From Iceland by Ferry: the Perfect Hell

I hate that day when we decided to come back to the continent, and more exactly, to Hirtshals in Denmark by ferry. I hate it. Why on Earth did we listen to people claiming that it was genius and wonderful? Lies!

But let’s start from the beginning. Since we had no box anymore to transport our tandem, an idea came to us that probably it would be much easier and safer for the bike to leave Iceland by ferry. In addition to this, so many people eagerly advised us trying it, that finally the fatal decision was taken. 

You should know only one thing: this ferry is NOT for budget travelling. If you want to enjoy it – be ready to invest. So here they are, all the reasons why we should have taken a plane instead.


Only this point should have discouraged us on the first place. Because it IS NOT cheaper than any plane ticket. I guess the ferry is useful exclusively for people travelling by their own car, and I’m not sure I want to know how much they pay for this doubtful pleasure. Even considering the “low season” we paid for the cheapest option possible (a couchette in a shared cabin) around 400€ (one way ticket for two). (By the way, the accepted currency on board is Danish Krona). During the endless booking procedure, we reached a page, where we were asked to choose our meals. However, there were already 2 lunch meals chosen with additional 11€ each, and we couldn’t deselect them. So whether you want it or not, you are obliged to pre-pay your meal, even if you were planning to eat the Heinz beans during the whole trip. Whoever works for Smyril Line as a promoter, he is not genius.

The departure is NOT from Reykjavik.

It doesn’t matter for people who start their trip in Seyðisfjörður, but we were making our tour From Reykjavik To Reykjavik, which meant… taking a bus or a plane to get to the East Fjords. Our plane ticket cost us (drum-roll) 160€ in addition to more. (I know, I know, we are such loosers!)

The travelling conditions are… pretty awful.

We didn’t realize that choosing 2 couchettes in a shared compartment would mean being stuck in the tiniest cubical possible where 9 people are supposed to sleep and basically live for three nights and two days. It’s just amazingly claustrophobic. Ferry from Iceland to Denmark

Ferry from Iceland to Denmark

Ferry from Iceland to DenmarkBut what just knocked us completely down was… the absence of any sleeping material. Yes, yes, if you want a pillow and something to put on yourself except for your own sweater – pay a small extra, which is just 20€. Fortunately, the majority of travelers have their sleeping bags, but there were some of them who didn’t know about this circumstance, and it can’t be blamed. To know all the details you really should read every page of the SmyrilLine web-site. Surprise!

And just as a bad joke, on our deck (honestly, just like the third-class on Titanic) no one could avoid passing by the posters proposing to upgrade your cabin. Ha-ha.Ferry from Iceland to Denmark

But where to keep the bags? – you might ask. Because if every person out of 9 brings the bag – there will be no space at all! Smyril Line has thought about it, of course. For a smaaaall extra you can use the luggage boxes. But you will have to re-pay every time you need take something from it.Ferry from Iceland to Denmark

The only positive point, I would say, are the bathrooms. They are kept in a quite good condition, relatively clean.

 Ferry from Iceland to Denmark

Just in case if you plan being hungry

The meal we’ve paid for was quite okay, it was a buffet, and the food was rather tasty. If not tasty, at least normal.

Ferry from Iceland to DenmarkHowever, there are still breakfast and dinner that are not “included” in the main package. We prepared some food in advance, but the main ordeal was…to find a place to eat it. In our cabin, it was impossible, in the hall with nice tables and chairs as well. Of course, the staff is interested in making you buy their products in their 3? 4? cafés, that’s why not only above every table there is a sign forbidding you to consume your own food and drink, but the employees pass by quite regularly to spot anyone trying to swallow his sandwich.

Ferry from Iceland to Denmark

Ferry from Iceland to Denmark Obviously, in the restaurants one can’t arrive with his picnic set. Desperate, we asked at the reception if there was any place we could eat our meal. There was one. Outside on the upper deck in a smoking area. By “smoking area” they meant a place where you can’t really walk without getting the lung cancer.

We’d also like to mention once again that everything is paid, even the hot water. And the worst thing in all this is that you know that there is no way out three days more.

Cool Passengers

It’s not that we have something against the old German pensioners, the only fellows we had during this trip, but when they get drunk and start behaving according to their mood, it looks, let’s say, funny.

Ferry from Iceland to Denmark

At night the pools were crowded despite horrible prices :D

Ferry from Iceland to Denmark

Absence of Internet.

It can be either positive or negative – depends. But the sad thing is the fact that the connection they propose costs really expensive, even for this ferry standards. However, people, who purchased the connection, told us that it was exactly the same thing as not having it.

The last and THE WORST. Seasick.

It should have been the point #1 or #0 or even better – just a title of this article, but we decided it was better to maintain the suspense. Those 3 nights and 2 days were the most horrible ones of our life. We were awfully and incredibly sick, both of us. Even the food issue became slightly less urgent. The first evening was particularly awful. The staff member told us that it was quite unusual, but nothing surprising anyway, as we travelled during the “winter time”, and the part Iceland – the Faroe Islands was always rougher than from the Faroe Islands to Denmark. “Rough” is not the right word, though. I will repeat – it was horrible. The only way to survive that horror was just staying on our magnificent couchettes in total darkness with eyes closed tightly. For some moment, we really started thinking about sending everything to hell and taking a plane from the Faroe Islands to Copenhagen, but double dose of pills and better weather calmed us a bit down. Never the minutes and seconds were so slow…

To conclude this sad story, let’s concentrate on something positive. :)

First, there was a cinema. Not for free, of course, but it helped us to forget about the fact that we were on the horrible ferry for almost two hours!

Ferry from Iceland to Denmark And the second – the 6 hours stopover in Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. We were not too much in the right mood to be happy about it, but just imagine the relief the solid ground.

Now the most important question – is there some efficient way to fight against the seasick, or should we say goodbye to all the cruising stuff without even trying it? Did you have any similar ferry-experience? :)

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From Iceland to Denmark by Ferry

2017-05-13T13:14:48+00:00 February 18th, 2016|


  1. Blog BD Sunday March 6th, 2016 at 01:56 AM - Reply

    Les voyages forment la jeunesse :)) une experience inoubliable pour le coup !

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