Since 1992 the native Icelander has lived in Hamburg where he has been leading a successful international tour operator with focus on Iceland and Norway. He has one goal and that is to show the world how amazing Iceland is, and promises good experiences to all travelers. With a private pilot license Gudmundur enjoys to fly in his spare time, where customers and friends alike have enjoyed amazing flights, amongst them stunning flights over Iceland.
Travel Research Online (TRO): Hello, Gudmundur. How are you today?
Gudmundur Kjartansson (GK): Hello, Joseph. I am doing fine, looking forward to another successful Iceland ProCruises season with the Ocean Diamond.
TRO: Iceland has had about a decade of growth in its tourism. What do you think attributed to this?
GK: In my opinion there are two main reasons, first of all the extremely good coverage we had after the volcano eruption in the Eyjafjallajökull mountain and secondly the great increase in flights offers to and from Iceland since 2013.
TRO: You’ve been in a leadership position at Iceland ProCruises for almost 8 years. Did you have a history with the travel profession before this?
GK: Yes, I started in the Iceland tourism 26 years ago as the manager for Iceland Tours, a daughter company of Icelandair, and 16 years ago I founded the Iceland ProTravel Group, which owns 15 different travel companies, selling trips to Iceland and Scandinavia.
TRO: What do you think are the most important attributes of working productively within the travel industry?
GK: The most important is to offer and stand behind good products and be honest to your clients.
TRO: Iceland ProCruises shows the traveler some pretty amazing sites on their cruises, from stunning coastlines to whales playing—to the northern lights. What are your most popular cruises?
GK: Our most popular cruses are the 9 nights / 10 days Circumnavigations around Iceland. This is an excellent product which shows our guests all the great sites in Iceland, with an excellent team of Iceland experts and a great crew on board.
TRO: You have a private pilot license, where you seem to enjoy showing friends and family Iceland from the air. What are your favorite spots to show them?
GK: Yes, that is true, Iceland is also extremely beautiful from above. My favorite spots are in the Icelandic highlands.
TRO: Everyone I know that has traveled to Iceland has been given a very warm welcome by Icelanders. Is this an essential part of Icelandic culture?
GK: Some people say that the Icelanders are a bit shy in the beginning, but if they know and trust people, they are very open-minded and filled with warmth and friendship. This is definitely part of our culture.
TRO: Iceland ProCruises has a long history of experience with the sites of Iceland. What would you say to an agent who is thinking about getting their clients out to this unique country?
GK: It is important to spend some time on knowing the “product” Iceland. The agents should try to learn as much about the basic things that you can offer the clients and then rely on experts like the Iceland ProTravel Group for specialized services.
TRO: Does Iceland ProCruises have any plans in the works or news that our readers should know about?
GK: Our main focus at the moment is to strengthen ourselves from the inside, meaning offering even more quality and good services to our agents and clients. We are always looking for new opportunities and being creative in our product development.
TRO: Gudmundur, thank you for your time.
GK: Thank you too, and all the best from Iceland.
For more information about Iceland ProCruises, please visit https://www.icelandprocruises.com/.