Akureyri and Húsavík
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 18 Jul 2022

Akureyri and Húsavík, 7/18/2022, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Arctic

Launching from Akureyri, we set out on various local adventures for the entire day. Each tour stopped to admire the frothing reflections of negative ions, creating a rainbow above Goðafoss Waterfall. Some guests opted to soak up the impeccably sunny day at a luxurious spa – a lovely infinity pool on the edge of a cliff overlooking Húsavík Bay. Others explored every single species of bird occurring in Iceland at the Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum at Mývatn before seeing a menagerie of live birds at Lake Mývatn, with nary a midge to be seen! Phew! Equally impressive in its diversity of marvels, the hiking and geology-focused tour offered views of lava pillars, gurgling mud pots, supremely rare pseudocraters, and every form of lava flow.

The terrestrial geology displayed vibrant colors in the rocks, demonstrating geothermal acidity turning basalt rocks into clay and blue-cast silica deposits. Meanwhile, our undersea team explored the incredibly unique underwater hydrothermal vents within Eyjafjӧrður Fjord. Freshwater that has seeped down into the volcanic Earth makes contact with hydrothermal fluid at the bottom of the fjord. As the superheated mixture of fresh, hydrothermal fluid is forced through benthic fissures, a chemical reaction occurs as it meets the frigid saltwater in the fjord. A precipitate is formed from this reaction, creating large, white extrusions built up of various minerals seeping out of the fluid to build all kinds of vents and even hydrothermal chimneys underwater! These vents attract all kinds of Iceland’s notorious and most flamboyant fish.

But wait, there’s more! After an incredible day on the mainland of Iceland, we took a trip up north to Grímsey Island, where a novel ‘Arctic Express’ tractor train transported folks to the monument of the Arctic Circle. We all crossed into the Circle while on board the ship, but some hustled to cross the threshold via foot. As the midnight sun began to set, we finally turned in from a glorious day with a vibrant sunset at 11:45 p.m.

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