Langanes Peninsula and Seyðisfjörður

Jul 23, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer


In the true spirit of expedition, National Geographic Explorer ventured to the Langanes Peninsula in northeast Iceland, where the morning greeted us with gray but dry skies and only a slight swell—as good as it gets in this part of the world!  

The adventurous travelers took a long Zodiac cruise to Rauðanes Point—a true pearl of Icelandic nature—where we saw columnar basalt and volcanic arches, sea stack rock formations, and pillow basalt (which forms when lava erupts underwater and there is too much pressure for it to explode). Some Zodiacs explored the archways and sea stacks, others dared to drive into sea caves. We spotted Atlantic puffins adroitly nesting within rock crevices and northern fulmars nestled in with their chicks on the impressive basalt ledges. 

This afternoon, back on board the ship, naturalist Karen Velas gave a presentation on puffins as Explorer sailed toward the quaint, artistic town of Seyðisfjörður. Next, we heard from guest speaker Thóra Arnórsdóttir, who spoke about the economic crash in Iceland. We then heard tales from the field from National Geographic photographer Mark Theissen. For the final presentation, One Day University lecturer Ed O’Donnell spoke about the Gilded Age. Explorer came alongside Seyðisfjörður just in time for everyone to have an after-dinner stroll through the sweet town.

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About the Author

Karen Velas

Naturalist

Karen Velas cares deeply about protecting the environment and its wildlife.  Over the last 15 years, she has been involved with numerous conservation projects, including working as the Lead Project Coordinator on the California Condor Project with The National Audubon Society, managing projects in the flooded rice fields of California’s Central Valley with The Nature Conservancy and surveying the distant cliffs of Iceland to aid in puffin recovery with the South Iceland Research Centre.

About the Photographer

Andrew Peacock

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Andrew was born in Adelaide, South Australia and (mis)spent his youth surfing and kayaking in the ocean, as is the case for many Aussies! After graduating from medical school there, Andrew spent a year working as a surgical resident in Santa Barbara, California where he was introduced to rock climbing. Taking up this adventure activity with a passion, he began to explore the mountainous regions of the world and volunteered his skills in Nepal and India where he has led numerous treks. While documenting his experiences there on slide film, Andrew began contributing photos to what was then the Lonely Planet image library, which provided the impetus for him to concentrate more keenly on using the creative side of his brain.

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