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Iceland - questions answered

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We are in Isafjordur for one day on cruise ship and looking at excursions. It seems apart from more local areas the main excursion is to visit Dynjandi. waterfall. Considering that tours I've found seem to be more expensive than other ports in Iceland and the time taken for the tour is there more than just a waterfall to see?

If anyone can give me some advice it would be appreciated.

Thanks

Depends on how much time you have.

 

You can do Isafjordur to Dynjandi and back (and yes, it's worth it) with an hour at the waterfall in about 5 hours.

 

If you have 12 hours total you can continue past Dynjandi to Latrabjarg, which are the cliffs with massive numbers of puffins, as that's another 3 hours each way. Also worth it.

 

Alternatively you can do a tour to Vigur Island where there are also Puffins and Eider Ducks and Arctic Terns, etc.

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I can't answer for sure, but I'd be surprised if there was public transportation available. On TA, every time that question comes up, the locals say no. There's simply not enough "public" to need it, and the few bus routes available go to the middle of small villages, no where near tourist sites, for 1-2 stops per day.

 

Correct. Definitely no public transport to tourist attractions

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We will be on a cruise July 2018 Silver Wind to various Icelandic Ports. Would greatly appreciate help with tour recommendations for the ports of Isafjordur (12N-6P), Akureyri (8A-4P), Seydisfjordur (9A- 12MN). Prefer to book excursions independent or as a small group from our Roll call but our Roll call is practically non-existent for our cruise. Typically we do not like the overpriced cruise ship excursions which only last 2-4 hours at best.

I have spent much time on TA reviewing the recommendations and the ones we like are cutting it close with our Port time or just not calling out to me. Any recommendations from past travelers to these Ports would be greatly appreciated. Just hubby and I traveling together.

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We will be on a cruise July 2018 Silver Wind to various Icelandic Ports. Would greatly appreciate help with tour recommendations for the ports of Isafjordur (12N-6P), Akureyri (8A-4P), Seydisfjordur (9A- 12MN). Prefer to book excursions independent or as a small group from our Roll call but our Roll call is practically non-existent for our cruise. Typically we do not like the overpriced cruise ship excursions which only last 2-4 hours at best.

 

I have spent much time on TA reviewing the recommendations and the ones we like are cutting it close with our Port time or just not calling out to me. Any recommendations from past travelers to these Ports would be greatly appreciated. Just hubby and I traveling together.

 

 

 

Not sure if you have enough time but we had a fantastic tour from Akureyri with a group organized from our ship.

https://www.iceak.is/iceak-s04

 

We enjoyed just walking around town in Isafjordur. There were excursions to see birds and wildlife, but we felt this was our chance to taste some local food and drink some Icelandic beer.

 

 

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Be aware that Isafjordur has a population of 2,600, and Seydisfjordur has a whopping 700. There will be fewer options than your average European port excursions. Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland, has 18,000, with more options for things to do.

 

Try the TA Iceland forum to look for recommendations, particularly for the smaller ports.

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We are also visiting Iceland in July and have done quite a bit of research. We decided to book FAB tours as the reviews are excellent and also they use 16 seat mini buses rather than the large coaches used by the ship. I emailed them with a couple of questions and they got back to me quick quickly.

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We used West Tours out of Isafjordur for a boat tour to Vigur Island. Not sure if the times work for you but it was a great tour we did on our land vacation

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Posted (edited)

I have just returned from the Celebrity Eclipse and felt to compare to share my positive experience with Saga Travel.

We enjoyed a fantastic six hour tour from Akureyri Port to Lake Myvatn for 18 passengers.

 

I decided to arrange a group through Cruise Critic, and initially Saga wanted me to pre pay for 18 people, which I was reluctant to do. (the price around USD85 - very reasonable for the region, compared to the same tour offered by the ship)

 

After some too-ing and fro-ing Saga sent a link for payment to each individual to pay the company direct, which every did within days. This really worked well. Everyone showed up and I did not risk being out of pocket.

 

I would I recommend the tour and the company without reservation.

 

Hope this info is useful, didn't want to break any rules but to share some recent info, about a seemingly obscure port

Edited by downundermatt
spelling

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I have just returned from the Celebrity Eclipse and felt to compare to share my positive experience with Saga Travel.

