06. febrúar 2012

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Elding and Viđey Island take part in Reykjavík Winter Lights Festival that is held from 9. - 12. February (Thursday to Sunday). This is the 10th year the festival is held and this years theme is the electric darkness - (raf)magnađ myrkur. The idea behind the festival is to stimulate and enliven city life in midwinter. The festival celebrates both the winter and the groving light after a long period of darkness. The entire city is alive during the festival, both the centre with all it´s cultural institutions as well as the many parks and sport centres in Reykjavik.

Icelandic post-rock quartet For a Minor Reflection hosts an Electrical concert in Viđeyjarstofa (Videy house) on Museum Night, Friday 10. February. The concert is free of charge but guests pay a ferry toll for the trip to Viđey (1000 ISK for adults).  

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The Museum Night Bus is free of charge on Museum Night and Line C will stop at Skarfabakki , where the ferry departs to Viđey. Detailed information on bus and ferry schedule available shortly.

We hope that you can join us for a fun night.


27. janúar 2012

ranna

Yesterday Rannveig Grétarsdóttir, owner and manager of Elding Whale Watching, got acknowledged by the Icelandic Association of Women Entrepreneurs (FKA - Félag kvenna í atvinnurekstri). We‘ve always know what a great woman she is but it was really nice being there with her to celebrate this achievement.

FKA is a non-profit professional organisation for Icelandic based women business owners. Its aim is among others to bring together women business owners in order to make them stronger and more noticed in the business world and in the society. Rannveig was chosen out of hundreds of women for her achievements. She founded Elding Whale Watching with her family in 2000 and has made it one of the most successful businesses in the tourism sector.

Congratulations Rannveig from all the Elding team!

From the reception yesterday, taken by Guđlaugur Ottesen Karlsson


23. janúar 2012

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The past few days have been just great for us here at Elding Whale Watching. For three days in a row we’ve seen humpback whales and orca, and we’ve a good feeling that the fun will continue. Our fish finders on board and the number of fishing boats in the area indicate that there is plenty of herring around which must be what is attracting the whales. In general this winter season has been very good for us. The sightings have been really interesting, the weather much better than last year and the interest in winter whale watching is always increasing.
Although our normal departure point is Reykjavík’s Old Harbour we have been sailing out from Hafnarfjörđur lately, which is very convenient because how close it is to where the whales are now. In that area we’ve got good shelter from land and the weather conditions have been favourable to us. We also have one boat in Grindavík ready to depart if the conditions change as the fishermen in the area have informed us that it’s also quite lively there. When sailing out from other harbours we take our passengers on a short bus ride, without any additional charge, to our boats and as a result we spend less time sailing and more time with the whales.
In our Whale Diary you can read about the proceedings for the last tours, take a look at photos and videos from the tours.
 

06. janúar 2012

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In the last few days we have been looking back at the year 2011 the Elding team agrees that is has surely been an interesting year. We are really proud of our achievements and determined to do better even better this year. Here is Elding’s chronicle for 2011 for those interested:

For the first time we offered daily whale watching all year round and because of that we have never had more tours on schedule. The first half of the year we sought a difficult battle with the weather gods and as a result we had to cancel way too many tours. Despite that we had quite a few amazing tours. The first minke whale of the year we encountered early, already in February, which gave us good confidence for the coming season. The minke whales are usually the hub of our sightings from April to October and this year was no different. Additionally we saw white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises but also few humpback whales, orca and fin whales. When it came to autumn we were exhilarated coming upon blue whales, fin whales, orca and humpback whales on our tours from Grindavík and continued to see the orca and minke whales in Faxaflói in November. Thes are last years statistics in comparison to the years before for those interested:

