New Marine Research Vessel Honours Þórunn Þórðardóttir

The research vessel Þórunn Þórðardóttir

A new marine research vessel Þórunn Þórðardóttir, expected to enhance Iceland’s marine research capabilities, will be launched on December 15 and is expected to be delivered in October 2024. The ship’s namesake was a pioneering marine researcher in Iceland.

To replace Bjarni Sæmundsson

A new marine research vessel, the Þórunn Þórðardóttir HF300, will be launched on December 15. Þórunn, the ship’s namesake, was Iceland’s first woman educated in marine research and a pioneer in studying microalgae’s primary production (i.e. the process by which microalgae convert inorganic carbon, typically in the form of carbon dioxide (CO₂), into organic compounds using the energy from sunlight).

Born in 1925 and a graduate of Oslo University, Þórunn received honorary recognition for her contributions to marine research. She adapted the radiocarbon method to Icelandic conditions, and her measurements remain relevant today, as noted by the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute. She passed away in 2007, leaving behind her husband, Odd Didriksen, and their two children.

In a press release published on the government’s website, Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, highlighted the ship’s significance for Icelandic marine research and commended the apt naming on the day of the Women’s Strike. The vessel, whose construction has been overseen by the engineering firm Skipasýn at the Astilleros Armón shipyard in Spain, measures nearly seventy metres in length and thirteen metres in width. Powered mainly by oil and equipped with two large batteries, it will replace the Bjarni Sæmundsson in about a year.

Air Canada Resumes Scheduled Flights to Keflavík Airport

Air Canada has resumed scheduled flights between Canada and Keflavík Airport. The airline has not offered direct flights to Iceland since 2019.

Several flights to Keflavík a week

As air traffic around the world approaches pre-pandemic levels, new airline routes are regularly introduced. Today, Isavia announced that Air Canada – Canada’s largest airline by fleet size and passengers carried – had resumed summer flights to Keflavík Airport. The airline last flew to Iceland in 2019.

Air Canada will offer flights between Keflavík and Toronto four times a week and flights between Keflavík and Montreal three times a week. Flights will be offered until early October.

“We sincerely welcome Air Canada back to Keflavík Airport after two difficult pandemic years,” Grétar Már Garðarsson, Director of Isavia’s Airline Relations and Route Development stated. “Air Canada is a much-valued collaborator, and we look forward to developing our important relationship in the coming years. The return of Air Canada is a clear sign that Iceland is an exciting and popular destination.”

The same press release also quotes Marc Sam, Head of Air Canada’s Sales and Marketing Department in the Nordic and Baltic region: “These are exciting times for our clients in Iceland, who can now begin to plan their next trip to rediscover Canada. Direct flights to Toronto and Montreal will allow our customers to fly straight to Canada and continue onward to destinations in North and South America. We’re excited to welcome our customers aboard.”