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Hi all - 

 

We are booked on an NCL cruise in July 2022.  Our last 3 stops are in Iceland: Akureyri, Isafjordur, and lastly Reykjavik (overnight).  We chose to let NCL take care of our air (way to good of a deal to pass up).  We also have requested the deviation to allow for a couple of extra days in Iceland after the cruise ends.  We of course want to see and do EVERYTHING we possibly can.  I know a "must" is the Golden Circle.  Logistically, I am trying to figure out what we should do, from where.

 

Should we do the golden circle from the ship, or on our own? should we do it from a different port, if offered as an option? Knowing that we will have limited time, what are some of the other "must-do"? We do not care to rent a car and drive, not for us, though I know it is for many, so we will have to do day tours. We have heard of a GoT tour, that we are thinking about doing as well. We know that we will be going the wrong time of year to see the lights.

 

We have ordered some Iceland books to research, but havent received them yet, I figured that I would asked the ones that would know while we wait...

 

Still plenty of time to decide, I know, just not sure what we SHOULD do, to feel like we DID Iceland.

 

TIA for any suggestions you have.

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The Golden Circle is in the surroundings of Reykjavík so it makes no sense to take this tour from any of the other ports of your cruise.

 

And since Akureyri is in the northern Iceland and Ísafjörður in the northwest, I think you should head towards south/east on those extra days after the cruise.

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Take a look at the prior Iceland threads here, lots of good advice.  Also the Iceland forum over at tripadvisor.com

 

I really recommend renting a car in Iceland.  Roads are few, maps are easy to follow (no need to use GPS) and getting to these amazing places with just the two of you is SO much more rewarding then getting there with a busful.

 

If you can't do a car rental, find a local tour company (we liked West tours out of Isafjordur) to get a minibus tour instead of a big bus.  Same for your touring out of Reykjavik and Akureyri

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I've been to Iceland twice and still haven't been to the Golden Circle.  I'll make it there one day, but it's not top on my priority list.  I have heard that it's good to see first, before the rest of Iceland, as it is less impressive once you've seen other parts.  

 

Consider a multiday tour to the south coast or Snaefellsnes.  Lodging will be included, and it is usually small groups.  You'll see much more without backtracking to Reykjavik every day.

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If you have any interest in hiking to the volcano, Viator has a tour that picks you up from certain hotels in Reykjavik and then their guide leads you on a hike to the volcano it leaves around 6 p.m. and returns to Reykjavik around 1 a.m.  

 

Note: I did not see a list of the hotels they directly pick-up/drop off from until I opened up the booking form. 

 

Here is a link: https://www.viator.com/tours/Reykjavik/Hike-To-The-Active-Volcano/d905-290357P8

 

 

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You can also book tours directly with tour companies.  In Iceland using third parties is not a good idea as weather can cancel or alter tours last minute, and trusting a third party to get information to you in time is risky.

 

In fact I recommend against using 3rd parties nearly all the time for that reason, also it makes refunding when the tour company cancels or if you want to (and can) cancel.

 

These guys are probably the actual provider, if not they are getting good reviews on TripAdvisor

 

https://troll.is/tours/?type=volcano

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Let me just add for people who aren't aware. Viator is not a tour operator. It markets tours for the actual operator. When you can figure out who the actual operator is, (as Nitemare did in the above post),  you are frequently better off booking directly with them.

Edited by gnome12
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Absolutely agree about not using Viator for tours in Iceland.  Weather, with cancelations and delays, can be a significant issue, and direct booking is always best.  For some reason, Icelandic businesses seem to respond best to Facebook posts.  If you have an issue contacting them directly, look for them on Facebook. 

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On 6/14/2021 at 7:31 PM, MrsTocko said:

I know a "must" is the Golden Circle.  Logistically, I am trying to figure out what we should do, from where.

 

Should we do the golden circle from the ship, or on our own? should we do it from a different port, if offered as an option?

 

I would say the South Coast tour, from Reykjavik, is more of a "must" than the Golden Circle.  It's stunningly beautiful from start to finish.  Not that you shouldn't do the Golden Circle, since you'll have time for both, but the South Coast imho is far more spectacular.  (As others have said, the Golden Circle should be done from Reykjavik.)

 

If you are booking tours, I agree that you should book directly with local companies.  

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  • 5 weeks later...

So I just booked our post cruise hotel in Reykjavik.  I think we will do the Golden circle tour on a ship excursion. The south coast for our full day post cruise.  I read some place that Reykjavik has a Hop On/Hop Off (I think I read that).  We will most likely do that after we disembark.  Will be a good way to explore without “rushing” to get checked into hotel and then meet a tour. We love HO/HO, we always look for it when we visit a new place.

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Try to avoid Big Bus tours in Iceland.  Especially thru the cruiseline, it will likely cost more than a minibus tour does that you book yourself.  Last time I checked a minibus (8-12 passengers) ran 30-40% more than a big bus does and you get so much more personal attention and chance to ask questions and learn things.

 

And 30 fewer people to wait for at each stop (site, bathroom, gift shop) in a smaller bus.

 

Reykjavik is small enough to be able to walk, no need for a HOHO

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  • 3 weeks later...