We enjoyed a fantastic six hour tour from Akureyri Port to Lake Myvatn for 18 passengers.

 

I decided to arrange a group through Cruise Critic, and initially Saga wanted me to pre pay for 18 people, which I was reluctant to do. (the price around USD85 - very reasonable for the region, compared to the same tour offered by the ship)

 

After some too-ing and fro-ing Saga sent a link for payment to each individual to pay the company direct, which every did within days. This really worked well. Everyone showed up and I did not risk being out of pocket.

 

I would I recommend the tour and the company without reservation.

 

Hope this info is useful, didn't want to break any rules but to share some recent info, about a seemingly obscure port

Thank you for your review. I would love to do this tour on my upcoming trip. I have had a look on their website but I can not see a tour similar to yours around that price. Was it especially created for group and did you have to guarantee 18 passengers?

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Posted (edited)

Hi Aloha3

 

Saga Tour tailor made a tour based on our 1030 arrival and each couple payed 17,100 ISK direct to Saga in advance (USD164 for two) This was based on 18 pax , They also quoted for twelve pax but the cost was much higher (still much cheaper than the ship)

 

I found it really easy to get 18 pax, I liked the fact people payed direct because it took the pressure of me (people changing their minds) and put the responsibility on each party. (I wasn't trying to locate 18 people on board for stressing over payment)

 

I suggest you email them - tomorrow is what they sent me, and we had a great day.

 

Good Luck

 

Service: Private Lake Mývatn from Akureyri Port

Pick up: Akureyri Harbour @ 10.45

Departure: @11:00

Duration: 5 - 6 hrs

Highlights: Goðafoss Waterfall ● Skútustaðagígar Pseudo Craters ● Dimmuborgir Lava Formations ● The Rift Between the Eurasian & American Continents ● Mt. Námafjall

Witness the Wonders of Lake Mývatn

We begin our day by stopping at Goðafoss Waterfall on our way to Lake Mývatn. Goðafoss plays an important role in the Icelandic history, particularly in connection with the introduction of Christianity. We keep on going to the mystic Dimmuborgir Lava Fields (Dark Cities) full of lava-pillars and formations that are rich of mystic sagas and tails. We come to the warm underground river in Grjótagjá Rift and head to the geothermal area of Hverir with boiling mud pools, steaming fumaroles and sulphur pits. We then return back to Akureyri in time for your ship’s departure.

Included

● Fully guided private tour

● Transport

Not included:

● Refreshments

Edited by downundermatt
more info

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We will be in Akureyi soon and have joined with a group from our rollcall to use Traveling Viking Tours...Lot's of research has been done on this tour company...very excited for this port call.

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After browsing through the excellent Copenhagen thread I thought about starting one for Iceland as well:

 

 

 

I'm a regular cruiser that lives in Reykjavik, Iceland and not affiliated with any tour companies. So if you have any questions about the Icelandic ports of call and surrounding attractions feel free to ask.

 

 

 

Main port: Reykjavik (Capital).

 

Secondary ports: Akureyri (largest town in the north of Iceland), Seydisfjordur (a small town on the east coast) and Isafjordur (a town in the rugged northwestern part of Iceland).

 

 

 

Loved Iceland. Went in May 2016 and drove the circle tour around the island. Seydisfjordur was great. What a view from above! Only disappointment was the restaurant we planned on having lunch was closed. Just ate at a gas station nearby. Looking forward to this cruise in 2019. Want to see Akureyri again. Still thinking about what to do in Reykjavik.

 

Glenn

 

 

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We're staying in Iceland for 5 days/4 nites after a Norway/North Cape cruise. We're all set for tours to Golden Circle, South Coast and Reykjanes Peninsula but we're debating some other options for a full day in Reykjavik. Specifically we're looking at the Express Puffin Tour operated by Whale Safari. It's a RIB tour direct to the puffin grounds and doesn't include any whale-watching. Has anyone done a puffin tour in mid-July? Comments? We're also considering the Reykjavik Food Walk, which is pretty expensive for a short food tour but gets excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. Does anyone have first-hand experience? Many thanks!

