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Nonnie1975

Iceland Excursions

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Thinking of going to Iceland.  The excursions are very expensive.  Has anyone booked excursions using other companies?  Good or bad experiences.

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Last year we had a group that used I Heart Reykjavik for the Golden Circle tour. It was excellent. I was also quite pleased that it included this stop for lunch. It was a little pricey, but well worth it for the experience. 

 

https://fridheimar.is/en

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Iceland is an expensive country to visit, whether by cruise excursion or on a private tour. 

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Everything in Iceland is expensive. Our guide was an airline pilot + tour guide + another job, to make ends meet. We went with a ship's excursion doing the Golden Circle Tour. It was long and expensive, but definitely worth it.

 

Private tours were a little cheaper, but with the extensive distance from the port, we were more comfortable paying a premium and sticking with the ship.

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On our most recent cruise that included Iceland we used:

Reykjavik...."Your Day Tours"

Akureyri...."Traveling Vikings"

 

We booked these through our roll call and were so very pleased with both private tours.

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Some passengers on our cruise had contacted the Iceland Travel Agency, and booked both the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon through them. We had booked with the ship, and saw these passengers at all the same stops... the main difference was that food was included for us, at Geyser, whereas they had to buy their own...and the price for a dish of chips was shocking for them, but amusing to us... :classic_rolleyes:

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20 minutes ago, jocap said:

Some passengers on our cruise had contacted the Iceland Travel Agency, and booked both the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon through them. We had booked with the ship, and saw these passengers at all the same stops... the main difference was that food was included for us, at Geyser, whereas they had to buy their own...and the price for a dish of chips was shocking for them, but amusing to us... :classic_rolleyes:

Great point, as we also enjoyed an enjoyable 3-course dinner at the Geyser. Fixed menu, so we never did see prices.

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Our cruise overnighted in Reykjavik. I took a taxi to the airport and rented a car, then drove back to the port and picked up my wife and another couple. We did the Golden Circle trip on our own with no problems. Since the ship was overnighting, we even had time to drive out to the Blue Lagoon. The price at that time (6 years ago) was a couple hundred dollars for the four of us. We had no problems driving and the only traffic was in Reykjavik itself. I will warn you that the price of beer at the Blue Lagoon is a bit high.

Jeff

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Has anyone rented a car?  Not sure what insurance is like for that.  Also, do they drive on the right or left side there? 

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1 hour ago, Wyoming2010 said:

Has anyone rented a car?  Not sure what insurance is like for that.  Also, do they drive on the right or left side there? 

My Son and I rented a car for five days to tour Iceland.

 

Was reasonable considering we were in Iceland.

Can not recall what we paid.

Gas was about $7.50 USDs.

 

Get "chip insurance" since the "F" roads are unpaved.

The Ring Road is mostly two lane.

The "F" roads go to the sights.

 

They drive on the right side of the road.

Edited by GeeDunk

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We have used several tour companies, Iceland Horizon tours ($70USD pp) and BS tours ($110pp), both were good and we were in a 10 seater van with eight of us, very comfortable. Lunch was not included. Things are very expensive in Iceland but still worth going to see. 

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Any tips on Whale Watching Tours in Iceland? We are travelling in late July/August and will be visiting the following ports. Which of these is best for Whale Watching and any recommendations on tour companies please?

 

Also, any suggestions on excursions for these ports please. We only have 10 - 12 hours max in each port.

 

Seyðisfjörður 
Akureyri 
Isafjord 
Grundafjord 

Reykjavik 

 

Thank you

 

Raj

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What we have done, on two visits to Reykjavik, is to simply rent a car (booked far in advance).  We are able to duplicate the usual tour stuff (such as the Golden Circle) while doing things at our own pace and going where we want when we want.  The cost of a rental car is expensive but much cheaper then trying to do the same things on  group excursions.   The other ports (other than Reykjavik) are much smaller towns where we have often just spent time walking (and hiking) in the port town.   In some places we have simply booked a regional tour (often bus tour) at the local visitors center immediately upon arrival.    I should mention that just going into Reykjavik does not require an excursion.  There is a Hop On Hop Off bus that comes right to the port and is quite popular.  The HoHo will get you just about anywhere in town although the city is small enough that those who like to walk can easily cover it on foot.

