Dive into an unprecedented sailing experience with Yachting.Rent’s premium yacht rental service in Iceland. Our mission is to make the awe-inspiring Icelandic waters accessible to everyone, from the novice adventurer to the seasoned seafarer.

Iceland, a land of contrasting landscapes, offers a unique blend of volcanic formations, shimmering fjords, and spectacular glaciers that turn sailing into an extraordinary adventure. Yachting.Rent equips you with a high-quality, well-maintained yacht of your choosing, whether you’re planning a tranquil sail around the picturesque Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, or venturing further out into the North Atlantic to catch a glimpse of the majestic whales and the enchanting Northern Lights.

We understand that every voyage is different. That’s why our fleet includes a variety of yacht sizes and types, each impeccably maintained for safety and performance. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a daring expedition with friends, we’ve got the perfect yacht for you.

Our dedicated team of sailing enthusiasts is always at your disposal, providing you with professional advice on choosing the right yacht, planning your route, and ensuring you’re fully equipped for your Icelandic journey.

With Yachting.Rent, you can navigate the icy waters of Iceland in comfort and style. Start your Icelandic sailing adventure with us today!

Daniel Goldman

CEO of Yachting.Rent

Boat & Catamaran charter in Iceland

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Bali 4.5 – 4 + 2 cab. – Adria Chicha – 2017

Lagoon 450 F - 4 + 2 cab. - Shiva - 2018

Lagoon 450 F – 4 + 2 cab. – Shiva – 2018

Lagoon 42 - 4 + 2 cab. - Eleni - 2023.

Lagoon 42 – 4 + 2 cab. – Hanselli – 2024

Lagoon 42 – 4 + 1 cab. – pirelli – 2024.

Saxdor 320 GTO - Kali - 2022

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Saxdor 320 gto – kali – 2022.

yacht in iceland

Why Choose Us

Yacht charter in Iceland

Embrace the adventure of a lifetime with Yachting.Rent’s exceptional yacht charter services in Iceland. With us, you are not just hiring a yacht, you are charting your course to an unforgettable journey across the unspoiled Icelandic seascape.

Iceland is a sailor’s dream, with its breath-taking fjords, captivating northern lights, and the awe-inspiring spectacle of whales in their natural habitat. Yachting.Rent provides an exclusive range of luxury yachts, inviting you to explore these wonders in comfort, safety, and style.

We pride ourselves on delivering a service that goes beyond simple yacht charter. Our experienced team is dedicated to understanding your unique needs and crafting the perfect Icelandic sailing experience for you. We’ll guide you through selecting the right yacht from our impressive fleet, each one impeccably maintained and equipped with everything you need for your journey.

Whether you dream of gliding through the serene waters of the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, adventuring into the wild North Atlantic, or simply soaking up the stunning Icelandic coast, we’re here to turn that dream into reality.

Yachting.Rent is more than a yacht charter in Iceland. We’re your partner in adventure, bringing unparalleled sailing experiences within your reach. Start planning your voyage with us today.

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About Iceland

Why is Iceland a good sailing destination?

Set sail for the adventure of a lifetime with Yachting.Rent as we show you why Iceland is an unparalleled sailing destination. Offering more than just breathtaking scenery, Iceland’s unique marine environment offers countless opportunities for memorable experiences.

Iceland’s breathtaking fjords, majestic glaciers, and distinctive volcanic landscapes offer an unparalleled backdrop for sailing. The ethereal Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun provide extraordinary experiences that only Iceland can offer. With such an array of natural phenomena, every day brings a new spectacle to capture your imagination.

Beyond the unique scenery, Iceland’s seas are brimming with marine life. Sailors can often spot playful dolphins, puffins, and even majestic whales in their natural habitat. The thrill of witnessing these creatures up close from the deck of a yacht is an experience like no other.

Despite its seemingly remote location, Iceland offers modern marinas with excellent facilities. Along the coast, charming fishing villages welcome sailors with open arms, providing an authentic taste of Icelandic hospitality and culture.

But it’s not just about the destination – the journey matters too. Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete novice, sailing in Iceland offers a range of challenges and opportunities to learn. From navigating the calm fjord waters to the open sea, there’s always something new to discover.

At Yachting.Rent, we’re here to help you discover why Iceland is more than just a good sailing destination – it’s an exceptional one. Let us guide you on a sailing journey you’ll never forget. Start your Icelandic adventure with us today!

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yacht in iceland

What Choose

Sailing boat or Catamaran, what to sail in Iceland

When planning a sailing adventure in the enchanting waters of Iceland, choosing the right vessel is crucial for the experience. At Yachting.Rent, we provide both sailing boats and catamarans, ensuring we cater to all your sailing needs.

If it’s an intimate and traditional sailing experience you seek, our fleet of sailing boats is ideal. These vessels are perfect for closer encounters with Iceland’s nature, weaving through the narrow fjords and close to the dramatic cliff faces. The maneuverability and agility of a sailing boat provide an unmatched sense of connection to the wind and the sea, offering a journey as exciting as the destination.

On the other hand, our catamarans offer an excellent choice for those seeking more space and comfort. With their double hulls, catamarans provide more stability than a monohull, making them a popular choice for families or groups. They feature larger living spaces, both inside and out, perfect for enjoying the panoramic views of Iceland’s stunning landscapes. With their shallow draft, catamarans allow you to get closer to the shore, perfect for exploring secluded bays and inlets.

Both our sailing boats and catamarans come equipped with modern navigation and safety equipment, ensuring a secure and enjoyable sailing adventure. Our expert team at Yachting.Rent will guide you in choosing the perfect vessel based on your needs and sailing skills.

Whether it’s the adventurous feel of a sailing boat or the comfort and stability of a catamaran, Yachting.Rent has you covered for your Icelandic sailing experience. Embark on your next adventure with us and discover the majestic beauty of Iceland from a new perspective!

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yacht in iceland

Welcome to the land of fire and ice. One steeped in natural wonders, with jagged landscapes carved by vast volcanic eruptions, bubbling geothermal lagoons, mineral-rich mountain lakes, plunging waterfalls and misty, cinematic canyons, like a scene from The Lord of the Rings. Welcome to Iceland.

Between Fire and Ice

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INSPIRATIONAL ITINERARIES IN ICELAND

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Geothermal Springs, Rock & Lava Scapes

Reykjavik to Akureyri, Iceland. An untamed expanse that is teeming with wildlife and geographical phenomena. Thundering waterfalls, captivating scenery.

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YOUR GUIDE TO ICELAND

STEEPED IN NATURAL WONDERS

Dramatic fjords, peaceful shores and crystal-clear air make Iceland a wonderful cruising ground for superyachts. It’s a country steeped in natural wonders, with jagged landscapes carved by vast volcanic eruptions, bubbling geothermal lagoons, mineral-rich mountain lakes, plunging waterfalls and misty, cinematic canyons, like a scene from The Lord of the Rings.