EL-01/EL-02 Summer

2011

2010

2009

2008

Minke whales

92.51%

91.51%

81,84%

77.03%

Harbour porpoises

51.42%

47.68%

31.09%

24.86%

White-beaked dolphins

27.13%

32.24%

32.09%

44.59%

Humpback whales

2.02%

2.90%

14.43%

31.35%

Basking shark

1.62%

2.90%

0.35%

0.81%

Killer whales

0.61%

0.58%

0.50%

0%

Fin whales

0.40%

0%

0%

0%

Over all sighting success

93.61%

95.75%

95.04%

90.91%

EL-03 Winter

2011

2010

2009

2008

White-beaked dolphins

66.23%

75,36%

83.93%

61.84%

Minke whales

33.77%

39.13%

37.50%

27.63%

Harbour porpoises

22.08%

14.49%

35.71%

32.89%

Blue whales

10.39%

0%

0%

0%

Humpback whales

9.09%

14.49%

28.57%

23.68%

Fin whales

6.49%

0%

0%

0%

Killer whales

5.19%

2.9%

7.14%

3.95%

Over all sighting success

76.53%

75.82%

91.80%

86.44%

This year we are going to increase our whale watching departures even further during the high season. For the first time we will add German guidance in addition to English on scheduled tours on Thursdays this summer. Like before, groups can though request guidance in German, French and Danish on all tours with some notice.

 

The sea angling season was highly successful. We increased our departures on Fridays and Saturdays to two tours a day during the high season but settled with daily departures other days of the week. The catch was great and happy customers barbecued cod, haddock, catfish and more on their way back to shore after an adventurous day at sea. Some also took their catch to the nearby restaurants where the chef prepared a nice meal for them.

This winter we have also offered to put sea angling on schedule for a minimum participation of five. So far we have taken few groups and individuals out in October and November with good success. For the inexperienced the cold days have been quite challenging and dressing warmly is essential despite the warm overalls provided on board.

 

In mid April we were thrilled to see the first glimpse of this years puffins. They started settling in Akurey and Lundey at the beginning of May but unfortunately they seem to have rushed their return home. Few cold days and some snow in early May dispelled the puffins back to sea and they didn’t really return back to the islands until the turn of the month. This, in addition to lack of sandeels, disrupted the breeding and ornithologists say there was a complete collapse. Given the difficulty in the breeding for the last couple of years this is truly something to worry about.

Despite all this the puffin tours were fairly successful this summer. We were though especially careful not to disrupt the delicate biosphere at difficult times. We saw more of the puffins on the water around the islands as there wasn’t much activity on the islands. We surely hope that 2012 will be more favourable to the puffins that attract thousands of tourists and locals every year.

 

Viđey has been lively this year. The diverse program of events has attracted tourists just as the locals all year round. Fascinated by the island’s history, art and nature or simply there to enjoy the quiet and beautiful ambiance guests always find something suitable. During the winter the light of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER attracts a whole new group of visitors and on 9 October, when the tower was re-lit this year there were about 900 guests present.


09. desember 2011

December 8th 1980 marked one of the worst days for Beatle lovers when John Lennon was tragically killed. Yoko Ono as a tribute to John reserected, here in Iceland, her Light House idea which we now call the Imagine Peace Tower located on Viđey Island. Every year the tower is lit between John Lennons birthday 9 October and his sad demise on 8 December. Thus last night we felt it nessesary to do our part to remember John by including abit extra to the usual tour. Guests carried a torch to the tower and sent a wish with a floating candle out into the sea. Incredible dynamic skies made the rememberence even more powerful.

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06. desember 2011

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Holiday Whale Watching
December time is when the Elding team gets into the holiday mood and welcomes you on board our boats in Reykjavík Old Harbour. We offer daily whale watching tours at 13:00 with the exception of 25 December when we will be closed. In the holiday spirit we offer you a complimentary holiday punch and traditional Icelandic Christmas biscuits in the Whale Watching Centre before the tour. Like always we offer warm overalls and blankets free of charge on board so you don't have to worry about the cold December days.



