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Fred - Greenland Iceland cruise - Reykjavic tours


peteM3
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Have booked this cruise in August for the itinerary - really looking forward to it .

 

First time cruising with Fred , and checking out the excursions costs they seem to be very high ( double the cost of locally arranged tours ), so considering arranging our own tour in Reykjavik ( Golden Circle ) .

 

Question is , is it too risky to arrange our own tours ? The ships arrival and departure time that day is 7am docking and departure 6pm . We can probably fit in a 7.50 hour tour , but a bit worried if any problems may arise on getting back to port in time  .

 

 

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16 hours ago, peteM3 said:

 

Have booked this cruise in August for the itinerary - really looking forward to it .

 

First time cruising with Fred , and checking out the excursions costs they seem to be very high ( double the cost of locally arranged tours ), so considering arranging our own tour in Reykjavik ( Golden Circle ) .

 

Question is , is it too risky to arrange our own tours ? The ships arrival and departure time that day is 7am docking and departure 6pm . We can probably fit in a 7.50 hour tour , but a bit worried if any problems may arise on getting back to port in time  .

 

 

 

We know Iceland vey well and have often stayed there.It's highly unlikely that you would have any problems with local transport.

 

However...

 

Docking at 7.00 am means that the ship may not be cleared and the gangway may not be in place for a little while. Also FOCLs will give priority to their own tours... independents may not be allowed off until the first FOCLs tours have left.

 

If the sailing time is 7.00 pm... it's likely that the onboard time will be 6.30 pm.

 

The real issue is what might happen if the captain decides in advance to sail early.... (as soon as the FOCLs' tours are likely to be back on board) he will wait for any late FOCLs tour... he may wait for independents.

 

 

 

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A rule we always use.

If we can walk back to the Ship we tour ourselves, if not, it’s a Ship Tour.

ok a City Tour with a hop on hop off bus is different.

We went with Fred to Greenland and Iceland around 6 years ago.

Fantastic it was.

We booked every Tour with Fred.

Can not recall them been overly expensive.

Our mindset is we spend let’s say £2000 plus each on a cruise, so we will spend a few pounds more on a Ships Tour, over “doing it ourselves” for peace of mind.

Each to there own,

Make sure you do the Ice field Boat Tour in Greenland. Don’t remember name of place.

Also one POC in Greenland was horrendous for midges. We took full face nets. Looked ridiculous but we’re a god send.

Have a  great Cruise.

Hope you enjoy Fred.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for all the replies - much appreciated and good information .

 

Although I'm sure I could arrange an independent tour without a problem , there's a slight nagging doubt about whether it's taking too much of a chance .Apparently , if for some reason we did miss the departure , a taxi to the next port is likely to cost a small fortune ( 5.50 hours by car). .

 

Certainly food for thought and some great tips .

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2 hours ago, peteM3 said:

 

Thanks for all the replies - much appreciated and good information .

 

Although I'm sure I could arrange an independent tour without a problem , there's a slight nagging doubt about whether it's taking too much of a chance .Apparently , if for some reason we did miss the departure , a taxi to the next port is likely to cost a small fortune ( 5.50 hours by car). .

 

Certainly food for thought and some great tips .

 

We generally align with the cautious group of passengers, but we have taken trains at times from other ports as long as we know we are not so far away to get an affordable taxi back to the port if problems arise, but only in quieter areas - not something we would do to get to Rome for instance though, (when many other cruise passengers would be competing for far too few taxis and the roads likely jammed as well), if the trains stopped running).  That does happen in Italy at times due to sudden strikes.  Also, we have hired a car in La Gomera and El Hierro.  We would always make sure we were back, fairly near the port, at least a couple of hours before we would need to be back on the ship as well though, for an extra safeguard..