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Hi Aloha3

 

Saga Tour tailor made a tour based on our 1030 arrival and each couple payed 17,100 ISK direct to Saga in advance (USD164 for two) This was based on 18 pax , They also quoted for twelve pax but the cost was much higher (still much cheaper than the ship)

 

I found it really easy to get 18 pax, I liked the fact people payed direct because it took the pressure of me (people changing their minds) and put the responsibility on each party. (I wasn't trying to locate 18 people on board for stressing over payment)

 

I suggest you email them - tomorrow is what they sent me, and we had a great day.

 

Good Luck

 

Service: Private Lake Mývatn from Akureyri Port

Pick up: Akureyri Harbour @ 10.45

Departure: @11:00

Duration: 5 - 6 hrs

Highlights: Goðafoss Waterfall ● Skútustaðagígar Pseudo Craters ● Dimmuborgir Lava Formations ● The Rift Between the Eurasian & American Continents ● Mt. Námafjall

Witness the Wonders of Lake Mývatn

We begin our day by stopping at Goðafoss Waterfall on our way to Lake Mývatn. Goðafoss plays an important role in the Icelandic history, particularly in connection with the introduction of Christianity. We keep on going to the mystic Dimmuborgir Lava Fields (Dark Cities) full of lava-pillars and formations that are rich of mystic sagas and tails. We come to the warm underground river in Grjótagjá Rift and head to the geothermal area of Hverir with boiling mud pools, steaming fumaroles and sulphur pits. We then return back to Akureyri in time for your ship’s departure.

Included

● Fully guided private tour

● Transport

Not included:

● Refreshments

 

Hi, thank you for your post, would you mind sharing how much it would have been for 12 people, I would appreciate it. :)

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Hi - the amount they quoted was ISK 133900 for twelve pax (USD128) just bare in mind this was quoted in February and I think there has been some currency adjustments over three months.

 

Good Luck - this tour was truly a highlight at a great price.

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Hi - the amount they quoted was ISK 133900 for twelve pax (USD128) just bare in mind this was quoted in February and I think there has been some currency adjustments over three months.

 

Good Luck - this tour was truly a highlight at a great price.

 

Thank you so much for the info. I am currently agonizing over whether we should just book a rental car & go ourselves, or book a private tour, we enjoy hiking & I worry that on a guided tour there won't be enough free time to hike up to waterfalls, etc. First world problems, right? ;)

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Thank you so much for the info. I am currently agonizing over whether we should just book a rental car & go ourselves, or book a private tour, we enjoy hiking & I worry that on a guided tour there won't be enough free time to hike up to waterfalls, etc. First world problems, right? ;)
Akureyri is easy on your own if you don't mind driving. There is way more to do than you can fit into one day but you can try... We like to DIY so we can spend as much or as little time as we want in places, and remain flexible.

 

Europecar has a rental office right at the Akureyri pier so pickup and drop off are easy. We've done this port twice and rented both times. The first time was 2008 but I don't have my pictures uploaded anywhere. The second time was August 2014 and I have details and pictures in my cruise review (link also below).

 

Enjoy, whatever you decide.

 

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Thank you so much for the info. I am currently agonizing over whether we should just book a rental car & go ourselves, or book a private tour, we enjoy hiking & I worry that on a guided tour there won't be enough free time to hike up to waterfalls, etc. First world problems, right? ;)

 

I vote for the rental car. We did that and it worked out great. Very easy driving, and as another posted said, we could stay in one place as long as we wished and just adjusted our day as we went. Weather will play a big part in how long you may want to visit one area....with a car, it's your choice.

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Hi,

We are stopping in Iceland on our way to Copenhagen for a cruise. We will be arriving on a Monday at 6 am and leaving Wednesday around 3:00. We are looking for ways to get from the airport to our AirBNB near the hotels in Reykjavik and back on Wednesday. Also looking to do any tours we can. Definitely a full day tour on Tuesday (including Golden Circle, not as concerned with the Blue Lagoon). Can anyone recommend some reasonable forms of transportation as well as a tour company. The taxi rates I looked up were very expensive to/from the Airport.