The winter island Viđey
Viđey welcomes guests all year round and the holiday spirit is evident on this peaceful island. The ferry departs from Skarfabakki harbour on Saturdays and Sundays with the exception of 24 and 25 December. In December you can also join:

  • Traditional Christmas buffet in Viđeyjarstofa on Friday and Saturday evenings until 17 December
  • Imagine Peace Tours daily at 20:00 until 8 December, at 18:00 on 22, 23 and 27 December and at 16:00 on 31 December.

22 December

23 December

24 December

25 December

 

13:00 Whale Watching

18:00 Imagine Peace Tour

13:00 Whale Watching

18:00 Imagine Peace Tour 

13:00 Whale Watching

Viđey ferry closed

 Closed

 

 

26 December

 

27 December

 

28 December

 

29 December

 

 13:00 Whale Watching

 13:00 Whale Watching

 13:00 Whale Watching

 13:00 Whale Watching

 

 

30 December

31 December

1 January

2 January

 

 13:00 Whale Watching

 13:00 Whale Watching

16:00 Imagine Peace Tour

Viđey ferry
closed

Closed

 13:00 Whale Watching

 

 

Notice all tours are weather permitting


29. nóvember 2011

10_videyjarstofa_winter

A creative workshop for friends and families will be held at Viđeyjarstofa (in Viđey island) Saturday, December 3rd from 2 p.m.

 

The theme of the workshop is based on Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower, and the words IMAGINE PEACE. Peace, equality and compassion is the focus for a creative writers- and drawing workshop for kids and adults, inspired by Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir´s children´s novel Flugan sem stöđvađi stríđiđ (The fly that stopped the war), that recently won the Icelandic children’s book prize. Afterwards everyone gets a chance to use their own imagination in words and play in their own mother tongue, in collaboration with Mother Tongue – Association of Bilingualism. The Palestinian poet and journalist Mazen Maarouf will also read few of his works. Mazen is Reykjavík's first ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network) guest writer.

 

This is a perfect opportunity for family and friends to get creative and enjoy peace and togetherness in a cosy environment. The coffee house in Viđeyjarstofa will be open all day for those who want to enjoy the selection of refreshments offered. Afterwards a walk to the Imagine Peace Tower is offered for those interested.

 

Program:

2 p.m.        Recital from the novel Flugansemstöđvađistríđiđ
2.30 p.m    Workshop
4 p.m         Presentation
4 p.m         Guided walk to the Imagine Peace Tower

 

The ferry departs from Skarfabakki at: 1.15, 2.15 and 3.15 p.m. and from Viđey at: 1.30, 2.30, 3.30, 4.30 p.m. and right after the guided walk to the Imagine Peace Tower.

 

The ferry toll is kr. 1000 for adults and kr. 500 for children (6-18 years old), free for children under 6 years old.

 

This is a collaborative project between Reykjavik City Library, Reykjavik Art Museum and Videyisland.

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The IMAGINE PEACE TOWER

videy_fridur_og_fjolmenning_flugan

videy_fridur_og_fjolmenning_flugan2
Bryndís Björnsdóttir the author of the children´s novel Flugan sem stöđvađi stríđiđ

fridur_og_fjokmenning_mazen_maarouf

Mazen Maarouf a poet and journalist Reykjavík's first ICORN guest writer 


14. nóvember 2011

whalefest_eldingteam

The first ever international WhaleFest was held during the first weekend in November in Brighton, UK. The Elding team was there among more than 2.500 other whale watchers and dolphin fans from across the world. The whale fest was great fun and for us it was truly amazing to meet so many people sharing our interest in whales. We had our own stand there where attendants could learn more about our tours and discuss with us. We were also able to attend a great selection of small workshops, lectures and checked out other stands at the exhibition. We came back with some great ideas to make our tours even better and we are already looking forward to next year's WhaleFest.

whalefest_eldingstand 
We were quite busy at our stand and found great interest in whale watching in Iceland

whalefest_eldingteam_markcarwardine
At the WhaleFest we met our good frined Mark Carwardine