Your Guide to Iceland

Wonderous Landscape

The north coast features jagged, geologically younger peaks and waters teeming with sealife. Natural wonders here include the storied Goðafoss waterfall, the eutrophic Mývatn lake and the old trading station town of Akureyri, nestled at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord. Akureyri is often branded as the capital of the north, and it comes alive in summer, with al fresco dining, verdantly flowering gardens, open-air concerts and long sunny days spent lounging by the pool (despite its proximity to the Arctic Circle).

yacht in iceland

Atypical Destination

Iceland, today, isn’t your typical yacht charter destination. But as a pioneer in expedition charters to less accessible territories, Y.CO is planning to help put Iceland on the superyacht map by offering yachts for charter in this unique and captivating destination.

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Sturdy Fisherman

Grímsey is the northernmost inhabited landmass in Iceland, about 40 km off the coast of the mainland and the only part of the country that is genuinely in the Arctic. Sail here on your charter yacht and you’ll find a community of sturdy fisherman harvesting the rich fishing banks that surround the island. It’s home to just 100 people, in comparison to its one million seabirds.

All the Fjords

The East Fjords and West Fjords are different again, and just as beautiful – peppered with quaint old fishing villages and immersed in folklores of their own. The East Fjords stretch for 120 kilometres from Berufjörður in the south to the small fishing village of Borgarfjörður Eystri in the north, with hiking trails, lava caves and countless other natural phenomena in between. Here you can visit the amazing Álfaborg, believed to be the home of the Queen of Iceland’s elves. It’s also home to herds of wild reindeer — the only place in the country where you’ll find them.

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Dive into the Depths

A Picturesque Isthmus

The West Fjords, facing the east coast of Greenland and connected to the rest of Iceland by a 7-km-wide isthmus, are geographically remote and so often overlooked by visitors to Iceland. They’re home to the lively little town of Ísafjörður, the extraordinary 400-metre-bird cliff Látrabjarg (mobbed by millions of puffins, northern gannets, guillemots and razorbills), and Vigur island, where you can visit Iceland’s oldest windmill and view the mountains in all their majesty from the sea.

yacht in iceland

Every Day Diversity

Straddling the Eurasian and North American plates, the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, a circumnavigation of Iceland by yacht would reveal an immensely complex and varied geology — powder-topped mountains, churning oceans, evergreen forests and landscapes so lunar-like that astronauts once trained there. Every day on a yacht charter here would provide an unforgettable snapshot of that diversity – a spot of whale-spotting in the morning, a visit to a herring museum before lunchtime, a dip in a bubbling mud pool or a zodiac cruise out to an uninhabited, ice-age island in the afternoon, then a long, indulgent dinner on the deck of your superyacht, the sky lit by a soft, glowing sun.

REASONS TO VISIT

WHY WE LOVE ICELAND

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Explosion of Colours

Most commonly imagined under a blanket of snow in winter, Iceland is also captivating in summer. National parks explode into a kaleidoscope of greens, oranges, reds and browns, puffin colonies pitch up in their thousands, the beautiful highlands become ripe for hiking, a pink sun simmers in the sky until midnight, and not a week goes by without some cultural event or village festival popping up. Unpassable areas in winter reopen for visitors. Days stretch into infinite evenings. And travelling the Icelandic coastline by superyacht is an amazing, fluid way to experience it all.

yacht in iceland

Natural Paradise

If you’re lucky enough to encircle part or all of the country by boat, you’ll see just how diverse it can be. The south is a land of windswept black sand beaches overlooked by colossal glaciers such as the volcanic glacier Eyjafjallajökull. Rivers flow from its meltwaters into rushing waterfalls. The land is dramatic, ancient and very much alive. Reykjavík, the world’s most northerly capital, is a jolt of energy amidst the wilderness – creative, quirky and free-spirited, with a dining scene to rival any southerly European capital, a magnificent old harbour and knockout views of the flat-topped mountain Esja.

yacht in iceland

Reasons to Visit

True Isolation

There are 18 ports in Iceland, each with their own opportunities for exploration, while a superyacht charter in Iceland of course gives that opportunity to stop wherever the mood takes, often in a bay or fjord with nothing but the sky and surrounding peaks for company. The cities and port towns offer art, culture, music, and a thriving culinary scene, but true isolation, equally, is yours for the taking.

Experiences

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Between Two Continents

Snorkelling between tectonic plates in Silfra, Iceland

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High Octane Iceland

Discover Iceland by Four-Wheel Drive

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Dinner In The Centre Of The Earth

Fine-Dining inside Thrihnukagigur Volcano

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Iceland Yacht Charter

Uncover the awe-inspiring beauty of Iceland’s untouched wilderness whilst on a luxury yachting holiday. Climb aboard a helicopter from the comforts of your yacht before heading off to freshly powered peaks. Explore breathtaking landscapes and immerse yourself in the Artic North.

Experience the magic of the Northern Lights as it dances in the skies above and explore landscapes sculpted by ancient volcanoes, waterfalls and natural wonders.

This all-year-round destination promises you an extraordinary yachting adventure across this enchanting icy realm with Pelorus Yachting.

Featured Iceland Experience

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Circumnavigating Iceland: The Land of Fire & Ice

Discover Iceland’s unique treasures on a yacht charter circumnavigation. Spot arctic foxes and orcas, swim between tectonic plates, and hike, heli-ski, and heli-surf on this unforgettable adventure.

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Need help planning your luxury yacht expedition in Iceland?

Get in touch with our Expedition Designers to begin planning your own bespoke, once-in-a-lifetime Iceland expedition. Contact us now to start planning your next adventure.

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Iceland Yacht Charter

Welcome to Iceland Yacht Charter

Enjoy Iceland from a fresh perspective

Iceland is now one of the most trendy tourist destinations on earth. But during the peak summer months, the tiny country quickly becomes over run with the large numbers of visitors and roads are packed with cars, tour buses and jeeps. Now it is possible to enjoy all the peak season benefits that Iceland has to offer without the stress of battling the crowds. Iceland Yacht-Charter offers you a unique opportunity to see Iceland from another perspective ─ all while enjoying the privacy and peacefulness of your very own chartered yacht. We have a variety yachts to choose from as well as planned itineraries to some of the most breathtaking locations around the country.

Here is an overview of some of our most popular itineraries ─

Whether you are a seasoned sailor with years of sailing experience under your belt, or have no experience in sailing whatsoever, our yachts come equipped with everything you need for a magnificent journey of discovery around Iceland.

Let Iceland Yacht-Charter fulfill your dreams of seeing Iceland as never before.

