National Geographic Explorer arrived in Funnigsfjorour Fjord around breakfast time, one of the two great fjords that slices deep into the island of Eysturoy. Shortly afterwards, we took zodiacs to the island’s main landing site, a concrete platform with 88 steps leading to a trail that took us to Elduvik, one of the archipelago’s most idyllically located villages. We were treated to incredible hospitality by the locals with a village tour, including homemade soup and cake and a walk up the incredibly scenic valley behind the village, which is populated by far more sheep and birds – mostly boisterous black oystercatchers and wandering whimbrels – than the dozen or so residents of Elduvik.
National Geographic Explorer
We started the day with beautiful weather and a gorgeous sail into Heimaey. An adventurous group from National Geographic Explorer hiked up the volcano that threatened the city in 1973, and others took a panoramic tour of the area. The grand finale for everyone was a visit to the Volcano Museum, which is built around a house that was partially destroyed in the eruption. In the distance, we could see steam and gases from a new volcanic eruption. After leaving Heimaey, we sailed around several of the Westman Islands, where the only ‘residents’ are seabirds nesting on the cliffs. Gannets, northern fulmars, puffins, black guillemots, and red-necked phalaropes were prolific. We found a large group of gannets diving into the water to catch fish. Several minke whales were spotted briefly before we headed off for our visit to Surtsey, which we circumnavigated. After the guest slideshow and the Captain’s Farewell, our ship sailed by National Geographic Resolution as we passed the newly erupting Litli-Hrutur.