25. maí 2012

reykjavikfreetour

We are happy to introduce to our guests the Free Tour of Reykjavík that now starts outside our ticket sales, daily at 13:00 (rain or shine). This is the 6th season that Goecco offers this popular free tour that aims at introducing to you what the city has to offer in a fun and easy way. The tour is roughly 1,5-2 hours and covers the main sights of the inner city.

Season: 18 May to 14 September

Departures: Elding Whale Watching, Reykjavík's old harbour

Duration: 1,5-2 hours

Price: Free

More information about the tour can be found on Goecco's webpage

reykjavikfreetourguests

 


12. maí 2012

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Preparation for the summer on Viđey Island is in full swing these days as the summer schedule takes over next Tuesday, 15 May with the daily ferry. In cooperation with city of Reykjavík we have put together an interesting program for this summer, full of activities such as guided walks, concerts, festivals and more. What is new this summer is a horse rental on the island run by Laxnes Hores Farm. Visitors on the island can from now on get to know the Icelandic horse; pat them, feed them hey or even join one of the riding tours that start in June.

Last Wednesday the horses were brought to the island and as they are quite different from our usual passengers on the ferry we had to use a barge for the
job. It all went well and the horses are now enjoying themselves in the fields on the island.

Here are few photos taken by Bjarni Grímsson while the horses were moved over to the island:

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11. maí 2012

alda

We've been quite worried about the weather forecast for the next few days as strong northerly winds are expected. Because of that we have been looking into all possible solutions for our tours tomorrow, Monday and maybe even later in the week. Our current plan is to sail out from Grindavík as, despite the wind, the sea state in the area south of Reykjanes peninsula should be fairly good. We have had many great tours from Grindavík in the past and the promissing news our captain got from the fishermen in the area make this even more tempting than before. For those interested here is the Whale Diary from our last tour from Grindavík.

When leaving from Grindavík we depart at 9:00 and 13:00 from Reykjavík's old harbour with our buses and drive for about 45-50 minutes until we reach Grindavík harbour. The duration of the tour is longer because of the driving back and forth so our guests could expect to be back around 4-5 hours later. The pick up times are still the same, that is between 8:15 and 8:45 and 12:15 and 12:45 and the drop off right after return to Reykjavík.

This evening we will move one of our boats to Grindavík and after that we should have a better idea of the conditions in the area. Don't hesitate to contact if you want some more information, our office is open until 19:00 and the phone is open all night.

Our Tips: When leaving from Grindavík it is ideal to combine the whale watching with a visit to the Blue Lagoon because of the closeness. Our bus could drop those off at the Blue Lagoon on the way back to Reykjavík after the whale watching tour. After soaking in the lagoon the guests could take the one-way transfer back to Reykjavík.

 


18. apríl 2012

The researchers are back on board our boats to continue their work on cetaceans in Faxaflói Bay for the 2012 field season. Like previous years, the research team led by Chiara Giulia Bertulli, a marine biologist that has been involved in the research since 2007. She is currently working on her PhD which focuses on establishing abundance of minke whales and white-beaked dolphins in the coastal waters of Faxaflói Bay using mark-recapture techniques and biological sampling. Since 2007, in collaboration with Elding whale-watching and the University of Iceland, she created the first photo-ID catalogue of the area counting around 400 minke whales, 300 white-beaked dolphins, 52 humpback and 8 orcas. Chiara´s 2012 field assistants are Sara Lawrence and Richard Mardens for the months of April and May, which you might notice on our tours ‘equipped’ with their cameras and distinctively taking notes of the surroundings.
Even though we haven't had many minke whale sightings this year so far there have been quite a few Humpback Whales keeping the researchers busy. The humpback whales have been absolutely great so far this season and it seems that every day now we're seeing more and more minke whales. The first puffins have even been spotted the last week on our tours and soon they'll start settling on the islands. Chiara, Sara and Richard have been so kind to share some of their photos with us, and most likely you'll see more of their work this summer.
They've always kept us up to date with interesting findings. On board, our guests can also look at the photo-ID catalogues of whales and dolphins and at the past research newsletters.
 
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Photographs are taken by researchers of the Faxaflói Bay Cetacean Project

05. apríl 2012

easterchick

Easter is a special time here in Iceland and always more and more travellers decide to spend their Easter vacation in Iceland. Traditional Easter holidays in Iceland are from Holy Thursday until Easter Monday (5 April to 9 April 2012). Prepare yourself for shops and restaurants being closed some of  these days but don't worry there is still plenty to do around town. Visit Reykjavík has taken to gether a good list of opening hours for Easter so we recommend you taking a good look at that their list.  

