The Splendid Ferry to Iceland from Denmark

A sensory review.

Rose Ernst
14 min readAug 27, 2023


Footprints on a sandy beach.
Hirtshals, Denmark, where the ferry begins. © Rose Ernst 2023.

Let’s start with an important fact:

Despite growing up in an Alaskan fishing town, I get seasick. So taking a North Atlantic Ocean ferry to Iceland from Denmark seems foolhardy.

But it was the right choice.

Read on to find out why.

The Premise: Smyril Line Round-Trip

Smyril Line runs a seasonal ferry to Iceland from the northern tip of Denmark (Hirtshals) to the Faroe Islands (Tórshavn) and on through to the eastern edge of Iceland (Seyðisfjörður).

Map of ferry to Iceland from Denmark.
MS Norröna ferry. Made with Canva. © Rose Ernst 2023.

We took this round-trip ferry to Iceland from Denmark via the Faroe Islands on the MS Norröna at the end of May 2023. As far as I know, it is the only ferry to Iceland from Europe.

Is the Smyril Line a Ferry or a Cruise?

Ferry in port, Smyril Line.
The view of our ferry from Tórshavn, Faroe Islands. © Rose Ernst 2023.

Many passengers travel from Hirtshals to Tórshavn (and back) as they would on a ferry. One couple said they fly one way and take the ferry on the return journey.

In other words, it’s more practical than a cruise, similar to the overnight ferries we’ve taken from Croatia to Italy. I’d say the MS Norröna leans more toward cruise than ferry in terms of amenities. That’s why it was a delight.

Iceland Ferry Itinerary

Day 1: Leave Hirtshals at 3 pm

Day 2: At sea

Day 3: Stopover in Tórshavn, 7:30 am to 1 pm

Day 4: Arrive Seyðisfjörður at 9 am

Day 5: Ferry docked in Seyðisfjörður, then departs at 8 pm

Day 6: Stopover in Tórshavn, 4 pm to 8 pm

Day 7: At sea

Day 8: Arrive Hirtshals at 11 am

If 8 days seems too long, you could take the ferry one way, as many tourists did. But we’re glad we did the…