Iceland Yacht Charter on AQUA TV

Iceland Yacht Charter on AQUA TV

Iceland Yacht Charter on AQUA TV

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Sailing adventures in the Arctic

IN THE ARCTIC

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The Sailing Yacht Vera

The sailing yacht Vera is built and coded for 12 guests and three crew, operating as a highly successful luxury crewed charter business in Iceland and Greenland. For overnight voyages, she offers 11 berths over five separate cabins, all en-suite with showers, for eight guests and three crew members.

Vera is an Oyster 68. Designed by Holman and Pye and built in 1989 by Oyster Marine in England, she is an excellent cruising yacht, recognised throughout the sailing world for quality, comfort and performance. With core values of strength, seaworthiness and a multitude of practical, seamanlike features, she provides a secure environment for adventurous cruising.

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The crew is looking forward to welcoming you on board and we believe the expedition will be unforgettable, On board, you will find the captain with a dedicated and professional approach to your safety, sailing and navigation as well as first mate and guide, with his passion for sailing and love of nature. Finally, the chef whose love for cooking ensures you will experience everything the local environment has to offer.

Good seamanship

Safety begins and ends with a good crew and a strong and seaworthy ship. Good equipment is important as well, but it is worth remembering that the most important for your safety is the seamanship, experience and common sense backed up with the knowledge and correct tools.

Whale-Watching-Cruise-from-Reykjavík

Whale Watching Cruise from Reykjavík

Passengers will receive a complimentary beer or drink voucher at our favorite restaurant, Bryggjan Brewery & Restaurant, located by the

Whale Watching by RIB Speedboat from Downtown Reykjavik (1)

Whale & Puffin Watching from Downtown Reykjavik by RIB Speedboat

Come aboard an exciting RIB speedboat and see the incredible wealth of marine wildlife that lives in the waters just

Northern lights luxury yacht cruise from Reykjavik, Iceland

Northern Lights Cruise from Reykjavík

Out on the North Atlantic ocean the coastline of Reykjavík is one of the best places on Earth to view

Reykjavik's Finest Catch: Guided Sea Angling Tour

Reykjavik’s Finest Catch: Guided Sea Angling Tour

This fun and friendly fishing tour is for everyone. Departing from the old Reykjavík harbour, these tours take you on

Amelia-Rose-Yacht_newyear

New Year’s Eve Reykjavík Cruise

Join Sea Trips for an amazing evening yacht cruise on the Amelia Rose to celebrate the New Year and say

Whale & Marine Adventure Tour

Whale & Marine Adventure Tour

In Reykjavík’s gorgeous Old Harbor, on our specially equipped whale-viewing vessel, experience the excitement of whale watching.

Our Vessels

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Arctic Rose

Arctic Rose is a state-of-the-art vessel that offers an unforgettable experience of whale watching and Northern Lights spotting in the

Sea Trips Reykjavík - Amelia Rose

Amelia Rose

Experience the best of sailing with Amelia Rose, as you explore the seas around Reykjavík in comfort and style. This

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Tsunami RIB Speedboat

Tsunami is a thrilling RIB (rigid inflatable boat) that offers an exciting whale watching experience in the Reykjavík bay. This

Recent stories

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Daily diary – July 20 2024

Today was an extraordinary day on the waters of Faxafloi Bay, filled with the awe-inspiring presence of humpack whales. Our

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Daily diary – July 19 2024

Another fantastic day on our tours. The season is here, and our friends are accompanying us on our expeditions. Today

yacht in iceland

Daily diary – July 18 2024

One perfect day after another!Today there was not the slightest breeze and the sea was super calm. A few drops

Capture and share your experience with us! Tag #seatripsreykjavik

Whale Watching at 09:15 – ON 13:15 – ON Whale Watching by RIB Speedboat at 09:30 – ON

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Luxury Yacht Charter in Iceland: The Ultimate Guide

Destinations  >  Regions  >  Northern Europe > Iceland

Location spotlight: A thrilling Yacht Charter in Iceland

Iceland is one of the most remote, volcanically active and sparsely populated countries on the planet. It rests on the edge of the Arctic Circle and has an incredibly diverse topography that includes mountains, lava fields, glaciers, farmlands, fjords, lakes, and rivers.

With a craggy coastline a little over 3000 miles long, Iceland has plenty of potential for surf exploration. Without crowds to push the search for empty breaks further afield, much of the Icelandic surf scene is centred around the Reykjanes Peninsula. This peninsula points southwest into the North Atlantic and plays host to a range of surf spots, from lava reefs to boulder points and black sand beaches

What kind of experiences are there to enjoy on a luxury yacht charter in Iceland?

The troll peninsula.

A must for a YACHTZOO yacht charter in Iceland is The Troll Peninsula. It is every skier’s dreamland, with about 90% of the mountains skiable, meaning there are not many cliff faces or flat spots. The mountains are the perfect mix of steep to very steep couloirs and faces, to wide open low-angled glacier runs. What really sets the Troll Peninsula apart from any other heli-ski destination is the fact that you can ski up to 1300 metres, which runs all the way down to the ocean. There are plenty of slopes for skiers of all abilities, from very extreme terrain suitable for pro riders to nice, gentle areas for first-time heli-skiing. The Mountains of the Trolls are up to 1500 metres (or 5000ft) high, but you can, in many cases, ski the entire vertical all the way down to the ocean. The average heli-ski run is around 900 metres (or 3000ft) in a vertical drop. Due to the northerly position, there is no tree skiing in Iceland, in fact, the local joke is that if you get lost in an Icelandic forest, you just have to stand up!

4WD excursions

For another high-octane option, we can arrange with Pelorus to take you to explore the national parks of Iceland in specially modified 4WD vehicles for use in rough environments,; in the mountains or on glaciers. These re-engineered trucks can tackle the most extreme conditions in Iceland. Re-building the body and the frame to fit engineered 38-inch tires plus upgrading suspension and drivetrain. The trucks were used to drive to the Magnetic North Pole with the British TV show Top Gear in 2007, where they carried the presenters and film crew over 1400 km over sea ice, boulder fields and small islands.

Wildlife spotting

Whilst cruising onboard your yacht during your luxury holiday in Iceland, keep a weather eye out for over 20 species of whale, from the prolific humpbacks to the more elusive fin whale, the second largest whale species after the blue whale, therefore the second largest mammal on the planet. Other species, such as dolphins and minke whales, are common but occasional visitors are blue whales, orcas, pilot whales and sperm whales

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When is the best time to go on a luxury Yacht Charter in Iceland?

Whilst the summer is the easiest time to cruise Iceland, the Westfjords are cruise-able all year round and it is safe to do so.

Where to visit on a yacht charter in Iceland?

Langjökull (the long glacier).

