Reykjavik progresses towards green goal and new terminal
It is currently the only port in Iceland that is ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certified (2017) and ISO 45001 Health and Safety Management Certified (2019). “We are aiming to become as green a port as we possibly can and this is one step in getting closer to that goal,” says Erna Kristjansdottir, marketing & quality manager Faxafloahafnir Associated Icelandic Ports. “We will receive our first LNG ship this summer, Le Commandant Charcot from Ponant, which is a good step. In 2023 we will be able to connect small cruise ships to shore power in Faxagarour.”
This year 199 calls carrying 213,000 passengers are expected in Reykjavik. Turnarounds number 98 with 51,000 passengers. Last year’s statistics were similar but, because of the pandemic, the reality was different. Despite this, circumnavigation itineraries went extremely well in Iceland last summer.
Kristjansdottir comments: “We have noticed a change in booking due to the situation in Ukraine and Russia. We have received a few bookings that were supposed to go to that area.”
The cruise period in Iceland is normally from May-October, but does extend into March, April and November for those keen to see the Northern Lights. Kristjansdottir comments: “If ships are thinking of sailing to Iceland at other times, it is always good to include the Icelandic Coast Guard into the discussion because the sea can be rough during the wintertime.”
This summer Faxafloahafnir has invested in scanners (hand & luggage), metal scanners and nine Yokohama fenders for Reykjavik. In addition two tents are being rented, so that turnarounds will flow well through the port area in Sundahofn.
One tent (20m by 50m) is for luggage handling and the second tent (20m by 65m) is for check-in. These may remain in place in 2023 when the construction of a terminal building is due to begin, for completion by end of 2024/early 2025. Kristjansdottir says: “Most likely the new terminal will be L-shaped. We are thinking for about 3,000 passengers on turnarounds. It is located at Sundahofn at the pier Skarfabakki, which is about seven minutes drive from the downtown area, 30 to 40 minutes walking. The investors of the infrastructure is the port.”
There are also three new gangways: 12 m, 15m and 20m. There are four tugboats: Magni 85 tonnage: Haki 40t: Leynir 14t; and Pjotur 6t for safety at sea. “Safety is our number one priority”.
A new hotel, Edition, has opened in the downtown port area of Reykjavik and a new thermal spa, Sky Lagoon, is just 15 minutes from the city. Meanwhile AECO guidelines are being worked on for alternative port Akranes for publication in June this year. Community guidelines are also being prepared, alongside information about interesting places to visit nearby. Ship calls to Akranes started in 2017, mainly from smaller ships although midsize can also visit. Opportunities to visit include Akranes lighthouse, Glymur second highest waterfall of Iceland, Canyon baths at Husafell, and Into the Glacier at Langjokull.