Information about Sun Voyager

Sólfarið

The Sun Voyager (Sólfarið) is a large steel sculpture of a ship, located at Sæbraut by the seaside of central Reykjavík. The work is one of the most visited sights in the capital, where people gather daily to gaze at the sun reflecting in the stainless steel of this remarkable monument.

Concept 

The sculpture serves as an ode to the sun where it gracefully faces north across Faxaflói Bay. A popular misconception is that the Sun Voyager represents a Viking Ship. However, that is not quite the case. According to the sculptor’s vision, the piece rather accounts for a vessel of dreams; a premonition of the promise land, a plight for hope, pursuit, progress and freedom. 

The sculptor is Jón Gunnar Árnason, who described his vision as one of the possible origins of the Icelandic people. When Jón visited the island of Bockholm in Finland, he claimed to have experienced an uncanny feeling that he’d been there before, many centuries ago. 

The story goes that as ancient explorers from the centre of the known world set out to the four different cardinal directions, some set out towards the rising sun and made port at Mongolia. There, they settled down, until discovering the scribes of the explorers from the original journey who had ventured out west. With the discovery of another fatherland, the people yet again set sail, but this time they headed back towards the setting sun. After having followed the sun for years, they eventually ended up on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. 

When Jón was looking out to sea from Bockholm, he envisioned a vessel of dreams that would take him the rest of the way home; to the newfound promise land of the setting sun. He carved his vision into a granite rock by the sea, and thus the sun ship was born in his mind. 



History

As the city of Reykjavík celebrated its 200-year anniversary in 1986, the town council of Vesturbær held a competition for works of exterior art. The Sun Voyager was deemed as the winner, and an aluminium prototype was donated to the city of Reykjavík. In August 1990, shortly after the death of Jón Gunnar, the final piece was revealed at its current location by Sæbraut. 

The site of the sculpture was considerably disputed. Many have pointed out the fallacy in the ship’s mast facing north, as opposed to west; to adhere to the original concept behind the artist’s vision. Jón originally wanted the ship to be situated in the western part of Reykjavík, or by the coastline of Ánanaust. Eventually, and with the artist’s consent, the small headland on Sæbraut got chosen. Although the headland has no name, the artist comically referred to it as Jónsnes—or Jón’s Peninsula. 


  • Visit the Sun Voyager and other Reykjavík Landmarks on this walking tour with a local guide.
  • See a full list of Reykjavík Tours here, for exciting adventures that set out from the capital.

Below, you can see a time-lapse video of a day in the life of the Sun Voyager sculpture. 

Services near Sun Voyager

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Sun Voyager

Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Harpa is Rekjavík’s premier concert hall and conference centre. Opened in 2011, it was designed by a collaboration between Danish-Icela...

View

Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran church, located on top of hill Skólavörðuhæð in the centre of Reykjavík. At 74...

View

Lækjargata

  Laekjargata is a street in central Reykjavik. The street has some of Reykjavik's oldest houses and features several cafés, restaura...

View

Laugavegur (street)

  Laugavegur is the main shopping street in Reykjavik, located in the city centre. Laugavegur starts from Bankastraeti in the west and joins Kr...

View

Dómkirkjan

  The small and charming Domkirkja church is the central Lutheran church in Iceland.  The Domkirkja is situated at Reykjavik's main pu...

View

Austurvöllur

  Austurvollur is a public square in the centre of Reykjavik and a popular gathering place. Around the square are cafés, clubs, sho...

View

Alþingi

The Alþingi is Iceland’s longest running and highest institution of government, having been formed amidst the stunning beauty of Þin...

View

Reykjavik Art Museum - Hafnarhus / Harbor house

Hafnarhús, or the Harbour House, is one of the three buildings which hosts the exhibitions of the Reykjavík Art Museum. It can be foun...

View

Reykjavík Settlement Exhibition

The Reykjavík Settlement Exhibition is a fascinating place where visitors can discover, and witness with their own eyes, the secrets of this ...

View

Ráðhúsið – Reykjavík City Hall

Reykjavík City Hall (Ráðhús Reykjavíkur) is located on the banks of Tjörnin Pond in central Reykjaví...

View

Tjörnin

Tjörnin is the historic, picturesque pond that can be found in downtown Reykjavík. This popular spot in the capital city is bordered by...

View

Hljómskálagarður

Hljómskálagarður is a park by Reykjavík’s downtown area, renowned for its birdlife, sculptures, and serenity. Locate...

View

Whale Exhibition Center

The Whale Exhibiton Center is a floating information and exhibition center at Reykjavik harbor. The Whale Exhibiton Center is focused on informing it...

View

Reykjavík Harbour

Reykjavík Harbour is located close to the centre of the city and is the main port of departure for whale and puffin watching tours, as well a...

View

National Museum

  The Icelandic National Museum, located at Sudurgata 41 in Reykjavik, displays objects providing a great insight to the nation's cultural h...

View

Whales of Iceland

Whales of Iceland is an exhibit in Reykjavík, and the biggest whale exhibition in the world. The museum has 23 life sized models of the spec...

View

Norræna húsið

Credit: The Nordic House Facebook.  The Nordic House (Est. 1968) is a cultural institution and exhibition space in Reykjavík which aims t...

View

Reykjavík

Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world. Despite a small population (120.000 and more tha...

View

University of Iceland

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Tommy Bee.  The University of Iceland ("Háskóli Íslands"), in Reykjavik, is Iceland&...

View

Ásmundarsafn

  Asmundarsafn in Laugardalur valley in Reykjavik is a museum dedicated to the works of Icelandic sculptor Asmundur Sveinsson. Along with the ...

View

Tours near Sun Voyager

Greater Reykjavík Area Sightseeing Tour

Reykjavik and around Sightseeing tour On this tour you will visit various significant places in......

View

Close up | Whale Watching Tour with Puffins & Reykjavík Coast

With only 12 persons on each boat, this is the most intimate and personal whale watching tours......

View

Segway Tour of Reykjavik

Our scheduled Segway tour may include but is not limited to the following places. Harpa concert......

View

Reykjavik Walking Tour | Explore Iceland's Capital with a Local Guide

Learn all about Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, on this guided walking tour. Visit its......

View

The Viking Adventure Tour

Sail like a Viking on this tour from Reykjavik’s Old Harbor around Reykjavik Bay in an authentic......

View

Guided City Tour

Reykjavik Smart bikes uses Iceland's abundant green energy for its electric bikes.......

View

十一黄金周 | 8天7夜 | 冰岛环岛中文导游精品团 - Winter Offer

9月下旬至10月初,冰岛进入金黄的秋季,日照逐渐变短,有了看极光的可能的同时,依然能环岛游览全部主要景区。这个8天7夜的冰岛环岛旅行团,最适合不想开车、英文交流能力有限、又想饱览冰岛名胜的朋友。......

View

限时促销:十一黄金周 | 8天7夜 | 冰岛环岛中文导游精品团

9月下旬至10月初,冰岛进入金黄的秋季,日照逐渐变短,有了看极光的可能的同时,依然能环岛游览全部主要景区。这个8天7夜的冰岛环岛旅行团,最适合不想开车、英文交流能力有限、又想饱览冰岛名胜的朋友。......

View

Northern Lights Cruise Deluxe

Enjoy this 3-hour evening cruise with Harpa Yachts departing from Reykjavík Old Harbour in......

View

Private - Reykjavik Sightseeing tour

Just arrived to Iceland and you can’t check in into your hotel room, why not use the time and......

View

RIB Boat Whale Watching Tour with Puffins and View of the City

See Iceland's gentle giants from our spectacular and fast Rib boats which are brand new and......

View