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Hi, interesting thread. Any hints on Eskifjordur in far eastern Iceland. Stopping for about half day on a Greenland/Iceland/Arctic cruise. Thanks

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We visited for a few hours via cruise ship in 2014. It's isolated and there isn't much time to get anywhere else. Just walk around the town. There is a maritime museum IIRC (didn't go). There is about a mile walk to the end of the fiord for the views, and a stream with waterfalls a little inland (opposite direction from the end of the fiord). Both are worth walking to. I posted some pics and a description of the town in my August 2014 trip report (link in my signature).

 

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There are a couple of bus services that run constantly from the airport to the city. We take the Flybus Plus, as the basic services take you to the bus terminal in Reykjavik, but the "Plus" takes you right to or near your hotel or other lodging in the city.

 

 

Lots of good tour companies in Iceland. We liked Icelandhorizon, but there are many others.

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Hi,

We are stopping in Iceland on our way to Copenhagen for a cruise. We will be arriving on a Monday at 6 am and leaving Wednesday around 3:00. We are looking for ways to get from the airport to our AirBNB near the hotels in Reykjavik and back on Wednesday. Also looking to do any tours we can. Definitely a full day tour on Tuesday (including Golden Circle, not as concerned with the Blue Lagoon). Can anyone recommend some reasonable forms of transportation as well as a tour company. The taxi rates I looked up were very expensive to/from the Airport.

 

Car rental?

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The Flybus is reasonable and reliable to get to/from the airport. It brings you to the main bus station in Rey, then you could taxi from there. Flybus Plus includes a transfer from the bus station to a variety of hotels. You could check to see if there is one near your bnb. You sign up online and they email you a QR code they scan when you get on the bus. Easy peasy.

 

There are so many tours. Decide if you want cheaper, on a big bus with 50 people, or more expensive in a smaller vehicle. GreyLine does the big bus ones. Arctic Adventure/Extreme Iceland and Goecco are some of the smaller vehicles. There are others that are also good. A TripAdvisor search would be helpful.

 

Consider a Monday afternoon Golden Circle tour and a south coast tour Tuesday. You could do the Blue Lagoon Wednesday am to say you did it. It is a bit touristy, but still fun, and not something you can do at home.

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We will be on a cruise next year that spends several days in Iceland. I have not read all 40 pages of this thread so some of my questions may have been covered. I have been to Reykjavik before and so I am familiar with thatarea. I have also read on this thread thatwe will be able to rent a car in Akureyri, which is our preferred method of touringin cruise ports of call. Can you tell meif there are car rentals in Isafjordur and, if so, will there betaxis available at the cruise port

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One of the few places in Iceland that we haven't visited. Always wanted to go but that area is really remote!

 

Europcar has an office in town, which appears to be within walking distance (1/2 km or less) from any of the piers. It is a tiny place. I doubt that you'd need a taxi. I'd just worry that they will run out of cars!

 

Here is a map of the port: http://www.cruiseiceland.com/harbor/isafjordur/

 

And Europcar's website, where you can find the location of the office in Isafjordur: https://www.europcar.is/locations

 

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Thank you for the prompt response. The cruise I have booked is a year away so I have plenty of time to reserve a car.

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Glad you're planning ahead. Europcar is my go-to agency in Iceland - they have a very convenient location in Akureyri too. Isafjordur is just so remote! It looks close, but all the roads are so winding that it's almost a 300km drive from the ring road!

 

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We are two couples, our first time in Iceland, and I am torn about what to do while in port in Akureyri. I'm torn because I can trace my Icelandic roots back to 1685 to an area about 60 km or 55 minutes from Akureyri. It's the Ólafsfjörðuri area. I would love to stand on the same ground of my ancestors but at the same time I don't want to miss the typical tour of Lake Mývatn, waterfall Goðafoss, Dimmuborgir, Námaskarð and possibly Jarðböðin. Since we are only stopping in Akureyri from 7:30 AM to 4 PM in August, I don't feel we can risk doing both and I would feel guilty for the other three with me to have to go on my quest which is in a different direction not knowing what we will find. Has anyone been to the Ólafsfjörður area and if so, can it possibly be near something to match the splendor of the usual top tour mentioned above? Were we spending the night, there is no doubt that I would rent a car and do both but, alas,we're not.