Langjökull (the Long Glacier) is the second largest in Iceland. It covers an area of about 950 km² and most of it rises to between 1200 and 1300 m above sea level. Until now, what lay beneath the surface of the Langjökull glacier had been a mystery, known only to a small group of scientists and glaciologists. You will reach the foot of the glacier by helicopter and meet a world-renowned glaciologist, who will bring you into the heart of the tunnel, where you’ll learn about this massive undertaking. You will enjoy lunch beneath the glacier, in specially heated tents. The setup will be a cosy affair in a unique location with a beautiful view over the Eiríksjökull and Langjökull glaciers.

Silfra Fissure

Silfra, one of the world’s most exceptional snorkelling and diving sites, is located on top of the tectonic plates between Europe and America. The Silfra Fissure runs through Thingvellir National Park, which is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Iceland. Discover this spectacular underwater landscape as you float in crystal clear water for a true bucket list experience. The captivating underwater colours of Silfra are sure to leave you thirsty for more. The endless varieties of blue, along with the amazing visibility, make Silfra a unique site all year round. Snorkelling and diving in Silfra will give you the opportunity to explore the depths of the crevasse as you float peacefully through the waters.

Iceland Hot Springs

There are hot springs all over Iceland, not only the famous Blue Lagoon but also smaller secret ones across the North and inside the national parks. The Icelandic tradition of bathing outdoors in volcanically heated pools dates right back to Viking times. A few of these old pools survive today – often sited in spectacular locations – whilst almost all settlements here, however tiny, have installed geothermally heated swimming pools with accompanying hot tubs.

The characteristics of this water are unique in many ways. It contains a large amount of minerals, is alkaline and well suited for bathing. Due to its chemical composition, bacteria do not survive in the lagoon, meaning that it is naturally pure and hygienic water.

What are the major yachting ports in Iceland?

Of course, no trip to Iceland would be complete without a visit to Reykjavik, a great yachting entry port that showcases some stunning restaurants and charming streets. Not only this, but it is also home to Mjolnir Gym, where you can train with superstars of the UFC and try your hand at mixed martial arts. One of Iceland’s most famous athletes, UFC mixed martial artist Gunnar Nelson, trains at the club and his father, Haraldur Dean Nelson is one of the founders of the gym. Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor also trains at the gym.

Isafjordur is a small, friendly, ice-free port on the northern side of Westfjords. It is a useful staging post for a trip to Greenland, allowing extended cruising there.

yacht in iceland

Looking to contact a yacht charter broker in Iceland?

YACHTZOO prides itself on privacy and trust for our charter clients. Booking a yacht charter in Iceland is no different. With the help of YACHTZOO’s dedicated Iceland yacht charter broker specialists, you can choose between the highest quality superyachts, a choice of itineraries and the best rates available.

If you would like to book an Iceland yacht charter, please get in touch with a YACHTZOO Iceland boat charter broker by filling in the form here . A dedicated yacht charter broker will be in touch with you by phone or by e-mail with the perfect vessels for your Icelandic holiday.

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Sailboat Bavaria 42 for hire in Reykjavik

Sailboat Bavaria 42 for hire in Reykjavik

  • Bavaria 42 [Yacht Price incl. Taxes]
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Sailing yacht Bavaria 50 available for charter in Reykjavik Old Harbour

Sailing yacht Bavaria 50 available for charter in Reykjavik Old Harbour

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Sailboat Bavaria 50 for rent in Reykjavik Old Harbour

Sailboat Bavaria 50 for rent in Reykjavik Old Harbour

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The Best Boat Rentals in Iceland

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Best location to experience the whales in their natural habitat!

Best location to experience the whales in their natural habitat!

Whale Watching Tour in Húsavík

Whale Watching Tour in Húsavík

Power Mega Yacht with 3 Cabins - 6 People

Power Mega Yacht with 3 Cabins - 6 People

Whale Watching Tour in Reykjavík

Whale Watching Tour in Reykjavík

Charter The 52ft  "Katla" Bavaria Cruising Monohull In Reykjavík, Iceland

Charter The 52ft "Katla" Bavaria Cruising Monohull In Reykjavík, Iceland

Enjoy Freediving Trips and Lessons in Reykjavík, Iceland

Enjoy Freediving Trips and Lessons in Reykjavík, Iceland

Charter The 42ft "Evra" Bavaria Cruising Monohull In Reykjavík, Iceland

Charter The 42ft "Evra" Bavaria Cruising Monohull In Reykjavík, Iceland

Private and Public Charters from Reykjanesvegur, Iceland

Private and Public Charters from Reykjanesvegur, Iceland

100% Whale Watching Tour in Hauganes, Iceland

100% Whale Watching Tour in Hauganes, Iceland

Iceland 9 Person Yacht Charter in Iceland

Iceland 9 Person Yacht Charter in Iceland

Ribsafari Jötunn Boats for Tours in Iceland

Ribsafari Jötunn Boats for Tours in Iceland

Whale Watching Trip in Hauganes

Whale Watching Trip in Hauganes

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yacht in iceland

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Whale Watching Yacht cruise

9:15* & 13:15

2,5-3 Hours

Embark on Unforgettable Whale Watching Adventures with Harpa Yachts in Reykjavík

Discover the enchanting beauty of Reykjavík, surrounded by breathtaking mountains and picturesque landscapes, on our exclusive whale watching tours available throughout the seasons.

Marvel at an array of captivating marine life, including Minke whales, Humpback whales, White-beaked dolphins, and Harbor porpoises. From mid-May to mid-August, experience the joy of puffins diving for food during the summer months.

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As a family-owned and operated company with decades of expertise, Harpa Yachts is dedicated to curating unforgettable whale watching experiences for every visitor.

What to Bring for Your Whale Watching Adventure:

  • Dress appropriately for the season and weather conditions

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  • Warm Blankets for comfort during your whale watching tour
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Our Whale Watching Guarantee: While we can’t train whales and dolphins, our commitment is unwavering. If your whale watching adventure doesn’t include these majestic creatures, join us for another tour free of charge.

Deluxe Whale Watching Experience: Intimate and Personalized

Escape the crowds with our deluxe whale watching cruise, promising a more personal service and less crowded scenery. Choose between two exceptional vessels: MY Harpa, featuring a 2019 interior refit (35 passengers), and MY Amelia, with its charming old-style interior (95 passengers). Both boast ample outside areas for an optimal whale watching experience.

Book Your Whale Watching Adventure in Advance for an Exclusive Encounter

For an exclusive and satisfying experience, secure your spot in advance, as we intentionally limit group sizes.

Note: Morning whale watching tours at 9:15 are available from March 15th to October 15th.

Disclaimer: While we welcome all adventurers, our recommended age limit for children is 7 years old. This ensures a positive experience for all participants during our whale watching tours. If you believe your younger children will enjoy the adventure, please book them as 7 years old.

yacht in iceland

Fishing in Iceland

Fishing in Iceland

Richard Chapman

History of Fishing in Iceland

Commercial fishing in iceland, types of fish in iceland, saltwater fish in iceland, freshwater fish in iceland, recreational fishing in iceland, fishing regulations in iceland, fishing independently in iceland, lake fishing in iceland, river fishing in iceland, ice fishing in iceland, sea angling in iceland, fishing tours in iceland.

