The last day of our cruise was spent on the little archipelago "Vestmanneyar" in the south of Iceland. Those islands are very important for the icelandic fishing-industry with about a third of their fleet stationed here, thanks to a very sheltered harbour. The area became world wide known in 1963, when a volcano eruption in the sea created a new island which was soon called Surtsey. Ten years later a volcano erupted on the main island and buried about 400 houses. Today Heimaey attract visitors intrested in bird-watching, as they state to be inhabited by about 5.000 people but 4.000.000 puffins.
About 100 of our guests followed our expedition through the lava-wastes, and 60 managed to climb to the 220 meters high peak of one of the worlds youngest volcanos, the Eldfell. In the afternoon we offered a polar-circle-boat ride along the birdcliffs.
Leaving for Reykjavik in the evening, we closly passed Surtsey. The island is now 45 years old, and we could see green plants covering some parts of it. It is an restricted area, as scientist try to observe, how life settles down on such a new, but waste ground.