As conscious consumers, we are almost wired to be suspicious of anything that seems ‘too good to be true’, and rightfully so. This is not one of those things.
Over the past few years, you may have noticed a strong airline marketing campaign geared to inform and inspire anyone planning a trip to Europe and to take advantage of the next big thing. Ads bathed in surreal-green landscapes, sky-high gushing geysers, Aurora Borealis lightshows and inviting geothermal pools all paint a picture of a serene and vast splendor, of exotic Nordic locals and the opportunity to see it all without even having to go out of your way to get there.
These Icelandair ‘stopover’ adverts are worth paying attention to. Their stopover fares really do represent incredible value to a truly breathtaking location and product, all before you even arrive at your final destination – basically offering travellers 2 trips for the price of 1.
The flagship carrier of the little-visited North Atlantic island-nation has continued to increase capacity and its presence throughout Canada and now operates year-round and seasonal service out of five Canadian gateways. During the summer months, when all flights from Canada are operating, there are a total of 30 flights per week departing for Iceland and beyond.
Icelandair operates service out of 5 Canadian gateways:
Vancouver (Seasonal service, 3 flights a week)
Edmonton (Year-round service, 6 flights a week in summer)
Toronto (Year-round service, twice daily or 14 flights per week in summer)
Montreal (Seasonal service, 4 flights per week)
Halifax (Seasonal service, 3 flights per week)
Naturally routing through their home-hub in Iceland’s compact cosmopolitan capital, Reykjavik, Icelandair operates service to almost 30 destinations throughout Europe and the UK. They fly into major airports like London’s Heathrow and Charles De Gaulle in Paris, as well as secondary airports like London’s Gatwick and Paris’ Orly.
On all fares, travellers are permitted to stopover in Iceland for up to 7 days (in both directions) – for no additional fare – just a small difference in taxes, typically around $20, per person. On their already-low fares to Europe, this really is quite the deal.
Trans-Atlantic service is currently provided by the airline’s narrow-body Boeing 757 aircraft. Putting you instantly in the spirit of their ruggedly-handsome home, each Icelandair plane is named after one of the country’s 130 active or inactive volcanoes. Hekla Aurora, their latest themed aircraft, showcases the natural phenomenon of the stunning Aurora Borealis, both inside and out.
On board, expect impeccable service and hospitality in three comfortable classes of service; Economy, Economy Comfort (Premium Economy) and Saga Class (Business Class).
- 3-3 seating configuration with 32” legroom
- Complimentary seat-back in-flight entertainment
- Complimentary non-alcoholic hot & cold beverages
- Meals and alcoholic beverages available for purchase
- 1 checked bag up to 23kg plus carry-on
Economy Comfort Class
- Priority check-in and lounge access
- 3-3 seating with middle seat converted to a table and more legroom (33”)
- Complimentary seat-back in-flight entertainment, headset, blanket & pillow
- Electrical outlet below your seat for charging devices
- Complimentary meals and all beverages
- 2 checked bags up to 23kg each plus carry-on
- Exclusive Saga Class check-in and lounge access
- 2-2 seating featuring larger, wider seats with 40” legroom in a private 6 row cabin
- Complimentary seat-back in-flight entertainment with noise-cancelling headphones
- Complimentary Wi-Fi for 2 devices and personal electrical outlet for charging devices
- Complimentary meals with choice of entrees (trans-Atlantic) and all beverages
- Big comfortable pillow & duvet with an Amenity Kit
- 2 checked bags up to 32kg each plus carry-on
Note: Wi-Fi service is available for purchase on most aircraft
As travel trends go, Iceland is definitely trending. Most come for the Blue Lagoon – Iceland’s iconic teal mega-pool of super-heated mineral water set against a dramatic black-lava field backdrop. Hiking, cycling and other outdoor activities rule the summer months, where days stretch on and the northern sky erupts in shapes of changing colour. Reykjavik’s homes empty and the city is alive. Live music beckons from countless cafes and bars and charming boutiques get the walk-by traffic they deserve.
As much as is made about its inspiring nature, it’s Iceland’s warm, quirky and progressive locals that surprise and delight the most, leaving many visitors with a desire to return. And with Icelandair’s stopover fares, many do – each time they’re on their way to Europe.