Fishing is a wonderful activity to partake in in Iceland.

Where can you go fishing in Iceland, and what might you catch? Can you fish independently, and are there fishing tours and holidays you can join? What is the history of fishing in Iceland? Continue reading to learn all about Iceland’s most historic activity.

Photo from Kayak Fishing Adventure by Mount Kirkjufell

With incredible fjords, fertile oceans, and a network of lakes and rivers webbing across the country, it is little wonder why fishing in Iceland is so popular.

Surrounded by beautiful landscapes, in a secluded place of peace, the fishing spots around this little island nation are some of the most serene in the world. They provide the sought-after harmony most anglers need to handle the bustle of day-to-day life.

Top Fishing Tours

Outstanding 2 hour whale watching & sea fishing boat trip with transfer from hauganes, classic 3 hour sea fishing trip departing from reykjavik harbor, classic 3 hour sea fishing trip from reykjavik | eat your catch.

The serene beauty of Iceland's nature

The enterprise of fishing in Iceland, however, goes much deeper than the modern joys of doing it recreationally. No practice has been more vital to the survival of the nation’s people in its thousand years of history. Without the bounties of the ocean, it would be unlikely that the land would ever have been properly inhabited.

Even today, it is the country’s largest export and one of the biggest sectors of its economy. Iceland has fought wars over its fish, refused to join the European Union over access to them, and also used them to form a unique cuisine that is increasingly drawing foodies from around the world.

Fishing in Iceland is thus a historical, commercial and cultural enterprise, as much as it is a recreational one. This article will explore the importance of the industry to the nation, as well as guide you regarding how to best enjoy it on your travels here.

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The Sun Voyager in Reykjavík

Iceland was built on fish and wool. It survived in inhospitable conditions for centuries on very little else, without any significant infrastructure, and with hardly any outside contact. It was a mean and cruel life, but it kept the population alive until the nation could start to flourish with industrialization in the 20th century.

The bounties of the sea, however, could support large families and even bring them income due to the excess of marine life in the fertile waters around Iceland. What was fished up provided a fresh meal, was easy to conserve by salting or drying, and the by-products were exceedingly useful; fish-oil provided essential light for the dark winter months, and fish-leather was great for waterproofing clothing and writing on.

The abundance of food and resources hidden just below the ocean’s surface was an important facet of Norse heritage and beliefs; their God of the Seas, Njörðr , was renowned as one of the wealthiest deities. In spite of the dangers of taking to the seas of the North Atlantic, he was much more benevolent than his equivalents of Poseidon and Neptune in early Greek and Roman beliefs.

The seas in Iceland are not always this peaceful.

Little else is known about him, but all records point to the fact that he was widely revered by the seafaring Vikings.

Because fish was so vital to the survival of the early settlers, and because of the barren, unforgiving interior of the country, the vast majority of villages and towns formed in Iceland were - and still are - coastal. Before the population began a large-scale migration to Reykjavík in the 20th Century, there were many settlements of significance spread across every region.

Many have since been deserted, in spite of once being hubs of commercial activity. Búðir , for example, was once the fishing epicenter of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula , but changes in technology and development mean that all that is left now is a hamlet with a historic church and romantic hotel. Selatangar, on the Reykjanes Peninsula , used to draw hundreds of men for the fishing season, yet all that is left now are haunting (and allegedly haunted) ruins.

  • See also:  The Ruins of Selatangar

In spite of the amount of life it brought to the nation, fishing was historically a very dangerous affair. Boats were poorly constructed, the coastline rocky and ever-changing, and the weather volatile. Fishermen were thus highly respected pillars of society and often had to meet a threshold of physical strength to be allowed on the water.

On Snæfellsnes, this was measured by the ‘Lifting Stones’ on Djúpalónssandur beach, which can still be found; visitors can see how they would have fared in time gone by. Their names reflected the titles of those who could lift them, and are as follows:

  • Lightweight, or Amlóði, which weighs 23 kilograms
  • Half as Good, or Hálfdrættingur, which weighs 54 kilograms
  • Half Strong, or Hálfsterkur, which weighs 100 kilograms
  • Full Strength, or Fullsterkur, which weighs 154 kilograms

Trying out the lifting stones

While these stones give you a little insight into the lives of historic fishermen, there are a wealth of museums all around Iceland where you can learn far more. Within Reykjavík, there is a Maritime Museum , which covers the fishing industry and explorations of the settlers; in Ósvör, in the Westfjords , you can find one with a curator always dressed in traditional fishing attire; and in Eskifjörður , in the East Fjords , there is another, by the historic Randulff’s Sea House.

The most comprehensive, however, is the only museum in Iceland to win an international award: The Herring Era Museum in the northern town of Siglufjörður . It has five excellent exhibitions, including a boathouse with eleven historical fishing vessels.

A fishing boat washed ashore in Iceland.

Commercial fishing is one of the biggest industries in Iceland, exceeded only now by the service sector due to the nation’s explosion of tourism. The centuries-old agricultural sector and new booming enterprises such as manufacturing and software production still trail behind it.

Though only 5% of the workforce is directly employed in fisheries, an extra 15% relies on them to remain relevant. 40% of all Icelandic exports are fish, and the economy is still very resource-reliant.

It is largely because of their reliance on this industry that Iceland has refused to join the European Union, and why public opinion has held against it as an institution. Iceland is part of the EEA, allowing for free trade and movement, but the people have been very resistant to the idea of handing over their fishing policies and quotas over to Brussels.

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula was once a hub for fishermen.

As Icelandic commercial fishing is sustainable (though has, of course, encountered serious environmental issues along the way), they have never respected the rights of other governments to regulate this for them. They have very much played by their own rules, the boldness of which inspired three ‘wars’ with the United Kingdom.

While they had no casualties other than a few broken bones, the Cod Wars were a significant strain on North European relations from the 1950s to the 1970s. Icelanders started the conflict by extending their exclusive fishing grounds from three nautical miles to four, then twelve, then fifty, and finally to two hundred in 1976. Since 1982 the United Nations standard has been 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Though details of the final legislation after each extension were not quite so clear-cut, the basic results of each move by Iceland ended up with international support, and them getting their own way.

Djupivogur is a fishing town in Iceland's east.

The results were knocks to the British economy and reputation. After all, the Cod Wars were the first and only times when one NATO country sent a military force to threaten another; yet even the terrifying might of the warships of the British Navy could not daunt the stubborn Icelandic fishermen in their rickety boats.

Icelandic waters are pregnant with fish.

