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Slow travel: take the ferry to Iceland instead of a plane

Although it is more obvious to make the trip to Iceland by plane, it is also possible to travel to Iceland by ferry during the high season. The Færøerse shipping company Smyril Line sails once a week from the beginning of January to the end of December from the Danish town of Hirtshals, via Tórshavn (the capital of the Færøer) to Seyðisfjörður in eastern Iceland.

The ferry company Smyril Line sails almost all year with the ferry Norröna from Hirtshals (Northern Denmark) via Tórshavn (The Faroe Islands) to Seyðisfjörður (Eastern Iceland). It is a nice way to travel to Iceland with your own transport. Enjoy the comfort of your own car, motorhome or motorcycle while discovering all the natural beauty of Iceland.

The Faroe Islands rise steeply from the sea. Small villages with colored houses lie on the scarce parts of the coast that extend to the sea.
The Faroe Islands rise steeply from the sea. Small villages with colored houses lie on the scarce parts of the coast that extend to the sea.

The ferry to Iceland

The crossing to Iceland is in some cases much cheaper with the ferry. Of course it depends on how long you go and what transport you take with you. A nice bonus is that you can make a stopover in the Faroe Islands. Here we take you into the pros and cons of the ferry as well as what options you have.

Only one company sails to Iceland, and there is only one port on the mainland from where this departure; Hirtshals in Denmark. This is approximately a 1,000-kilometer drive from the Netherlands. The crossing to Iceland takes about two and a half days, so you sleep two nights on board the ferry. However, it is possible to break up your trip through a stopover in the Faroe Islands.

When is the best time to take the ferry?

In the high season (roughly June to July) a ferry leaves almost daily, in the low season it is often only one per week. It is therefore wise to book on time if you are bound by data. Last minutes are also possible, but don’t be surprised if you have to stay on the island for a long time. In the spring and autumn, the North Atlantic ocean can do a lot. Despite the size of the remarkably stable ship, a comfortable crossing can never be guaranteed. Although some swell can usually be observed when the weather is nice, it is often good to relax on one of the sun decks.

From Denmark, Smyril Line maintains a weekly ferry service between Hanstholm and Seydisfjördur. The crossing takes two days and two nights, but you can also make a stopover for a visit to the Faroe Islands. You can join the boat as an individual passenger, but you can also take your own car, motorcycle or bicycle. (note: the harbor is difficult to reach by bicycle, the nearest train station is in Thisted, about 25 km from Hanstholm).

Tinganes is a peninsula in Tórshavn where the Faroe Islands government resides. The town lies on the route between Iceland and the Danish mainland.
Tinganes is a peninsula in Tórshavn where the Faroe Islands government resides. The town lies on the route between Iceland and the Danish mainland.

Arrival in Iceland per ferry

The place of arrival in Iceland is Seyðisfjörður. That place is located on a 17-kilometer long fjord of the same name in the east of the country. The picturesque town was mainly inhabited some two centuries ago by people from other Scandinavian countries. The colorful Norwegian wooden houses that they built are largely still there. Perhaps the most striking is the blue Lutheran church in the village. In total around 800 people live in Seyðisfjörður. There are a few hotels and there is a youth hostel where you can spend the night.

A number of cargo boats also sail from Rotterdam to Reykjavík. You can send your vehicle in a container on the boat and fly to Iceland yourself. The Icelandic shipping companies Eimskip and Samskip sail to Iceland every week. It takes about a week to get your vehicle to Iceland. This must be handed in a week in advance.

The post Slow travel: take the ferry to Iceland instead of a plane first appeared Mr Nordic.



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