Cookson Adventures in north Iceland, June 2020.

Iceland appeals to high-end travellers post-lockdown

Iceland has emerged as the top destination for luxury travellers post-lockdown. Its secluded landscapes and quiet airports allow visitors to explore without encountering another member of the public, particularly for those flying private.

Launching the first large-scale trip in the country was British experiential travel company Cookson Adventures. It took three weeks for the team to design an 8-day itinerary—which went live in mid-June—partly due to heightened security measures but also its ultra-high level of personalisation for their guests. Their on-the-ground hosts underwent testing prior to the guests’ arrival and were prepared to be quarantined on their arrival back into the United Kingdom. 

Staying in the country’s renowned Deplar Farm, formerly an 18th-century sheep farm, the group were just a 15 minute helicopter flight from Akureyri Airport. Flying private is emerging as an essential for high-end travellers, allowing them to avoid crowded airports while Covid-19 still circulates.

Helicopters were highly important assets. They flew to various locations for their day’s activities, including sightseeing Alderjayfoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, lava fields and to secluded spots for hiking, mountain bike riding and al fresco dining. The use of helicopters throughout the adventure guaranteed little or no interaction with members of the public. Other activities included a laser tag game, surfing, white water rafting, ATV rides along black-sand beaches, paddling alongside humpback whales, and ice caving. 

Henry Cookson, Founder of Cookson Adventures and record-holding polar explorer, hosted the adventure. He’s said:

“Travellers are recognising that true wilderness can sometimes be found closer to home. Sometimes all you need is Mother Nature at your side to feel like you’ve truly escaped the chaos of everyday life. ”

“Iceland is the perfect option for anyone looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure that’s away from the crowds. We are constantly monitoring and reassessing the latest information from our industry contacts and fully adhering to guidance from the CDC and the World Health Organisation. I’m confident there will be more escapes like this to follow shortly.”