 

Yes, some people do take such trips and it works successfully the vast majority of times, but as you have suggested, that does need thinking about regards how you could get back to the ship if you did not get back to the port in time.  The extortionate cost of a taxi to the next port is one potential cost (sounds like that is still in Iceland, but I do not know where), though you may be able to find public transport, or in Iceland, a one way car hire may be a better idea, if you could arrange that.  You also need to consider a hotel cost for a night or two though - even meals are very expensive in Iceland.  As a previous poster has said, costs in Iceland, like Norway, are very high and that shows in the cost of the excursions, even with reliable private operators, so possibly not a lot to gain in the overall holiday cost IMO, but only you can decide if that saving is worth the potential risk for you, even if that risk is a pretty remote one, in terms of not getting back to the port.  

 

I agree with the "ice fjord trip" in Greenland - it is Narsarsuaq where Fred operates that - you go on small boats right up to and sail in and out around large grounded Icebergs at the mouth of an Ice Fjord which you pass in the ship just before you get to the port.  You will can see those icebergs from the ship, but at a greater distance, so the effect is nothing like as good.  You need to keep an eye on excursions being released for that cruise as that trip usually sells out very quickly.  It will cost about £100pp, but an experience not to be missed IMO.  Not much advantage in any other excursions in the Greenland ports Fred visits, so I would not particularly recommend anything else there.  I contacted the company who run the  ice fjord trip before we first visited Greenland and all the local boats were contracted to the ship that day through him, so it could not be booked privately.  That was on a ship half the size of Fred's current ships, so the same will almost certainly be the case now. 

 

Hope you enjoy the cruise no matter what you decide,

 

Barbara

 

 

 

  

Edited by tring
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Barbara is spot on about the Ice Field Tour.

I am sure we were warned on this forum about it selling out quickly.

I remember sat up at 1 am on the day the Tours were released to ensure we got places.

 

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On 6/3/2023 at 3:20 PM, tring said:

 

We generally align with the cautious group of passengers, but we have taken trains at times from other ports as long as we know we are not so far away to get an affordable taxi back to the port if problems arise, but only in quieter areas - not something we would do to get to Rome for instance though, (when many other cruise passengers would be competing for far too few taxis and the roads likely jammed as well), if the trains stopped running).  That does happen in Italy at times due to sudden strikes.  Also, we have hired a car in La Gomera and El Hierro.  We would always make sure we were back, fairly near the port, at least a couple of hours before we would need to be back on the ship as well though, for an extra safeguard..

 

Yes, some people do take such trips and it works successfully the vast majority of times, but as you have suggested, that does need thinking about regards how you could get back to the ship if you did not get back to the port in time.  The extortionate cost of a taxi to the next port is one potential cost (sounds like that is still in Iceland, but I do not know where), though you may be able to find public transport, or in Iceland, a one way car hire may be a better idea, if you could arrange that.  You also need to consider a hotel cost for a night or two though - even meals are very expensive in Iceland.  As a previous poster has said, costs in Iceland, like Norway, are very high and that shows in the cost of the excursions, even with reliable private operators, so possibly not a lot to gain in the overall holiday cost IMO, but only you can decide if that saving is worth the potential risk for you, even if that risk is a pretty remote one, in terms of not getting back to the port.  

 

I agree with the "ice fjord trip" in Greenland - it is Narsarsuaq where Fred operates that - you go on small boats right up to and sail in and out around large grounded Icebergs at the mouth of an Ice Fjord which you pass in the ship just before you get to the port.  You will can see those icebergs from the ship, but at a greater distance, so the effect is nothing like as good.  You need to keep an eye on excursions being released for that cruise as that trip usually sells out very quickly.  It will cost about £100pp, but an experience not to be missed IMO.  Not much advantage in any other excursions in the Greenland ports Fred visits, so I would not particularly recommend anything else there.  I contacted the company who run the  ice fjord trip before we first visited Greenland and all the local boats were contracted to the ship that day through him, so it could not be booked privately.  That was on a ship half the size of Fred's current ships, so the same will almost certainly be the case now. 

 

Hope you enjoy the cruise no matter what you decide,

 

Barbara

 

 

 

  

Thanks for the very comprehensive reply - the next port of call after Reykjavik is ÍSAFJÖRÐUR !

