We begin our tour from the harbour in Heimaey, long a shelter for the Icelandic fishing fleet that was almost lost in the volcanic eruption of 1973. Sailing around the islands in a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) is an experience you won’t forget. On this one hour and 10-minute tour you will see the highlights around the islands at incredible speed between stops.
We start by heading to the east of Heimaey to check out the new lava that was formed during the eruption in 1973. From there we steer to the puffin paradise Stakkabót, where you’ll be able to see thousands of puffins flying and splashing around. The birdlife on this tour is magnificent, as the Westman Islands have one of the largest varieties of sea bird species in Iceland. These include puffin colonies of an estimated 6 to 8 million birds. Nowhere else in the world can such large number of puffins be found in such close proximity to man. In addition, the islands house one of the world´s largest gannet and guillemot colonies. Numerous other species of nesting sea birds can also be seen. In the waters, whales are often sighted, including orcas, as well as dolphins and porpoises.
You’ll discover six sea caves during this trip and we’ll sail into some of them. You’ll see all sorts of creature shapes in the rocks such as the elephant in Dalfjall, and the auk´s head in Ystaklettur. We will visit Kafhellir cave, one of the most spectacular of all the caves, where we see the sunlight shine from underneath the island. Of course, we’ll also check out some reminders left behind by the Turkish pirates who raided the Westman Islands in 1627 and enslaved about 380 Icelanders in North Africa, most never to return.