We are on the Celebrity Summit August 19, Reykjavik to Boston. I will stay 6 pre-cruise days at Reykjavik, Booked the Hilton Nordica and will do my tours with Gray Line https://grayline.is/

also the Hop on Hop off bus is with worldwide city sightseeing https://city-sightseeing.com/en/49/reykjavik, here are the tours I choose and the description of Hop on Hop off bus.

 

The Golden Circle tour (7 Hours): Highlights Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall & Geysir Hot Spring. Lunch at Geysir or Gullfoss.

971704486_GoldenCircleTour.thumb.JPG.a4df6ccd16914bdc1d1b5777751694e0.JPG

 

South Iceland, Waterfalls and Black Sand Beach Tour, 10 Hours. Highlights Exploring the black volcanic sand beach of Reynisfjara,  Standing up close to the iconic Skógafoss waterfall, Awesome view of Reynisdrangar sea stacks, Charm and peace of Vík Village, Views of glaciers and volcanoes, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Icelandic Lava Show Vík (optional as add on).

1970563402_SouthIcelandWaterfallsandBlackSandBeachTourwithIcelandicLavaShowVk.thumb.JPG.a43abcdd3153ccb890db158535ef5dc5.JPG

 

Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour , 11 Hours. Highlights: Journey across striking landscapes on Snæfellsnes peninsula, The magnificence of Snæfellsjökull volcano, The idyllic fishing village of Arnarstapi, The tranquil, black-pebbled beach of Djúpalónssandur, Grundarfjörður and the picturesque Kirkjufell mountain, Spotting seal and a myriad of sea birds, A rich heritage and fascinating history.

1922600453_SnaefellsnesPeninsulaTour.thumb.JPG.4e7f6d84a19460f57f6bc15bbb82c6e5.JPG

 

Discover Reykjavik with the best Hop-On Hop-Off Tour From 9:30AM to 4:15PM

16 stops around the city:

1 Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre
2 The Old Harbour
3 Reykjavik Maritime Museum
4 Whales of Iceland
5 National Museum
6 Lækjargata
7 Laugavegur Shopping Street
8 Reykjavik Art Museum - Kjarvalsstaðir
9 Hallgrímskirkja
10 BSI Bus Terminal
11 Perlan
12 Kringlan Shopping Centre
13 Hilton Reykjavik Nordica
14 Laugardalur Valley
15 Skarfabakki Harbour (summer only)
16 Höfdi House

1211114792_ReykjavikHoponHopoffbusstour.thumb.JPG.e86d841319dc2aadeaeaf4bb1ad704f4.JPG

 

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Those trips look like a whole lot of "butt in seat looking out a window"

 

Suggest you consider a 2 or 3 day South Coast tour all the way out to Jokulsarlon instead of staying in a city every night.  Iceland is all about the natural wonders, not the city.


Reykjavik is a cute city, but 6 nights there is 4-5 too many.  There's just not that much there

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Viking Ocean is doing a whole lot of Iceland circumnavigation cruises right now in Iceland.  First stops after Reykjavik are Akureyri and Isafjordur.  We just did ship's shore excursions because when we booked, it looked like Iceland would be prohibiting us from taking non-ship tours.  So I can't help with advice for before/after Reykjavik.  (Personally, I loved the church the most.)

 

But when your ship visits Isafjordur, it may offer an excursion to Vigur Island.  The biggest draw there is the puffins, though they'll likely be gone by September.  But it's a fun little tour of a privately owned island, with eider ducks and other birds probably still around, plus a small windmill, nice cake and coffee, a tiny post office, and other things.  The guide/owner was the first woman to cross Antarctica solo. It takes about a half hour on a boat to get to the island, and the boat leaves within walking distance of the cruise dock.  Google "Isafjordur webcam" to see the harbor of Sundahofn.  Pier you pick up boat (assuming it's running in Sept.) is the first one on the left.  Cruise ships dock on pier at top of webcam.)  Waking up in Isafjordur was amazing - high, green walls close to the ship, assuming you aren't in an inside room with no view to the outside!

 

In Akureyri we took an excursion that took us to Lake Myvatn lake region to see lava formations, bubbly steaming pots kind of like Yellowstone, and pseudocraters - what happens when steam explosions hit water.  This was a great tour, though not inexpensive, and not without a good amount of time on a tour bus.

 

Iceland was incredible.  Beauty wherever we went.  Absolutely loved it.

 

If you have specific questions, you may want to post in one of the Iceland threads in the Viking Ocean section above this Ports of Call section.  Viking has done probably 10 cruises already in Iceland, and many people have gone early or stayed late in Reykjavik, so they have info to share.  

 

   

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On 8/11/2021 at 5:56 AM, Nitemare said:

Those trips look like a whole lot of "butt in seat looking out a window"

 

Suggest you consider a 2 or 3 day South Coast tour all the way out to Jokulsarlon instead of staying in a city every night.  Iceland is all about the natural wonders, not the city.


Reykjavik is a cute city, but 6 nights there is 4-5 too many.  There's just not that much there

 I agree 100%.  When my DH and I rented a car for a 10 day Ring Road self drive tour a couple of years ago, the South Coast to Jokulsarlon was the best part of the trip.

Also, I agree that a HOHO is unnecessary in such a small town as Reykjavik.  I recommend the free walking tour; we learned a lot about Iceland and its people.  They accept tips in dollars and euros.

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