Our Story


Runar Karlsson and Siggi Jonsson had been trying to find an answer to the question: How can we make a business out of inviting people to join us on adventures in our back country that we like to do ourselves? The answer sailed into harbor in 2005 when legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail around the world single handed non-stop and Sir Chris Bonington, a world famous British mountaineer were on board. After a few beers and a stiff whisky or two, Sir Robin offered us to buy the “bloody boat“ and start our adventure from there. So that we did! This is our story. 

Story begins with first to offer sailboat skiing trips in Iceland

Here on our first reconnaissance trip with a group of photographers and guides in May 2006.

First to offer sailing trips from Iceland to the East coast of Greenland

We made a quick stop to check out the coastline in August 2006. First thing we saw on the beach was fresh polar bear tracks and we quickly got back on board…!

Iceland, People on boat, Borea Adventures
Iceland, Boat, Graenland, Borea Adventures


First commercial sailing expedition to the remote island of Jan Mayen

This volcanic island on 70° North in known for its active volcano Beerenberg (2233 m.) and is also a small Norwegian military outpost.


Iceland, Boat, People, Borea Adventures

Offering sailing trips to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve with different experiences

Hiking, kayaking and wildlife trips became our bread and butter.


Started offering various day trips around our home town in Ísafjörður. Opened our first office and base for adventures

We rebuilt a nice space in a beautiful house built in 1890 for our office and outdoor gear. Beautiful location.

Iceland, Kayaks, Water, Borea Adventures


Bought our first passenger boat, Bjarnarnes

We felt it was important to offer 360° service to our guests and to have more flexibility. Bjarnarnes took 18 passengers and served us well. 

Opening of Bræðraborg, our coffee shop and adventure base

This nice space had been empty for a while but had been a watchmaker store for decades. We wanted to combine good food and coffee and adventures. A place to hang out and plan your next trip to the outdoors.


Started the rebuild of the old farmhouse in Kviar

We had sailed passed the house many times and thought it could make for a great adventure base in the fjords. The house had been in neglect for 70 years and it would take more than a few cans of paint to get the house back in shape.

Split up the company with Siggi, one of our founders, starting his own sailboat business

After careful thought, we sold Siggi the Aurora and he sailed off and formed a successful sailing expedition company. 


New shareholders come in and the Kvíar Lodge project goes into full swing

After a difficult year in 2014, we got new shareholders into the company. We managed to fully fund the rebuild in Kvíar. That’s also another chapter of our story.

Iceland, Man on a boat, Borea Adventures


Finished the rebuild in Kvíar

What a journey! It was a difficult but fun project were we had a lot of helping hands from friends, relatives and professional builders. We shipped many tons of timber, steel, furniture, cement, insulation, mini excavator on a barge and the list goes on. Finally the house was equipped to be used both in summer and in winter.° service to our guests and to have more flexibility. Bjarnarnes took 18 passengers and served us well. 


First Arctic Fox Workshop in Kviar Lodge during winter

Let’s continue with ur story. Sometimes a success is in a fresh pair of eyes. That’s certainly true here when we didn’t realize the potential regarding the Arctic foxes for wildlife photography workshops. These groups are now the core of our business from February until April.

Established a base camp in Hornvik Bay

It’s fair to say that Hornvik Bay is the most beautiful place in Hornstrandir, with its massive bird cliffs and jagged peaks. Having a great camp setup there is very unique and offers our guests a safe haven to enjoy their outings to the fullest.   


Closed the coffee shop

You can say that the coffee shop was the victim of its own success in a way. It was just getting too much and shifted our focus from the core of the company which is adventures and the outdoors. New owners took over and that business is thankfully still running.

Lost our boat Bjarnarnes

The boat stranded on the beach beneath Kviar Lodge after a gear failure close to shore. What a nightmare. But through the years we’ve developed a strong “C’est la vie“ mentality to cope with mishaps which is important when constantly dealing with the elements. 

Iceland, Bjarnarnes strand, Borea Adventures


Next story - Bought another passenger vessel

Bjarmi became a new family member. A sturdy boat built in Norway in 2016 that can take 20 passengers.


Nordic Council Environment Prize logo, Borea Adventures Nomination 2020

COVID and bought back the company

and now it’s again in 100% local ownership.

Nominated for the Nordic Council Environmental Prize

For connecting conservation and tourism in relation to the Arctic fox, a key species in the Arctic and Nordic region. This was a welcomed surprise in the middle of the pandemic.


Bought our largest passenger vessel

With increased demand, we decided to jump into the deep end of the pool again. We found the perfect vessel in Norway that is 18 meters long and takes 48 passengers. We named her Sif after our daughter Regína Sif. 

Iceland, Relocation of Bjarnarnes ferry, Borea Adventures


The best year so far for the company and the future is bright..! And the story goes on.