Set Sails, For Sustainability

Important announcement


Iceland’s borders are currently only open to residents of the Schengen Area, EEA, EFTA, and EU. Travelers from a handful of other countries may be allowed entry in line with current EU travel restrictions. As of February 19, 2021, everyone arriving in Iceland must show a certificate of negative PCR test against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) before boarding an aircraft or ship on their way to Iceland and also upon arrival in Iceland. The test must be taken within 72 hours of departure. Once in Iceland they undergo double testing, one before and one after the five-day quarantine upon arrival.

Sampling at the Icelandic border is free of charge. In May these restrictions will change. Please, read carefully all the information regarding COVID-19 regulations in Iceland here and contact us if you need further assistance on your way to join us on the expeditions. We will be as useful as we can to help you on the process.

More info at covid.is

About Us

When Ocean is Your Life

We are a small team of enthusiastic people with different ideas and professional backgrounds coming together to make a difference, helping our marine environment by conducting an exciting long term conservation project.

Expedition April 2019

The Legendary Opal Standing for the Voices of the Seas at the Edge of the Arctic

This year we are inviting experts from different fields; plastic science, whale and bird scientists to collect data about Icelandic ocean health and develop together a field course for students next year 2020.

Belén García Ovide
Marine Biologist & Wildlife Guide Founder of Ocean Missions. Ocean passionate and energetic since she can remember.
Daniel Gonzalez de la Peña
Nature Photographer & MSc Marine Ecosystems-based Management Daniel has grown up surrounded and loving nature.
Heimir Harðarson
Captain of Schooner Opal Co- founder of Ocean Missions. An explorer by heart and sailor by soul.
Charla Jean Basran
Marine Biologist Charla is a marine biologist, with a master’s in marine and coastal management.

Experts Said About Us

The Arctic regions are particularly vulnerable, and much of the marine life that forms here is the basic prey for marine life across the globe. This is why I’m very excited to join the expedition with Ocean Missions in Iceland.

I joined the Ocean Missions expedition knowing it was a great opportunity to spend a week sailing with people with different backgrounds and skills, but one common goal: making a difference for the oceans and spreading the world.

I join this your to work with other people who are passionate about the Ocean and to get inspired. Bringing people together working for a project like this have a  great potential and I want to support it. It is important to raise awareness and built bridges between science and public engagement. Sailing Opal has been amazing. I am very happy to be an Ocean Missions ambassador.

This experience, the sailing, the science, the landscape, the people… was absolutely beautiful. This project is as critical as inspiring and it needs to get off the ground. I wont soon forget my days under an on deck pulling ropes and analyzing micro plastics from the shimmering blue Icelandic waters. It’s a dream to watch the icy white caps clapping up into frozen, snowcapped mountains.

If we are willing to live with other beings, then we need to also listen to our fellow humans and make cross-overs between different fields of expertise. This is was I was eager to come. I believe that Ocean Missions is beautiful initiative with a perfect platform for developing  projects and relationships (human to human and human to non human…). I am forever grateful to be part of Opal crew and the ongoing conversation with the Ocean.


After years of experience in science and tourism business we learnt that inspiration, team building and to bring people to discover the wonders of the sea while understanding the problems is a powerful approach for working together for healthy oceans.


With our seasonal expeditions in Arctic and Subarctic regions we monitor plastic pollution, whale and sea bird ecology and use the data for scientific and educational purposes.


Everyone can be part of the solution. We believe on a bottom-up strategy, developing solutions from the individual level up to the collective. Connecting and engaging people, we work closely with decision makers, schools, the public and the scientific community to protect and respect the oceans.


8 million metric tons
of the plastic is dumped into our oceans every year — which is equivalent to a full garbage truck of plastic being dumped into the oceans every minute
5.25 trillion piece
plastics that occupy every ocean on the planet Nearly 93% of them are smaller than a grain of rice
640.000 tons
of fishing gear enters our oceans every year harming endangered marine life and fragile ecosystems (FAO)
cargo vessels are on the seas at any given time. Shipping noise is the largest source of anthropogenic noise which interfere with marine life communication

The power of the nature

Ocean Missions is a project sponsored by North Sailing

Do you want to join us in our next expedition?

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