When you join a Lindblad-National Geographic expedition, you are setting sail with the best team in the business. In our newest series, get to know more about the people at the heart of your adventure. From expedition leaders, certified photo instructors, naturalists, wellness specialists, and more, you'll find each member of our team to be passionate, enthusiastic, and often fascinating, travel companions. First up, meet naturalist and Icelandic cultural expert Dagný (rhymes with 'tiny') Ívarsdóttir. Follow her on Instagram @dagny.ivarsdottir.
What Inspired You to Do What You Do?
A constant thirst for new adventures and a deep passion for exploring the world and sharing that passion with other people. I was working for Iceland Travel (the local tour operator for Lindblad-National Geographic) in 2014 and got assigned to sail around Iceland for three weeks with the National Geographic Explorer as a local guide and to help with shore logistics. I had no idea about the world of expedition travel and living on board ships at the time, but this one assignment was enough to get me hooked and there was no turning back—I had to do more of that!
Photo, polar plunge & main image: Andrew Peacock
What's Your Favorite Expedition Destination?
Iceland! Of course, I am a little biased since I am from there but I also genuinely think Iceland has something for everyone. It has breathtaking and versatile landscapes to actively explore or just take in from the ship; the geothermal hot springs are awesome; our flora and fauna is rich; the culinary experience is world class; there are so many artists and musicians; and the people and culture are both super charming. Whether you are a total city person or an outdoor enthusiast I think you will get the same satisfaction out of visiting. Icelanders are proud of their country for a good reason!
I love getting to experience familiar spots over and over again for the very first time through the eyes of our guests.
Share One of Your Favorite Moments with Lindblad-National Geographic
Probably when I had my birthday on board the National Geographic Explorer in Arctic Svalbard. We had the most extraordinary day, spectacular ice, midnight sun, plus I saw my first polar bear and walrus. The team embarrassed me by having the whole ship sing "Happy Birthday" to me during evening Recap. And if I can add one more, it would be the time I did a heli-hiking recon trip in Iceland with fellow naturalist Alizé Carrère where we flew helicopters and drove all over the country to find the best possible spots for our guests to have an amazing land extension.
What Do You Most Look Forward to Each Day?
Driving the Zodiacs! LOL!... Or paddling in the ice. I love nothing more than being out there immersed in Nature with a small group of people and truly taking it in through all my senses.
Favorite Pasttime: Any outdoor activities, but especially mountain biking and ski touring
Greatest Inspiration: There are many but the first one to come to mind is Miss Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Iceland’s first female president. She’s a brilliant woman, speaks at least 5 languages fluently, and is just so elegant and humble.
Something People Would Be Surprised to Know: I am super scared of heights...and drowning!
Watch Dagný make Skyr cake, a traditional Icelandic dessert. >