We offer daily whale watching tours at 9:00 and 13:00 all Easter long. To make it a bit more special we introduce to you Icelandic Easter traditions such as the Easter egg proverbs. Elding runs the Viđey ferry according to schedule except on Easter Sunday. The ferry sails from Skarfabakki on Saturday 7 April when we we introduce a fun Easter egg hunt on the island, stay tuned for more information.

Happy Easter everyone!


02. apríl 2012

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Our summer season started yesterday, 1st of April, with good success. After a interesting winter season we welcome the summer season with smiley faces and the migrating whales and birds. On Friday we had the first propper minke whale sighting and in the area we know of white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and humpback whales. From the webcams on Eldey Island we see that the gannets have setled and soon the puffins start arriving.

To begin with we offer whale watching tours two times a day, at 9:00 and 13:00, and more departures will be added from 15th of May. The sea angling and puffin watching tours will then start in May so as always we are looking forward to a busy summer :)

 


24. mars 2012

elding___lara

Extra departure tomorrow 25.march 2012 at 09.00 o'clock as well the 13.00 o'clock whale watching tour. Very soon or 1st April we will sail daily at 09.00 and 13.00. We can feel it that spring is coming soon, it is getting a bit warmer outside and we are hoping for great whale watching tours ahead.


19. mars 2012

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The IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will be lit on spring Equinox, Thuesday 20 March and brighten the sky above Reykjavik until 27. March. By doing so we wish to celebrate the increasing daylight, warming temperatures and the rebirth of flora and fauna.

IMAGINE PEACE tours are available every night at 20:00 from Skarfabakki. Complimentary hotel pick up is between 19:15 and 19:45. For booking call +354 555 3565 no later than 16:00 the same day.

Our winter schedule offers trips to Viđey on Saturdays and Sundays. Viđey House Café is open according to the schedule for our guests to enjoy lovely refreshments after walking around the island. Walking paths in Viđey are easy for all and hikers have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful view over Reykjavik City and surroundings.

On the eastern part of the island the history of the village and the fishing company placed there a century ago is made accessable and alive with information posters.Two magnificent works of art can be found on the west part of the island; Richard Serra´s Afangar and Yoko Ono´s IMAGINE PEACE TOWER.


12. mars 2012

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After a fantastic start of the year we have been facing quite challenging days for a while now. Not only has the weather been rough and we’ve had to cancel many of our tours but we’ve also had less luck with the cetaceans than before. Some of the tours we did go on were therefore of great disappoint to us, just as well as to our guests on board.
Given the situation in January and the first half of February this has been quite the fall for us. Then we sailed out daily with great success, enjoying the cold winter days at sea in great company of humpback whales, orcas, white-beaked dolphins and/or harbour porpoises. At the time there was plenty of herring around which was what attracted the whales. We knew from the start that this situation wasn’t permanent but made good use of it while it lasted. Unfortunately, because of the weather we were not able to make the best use of the first shoaling of capelin but the second round seems to be on its way.
We are therefore sailing out in good faith today, as the signs are much better weather wise and the number of fishing boats in the area also gives us good hope. This time of year we are also expecting the first minke whales, a sighting that is always a good reminder that the summer is just around the corner. The minke whales migrate south during the winter to mate and breed but return to Icelandic waters to feed in summer time.
Now if you are planning a tour yourself we thought it might be a good idea to remind you that our tours are run in the wild nature. Regarding the cetaceans we therefore never know what we might see on each tour, how close and for how long but one thing is for sure and that is that we always do our best. To give our customers some idea about what might be expected we post daily information about sightings and the proceedings of our tours in our online Whale Diary. Luckily we do have a better idea about the weather and can most of the times inform our guests, with some certainty, about what they can expect weather wise. If you are in doubt when to do a tour feel free to contact our office and surly we will give you the best advice available.

Now even though the conditions on some of our worst tours are nowhere near what the Icelandic fishermen are sometimes facing we thought it might be a good idea to include this link to a video taken on board one of the capelin vessel few days ago. Icelandic fishermen are true heroes!


17. febrúar 2012

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The City of Reykjavík has decided to light up the Imagine Peace Tower on Ms. Yoko Ono’s birthday tomorrow, Saturday 18 February.

The Mayor of Reykjavík Mr. Jon Gnarr, says that it is appropriate to thank her for her dedication to peace and Reykjavik. “Reykjavík is honored that Ms. Yoko Ono chose Videy island as the home of the Imagine Peace Tower which is a beautiful and meaningful artwork. The ...Peace Tower has become a true beacon of peace; a testament to great faith and conviction that is so much needed in our world today“.

The Imagine Peace Tower will be lit at 7 pm on 18 February until 9 am 19 February local Icelandic time as a tribute to Ms. Ono and to wish her a happy birthday. Live feed from the Imagine Peace Tower is available all year round on: http://imaginepeace.com/
 
The picture was taken by Megan Whittaker earlier this winter. It shows the northern lights "dancing" around the Imagine Peac Tower.