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New Harbor and Sailing Route to Westman Islands

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New Harbor and Sailing Route to Westman Islands

The harbor in Bakkafjara, Landeyjahöfn in south Iceland was formally opened at a special ceremony yesterday when the Westman Islands' ferry Herjólfur docked there for the first time. The new harbor and sailing route shortens the ferry ride to the Westman Islands from three hours to half an hour.

From the opening ceremony at Landeyjahöfn. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“Landeyjahöfn is not only a man-made construction, it is also a Herculean task,” Minister of Transport Kristján L. Möller said at the harbor’s inauguration, explaining that a few years ago no one could have imagined a harbor in this location but modern technology made it possible, Morgunbladid reports.

Möller and Ellidi Vignisson, mayor of the Westman Islands, cut the ribbon together at the inaugural ceremony.

Steinar Magnússon, one of Herjólfur’s captains, said the trip had gone well and that the weather couldn’t have been better.

People living in the Westman Islands were invited to sail on the ferry’s maiden journey to the new harbor. The ferry was crowded with islanders, MPs and ministers.

In Landeyjahöfn the people disembarking the ferry were greeted with a feast. Rev. Halldór Gunnarsson at Holt, blessed the new harbor and led a prayer for those in attendance.

He said it was a blessing that no serious accidents had occurred during the harbor construction—workers had to flee the flooding caused by the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull at one point.

Landeyjajöfn lies at the mouth of Markarfljót river, a distance of approximately 100 kilometers from Reykjavík.

The Westman Islands' ferry used to sail from Thorlákshöfn, which is only 50 kilometers away from Reykjavík, but with the shorter sailing route, the time of the combined journey from the capital to the Westman Islands still drops from four hours to two and a half.

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