With fertile oceans and freshwater leaking from seemingly every pore of lava rock, it is no wonder Iceland has so many fish. Its number of different species - particularly in the lakes and rivers - are surprisingly few, but in terms of individuals, there is no shortage. Its oceans are breeding grounds for many species, and often the only places where endangered specimens such as Halibut can be found in high numbers.

It was largely the ocean’s fisheries that kept Icelanders alive for a millennium. The wealth of nutrition carried to the coasts by the Gulf Stream has allowed for an abundance of food to bloom, and such food has supported Icelanders as much as it has the nation’s many whales, dolphins, seals and seabirds.

Below are the species you are most likely to catch on a sea-angling tour.

An Atlantic Catfish resting on a seabed.

One of the most commonly caught fish in Iceland is the Atlantic Catfish  (Steinbítur in Icelandic). It is popular as the Icelandic delicacy of dried fish. If you want to try this, it is recommended with large scoops of butter.

Catfish can be quite large, often over a metre long, and survive in the near Arctic waters with the anti-freeze that pumps through their blood. The heaviest recorded was 18 kg (40 lb).

Atlantic Cod

An Atlantic Cod

Cod  (Þorskur in Icelandic) is the favourite fish of New England and the UK, and, remembering that three wars were fought over it, it is similarly loved in Iceland. In spite of it being vulnerable throughout much of the Atlantic, it is still rather abundant here, and catching or purchasing it has less ethical concerns than throughout much of the rest of the world.

For those seeking a large catch, fishing for cod can be very rewarding. Often a metre or more, the largest recorded weighed a whopping 96 kgs (211 lbs).

A Haddock

Haddock  (Ýsa in Icelandic) are another species that are vulnerable globally, but have thriving breeding grounds in Iceland and are thus little threatened here. They have formed a large part of the Icelandic diet since settlement, and are used in some classic dishes. The most notable of these is smoked haddock from the Arctic island of Grímsey .

In spite of being delicious and easy to catch, haddock are small compared to other species you might hook up on a sea angling tour; they rarely exceed 60 centimetres.

Atlantic Mackerel

Mackerel  (Makríll in Icelandic) are even smaller than haddock, often not reaching half their length. What they lack in size, however, they make up for in global abundance, without any major conservation concerns surrounding them. As such, mackerel fishing is a highly commercial enterprise.

Mackerel is increasing in popularity in Iceland due to its red meat and high levels of nutrition; it also has low levels of mercury, meaning it can regularly be eaten without worry.

An image of a Halibut

Atlantic Halibut  (Lúða in Icelandic) are the only fish caught on sea-angling tours that are endangered, so catch-and-release is highly encouraged if you should hook one up; they have been heavily exploited for their size (up to 320 kgs, or 710 lb) and have a slow reproductive cycle. You can still buy and eat it ethically in Iceland, however, as they are raised here on fish-farms to protect their wild populations.

A pollock in Iceland.

Pollock  (Ufsi in Icelandic) is an abundant fish, up to one metre long, with the heaviest recorded weighing 21 kg (46 lb). Though often scorned at by foodies for its commonness (being the main ingredients of frozen junk-food like fish fingers), the Nordic countries have always held it in high regard for its distinctive yet mild flavour.

Only five species of fish live and breed in Iceland’s many rivers and lakes, two of which are not routinely eaten: the three-spine stickleback and the eel. The other three, however, are found in abundance, to the pleasure of fly-fishermen and foodies, as they are the main ingredients for many classic Icelandic dishes.

Brown Trout

Brown trout are common in Iceland.

Any fisherman used to cooler climes will be well-used to catching trout  (Urriði in Icelandic). While the species seems a little mundane, for this reason, they are rather special within Iceland’s largest natural lake, Þingvallavatn . Isolated from any other body of water for ten-thousand years, the trout population has evolved separately from its cousins globally, and are much larger as a result.

If you choose, therefore, to fish within Þingvallavatn, you may just hook up the largest trout you ever have, up to and exceeding 15 kilograms (33 lb). Such a catch makes for a great photo, but you must release it back into the water; at this location, their lives are protected by law.

To catch a trout you can eat, you should instead look for Sea Brown Trout as they travel upriver through September; the Varmá River is best for this. While they continue to move inland throughout October, the Sea Trout fishing season runs only from April to September 30th.

Atlantic Salmon

An Atlantic Salmon

Although fishing for salmon  (Lax in Icelandic) is more regulated than fishing for Iceland’s other species, it is still more than possible across the country from June 1st to September 30th. Some very large specimens travel through Iceland’s waters; one of the biggest was caught by none other than singer Eric Clapton, weighing in at 28 lbs.

Arctic Char

An Arctic Char in a tank.

The most commonly caught freshwater fish in Iceland, and the one which is seen in most restaurants sold as a classic national dish, is the Arctic Char (Bleikja in Icelandic). Its abundance makes up for its small size; they are usually between 0.2 to 5 kgs (0.5 to 10 lb), but individuals double that are caught on occasion.

Arctic Char prefer slower moving water at an even lower temperature than trout, but can be found in many common areas, such as Þingvallavatn. They are the most widespread fish in Iceland, found in most freshwater bodies.

One of Iceland's beautiful fishing spots

Despite being a liberal leftie vegetarian and unquestionable Hufflepuff, whose empathy extends even to the cold, dead face of the ugliest cod, I can see why fly-fishing and angling are such popular activities. To be able to immerse yourself in the world’s quietest, most serene places is one of the privileges of visiting Iceland; to be able to hook yourself up an ethical, fresh, free meal would only add to the experience.

Before flocking over here expecting to empty the rivers and oceans, however, there are some things that those with a passion for fishing should know before arrival.

A classic Brown Trout

To protect stocks and the nature, fishing is heavily regulated in Iceland. Each river system has its own rules, and it is always best to check what they are before setting out. Using this website , you can easily find a river or lake that suits your needs.

The main general rules are as follows:

  • Rod fishing is legal from 07.00 to sundown. Fishing at night is illegal, and you are not permitted to fish for over twelve hours.
  • Net fishing for salmon is only legal on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Salmon can only be fished from June to September, and only in freshwater.
  • You cannot net fish for salmon in the same river that someone is fly-fishing for them, and visa versa.
  • You cannot move salmon from one river and leave it in another.
  • You must clean and sterilise any fishing equipment before using it in Icelandic waters if it has been used overseas.
  • Fishing in any body is only allowed with express permission from whoever owns the land. In many places, there are total bans.

The trends in Iceland are moving quickly away from net-fishing; within a few years, it is expected to be fully banned in almost all rivers and lakes. Catch and release is also heavily encouraged, and in many places mandatory.

Kids can fish for free with an adult holding a Lake License

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the pleasure of fishing in Iceland, whether you seek to do so independently or with an experienced guide.