We clearly made good use of our time in the UK as before the Whale fest we took part in a whale and dolphin watch operator workshop aimed at responsible whale watching operation and after it we headed to London for the World Travel Market. Visit Iceland had a stand there and Elding shared a counter there. The WTM was really busy and again we found great interest in Iceland and of course whale watching. Again we were able to attend lectures inbetween our meetings and being at the counter.

wtm_eldingcounter
The Elding counter on Visit Iceland booth

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Busy meetings all day

wtm_speednetworking
Speed Networking n Monday

 


24. október 2011

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The winter whale watching has started out really well for us. We have been sailing both from Reykjavík and Grindavík depending on the weather conditions. The tours have been very successful, especially from Grindavík where we have been seeing Blue Whales, Fin Whale and Humpback whale now for 3 weeks. Sightings from Reykjavík have also been good, but not as good as from Grindavík, we have been seeing Minke Whales, White Beaked Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises in Faxaflói bay.

Seeing a Blue Whale is an amazing experience and a once in a lifetime experience for many people. It is the largest mammal on earth and in fact believed to be the biggest animal to have ever existed. Blue Whales are often seen off the coast of Iceland during the summer time but this is the first time they have been spotted on tours with Elding since Elding was founded the year 2000. Lot of excitement has been among both our passengers and crew members which have been spending their days off going on the tours from Grindavík.

As this is the first time we’ve seen the Blue Whales we are not sure for how long we can expect to see them in the area. Like other baleen whales the Blue Whale are known to spend the summers up north before they head back to warmer waters in southern latitudes during the winter. In 2009 the Icelandic Marine Research Institute marked a Blue Whale in northern Iceland and its trackings (http://www.hafro.is/hvalamerki/steypireydur.html) were recorded from June 23rd – Sep 8th. At that time that Blue Whale had travelled from the north of Iceland along the west coast to the area where we’ve been seeing the Blue Whales lately. It will surely be interesting to know for how long the Blue Whales stay in the area and we surely will continue to go whale watching from Grindavík as long as the conditions are still good there, considering sightings and weather.


06. október 2011

 

videy_mynd_fyrir_9

On the occasion of the lighting of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, on 9 October 2011, Yoko Ono invites the public to Viđey island that same evening. The free ferry boat will be running from 18:00 to 19:30 and back from 21:00 that evening.

The IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Viđey-island is the work of artist, musician and peace-activist, Yoko Ono. Symbolically, the Tower is a guiding light to world peace. The work is conceived as a “wishing-well”, out of which a huge tower or beam of light stretches into the sky. Engraved on the wishing-well are the words “Imagine Peace” in 24 languages. The work was installed in collaboration of the artist, with the City of Reykjavik and Reykjavik Energy in 2007. Every year the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is lit to shine daily two hours after sunshine to midnight from October 9th to December 8th.

On October 9th Viđeyjarnaust will be open for guests. The evening will be made memorable for all those who attend with a serene and beautiful atmosphere. The house will be filled with candle-lights. Musicians Jóel Pálsson and Óskar Guđjónsson will play ambient music and the choir Graduale Nobili will sing for guests by the IPT. The Wish Tree will be placed in Viđeyjarnaust where guests of all ages can leave a wish. Light refreshments and warm drinks are available.

That same evening the first Lennon Tribute in Viđeyjarstofa will be held. The Lennon Tribute is a combination of world class dining, music and entertainment dedicated to John Lennon, Yoko Ono and their life ambition for world peace. As this is in Viđey island guests can also attend the lighting of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER at 20:00. The price for the Lennon Tribute is 12.900 ISK per person.

The day after, 10 October, the guided tours to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER start running acording to our schedule. The Imagine Peace Tours are evening tours that last about 1,5-2 hours. The unite history, art and nature in an interesting manner and give a deep insight into this magnificent work of art. The price for the Imagine Peace Tour is 5.000 ISK per person and pick up from hotels and guesthouses in Reykjavík area is complimentary.

For further information about the boat ferry and services in Viđey, please send us an e-mail to elding@elding.is.