My report on Iceland will be a little different from my other posts. We actually didn’t do much on this stop as far as seeing Iceland goes. We opted for a whale watch as an excursion. BUT, that’s because we’ve been here before. So, here are some thoughts on visiting Iceland.
The first time we visited Iceland was in 2010 on our way to England to board the Norwegian Epic for her maiden transatlantic. As that cruise had no ports, we went looking for something to add on. Iceland was a perfect choice. Iceland Air offers reasonable one-way flights to London ( our ultimate destination ) and the airfare actually is a little cheaper when you throw in a layover.
When we told people we were going to Iceland, they responded as though we were going to the moon. Granted, Iceland is exotic ( and expensive! ) but it’s a 4 1/2 hour flight from Boston, making it closer than traveling to the West Coast.
We were only in Iceland for 2 days, but we got a lot out of that trip. Our first morning we walked around Reykjavik followed by a great private bicycle tour in the afternoon. The second day we did the Golden Circle Tour, which is simply amazing.
For our friends on this cruise who hadn’t been to Iceland before, it was the Golden Circle tour that we recommended hands down. Despite a dreary and foggy day, they loved the tour. They returned enthusiastic and happily showing us their pictures of the Geysir and Gullfoss Falls.
On the other hand I have almost no pictures of note from the whale watch. The last whale watch we’d been on had been in Alaska and was a spectacular event with several humpbacks, seals, sea otters and eagles. Minke whale watches aren’t as exciting. We did have luck with the weather. The fog lifted as we sailed out of the harbor and the temp was around 50° with no rain. We did see harbor porpoises and dolphins and, briefly, one Minke whale. Minkes only surface for a few seconds before disappearing so it’s hard to get a picture.
But I did grab a couple of the Reykjavik sky line on the way back to the harbor.
In retrospect we wished we’d gone into town instead. There is a shuttle service that is 8€ for a round trip ticket that will take you the 3 kilometers from the port to downtown. On our way back to the ship I spotted about 20 people lined up in front of the famous hotdog cart and I was jealous. 🙂
Sure we could have grabbed the shuttle into town, but by that time we wanted lunch and to warm up from our chilly morning. They did have a gift shop at the pier where I purchased a Christmas ornament and successfully spent the kroner I had left over from the last trip. I also noted while at the gift shop you could buy an hour of WiFi for $ 5.00.
We have a couple of days before our next stop in Oslo. See you then!