Some outfitters will rent you rods for multiple days, although you must always buy or bring your own fliers/spinners. You are, of course, welcome to bring your equipment from home; as mentioned above, however, it must be sterilised before being put in any Icelandic river or lake.

To fish in Icelandic rivers and lakes, you will need licences, which differ in cost and availability depending on where you look. You can, however, get a single licence for just 6,900 ISK which will allow you access to over thirty lakes in the country; as a bonus, any child under fourteen is allowed to fish with a cardholder for free.

You can purchase these online , or at an N1 or OLIS gas station, both of which are found all over the island.

Lakes in the highlands

The most popular lake for fishing in the country, as you may have guessed by now, is Lake Þingvallavatn. Its wealth of life, closeness to Reykjavík and beautiful surroundings make it a perfect place to unwind, and either catch a char for dinner or a record trout you can have a photograph with.

It is far from the only option, however. Laugarvatn , known best for the geothermal heat that rises from its bed, is also home to many trout and char. It is on the Golden Circle route, like Þingvallavatn. Lake Elliðavatn is within the Greater Reykjavík area, and here you have a better chance of catching salmon.

In north Iceland, you can fly-fish in Lake Mývatn , a diverse region of birdlife, craters, geothermal areas, spectacular lava formations, and, of course, freshwater systems. In the east, the most popular spot is Lake Lögurinn; because of the murky glacier water, lures tend to be ineffective, so net fishing is the best option here.

Keep an eye out on the lake here while waiting for your catch; it said to contain a mythical wyrm creature, records of which date back centuries.

  • See also: Lakes in Iceland

River systems snaking across Iceland

Rivers snake all across Iceland, most originating at the glaciers and containing many spectacular waterfalls. It is not possible to fish in all of them, and even where it is, there are different regulations on whether or not you can net-fish, how many rods may be used in the area at once, and what times you are allowed to be angling.

To catch Atlantic Salmon, however, you generally have to fish in the rivers; they can occasionally be hooked up in a lake, but this is uncommon. The four best rivers to fly-fish for salmon in Iceland are:

  • The Fossá River, a two-rod river in south Iceland (catch-and-release only)
  • The Laugardalsá River, a three-rod river in west Iceland
  • The Miðfjarðará River, a six-to-ten-rod river in north Iceland (catch-and-release only)
  • The West Rangá River, a fourteen-rod river in south Iceland

If you wish to net-fish for salmon, the Þjórsá river is best.

If you prefer fly-fishing but are not fussed about catching salmon, the Varmá, Brúará and Holaá Rivers are both very easy to access from Reykjavík, and excellent locations to hook up trout and char.

  • See also: Rivers in Iceland

The ice in Iceland, surprisingly, is not stable enough to support much ice fishing

In spite of its name, Iceland is not cold enough to support reliable ice fishing, even in the depths of winter. The most frozen lakes are in the Highlands, which are almost entirely inaccessible in this season, and those in the North that used to freeze over for months of the year are becoming less dependable as the climate of the country is rapidly warming.

An angling tour out from Húsavík.

Sea angling is difficult to do independently unless you wish to from the shore. The easiest, most stress-free place to do this is at Reykjavík’s Old Harbour. Here, you can rent a rod for approximately $30 an hour, and start angling from the end of the pier. This is a great way to break up a day of city sightseeing and to hook up a meal without leaving the capital.

Boat tours which will take you to much more bountiful fishing spots, however, run all around the country and are discussed in more detail below.

One of the classic boats for fishing tours in Iceland

Fishing holidays will often allow you to head to the lesser-known rivers but tend to be incredibly pricey. Day tours, or shorter multi-day tours, are usually a lot cheaper, easier, and more readily available.

This day tour , for example, will allow you to fish in Lake Þingvallavatn and the Brúará River, and is tailored for the experienced and beginners alike; you are likely to catch brown trout and arctic char.

You can also combine a fishing tour with sightseeing around the popular Golden Circle route, which includes visits to Gullfoss Waterfall , the Geysir Geothermal Area , and Þingvellir National Park . You will fish in up to three different spots, including the Lake Laugarvatn, the nearby Holaá River, and the Brúará river, time and conditions depending.

Both of these tours include pick-up from Reykjavík, and all equipment is provided for you.

If you are more interested in sea angling than river or lake fishing, there are options all over the country. The best from Reykjavík is undoubtedly this tour , which combines sea angling with whale watching in Faxaflói Bay. As well as catching yourself a fresh meal, you are likely to see incredible animals, such as minke and humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, puffins, and even orcas and harbour porpoises.

You can barbecue your catch after the angling component of the tour, or else take it to the restaurant MAR, where the experienced chefs will cook it up for you. Of course, you can also take it home and prepare it yourself.

Icelandic fish ready to be eaten.

If you are spending more time in north Iceland, then this sea angling tour from Húsavík may have more appeal. You will be taken out into Skjálfandi Bay, which has the highest concentration of different whale and dolphin species in Iceland as well as many puffins, to try and hook up cod or haddock. The captain can fillet the fish on your request, and, again, you can either take it home or to a local restaurant for a delicious meal.

For a more immersive experience, you could even look into this three-day tour from Reykjavík, which focuses on sea angling but will also take you whale-watching, bird-watching, sightseeing, hiking and to the Herring Era Museum. You will be driven to the north of Iceland via some spectacular sites, then take a ferry over to Hrísey Island, where excellent fishing awaits. On the third day, you will return to the capital via the Golden Circle route.

Hvítserkur in North Iceland

To conclude, fishing has always been an intrinsic part of the Icelandic character; while it is no longer the island’s primary means of survival, it still has a huge amount of historical, commercial, cultural and recreational value.

To have the opportunity to stand at the edge of a serene lake, or to sit on a boat undisturbed in a northern fjord, angling for your dinner is something no-one who loves fishing should miss out on.

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COMMENTS

  1. Iceland Yacht Charters

    Iceland Yacht Charter. Iceland is a breath-taking destination in the Northern Europe. It is a rewarding experience for a wide range of reasons: Historic mansions, delicious cuisine, unique shopping opportunities, scenic coastal landscapes, excellent conditions for all water sports, and of course, beautiful beaches.

  2. Harpa Yachts

    Whale Watching Yacht cruise. A comfortable whale & dolphin watching cruise from Reykjavik Old Harbor. On this cruise with a maximum of…. All year. 2,5-3 Hours. 9:15* & 13:15.

  3. Iceland Yacht Charter Guide

    Thundering waterfalls, hot springs and spellbinding vistas, Iceland is undoubtedly a destination that will captivate anyone looking for an adventurous yacht charter vacation.Lying on the constantly active geologic border between North America and Europe, Iceland is a land of vivid contrasts of climate, geography and culture that is waiting to be explored.

