How it's done
We have an innovative method to lower visitors down through the crater’s opening (roughly 4×4 m/12×12 ft width). We employ a system that’s normally used to carry window cleaners on the side of skyscrapers – an open elevator system.
A basket that holds 6–7 people is connected to a crane that has been placed vertically over the crater opening (see photo above, click on it for a larger version). Massive cable wires move the basket up and down the bottle-shaped vault.
The 120 m/400 ft journey takes about 6 minutes to complete, giving you an idea of how slowly you will be moving down into the crater. The slow speed is to ensure the safety of passengers, but also to provide the opportunity to enjoy the amazing scenery.
Everybody that goes down into the crater will be placed in a harness and required to use a helmet (provided on-site) at all times. Several guides, all highly trained and experienced mountain guides and cave explorers, will be with you at all times. Generally, one expert guide will be placed at the top of the crater, one will control and be in the basket with passengers, and one will be located on the ground of the magma chamber.
All equipment and processes have been tested extensively and approved by the administration of Occupational Safety and Health in Iceland.