Glynda

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Glynda, I have had excellent results (twice) working with Taxi No. 17 in Akureyri. It is a small family owned taxi-tour company that can do custom excursions. Just describe what you are looking for and let them give you a quote. Fair warning, they are not the least expensive but then nothing is in Iceland. Marshall

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Miss Puppy:

 

 

It depends on how many people are on your ship, which port you're talking about, what time you dock, and what tour.

 

 

In Reykjavik you can likely walk off and get on a whale watch or Golden Circle Big Bus tour, most likely. Anything more "different" or in a smaller port and you will risk having zero options.

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We are going to stop in Reykjavik on our way home from Copenhagen after our cruise. Does anyone have any recommendations for a hotel? Any help would be appreciated. This will be the end of May 2019.

 

 

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I've stayed twice at the Reykjavik Residence Hotel. It's a block off the main road, no bars around, so quiet, but an easy walk to anywhere downtown. They have an amazing breakfast delivered to your room if you wish - fresh bread, fruits, hard boiled egg, meat, cheese, yogurt. Enough for breakfast and a light lunch.

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I've stayed twice at the Reykjavik Residence Hotel. It's a block off the main road, no bars around, so quiet, but an easy walk to anywhere downtown. They have an amazing breakfast delivered to your room if you wish - fresh bread, fruits, hard boiled egg, meat, cheese, yogurt. Enough for breakfast and a light lunch.

 

We stayed there also last summer on our second Icelandair stopover from Hamburg to Toronto. The kitchenette was already partially stocked. We fixed breakfast and lunch there and had a place to wait out intermittent rain. Bought flybus tickets to airport online. Pickup was across the street.

On the first stopover from Montreal to Hamburg, we stayed at the Aurora Star Hotel right next to Keflavik airport, rented a car, drove past Blue Lagoon and Grindavik along south coast first afternoon. Second day drove Golden circle. Turned car in and walked to terminal next morning.

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I vote for the rental car. We did that and it worked out great. Very easy driving, and as another posted said, we could stay in one place as long as we wished and just adjusted our day as we went. Weather will play a big part in how long you may want to visit one area....with a car, it's your choice.

Anita - did you just the car for the day or were you in Akureyri for multiple days?

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Just an FYI. On June 2, 2018 we docked in Akureyri on the Celebrity Eclipse. The Norwegian Jade was also in port that day. By 11 am, all taxis were committed and unavailable. We couldn't find a taxi near the port so we walked to the BSO taxi station (in really windy conditions) and were told all taxis were out. Since we had booked an independent flight tour to Grimsey Island (which was eventually cancelled due to high winds,) we were in a huge pickle to get to the airport. Luckily, the dispatcher at BSO actually handed her keys to a friend and had him drive us to the airport (thank you so much & super kudos for helping us!!!)

 

Once it was determined our flight was cancelled, we called BSO for a cab from the airport back to the pier. We were told (again) all taxis were committed on other tours and they had no idea when we would get a taxi. We lucked out and the tour driver from the cruise line allowed us transport back to the ship.

 

Bottom line ... Akureyri does NOT have the taxis to support one cruise ship, much less two, in port. We were very disappointed with transport options independently at this port. Get another taxi service!!!

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Just an FYI. On June 2, 2018 we docked in Akureyri on the Celebrity Eclipse. The Norwegian Jade was also in port that day. By 11 am, all taxis were committed and unavailable. We couldn't find a taxi near the port so we walked to the BSO taxi station (in really windy conditions) and were told all taxis were out. Since we had booked an independent flight tour to Grimsey Island (which was eventually cancelled due to high winds,) we were in a huge pickle to get to the airport. Luckily, the dispatcher at BSO actually handed her keys to a friend and had him drive us to the airport (thank you so much & super kudos for helping us!!!)

 

Once it was determined our flight was cancelled, we called BSO for a cab from the airport back to the pier. We were told (again) all taxis were committed on other tours and they had no idea when we would get a taxi. We lucked out and the tour driver from the cruise line allowed us transport back to the ship.

 

Bottom line ... Akureyri does NOT have the taxis to support one cruise ship, much less two, in port. We were very disappointed with transport options independently at this port. Get another taxi service!!!

We were also on the Eclipse with you...So glad we booked a private tour with Traveling Vikings for our Akureyri port stop....Amazing day, we saw so much with our wonderful guide...in particular the Game of Thrones locations.

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