Our offers for shore excursions in Reykjavik (Iceland)
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Useful information for shore excursions in and around Reykjavik
Information about the cruise port, the most beautiful sights as well as many useful tips for shore excursions in and around Reykjavik we have put together for you below.
The most beautiful attractions in and around Reykjavik
The lonely landscapes, marked by glaciers, lakes and volcanoes, run through the most northern country in Europe. Iceland’s nature is original and impressive, with ice on one side and fire on the other. However on the island of countless natural spectacles is also a city full of culture, trade and attractions: Reykjavik has approximately 150,000 inhabitants which is about 2/3 of the total population and is the capital of the land of contrasts.
On the one hand, the city centre offers a lot to discover, and on the other hand, the surroundings of Reykjavik is blessed with many highlights that you should not miss out on. Not everyone can claim that they have stood with one foot in Europe and the other in America. Or have bathed in a saltwater lake with temperatures as high as 37 to 42 degrees Celsius? Iceland is a never ending experience.
Reykjavik is the hub of Iceland and has several attractions that can be easily explored on foot. A stroll through the old town where you will pass the main shopping streets Laugavegur, Hverfisgata and Skólavörðurstigur. Reykjavik is also known for its hot spas, which can be found next to the Blue Lagoon in the city.
In addition, numerous museums present the country’s contemporary art and explore the history of the Vikings in more details. The history of the Icelandic people, as well as the seafaring history, also plays an important role in the local museums of Reykjavik. The National Museum, the National Gallery and the Municipal Art Collections are the places to go. Not only are they a cultural highlight, but they are also architecturally great to look at, including the concert hall Harpa. It is located on the harbour and enchanted by its spectacular glass facade.
Do not miss the Hallgrimskirkja church, which was built above the city in 1940 for 30 years. The futuristic style of the concrete church is very controversial, yet it offers a magnificent view over the rooftops of the city to the sea. Inside the church is a huge organ with over 5,000 pipes.
If you want to visit a special place, you should visit the Perlan (Isle of Pearl), which serves as a hot water storage and is a landmark of the city. On its 360 ° viewing platform you have a beautiful view of Reykjavik and its surrounding area. In addition to the platform, the Perlan also contains the Saga Museum, which deals with Icelandic mythology in the form of wax figures.
The Golden Circle
The Golden Circle Tour is an absolute classic in Iceland and should not be missed when visiting the country. The itinerary includes the highlights and shows the nature of Iceland in all its dimensions.
One of the stops is the National Park Þingvellir. A paved path will lead you through the park. Information boards along the way explain the conditions, so you leave within the National Park, the North American continental plate is on so-called “geological no-man’s-land”, as the Eurasian continental plate is located a few kilometers southeast. Another feature is the old meeting place where the first parliament of Iceland met in 930.
Another famous sight of the Golden Circle is the geyser called Strokkur, which means “butter barrel” in German. Geysers are hot springs that break out on a regular basis and shoot boiling water into the air. The eruptions of the geyser Strokkur happen every 5-10 minutes and form water fountains from 25 to 35 meters in height. In addition to the Strokkur also exists “the great geyser”, which was the namesake for all other geysers, this geyser however only breaks out very rarely.
Another exciting sight to see is the Gullfoss, Iceland’s most famous waterfall. It belongs to the river Hvítá and often produces rainbows within its gorge. The breathtaking Gullfoss plunges over 30 meters into the depth and forms an impressive backdrop. In winter it looks like a wall of pure ice.
The Blue Lagoon
Mother Nature gives us the perfect wellness conditions in Iceland in the form of hot water lakes, which are not only great for relaxing, but also good for your health. The salt water is rich in minerals such as silica and which is truly gift for our skin. The Blue Lagoon is one of the natural spas and, with its white-blue water it contrasts beautifully against the surrounding black lava field covered with moss. The thermal bath has a pleasant 39 degrees Celsius and is world famous. However, not only does the Blue Lagoon make its wonders – Iceland has more hot water lakes, such as the Secret Lagoon , also called “Gamla Laugin”.
Reykjavik has two ports where cruise ships can dock. The mooring usually depends on the size of the arriving cruise ship.
If you arrive with a very small cruise ship, you may be lucky and can dock in the “Old Port”. This is located right in the city center, near the worth-seeing Harpa Concert Hall. From here, the city center is only a few steps away and visible from the ship.
The port Skarfabakki, which is typically for large cruise ships docking, is located about five kilometres from the city centre. If you want to explore Reykjavik, you have the possibility to drive on your own with a chargeable shuttle bus or on one of the public buses into the city centre. If you genuinely enjoy walking you can alsp walk about 40 minutes along the coast to get to the city center.
The modern cruise terminal Skarfabakki offers a number of services, including a souvenir shop, internet and tourist information. If you want to take a rental car, you will also find it at the terminal, because it has a rental service available. This option is also ideal in Iceland, as parking is often free.
Things to know about shore excursions in Reykjavik (Iceland)
Shippping companies and routes
Amongst others, the Brilliance of the seas fleet of Royal Caribbean and other shipping companies such as Celebrity Cruises, MSC, Silversea, and P&O Cruises are all heading for Iceland.
The routes are all different, Iceland is combined with different locations depending on the route and which specific cruise line you take.
For example, Iceland can be reached directly from Southampton with P&O Cruises. This shipping company offers Iceland on its routes not only with Torshavn, but also with Dublin.
Immigration and visa
You do not need a visa for your cruise in Reykjavik. Additionally, you can enter both with a passport and with an identity card, these can also be provisional.
Please check with your cruise company about the valid entry requirements for your cruise to be sure.
The national currency is the Icelandic crown (ISK). 1.00 USD equals around 117.10 ISK and 1 GBP equals around 154.92 ISK.
Credit cards are commonly used in Iceland and it is accepted in supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, petrol stations and car rentals. If you also wish to have cash with you, we recommend the exchange on site.
Taxi and public transports
The “Old Port” is located right in the old town, but only the small cruise ships dock here. From here you can just take relaxed walk to the city.
The Skafarbakki harbour, where large cruise ships dock, is about 5 kilometres from Reykjavik city centre. From the Skarfabakki Cruise Terminal, a shuttle bus can be taken to the city centre. For a small fee and after a 10-minute drive you will be brought right to the city centre. Here all the major attractions are all close together and within walking distance. Nevertheless, within the city centre buses can also be used of the bus can be used to see the main attractions. You can purchase tickets from the bus driver on the bus.
For exploring the surrounding countryside and the natural beauties of Iceland, a rental car or a guided shore excursion is best and highly recommended.
Iceland is known for its cool summers and mild winters. The most suitable time for an Iceland cruise is in the summer, as in the winter months, occurs higher rainfall and the days are much shorter. In June, July and August , the temperatures are between 12 and 15 degrees Celsius.
The main season for cruise ships is from May to October.
Websites of the Port and Tourist Organizations
Video: Impressions of Iceland
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