Port Profile: Hafnarfjörður, Iceland

Learn everything you need to know about cruise destinations under Avid Cruiser’s Port Profiles section (you’ll find a tab above on the navigation bar). Each week, we’ll provide one or more port profiles for those are planning trips or for those who need inspiration to do so. Today’s feature, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland.

The sculpture “Sailing” (“Sigling”, in Icelandic) at the coastline in Hafnarfjördur Photo: Már Sveinbjörnsson

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In a country that is itself almost synonymous with Vikings, Hafnarfjördur has managed to carve itself a niche as a town that is synonymous with – Vikings. A yearly Viking Festival has been held here each summer since 1995, attracting people from all over the world who want to experience Viking culture, cuisine, battle demonstrations and longships.

Hafnarfjördur might strike one as a well-chosen location for those interested in Viking ships, in particular. The name of Iceland’s third largest town translates to “harbor fjord,” reflecting the excellent natural harbor found here. It is easy to imagine the first Icelandic settlers taking advantage of the sheltered bay.

The town is first mentioned in the Landnámabók, or The Book of Settlement, which describes how Iceland was settled in the 9th and 10th centuries. For centuries to come, merchants continued to take advantage of the natural harbor found here. Fishing and fish trade, in particular, have both been of significant importance.

Read Avid Cruiser’s full Port Profile featuring Hafnarfjörður.

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