 

Hank

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Rent a car and see the sights yourself! They drive on the right, most people speak English, and you can go at your own pace.  

And yes, everything in Iceland is shockingly expensive.

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In Akureyri, do get out to Lake Myvatn, particularly Dimmuborgir, Hverarond, and Godafoss either on the way out or on the way back.  It's a fantastic area!

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The ship was organising whale watching at Akureyri, and there seemed to be several boats going out.

We did see whales from the cruise ship in that fjord, and more further out to sea.

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On ‎2‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 7:33 PM, J_M_F said:

Our cruise overnighted in Reykjavik. I took a taxi to the airport and rented a car, then drove back to the port and picked up my wife and another couple. We did the Golden Circle trip on our own with no problems. Since the ship was overnighting, we even had time to drive out to the Blue Lagoon. The price at that time (6 years ago) was a couple hundred dollars for the four of us. We had no problems driving and the only traffic was in Reykjavik itself. I will warn you that the price of beer at the Blue Lagoon is a bit high.

Jeff

 

We are also overnighting.  I love renting cars in ports, but have never done it at a European port.  Do you need a special license or insurance?  Did you park the car overnight at the port and use it the next day also?  Thanks much. 

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The rental company was happy with my US driver's license. My credit card includes insurance when I rent a car, otherwise I would get insurance from the rental company. We only used the car one day so we did not have to park it at the port. 

 

We are careful about which countries we will rent a car in. There are some where the police can't be trusted and some where the drivers are crazy. There are also certain large cities where I am not willing to fight the traffic even if the rest of the country is OK.

Jeff

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I recently did the Golden Circle tour and a South Coast tour with Hidden Iceland in Reykjavik. Both small group tours were excellent. The guides were very informative and it was nice to be able to take in all the views without worrying about driving. Our Golden Circle tour included a number of stops including time to enjoy the Secret Lagoon and a farm-to-table lunch at a family-owned tomato greenhouse, which was delicious. Hidden Iceland also offers customized private tours as well. 

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2 hours ago, sunlover757 said:

I recently did the Golden Circle tour and a South Coast tour with Hidden Iceland in Reykjavik. Both small group tours were excellent. The guides were very informative and it was nice to be able to take in all the views without worrying about driving. Our Golden Circle tour included a number of stops including time to enjoy the Secret Lagoon and a farm-to-table lunch at a family-owned tomato greenhouse, which was delicious. Hidden Iceland also offers customized private tours as well. 

Did they pick you up at the port, or did you have to meet them in town? Thanks!

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On 6/21/2019 at 12:21 PM, J_M_F said:

The rental company was happy with my US driver's license. My credit card includes insurance when I rent a car, otherwise I would get insurance from the rental company.

 

Be careful.  Most credit card insurance is secondary, which means that your home car insurance is primary – and any claims may raise your rates.  American Express offers primary insurance for $15-20 per rental [not per day].

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On 6/21/2019 at 6:34 PM, nybumpkin said:

Did they pick you up at the port, or did you have to meet them in town? Thanks!

Hidden Iceland picked me up in town. If you're doing a private tour or a roll-call type of tour with them, I believe they'll pick you up directly at the port. 

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On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 10:29 AM, Wyoming2010 said:

 

We are also overnighting.  I love renting cars in ports, but have never done it at a European port.  Do you need a special license or insurance?  Did you park the car overnight at the port and use it the next day also?  Thanks much. 

You can park (for free) at the port in Reykjavik.  When we have rented cars (twice) in Iceland they did not require anything other then our regular drivers license.  Just beware that rental car prices in Iceland (especially at the port) can be ridiculously high.  If you want a car book it far in advance and shop around for the best price.  Some of the agencies will have the cars at the port and others will transport you to their local office which is generally within 10 min drive from the port.

 

Hank

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