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Iceland Circumnavigation -- with whom?


kaymoz
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We were just about to book with Iceland ProCruises last year for a circumnavigation cruise when the coronavirus changed everything.  Now that we think it MIGHT be possible this summer, a brochure has arrived from Windstar and it seems they are now also doing a weekly circuit around Iceland, which is appealing since we sailed with them last winter and it was fantastic. 

Both Windstar's Star Pride and ProCruises Ocean Diamond are listed as 210 passenger ships, the smaller size we appreciate.   

I am interested in hearing your experiences and thoughts as we work out our choices and options for this trip. 

Many thanks!

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I cannot help you with Windstar or ProCruise.  However, you might want to look at Hurtigruten's Iceland excursions.  We like Hurtigruten; having sailed with them on a Norway Coastal and to Antarctica.  We are on the Namsen which is a little larger (500 passengers), but we have enjoyed the passenger mix, cabins, expedition staff (in Antarctica) and menus.  The cost of alcohol on board is high, but if you are a light drinker, that cost is minimal.

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I am going to suggest you do a self drive if you want to see Iceland.  Roads are good and well marked and logical (and there aren't many of them) so it is easy to do this.  Lots of lodging options at all prices (camping is EASY and cheap), and you will get to see Iceland as it is meant to be seen:  Alone with your loved ones with quiet and solitude.

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1 hour ago, Nitemare said:

I am going to suggest you do a self drive if you want to see Iceland.  Roads are good and well marked and logical (and there aren't many of them) so it is easy to do this.  Lots of lodging options at all prices (camping is EASY and cheap), and you will get to see Iceland as it is meant to be seen:  Alone with your loved ones with quiet and solitude.

Although before this pandemic, Iceland had become such popular travel destination that in many sights you would hardly find much solitude. How things develop and whether tourism in Iceland returns to earlier popularity remains to be seen.

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On 2/17/2021 at 9:02 AM, Hezu said:

Although before this pandemic, Iceland had become such popular travel destination that in many sights you would hardly find much solitude. How things develop and whether tourism in Iceland returns to earlier popularity remains to be seen.

We were in Iceland in September 2019, and I can't count the places we found solitude.  Just the two of us and our medium sized car and no one else in sight (or sound), including:

Vikin Beach on Westmann Island

An outpost of Svinafelljokul Glacier after a 15 minute walk down an unmarked road

A keyhole waterfall just a 5 minute hike over a sheep fence from a parking lot near a hotel on Route 1 halfway from Vik to Jokulsarlon

And our favorite place for our last day in Iceland, at Hópsnesviti lighthouse near Grindavik.

 

 

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There is a steady small stream of posts regarding just this, but the number of people who have any real experience with these cruises, that post here, is pretty small.  It may be hard to get anyone to do an apples to apples comparison.

 

What does get stated frequently, including by me, is that Iceland is best suited to a land tour.  Or at the very least a combined land/sea.  What makes Iceland appealing - the vast undeveloped spaces and amazing natural beauty - makes seeing it by sea less than perfect.  Other than Reykjavik and Akureyri, the port stops are very small hamlets with limited excursion choices, frequently just whatever the cruise line is offering.  Isafjordur pre-covid also has some choices, but is still very small. The major sites are often large distances from each other.  Much of what is considered must see in the southwest is a long day's tour away from Reykjavik, and anything closer will be (pre-covid) busy with tourists. 

 

Iceland is easy to navigate, as there are very few roads and they are well marked.  Once you leave the boomerang zone of Reykjavik day tours, you should be able to leave most other tourists behind.  If planning the trip is concerning, there are definitely companies that will make all the arrangements for you. Or, head over to the TripAdvisor forum and get advice there.  

 

 

Edited by ljandgb
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