 

After considering all the very informative replies in here ( may thanks  ) , decided to do the Fred excursions on this occasion . For the costs involved , simply wasn't worth the costs / hassle if things didn't go to plan , even if the chances of that happening were remote . 

 

Also decided to do the ice fjord trip after all the recommendations in here .

 

Cheers ,

 

Pete

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8 hours ago, peteM3 said:

Also decided to do the ice fjord trip after all the recommendations in here

 

The "Ice Fjord trip" is by small speed boats like this one.

 

DSC_6109.thumb.jpg.76f3919f9ca5e72692197cc5cec61625.jpg

 

When we were there again last year there were only two or three boats available.

 

These boats takes small groups of people down Tunulliarfik Fjord where the ship. will have anchored just off the tiny quay at Narsarsuaq. It's a case of tendering to the quay and the transferring to the speed boat. Be prepared for a bumpy ride!

 

The speed boats turn into Qooroq Fjord to the East and go as close as they safely dare to the Qooroq Glacial front. As you can see... it is certainly some experience... and there are lots of bits of ice in the water there and back. The combination of low temps and windchill can be bone numbing so dress up warm with a good hat that won't blow off and gloves!

 

DSC_6201.thumb.jpeg.b6e5b87120568bdab7432eeb3c1db31d.jpeg

 

DSC_6234.thumb.jpeg.b62aa2cb8d91131837b40a3eb2e48074.jpeg

 

And yes... there was blue ice in the water!

 

IMG_1118.thumb.jpeg.0747d7f28451f1895e73c2868e98a642.jpeg

 

Incidentally this is the only place in Greenland where White-tailed Eagles are resident... we saw them from the speed boat... a truly impressive sight against the wall of the Fjord. Impressive birds with a wing span up to almost 16 feet! Check out the huge cod in the tallons!

 

DSC_6346.thumb.jpeg.70b41f8f409f3001c2c3f444ac93f652.jpeg

 

Ice conditions vary... but when we were there last season, there were larger blocks of ice in Tunulliarfik Fjord by the entrance to Qooroq Fjord and the ship had to to navigate through these on the way up to and away from the anchorage at Narsarsuaq. 

 

DSC_6157.thumb.jpeg.9fa88fe266d60cbcad07ddf2e6a376c5.jpeg

 

DSC_6128.thumb.jpeg.5d996e9f559a0e44b67fe11e8702f2fa.jpeg

 

IMG_1098.thumb.jpeg.74f9af93d13b17f61c7ceed4b1560761.jpeg

 

Our transits were early morning and late afternoon and both were sensational.

 

The early morning was immensely atmospheric.

 

DSC_6053.thumb.jpeg.cdb7be47a0dc3ac146067c2abd9d3621.jpeg

 

_DSC1259.thumb.jpeg.1f7171b6db080c1e84efdf74352672ee.jpeg

 

In the afternoon... "Well get through that lot Captain!"

 

DSC_6277.thumb.jpeg.ccbeacdb70ed48b0a71162770c8e52e1.jpeg

 

We've "been there and done that" last season and you're sure to enjoy the experience!

 

 

Edited by twotravellersLondon
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  • 2 weeks later...

From Reykjavik we used Back to Iceland travel company for an excursion.  We did the South Coast Tour.  A big taxi/people carrier for four of us.  It was a great day because we could customise it e.g. no to a sweater shop but yes to seeing puffins up close.  They guaranteed that we would be back in time.  We were first off the ship and last back on, but no pier running required!  I’ve checked and we paid 110,000 IK. £630. Expensive but we saw more than we would have on a ship tour.

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We took a tour with Iceland Guided Tours and they were fantastic.  They were waiting at the dock for us and the bus took 8 people . Various tours but we chose the golden circle and can really recommend it. They got back to Reykjavik in plenty of time and offered to give a quick tour of the town.  We also booked a tour with them in Akureyri and can also recommend that. Excellent company 

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