  4. Harpa Yachts

    Harpa Yachts is the first luxury yacht charter company in Iceland, operating since 2012, offering a wide range of deluxe scheduled tours & tailor-made activities on a luxury yacht, complete refit indoors done in 2019. Our main goal is to offer a deluxe service with fewer passengers onboard & smaller groups from Reykjavik Old Harbor.

  5. Iceland Luxury Yacht Charter

    Private Yachting Cruises in Iceland. Formed by the pure, raw energy of glaciers and volcanoes, an Iceland superyacht Charter offers a fascinating landscape - from flat plateaus and mountainous peaks, to ice cold glaciers and steaming thermal springs. Small towns and villages are clustered on the edge of dramatic fjords and thunderous ...

  6. Boat & Catamaran charter in Iceland

    Embark on a voyage of discovery in Iceland's mesmerizing waters with our exclusive boat and catamaran charter services. Our yacht rentals provide an unparalleled opportunity to explore the country's rugged coastlines, abundant marine life, and stunning fjords. Experience the thrill of sailing in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, witness breathtaking sunsets and the ethereal Northern Lights ...

  7. Iceland Yacht Charter

    But as a pioneer in expedition charters to less accessible territories, Y.CO is planning to help put Iceland on the superyacht map by offering yachts for charter in this unique and captivating destination. Your Guide to Iceland. Sturdy Fisherman. Grímsey is the northernmost inhabited landmass in Iceland, about 40 km off the coast of the ...

  8. ICELAND Luxury Yacht Charter

    Iceland Yacht Charter. Cruise off the beaten path of yachting hotspots and into the heart of the land of fire and ice. Imagine a place where frozen glaciers and simmering volcanoes collide with sweeping lakes, staggering fjords and stunning snowy mountain peaks. This and more await guests during an Iceland yacht charter.

  9. Luxury Iceland Yacht Charter

    Circumnavigating Iceland: The Land of Fire & Ice. Discover Iceland's unique treasures on a yacht charter circumnavigation. Spot arctic foxes and orcas, swim between tectonic plates, and hike, heli-ski, and heli-surf on this unforgettable adventure. Explore

  10. Luxury Yacht Rental in Iceland

    Luxury Yacht Charter Guide to Iceland. The land of ice and fire, a yacht charter to Iceland is a surreal dream. The collision of frozen winters and simmering volcanoes has carved out a dramatic coastline with sweeping fjords, snowy peaks, and steaming geysers.

  11. Iceland Yacht & Boat Rental Service

    Iceland Yacht-Charter offers you a unique opportunity to see Iceland from another perspective ─ all while enjoying the privacy and peacefulness of your very own chartered yacht. We have a variety yachts to choose from as well as planned itineraries to some of the most breathtaking locations around the country. Here is an overview of some of ...

  12. Yacht Charter and Boat Rental Iceland

    Charter a yacht in Iceland's favourite sailing destinations.⛵Explore Reykjavik Greater Region & more. Prices from $1391/day

  13. THE YACHT

    The Sailing Yacht Vera. The sailing yacht Vera is built and coded for 12 guests and three crew, operating as a highly successful luxury crewed charter business in Iceland and Greenland. For overnight voyages, she offers 11 berths over five separate cabins, all en-suite with showers, for eight guests and three crew members. Vera is an Oyster 68.

  14. Whale watching, Northern Lights, and Puffin yacht cruises

    Daily diary - July 15 2024. It was the hottest day of the year so far! 17 degrees, no wind and a great sun. Dream conditions. We offer whale watching tours and northern lights cruises, as well as private and custom yacht rental in Reykjavík, Iceland.

  15. Best Boat Tours in Iceland

    A popular boat tour in Iceland is the affordable boat tour of the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by over 450 travelers.The one-hour tour allows you to experience the beautiful glacier lagoon and costs approximately 50 USD. Another top-rated boat tour in Iceland is a zodiac boat tour of the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon rated 4.9 out of 5 stars by over 390 travelers.

  16. Luxury Yacht Charter in Iceland

    With the help of YACHTZOO's dedicated Iceland yacht charter broker specialists, you can choose between the highest quality superyachts, a choice of itineraries and the best rates available. If you would like to book an Iceland yacht charter, please get in touch with a YACHTZOO Iceland boat charter broker by filling in the form here. A ...

  17. Boat Rental on Sailo

    You can charter a boat for a day in Iceland for an average of $1100 per day. The average price for a weekly boat rental is $3500. Your total budget for a boating trip in Iceland depends on many factors such as: trip duration, if captain and crew are included in the price or their cost have to be paid separately, fuel cost (which could be ...

  18. Reykjavik: Northern Lights Yacht Tour

    See the incredible northern lights from the panoramic decks of a yacht on this guided tour. This tour is perfect for those looking for an awe-inspiring experience watching the celestial display of the aurora borealis. Meet your captain and crew at Reykjavik's Old Harbor, where you'll board the yacht. You will sail among the small islands in ...

  19. Yacht Charter Iceland

    Confirmed in 24h. from € 9.928 per week. from $ 11,415 per week. View Details. Yacht Charter Iceland ⛵ Bareboat Charters & Crewed Yacht Rentals in Iceland ★ Rent a Yacht in Iceland Charter Boats & Charter Yachts in Iceland Skippered Yacht Charter, Crewed Yacht Rentals or Bareboat Charter in Iceland READY TO BOOK!

  20. Iceland Boat Rentals 2024 ⛵- 30 Boats from $60/Hour

    Find and rent a boat in Iceland starting at $60/Hour. Choose from over 30 rentals in Iceland including powerboats, yachts, pontoons, jet skis, and more. ... Iceland 9 Person Yacht Charter in Iceland. New. $202 hour. Tours in Hauganes · 30 guests. Whale Watching Trip in Hauganes. New. $76 person.

  21. Whale Watching Yacht cruise

    Escape the crowds with our deluxe whale watching cruise, promising a more personal service and less crowded scenery. Choose between two exceptional vessels: MY Harpa, featuring a 2019 interior refit (35 passengers), and MY Amelia, with its charming old-style interior (95 passengers). Both boast ample outside areas for an optimal whale watching ...

  22. Reykjavík: Whale Watching Cruise on the Amelia Rose Yacht

    Full description. Come aboard a yacht and see the incredible wealth of marine wildlife that lives in the waters just off the shores of Reykjavík City. See some of Iceland's majestic whales, dolphins, and porpoises on this whale-watching tour. Your ship sets sail from Reykjavík's Old Harbor and sails among the small islands in the Faxaflói ...

  23. The Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Iceland

    The four best rivers to fly-fish for salmon in Iceland are: If you wish to net-fish for salmon, the Þjórsá river is best. If you prefer fly-fishing but are not fussed about catching salmon, the Varmá, Brúará and Holaá Rivers are both very easy to access from Reykjavík, and excellent locations to hook up trout and char.