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Seydisfjordur

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

22nd June, 2017

We had a great sea day before our arrival to Seydisfjordur. We “tweaked” our route and for 4 hours we were close coasting along the NE corner of the Faroe Islands. This was spectacular as can be seen from the photos. Nikki, one of our Deck Cadets, had studied Geology and gave me lots of information to share with our guests. The Faroe Islands are of course volcanic and made mainly of Basalt. We have called there previously at the port of Torshavn.

For our arrival into Seydisfjordur we didn’t take a pilot as it was not compulsory. This is very unusual, as for most ports it is a requirement as the authorities normally want to ensure any ship is under the guidance of a local expert. This morning’s arrival was fairly straight forward as we were anchoring first and then around 1230 we would be shifting to a berth that was being used by a local ferry. Fiona our 2nd Officer kept the con and navigated the 10 mile deep fjord before giving the order to “let go the stb’d anchor”. By 0740 we were safely anchored ¼ mile from the pier and ready to send our Guests ashore using the ship’s tenders. Seas were very calm so ideal for boating.

The small town of Seydisfjordur in east Iceland has to be one of the most beautiful in the country, not only because of its impressive environment, but also because it has the best preserved collection of old wooden buildings in the whole of Iceland. The old timber buildings were imported from Norway between 1895 & 1922 and many survive today as homes, businesses and public buildings.

Poet Matthias Johannessen called Seydisfjordur a “pearl enclosed in a shell”, as the town nestles between two mountains; Strandartindur and Bjolfur, both 3,000 feet high. In the valley above the town, the river Fjardara cascades over 25 waterfalls to the lagoon at the head of the fjord. The community, like so many others in Iceland, owes its origins to foreign merchants, mainly Danes, who started trading in the fjord in the mid-19th century. The crucial factor in the evolution of the village was the establishment of the Icelandic herring fishery by Norwegians from 1870 – 1900. The Norwegians built up a number of herring-fishing facilities, and in a matter of years the small community grew into a boom town.

There were 4 shore excursions on offer today; Eastern Fjords of Iceland, Hike to Hengifoss Waterfalls, Seydisfjordur Town Walk, and The Scenic East.

I’d had quite a disturbed night with a call at 0130 with thick fog, so was feeling a little weary, however the weather was so beautiful I decided it was time to fill my lungs with fresh mountain air. I met with Rico, the Quartermaster and maintainer of all the crew bikes, and at 1430 we were on the road and set off for a superb 20km bike ride along the north side of the fjord we had sailed in during the morning. A few photos of this excellent ride are attached.

There were some long tours today, but with everyone back on board in good time for dinner, we made preparations ready to sail. Franko, our Staff Captain, carried out the manoeuvre and did a very good job. I left the Bridge around 1900 as I was having dinner with our Chief Engineer Steven Hare and his lovely wife Claudia.

See you in Akureyri.

Captain Julian Burgess

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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