The world‘s biggest lesbian travel company, Olivia, is preparing a cruise around Iceland next summer; the trip sold out as soon as the new destination was announced.

Olivia was founded in 1990 and organizes holidays for women to most corners of the world, from Antarctica to Scandinavia and now soon, Iceland. The cruise begins in Reykjavík on July 28th 2017 and goes anticlockwise around the country, ending in the capital again 8 days later.

Judy Dlugacz. Photo by Irene Young.

Judy Dlugacz, founder of Olivia, says that they’re very excited about the cruise to Iceland. Photo by Irene Young.

“We’re pretty good at judging what our market wants and we’re constantly looking for places to go to. Sometimes we get requests and sometimes we lead the way. Iceland is such a hot destination now, as you probably are aware of, that it was time for us to organize a tour there,” says Judy Dlugacz, founder of Olivia.

“We’re very excited, this cruise immediately sold out as we announced it so there are almost 300 people coming sailing to you!” Judy encourages those who are interested to sign up for the waiting list as there’s usually a 15 percent cancellation rate so there’s still a chance of jumping aboard the Iceland adventure.

Olivia offers various types of trips and holidays for women, not only lesbians, and then also family holidays for LGBTI+ persons. Judy says that men are not forbidden from their female holidays, but that they’re so especially designed for women that this sort of travel would probably not suit or appeal to men. “It’s not that they’re not allowed, but it appeals to women more so it’s a rarity that men want to come too. But we do all sorts of amazing events, for gays and LGTB people too. But because there’s usually more events on offer for gay men and not lesbians, there’s more need for special women holidays.”

“We’re very excited, this cruise immediately sold out as we announced it so there are almost 300 people coming sailing to you!”

Judy initially co-founded Olivia Records, that specialised in female musicians, but changed the focus to women’s travel in 1990. “We’ve been doing this for over 25 years; we’ve taken well over 200,000 women all around the world, to Antarctica, the UK, Tahiti, Portugal, Sweden and now one of the last frontiers will be Iceland.”

And Judy stresses that the Iceland cruise is for all women, not only lesbians. “It’s just a women’s trip, they have the best of time as it’s a holiday designed from women’s point of view. Women like to see everything, they like excursions so we make sure to plan plenty of those for them. And they want to see entertainments from a woman’s perspective, so we bring a lot of female talent with us, world

"Every time we go on a safari, we see all the big five," says Judy.

“Every time we go on a safari, we see all the big five,” says Judy.

renowned artists like Sarah McLachlan and Olivia Newton-John. We also bring with us public speakers and leaders in community to participate in events on our cruises. We’re trying very hard to get women from all over the world to come with us.”

According to Olivia’s website, entertainments on board the Iceland cruise haven’t been announced and indeed, when enquired, Judy says they’re still booking. “We would love to get some female Icelandic entertainers and performers, any sort of speakers and we often bring historians and experts on wild life with us. It makes such a difference if it’s a woman as well.”

Olivia was one of a kind when the company was founded, offering cruise, resort, adventure and riverboat vacations. The company always charters whole ships or buys out entire resorts to provide a safe space for women to be out and feel free. Judy says there aren’t that many travel companies that offer similar services. “They’ve come and gone; it’s such a big and complex operation that it takes a lot of time to grow and maintain the high standards.”

“We would love to get some female Icelandic entertainers and performers, any sort of speakers and we often bring historians and experts on wild life with us.”

But why do women need holidays that exclude men? “There’s nothing like being able to just be yourself on vacation, on your holiday. We don’t depend upon anybody, you’re so used to this in Iceland, but this is new for some of us, for women to take their power in that way. And it’s very empowering and inspiring; something just happens with women who travel together, it’s the happiest group I’ve ever seen!”

And Judy adds that on their travels, they’ve discovered something spectacular. “When only women come together to observe wildlife, something amazing happens. It must be the female energy or something but the animals come to us! Every time we go on a safari, we see all the big five, and for instance when we went to the Bahamas we saw thousands of dolphins come to us. National

The company always charters whole ships or buys out entire resorts to provide a safe space for women to be out and feel free.

The company always charters whole ships or buys out entire resorts to provide a safe space for women to be out and feel free.

Geographic has interest in this phenomenon and we’re encouraged to document this because it’s inexplicable. Animals simply come to us to interact with us, the way they don’t with other groups of people.”

So on a cruise ship full of women, are there at least any men allowed in the crew? “The crew is the crew; they love us and we love them. We work with the same cruise lines again and again and they know us by now; we’re so much fun and so appreciative of their service that they look forward to us coming for a cruise. When we first started, the cruise lines were very homophobic but now it’s all changed.”

The 8 day cruise around Iceland includes short stops in e.g. Heimaey island, Seyðisfjordur, Akureyri, Ísafjörður and Grundarfjörður. The vessel, ms Star Legend, has a capacity for 212 passengers who are accommodated in luxury rooms and have access to lounges, a club, casino and a library as well as a spa and a fitness centre. More information on the Iceland cruise can be found on Olivia’s website.

Olivia offers various types of trips and holidays for women, not only lesbians, and then also family holidays for LGBTI+ persons.

Olivia offers various types of trips and holidays for women, not only lesbians, and then also family holidays for LGBTI+ persons.

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.


Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.


    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.


        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.


        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us

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